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don mark baldridge

Dracula In The Looking Glass

by Don Mark Baldridge

Fairies are famously forced to dance on exposed blades of kitchen knives —angels on needles and pins. Something about sharpness dazzles spiritual minds. 

Salt fascinates the evil spirit with its brilliant billions of facets —can’t count them all in a handful, tossed. Have to stop time —and maybe get stuck there, staring…

The pentagon in the pentagram spawns another pair, identical, within —a demon slides down, forever, same stairway angels ascend: game of Snakes and Ladders with Satan himself, armwrestling God. 

Phantoms are obsessive, compulsive, disordered —not inured to right angles. Think of crosses —mirrors, in which, by degrees, we learn: you can see me, if I see you!

The vampire knows it’s being looked at, participates in being seen. Passive reflection won’t do.

It appears in a mirror if it knows it needs to, it maybe catches your eye in one. But there are so many of them, mirrors; think of that!

All the silver, polished, on the mantle. Crystal, set out on the sideboard. All reflecting, in distortion, everything else in the room but this apparent person, passing though, untouching of the flickering fire as it burnishes the brass.

That alone raises hackles, sets the eye to staring, this absence of ray-tracing.

Really, it’s the vampire who can make nothing of reflection —perceives naught but a terrible antithesis, a meaningless void. If it has learned to project one, why, that’s just survival, protective coloration: evolution in action.

It’s true that certain knots confound invisible minds. Entities which would snatch, or poison if they could, are kept at bay with rare words, obscure anagrams, broken palindromes —abracadabra!



Don Mark Baldridge serves as some species of professor in both Art and Computer Science, working with one of those ancient, shade-strewn colleges that dot Pennsylvania.

Philosophy Note:

I here engage in a reification of the Vampire, and explain its peculiarities —re: reflection in mirrors— as a problem in computational overhead.