Dodgy Poems & Blasphemous Prayers by
Della Van Hise


An Introduction to Rumors of Vampires

Poetry is a language unto itself. At best, I am a dabbler and a babbler at the edge of the pond, mainly interested in capturing a moment the same way a photographer might capture a fleeting image otherwise lost to the ages.

I'm okay with that - this sense that we are incredible yet insignificant beings moving through some inexplicable milieu of experience and emotion, longing and loss, love and grief. And yet, at the same time I'm not okay with it at all - for it is human nature to crave that which remains out of reach.

It is human nature to chase the muse that whispers midnight promises of eternity, but delivers cemeteries and funeral processions when the sun rises on another mundane day.

It is human nature to want to live forever, even (and perhaps especially) if that promise were to be delivered in the form of an erotic if twisted kiss of eternal damnation and eternal salvation all wrapped up together in a vampire's embrace.

And such is the language of poetry - a way to explore our darkest fantasies and most forbidden desires without automatically being consigned to the psychiatrist's lumpy couch.

Some would say I suffer from depression. I would argue that I suffer from clarity, but also from the dark but beneficial curse of allowing myself to believe there is more to this world than we have been programmed to believe. It's not just what I want to believe. It's what I have to believe, or run the high risk of becoming just one more cog in the grinding machine that digests our imagination and craps it all out as rhetoric, pabulum and dogma. On the day I become that, I will shut down the computer and throw away my writing quill forever.

My muse sends notes from time to time, telling me he's off in India or Australia or on the red sands of Mars, always harvesting words and moments like grapes plucked to create the best wine.

For now, I hope you will enjoy Rumors of Vampires, and that it will bring you some measure of entertainment, a chill or two, or - if I've done my job - a stray thought to chase through the candlelit cathedral at the edge of Vampyreland.



Still Life 

Lightning takes a snapshot of the night:

          dying trees and trembling leaves,

          rain frozen in freefall,

          glittering stones littering desert floor,

          the vampire on the porch swing.



Your love is toxic

yet I hold you

pressed like poison ivy

between the pages

of my fatal mortality.

One day

the venom will end us both.


Transient Travelers

Life is a fragile trick

carried on the tip

of the harlequin's walking stick.

The bells on his cap are skulls,

hollow souvenirs

vacated by hermit crab souls.




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Rumors of Vampires

134 Pages
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Revised: January 01, 2018