Each Verse a Vampiric Kiss


"Dante and Virgil in Hell" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1850

"Dante and Virgil in Hell" William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1850

Each Verse a Vampiric Kiss

Virgil! Dante! What help? These sonnets pile
toward heaven like sins, black stains soaking
through pristine robes—here again I’m poking
around in our canon; holy and vile
beside graceful and graceless, mile on mile—
scrolls endless as sky, that azure cloaking
that hides heaven from eyes—they sin, stoking
fires in which to—eternal—burn! No trial . . .

Even this stanza sinks fangs into veins
pulsing iambic! Vampire pen! Suck life
into your inkwell; drink in verse. Our reins
are bit through! Stallion-wild, mimetic strife
speaks itself from fingers numb as rhyme drains
itself of cliché to take its new life.

David M Pitchford
January 2008

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2 thoughts on “Each Verse a Vampiric Kiss

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