Neil Gaiman is this awesome writer I fell in love with once upon a time….he was one of the guys who made comics part of the literary mainstream, with the epic Sandman series…went on to hunt out other Gaiman works, his novels “American Gods”, “Stardust” and “Neverwhere” among others, articles and idiosyncratic collaborations ( note to 2fargon and psasidhar and everybody else into H2G2, Gaiman wrote the unofficial guide to the series, called Don’t Panic.
This little gem was something I discovered in “The Mammoth book of Vampires”….a fitting end to the collection.
I wait here at the boundaries of dream,
all shadow-wrapped. The dark air tastes of night,
so cold and crisp, and I wait for my love.
The moon has bleached the color from her stone.
She’ll come, and then we’ll stalk this pretty world
alive to darkness and the tang of blood.
It is a lonely game, the quest for blood,
but still, a body’s got the right to dream
and I’d not give it up for all the world.
The moon has leeched the darkness from the night.
I stand in shadows, staring at her stone:
Undead, my lover . . . O, undead my love?
I dreamt you while I slept today and love
meant more to me than life — meant more than blood.
The sunlight sought me, deep beneath my stone,
more dead than any corpse but still a-dream
until I woke as vapor into night
and sunset forced me out into the world.
For many centuries I’ve walked the world
dispensing something that resembled love —
a stolen kiss, then back into the night
contented by the life and by the blood.
And come the morning I was just a dream,
cold body chilling underneath a stone.
I said I would not hurt you. Am I stone
to leave you prey to time and to the world?
I offered you a truth beyond your dreams
while all you had to offer was your love.
I told you not to worry and that blood
tastes sweeter on the wing and late at night.
Sometimes my lovers rise to walk the night . . .
Sometimes they lie, cold corpse beneath a stone,
and never know the joys of bed and blood,
of walking through the shadows of the world;
instead they rot to maggots. O my love
they whispered you had risen, in my dream.
I’ve waited by your stone for half the night
but you won’t leave your dream to hunt for blood.
Good night, my love. I offered you the world.
Umm, yeah, lest I forget….this one is dedicated to YOU. :-)