Self Portrait

July 9, 2020

I did not want my body
Spackled in the world’s
Black beads and broke
Diamonds. What the world

Wanted, I did not. Of the things
It wanted. The body of Sunday
Morning, the warm wine and
The blood. The dripping fox

Furs dragged through the black New
York snow–the parked car, the pearls,
To the first pew–the funders,
The trustees, the bloat, the red weight of

The world. Their faces. I wanted not
That. I wanted Saint Francis, the love of
His animals. The wolf, broken and bleeding–
That was me.

Cynthia Cruz

The rustle of blood

June 21, 2020

It’s still there. What grips me will not let me go. It leaves me confused in the low light. With the rustle of blood and, sometimes, a cry coming from nowhere.

I do not have fantasies. Fantasy opens me up; I become fantasy. I am the dangerous daughter, thigh-stroking, soft-tongued lover, the pit, the well, the well of horniness, laughter rolling up out of me like gravy boiling over the edge of a pan. I become the romantic, the mystic, the one without shame, rocking myself on the hop of a rock, a woman as sharp as coral. I make in my mind the muscle that endures, tame rage and hunger to spirit and blood. I become the rock. I become the knife.

Dorothy Allison
The Muscles of the Mind

Bizarre. Dreams of the conservative politician, Jacob Rees Mog sharing quality family time with Vlad Dracul. Distinctly unsettling. All that pomposity. All that blood…

Nightmare #22

March 6, 2020

All of the blood has run out of your body
and onto the floor
and out
into the hall.
And I am still
preparing the tourniquet.

Barbara Ruth

love always hurts

January 19, 2020

You said, “There’s still time – time to change your mind.”

Remember…?

Your voice was little more than a husky whisper beside my ear. But going back wasn’t an option for me then. What was to happen was fated…inevitable. Like the sunrise or sunset.

I said, “I love you.”

And you said, “Move forward…just a little more…little more. There. I’m going to hurt you now…Hurt you a lot, because I love you. And love always hurts.”

The pain that followed my slow movement against your long body was unlike anything I’d experienced before. Hell fire would touch me less.

Agony.

And, yes, ecstasy too…

You said, “You can cry out if you wish. It’s alright. No one can hear.”

And then that exquisite, excruciating torment eased, slightly. I couldn’t breathe; couldn’t draw breath; but then I could and took short, shallow gulps of air. I realised my mouth was filled with blood where I’d bitten the right side of my cheek and my tongue.

You bent forward to look into my face and smiled. You saw the blood on my lips. Your tongue flicked over my mouth, lasciviously.

“First blood,” you whispered. “Relax for now. It’s going to be a long, long night for you…”

P

Vampire

November 2, 2019

A writer who attempts in the nineteenth century to rehabilitate the ancient legends of the were-wolf and the vampire has set himself a formidable task. Most of the delightful old superstitions of the past have an unhappy way of appearing limp and sickly in the glare of a later day, and in such a story as Dracula, by Bram Stoker, the reader must reluctantly acknowledge that the region of horrors has shifted its ground. Man is no longer in dread of the monstrous and the unnatural, and although Mr. Stoker has tackled his gruesome subject with enthusiasm, the effect is more often grotesque than terrible.

The Transylvanian site of Castle Dracula is skilfully chosen, and the picturesque region is well described. Count Dracula himself has been in his day a medieval noble, who, by reason of his ‘Vampire’ quilters, is unable to die properly, but from century to century resuscitates his life of the ‘Un-Dead,’ as the author terms it, by nightly droughts of blood from the throats of living victims, with the appalling consequence that those once so bitten must become vampire in their turn.

The plot is too complicated for reproduction, but it says no little for the authors powers that in spite of its absurdities the reader can follow the story with interest to the end. It is, however, an artistic mistake to fill the whole volume with horrors. A touch of the mysterious, the terrible, or the supernatural is infinitely more effective and credible.”

Review of Dracula by Bram Stoker – The Manchester Guardian, June 15, 1897

I am naked

September 1, 2019

I am naked
Without skin and without bone
Enveloped with your desires
Clinging to my Body
You drink all my blood
Until dawn.

A Case File

August 6, 2019

She explained how she had blown
off the legs of her father with his own shotgun and,

with the help of her bruised and weeping
mother, dragged him out back behind the barn, heard

the cows moving in the stays, as they
lumbered toward the pig pen, five hogs waiting

with eyes like dinner plates. They could
smell the bleeding. Her father was nothing but moans

and whimpers spreading ribbons of
red in the snow. Over the fence they threw him

then walked back to the house. I looked
back once, she said. Mama gripped my shoulder, turned

me back toward the mudroom and told me
there was no reason to worry, he weren’t coming.

The way they both strode tall, accomplished, regal
down the red carpet father had left for them.

The last kindness he’d done them, their eyes shining
through the early silver morning.

Dawson Steeber

Goodbye To Tolerance

July 20, 2019

Genial poets, pink-faced
earnest wits —
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
Goodbye, goodbye,
I don’t care
if I never taste your fine food again,
neutral fellows, seers of every side.
Tolerance, what crimes
are committed in your name.

And you, good women, bakers of nicest bread,
blood donors. Your crumbs
choke me, I would not want
a drop of your blood in me, it is pumped
by weak hearts, perfect pulses that never
falter: irresponsive
to nightmare reality.

It is my brothers, my sisters,
whose blood spurts out and stops
forever
because you choose to believe it is not your business.

Goodbye, goodbye,
your poems
shut their little mouths,
your loaves grow mouldy,
a gulf has split
the ground between us,
and you won’t wave, you’re looking
another way.
We shan’t meet again —
unless you leap it, leaving
behind you the cherished
worms of your dispassion,
your pallid ironies,
your jovial, murderous,
wry-humoured balanced judgment,
leap over, un-
balanced? … then
how our fanatic tears
would flow and mingle
for joy …

Denise Levertov