Peter O’Neill ~ The Vampire

You who, like a fine stiletto,
Pierced my plaintive heart;
Strong like a horde of demons,
You who, with wine and madness conjoined,

Made your domain and bed
Of my humiliated spirit –
Infamy, to you I am now wedded
Like a convict to a chain,

Like the last hand of a poker player,
Like the bottle to the drunk,
Or, worms to a corpse,
– A similar kind of Evil you, to me, are.

I prayed for the rapid glaive
To conquer my freedom,
And I sought council in perfidious poisons
To bolster my cowardice.

Alas! Poison and the glaive
Held me in disdain before saying to me:
“Eejit! – You are not worthy
To be taken by us from your atrocious slavery,

Far from its empire,
For if our efforts were to deliver you
Your kisses would only resuscitate
The corpse of the vampire which consumes you.”


The Vampire is excerpted from Peter O’Neill’s latest collection,
The Enemy ~ Transversions from Baudelaire
available from Hammer & Anvil Books
Wed 25 Mar
exclusively at

Ferdinand Hodler THE ENEMY ONeill


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