Contemporary Witching - Dani Yourukova

I dig the bones from my garden
Hands stung
In the nettle brush
And bramble weeds

To be cast into my stainless steel
cauldron from Briscoes.
They clang with mystic purpose.

I weave my fictions 
Out of moonlight
And supermarket metaphors.

Clinging to my irony,
Like the tiny foil stars
Crusted in the folds of my eyelids.

I don’t worship the devil,
But I do think Milton made him a bit sexy,
And all of the bisexuals from the Renaissance seem to agree.

Plus, I masturbate with my left hand sometimes.

All I have are these slightly literary jokes,
And when I run out of those,
I have to laugh about how depressed we all are instead.

I ordered my tarot pack on Book Depository,
Because I can’t remember what authenticity feels like.
This is why everything is so funny.

Millenials are destroying the Culture Industry.

It gets too sad if you display the symptoms of your mental trauma honestly,
And it makes everyone else uncomfortable.
It’s like crying, alone, on public transport at 10am,
Or going to get your ears pierced on the day your father dies.

So I bury the bones in my garden
My hands sting
As I pick through the nettle brush
And bramble weeds

A Practical Guide to Vampires in the Urban Environment - Dani Yourukova

Your common, garden-variety vampire
is not seasonal.
In fact he’s available all year round
like canned asparagus, or an onion or,
He’s local, and perplexingly free-range,
despite many women having previously reported his criminal activities.

Be ready: 

The vampire has many associates
who are prepared to provide glowing testimonials
about his gentle nature
and community outreach programs.

He can be difficult to pick out of a crowd.
His method subsists on the basis
of how effectively he conceals 
his teeth.

(He prefers the arrangement where he finds you.)

The vampire is unlikely to kill you outright.
He enjoys the security of a regular blood supply,
but his demand increases in direct proportion
to the development of your bleeding capabilities.

You didn’t even notice his parasitoid feeding habits until your anemia was chronic and you started lying to all of your friends and family.

The vampire persists

until you become a wrong rubbery balloon-animal version of yourself, 
leaking hydrogen and profound experiences of depression in your local supermarket

until you’re crying extravagantly about cereal, Palestine
and the concept of swans

until you wish you had the motivation and self discipline required
to lie down at an intersection and wait for a middle aged commuter to kill you

The vampire might proceed to tell you that you’re:

        Imagining things




                                Or lying.

                        Don’t you understand you’re making him look bad?


                                       (you crazy bitch)

But then
Where did all your blood go?
Because it isn’t where you left it,
and he keeps trying to hide all those bloodstained sheets
in your laundry basket.

But if you’re reading this, you’re still here,
bruised and tender and full of the teeth that he left in you

and when you’re ready you can use them

to cut his fucking head off.

Contributor's Note

Dani Yourukova is a queer Wellington-based creative, currently studying English Literature at Victoria University. They experienced a belated poetic awakening in a broken elevator this year, and have been putting their Classics degree to work on a folk-lore inspired poetry collection ever since.


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