Previous: Sholeh Wolpé reads "The Prince"
Next: R. A. Villanueva reads "Fish Heads"



View count:4,491
Last sync:2024-04-11 18:30
Chase Berggrun reads Chapter XXI from her book R E D.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more:

Chase Berggrun

Book: R E D:
Press: Birds LLC.

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica
My name is Chase Berggrun and I'll be reading Chapter XXI from R E D.

Chapter XXI is one of 27 poems in a book of oratures from Bram Stoker's Dracula.  

Chapter XXI

A detail in a pool of blood
the body gathered in an awkward kink
I dress myself in easy anything

I softened into a swollen confusion
only slightly solid     I was shining
He beckoned
His hands      a dark mass like a thousand rats
A cloud closed over my eyes
I moistened myself with brandy
I held tight to life
I became like water

Kneeling on the edge of the bed   his face was turned
his left hand     held both arms   his right gripped
my neck    blood    a thin stream of it   his nostrils quivered

I lay in disarray
my eyes    and from them came   an endless moment
Cold moonshine dazed me   I began to pull on clothes
I drew back   unclean
Shame folded me like steel    tried to twist me in obedience
I could not feel the rise of reddening dawn
Silence   the sound of what happened

I want you to know all this
understand    how much I need to show you
It was he who caused me to disappear
My husband    my husband and other men
hunt me and command   my flesh my blood my brain
This is my pollution story

The eastern sky became clear
            as the awful narrative deepened
                       in the morning light
                                  when the first red streak shot up my flesh