The Vampire Squid

Issue EightIssue Eight PoetryPoetry

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By Debbie Lim


Vampyroteuthis infernalis


Literally, from hell. Belling the vast dark

with a cape of rusted tentacles. Dante

drifting red-eyed through the underworld,

propelled by the blue blood of his own

strange order. Weak-muscled yet gelatinous

inventor. When attacked inverts his body

inside out: confusing detractors with the lit

lures of his regenerating arm tips. Scribbling

the abyss with a witchy filament spiralled

down from the ancestral mollusc. When unloved,

conjures a sticky blue cloud of glow-thought.

Expert in mistaken identity: exiled from families

of octopus and squid. Like all elusive creatures—

maligned, misunderstood.


‘The Vampire Squid’ was previously published in the chapbook ‘Beastly Eye’ (Vagabond Press, 2012).