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Donna Vampiro


Back into our hands again, you are
not thinking of us, or yourself, or how
we might forget to know you

as more than just a few words
for a woman’s body found in a mass grave,
as we call you the remains of the first vampire

and consider the brick
lodged between your jaws to stopper
fear and disease. Donna Signora,

so small and hard a chip of ghost
days and silence, what undemanding offices
might sway us not to stare at

how no clots of earth are needed
to hold the ornaments of your teeth in place –
there – there – there – to notice

that the damp is no longer your concern,
that you will not starve to death, that you are not
weeping over your return to this?
I ask, not out of sorrow.
So, a few days back I was reading a little of this and that, just here and there, you know...like ya' do, and I see Italy Dig Unearths Female 'Vampire' in Venice. What could I do but read on.

ROME – An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws — evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire.

The unusual burial is thought to be the result of an ancient vampire-slaying ritual. It suggests the legend of the mythical bloodsucking creatures was tied to medieval ignorance of how diseases spread and what happens to bodies after death, experts said.

The well-preserved skeleton was found in 2006 on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island, north of the lagoon city, amid other corpses buried in a mass grave during an epidemic of plague that hit Venice in 1576.

"Vampires don't exist, but studies show people at the time believed they did," said Matteo Borrini, a forensic archaeologist and anthropologist at Florence University who studied the case over the last two years. "For the first time we have found evidence of an exorcism against a vampire."

Medieval texts show the belief in vampires was fueled by the disturbing appearance of decomposing bodies, Borrini told The Associated Press by telephone.

During epidemics, mass graves were often reopened to bury fresh corpses and diggers would chance upon older bodies that were bloated, with blood seeping out of their mouth and with an inexplicable hole in the shroud used to cover their face.


As I read, I grew curious. You know you're a little curious now too. You can learn more here [link]

The last line of the poem is taken from a piece by Czeslaw Milosz, Encounter</b>. I'll put it in my journal for the interested among us. You can read a little about him here [link]

I have another format for this piece that I am still considering...things may change. Things almost always do :D
Dave Prisk
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:iconalisonblue:
AlisonBlue Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Student Writer
A new fan, utterly captivated by this piece and looking forward
to reading further,
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2011  Student Writer
Oh my gosh Alison, :D you are very kind.

I think I may have blundered by the way. I think I may have closed the correspondence box on your invitation to submit my poem Nowhere Else [link] before I hit accept. Dorky me I know. I'm sorry about that. Of course, I'd be happy to accept an invitation to The Human Condition. If you resend the request I won't be as careless this time (I'd submit a request to add it myself, but my two earlier requests prohibit me from submitting any more for a while) :(
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:iconalisonblue:
AlisonBlue Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Student Writer
No worries -- I sent it again!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Student Writer
:D
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:iconmistress-phoenix:
Mistress-Phoenix Featured By Owner May 20, 2010   Writer
I love how you find your subject matter through avid reading/news pieces. It shows a genuine love of the craft when you can take a reporter's passion and take it to a literary level for all readers. I liked the reverence that surrounds the utmost respect for the remains of the poor woman and I liked the general flow of your word choices. It was an excellent read!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Student Writer
That is wonderful feedback! The issue of reverence was key for me when working on the poem because 1) we will all eventually share her fate in some form so a little care and empathy for her fate seems appropriate, and 2) like ourselves, she was a person with a life and dreams all her own and so is deserving of treatment that sees her as more than an object or a puzzle. (God knows we have a hard enough time treating each other that way while we're alive :)).

:tighthug:
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:iconmistress-phoenix:
Mistress-Phoenix Featured By Owner May 20, 2010   Writer
So true :)
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:iconvillenueve:
Villenueve Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved this piece and what it expresses,just please never say Vampires don't exist!
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 20, 2010  Student Writer
But what if? :)
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:icondoyoufeelthesame:
doyoufeelthesame Featured By Owner May 25, 2009
never cease to amaze with something new and different. love it.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner May 27, 2009  Student Writer
:D :glomp: How sweet you are to read on my friend. I am really pleased you enjoyed it :D
Reply
:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
My god what a shocking relic! A reminder of the dark side of human nature...

You treat the Donna's remains with far more empathy than they received in her barbaric time. In fact you breathed life into them throughout the poem. The ending is just beautiful.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Student Writer
:D Ah, thank you Alice - I simply adore the insight you share so freely in your comments! :glomp:
Reply
:iconmsklystron:
msklystron Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Aw, shucks! I just can't stop at 'that's cool', etc. (unless I'm horrbly busy.) It seems to undermine the time, effort and care spent in creating the work.:)
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Student Writer
:glomp:
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:iconbogbrush:
Bogbrush Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009
A fascinating article and an equally fascinating piece to go with it :)
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2009  Student Writer
Thank you my friend :)
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:iconvertigoart:
VertigoArt Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2009  Professional Writer
I had actually just read this article, very nice companion piece.
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:iconpseudometry:
pseudometry Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009   Writer
The brick jammed in the jaw is such a powerful metaphor for the results of human fear and ignorance mixing. Your poem is an excellent complement, capturing both her humanity and the mythology of it all without diminishing either.
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009  Student Writer
Thank you Jamie :D That's a wonderfully supportive comment to share :w00t:
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:iconpseudometry:
pseudometry Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009   Writer
Happy to have shared it :D
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:iconshaolin5archangel:
Shaolin5archangel Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
"that the damp is no longer your concern,
that you will not starve to death, that you are not
weeping over your return to this?
I ask, not out of sorrow. "

favorite part. It really conveys what the writer was feeling
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Writer
:) thank you :highfive:
Reply
:icongleamchaser:
Gleamchaser Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
I read these stories and never write of them. You read these stories and bring them to startling life.
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Writer
:) :hug: Thanks my friend. You are ever so supprotive - you know that don'tcha :D
Reply
:iconsomnomollior:
somnomollior Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009   Writer
Very interesting. I saw a news item online about this too. Fascinating.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Writer
:D I am glad to know you enjoyed it. :D
Reply
:iconnmredchile:
NMRedChile Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
BRR!! (But interesting!)
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Writer
:D
Reply
:iconcatnipkitty:
catnipkitty Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009
That is so interesting. I'm definitely going to read that article! ;)

And a great poem too! :clap:
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Student Writer
:D Thanks Elizabeth :D I am very pleased that you liked it :w00t:
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:iconcatnipkitty:
catnipkitty Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009
You're welcome! :D
Reply
:iconseekingmysoul:
seekingmysoul Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009
Very good, you are genuinely unique
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Student Writer
:) or odd...you know...depending on how you see things :D
Reply
:iconseekingmysoul:
seekingmysoul Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009
ha ha ha unique is good, it takes talent to be different and stand out and you do.
Reply
:icongreymists:
greymists Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009   Writer
and consider the brick
lodged between your jaws to stopper
fear and disease.


:) <3!
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Student Writer
:D Thanks my friend :) I appreciate the time you gave to reading it :highfive:
Reply
:icongreymists:
greymists Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009   Writer
Of course! I always read your stuff! I just don't always comment because I am a lazy ass most days.
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Student Writer
I understand entirely :D Thanks for giving it that generous gift of time. I really do appreciate that.
Reply
:icongreymists:
greymists Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009   Writer
I love reading, so no problem!!!!
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:iconangeleyes2480:
angeleyes2480 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009
Lovely work, Dave. Your writing always gives me goosebumps, regardless if they're about vampires or not. ;)

Got a question for ya. I was wondering how you post a picture on your deviation, because I've been trying and I can't get it to work. :( I'd really appreciate the help out. :)
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Student Writer
Thank you Angela :) You are super kind to say that.

The image I added is a preview. It's an option that comes up after adding text to the text box. Select "choose" and a window will come up that says "add a file". Select that and a window will open up allowing you to select and attach an image (which may take a few moments to load I've noticed). After that you select "ok" and the image then loads up as your preview. :D

I do all this on my Mac primarily so I'm not sure if it looks/behaves exactly the same on a P.C. (though I seem to recall that it does). I hope that helps - Let me know if it isn't working and I'll try again. :D
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:iconangeleyes2480:
angeleyes2480 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009
Nah, I'm just being honest. :) Let's not say I'm kind because I would hate for that piece of info to get around and just ruin my reputation! ;p :giggle:

Thanks so much!!! I've been trying FOREVER to get an image with my writing and thanks to your wonderful help I got it to work for me!! :hug: Bless you! :D Though, unfortunately, I did want it a little bigger than I got it, but for some reason, if I make it bigger the picture gets all distorted. :X Oh well. I'm just glad I got it to work. :D After all, dumb-asses can't be choosers, or something like that. ;p :XD: :laughing:

Thanks so much for all your wisedom and help, Dave!! I SO appreciate it! :thanks: :blowkiss: :heart:
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:iconj-krumweed:
j-krumweed Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Who wouldn't stop to read that article?
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Student Writer
:D That's what I was thinking - :w00t:
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:iconj-krumweed:
j-krumweed Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol:
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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009   Writer
so small and hard a chip of ghost
days and silence, what undemanding offices
might sway us not to stare at

:clap:
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Student Writer
:D Oh Shane - you are a good sort you are!
Reply
:iconiampoetry:
iamPoetry Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You find some interesting information. The poem is just as interesting also.
Reply
:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2009  Student Writer
:D Thank you my friend - that is most kind of you to say. Thanks for reading.
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