By Leopoldo Maria Panero, translated by Andrew F. Giles

You, all of you, all
That meat that in the street
Piles up, are
My nourishment,
All those eyes
Covered in sleep, I feed off the ones who never
Wake up, I feed,
Watching without seeing, or maybe it’s just a thirst
For the stupid sanction from someone else’s gaze.
All of you
Are my nourishment, and the deep
Terror of having these glass
Eyes as my only mirror, that fog
Where the dead meet, that
Is the price I pay for my nourishment.


Note by the author:

The translation is from Leopoldo María Panero’s “El lamento del vampiro”.  Panero is a legend, but he has been for years in an institution in Spain. His poetry is incredibly dark and is an important voice from the Spanish movida that also bought us Almodóvar amongst others. I quite certain that this is the first translation of the poem into English.