Blood Countess

Poetry by Janna Vought  Art by Etienne E. Grinterunnamed

 Elizabeth Báthory, 1560-1614, history’s most prolific serial killer, accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young women, then bathing in her victim’s blood.


I’m shadow, a symbol

cast to paper.  I’m myth

ravaged by hungry heat,

bloated with a craving for blood.

I’m evil, swollen with sin, rabid,

teeming with demons and thieves.

I’m not human: (evil), woman,

villain, monster, offspring of a girl

sprung from the bottom of hell.

I can’t decipher myself, terrified inside

my brain.  Jesus never suffered

as I do, drenched in his semen.

My body creates evolution,

child between my legs, product of hatred.

Deny me (Terrible God) passage

into heaven, barred for my passion.


Beauty, youth elude me; parts of me

begin to die.  Phantoms dance

in the hollow of my soul.  Beasts hiss

inside yellow eyes of the dead.

Monsters crawl. Hear their beaks

tap against the walls.

Who will see me                           Who will see me

Cloud woman chasing

white bison in the black sky.

Scream—scream, abandon all self

control.  Lose myself to something

beyond. Kiss darkness. Soak in lush

blooms of red.  Blood Countess, change

whatever I was before.  New again.


I am beauty.

I am queen.


Congregate with locusts and flies

in sunless twilight color.

Follow her poison scent (so young)

among the flowers, low in sparks of clover,

disappearing. Lead her in glass blindfold

into woods, past painted stones, ancient trees

with gentle smile, head bowed

in submission careful

not to arouse suspicion.

Dark winged demons dance in fire fields,

devouring arsenic and afterbirth.

I am everywhere.

Escape is not possible.

Etch the memory of her

into my bath water.


Brush her hair (virgin girl), touch her shoulder,unnamed (2)

thigh, wanting more. My tongue skirts

edges of her neck’s curve.          prettyprettypretty

Tear her throat until she spits

blood, a fountain of thick water. Gash,

slice, defame the flower, drunk from

immense intoxication of elegant sweat

saturating the ending body.  Exhale light

inhale death. Her amber eyes

stare at me as I wring out her last

cries of life.  Peel flesh from muscle

like the thin skin from a grape.

When all meat is cleaned from her bone

statue, I lick the crimson,

salted on my tongue, red

as the pierced side of Christ.

Scrub, scrub myself raw, soaking

in her tenderness.


Murder committed.

What happens when birds

no longer sing? Ghosts (whores)

surround me in a vast circle,

shake worms from their curls, gathered

around piles of bones and clicking jaws,

slivers of virgin torsos separated

from their spines, trophies of my pain.

What does it mean to surrender to envy?

Drain my body of tears, douse me

in burning angel skins,

piece each shred of their skin

back together. I have

no blessings.  I need my sin.

Let the black frothing water

grab me by the ankles, take me

behind God’s eyes.

Slay the creature, burn my center, free

my enslaved heart, a hole

where happiness and youth once hung.

Fling my corpse into the unraveled universe,

trapped, immortal, traced in stars.

I’ll never surrender.

unnamed (1)

See more art work from  Etienne E. Grinter and read more poetry from Janna Vought at

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