Nuclear Winter

Nuclear winter and I can’t see through the shrapnel and falling snow.  It is bone cold, the kind of biting frost that settles into marrow and makes it icy slush.

I met Cain at the crossroads.  His body was scarred with the Mark of a God that would rather see him cast out into the Land of Nod and forever a wanderer.  He was dressed in  a black hooded robe with a red belt and barefoot, bruised feet.  His skin was like a lamb, so soft against the hardness in this son of Samael’s eyes, and his eyes are blue like a promise of New Jerusalem after the Apocalypse, only this is a fallen world, and Earth is Hell, and a President’s hasty finger on the trigger button bombed us into the oblivion.  The spirits crawled out of the ruins, oh Josiah, oh Jerusalem, oh Joshua and Jericho.  Angels fly above in tangles of lusty wings and limbs, demons crippled by such great heights shamble about in the snowbanks, my neighborhood is infested with Legion and Legend.  Legend – angels.  Legion – demons.

Cain parts the waters on my cul de sac of infestations of infernal and divine.  The gods are like cockroaches eating away at the rot of humanity.  Every pantheon is here to make humankind their chessboard, we are weak enough to be pawns now, apotheosis be damned.  Cain is the first cursed, but no one can harm him, so he is immaculate in his damnation.  Me however – the bullets graze and bruise my skin, the fangs rend flesh, I am battered and bruised from my fall from Paradise and journey to my lover’s arms.

The Witchfather beckons from a crab apple tree I used to dream under, its insides rotten, and the Dragon King emerges, black caul and shadow body, red eyes and lips like knives.  I cannot stand anymore, half my limbs are bent and broken, and I collapse in the Devil’s arms.  Samael wraps me up in night and with his twisted son we fly, so far away, on raven pinions, to some place far from the vices of humanity and global warfare, away from the end of the world.   Have people been raptured?  It’s hard to tell with all the casualties and dead bodies lying on the streets as I fly so high above.  Everyone – the gods, the angels, the demons, human slaves – look like ants.

We are just flecks of gold to the divine, but we are precious, worth Russian Roulette and bets over cocktails in rotting bars.  My planet is sacrificed to the Fenris Wolf.  Hati and Skoll will eat the Sun and Moon.  We are Behemoth gorging himself on corpses.  We are Legion now.

We are an inverted Tetragramatton, and I am too far gone to cry for all the broken names of Yeshua.  Jesus descended into Hell for three days, but really, it was 40 years.

Our Earth is ragged.  Our Earth is cursed.

And my God is a jealous God.


love letter and a dime.

Fallen Alone

i have loved you long for longer years, in stories of myth and death and pain, throughout histories of broken tales, and premonitions of mirrors bleeding upon a poem i would, and perhaps should carve out of the chambers beating breathlessly in my heart- a heart that you could quite literally feel dying an asphyxiated death beneath the hollowness of the ribcages you spent your nights painting with. somedays, when the rain is no less than a painless substitution for the ink i fill my copperplate nibs with, i can hear you wordlessly walk the short few steps from the window to the bed, in search of a moonless dusk we both lost somewhere along the way from one year to the next, as the guitar strings and the violin blades tangled away from our skeletal ankles, predilecting pulse in lieu of a coffin coldness.

ossification was just one of…

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Birth of the Universe

S. K. Nicholas


Sips her vodka and coke and lies there fantasizing about neck kisses and hands on her thighs that inch higher and higher. Lights her smoke and sees herself swirling through the air like a falling leaf spinning faster and faster the closer she gets to the ground. She goes this way and that. She slips through a chain-link fence and finds herself in the beak of a bird that carries her into the waiting sky above. Up up and away she goes. Up into the clouds to some great magical tree where everything feels as green as the gardens of her childhood that glow behind her stony eyes. Touching herself to an ambient soundtrack that sounds like a soundtrack to the birth of the universe, she moans and groans and opens her mouth to the ceiling feeling love work its way right through her. There’s blood beneath her fingernails. It’s…

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I sit in the web of the widower, weeping
fanged neurotoxins into flies, wrapping
spider silk around his feast, dining
with gentlest care on prey, spinning
a home for Grandmother Spider, praying
the rains will not wash away, climbing
the layers of translucency, watching
the sun set over the valley, eating
dragonfly and damselfly alike, going
to the center of the nest, he tells me
“From such great heights, build your web.”

Oðinn and the Creation of the Worlds

Gangleri's Grove

“Synir Bors drápu Ymi jötun, en er hann féll, þá hljóp svá mikit blóð ór sárum hans, at með því drekkðu þeir allri ætt hrímþursa…” (Gylfaginning, 7) (1)

Yesterday in the Hudson valley we had such a great storm that it seemed as though the end of the world were here. Trees came crashing down, property was destroyed, live electrical wires lay crackling in the streets. There are tremendous power outages and coming home, it took me five hours to go less than eight miles. One news report said it was a tornado, but I’m not sure I believe that (I think the damage would be worse). That leaves us today being the only house in the neighborhood with power (thanks to my mother and her foresight in gifting me with a generator as a housewarming present) and since it really isn’t all that safe to go out…

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Spring’s Victory: the Goddess Hretha

We Are Star Stuff

Two weeks ago I wrote about the goddess Eostre, who gave her name to the Easter festival. In Anglo-Saxon times, Eostre’s festival was in April, while March belonged to another goddess, Hretha.

If we know very little about Eostre, we know even less about Hretha. The only source we have for either of them is the Venerable Bede‘s book on the calendar, where he lists the names of the Anglo-Saxon months in England, with brief explanations of each name. I think you’ll agree his descriptions are terse:

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Lord of Flies, Spiders, and Souls: An Update on Beelzebub

Enter Beelzebub’s palace, and you will think you have stumbled into the Malmo quarters of Ikea in Sweden, white everything, minimalist and universal design, not a napkin or white lily out of place.  There are stainless steel kitchen appliances, tumblers and wine glasses hanging from the walls, a roaring fireplace and polar bear skin rug.  He invites you into the bedroom, crooks a finger, and the handsome bishounen of Hell with silver hair, garnet eyes, and skin like a book’s creamy pages – not to mention muscles that only come with being the general of Hell – is beneath you.  Mouths meet like sparks, a tangling of limbs, for once he’s taken off his stupid black horned iron helmet and gauntlet and flowing black cape and you can actually appreciate his beauty.

Everything is perfect.

Until you look down and see small, jumping flies in his bed.  Maybe maggots.

“Welcome to my nest!” he says with a calm reserve.  “My children say hello.”

You run away screaming.

Beelzebub and I have a complicated relationship.  He came to me at 14 in his spider form, an albino prince that commanded armies, had cold reserve and measured introversion, but a heart of gold, and a kiss like poison.  Growing up, from the age of 7 on, the great arbiter of martial law in Hell terrified me, looking like Sauron, and whenever Samael would stow eight year old Allie under the table with a bag of potato chips at arch demon councils, I would make sure to avoid the pointed steel toe boots of the Fly Lord.  I didn’t trust albinos.  I didn’t trust Beelzebub.  He would quietly complain about Samael bringing a third grader to Hell all the time, especially war councils, and Asmodeus would feed me juice and I would tie Samael’s shoelaces together.  That was about the extent of our interaction until my early teenage years.

Beelzebub throws the parties of who’s who in Hell, host extraordinare, and his yearly Halloween parties are all the rage, like the Met Gala of Pandemonium.  Anyone who is anyone goes, and since I came of age at 18, I’ve gone every year.  Samael may have let me drink as early as sixteen, but Beelzebub wanted me to at least legally be able to consent before serving me champagne.  Seeing him outside the court rooms of the Damned and military complexes and battlefields by the hundreds, I encountered a softer side to Hell’s general.  One with a sense of humor and fabulous fashion sense.

Beelzebub is the definition of extra.  Take any Tolkein Simalliron villain, insert Beelzebub’s fashion sense, and voila, you have his daily wardrobe.   Sometimes he doesn’t even take off the helmet for sex.  Samael Ha-Satan’s right hand man, he is Satan’s most trusted confidant, and I equate him with Baal or Bael of the Goetia.  The spider legs, in my opinion, are a dead giveaway in Colin de Plancy’s Dictionnare Infernal.   He is a judge of souls foremost, and a fallen form of Baal Hadad, Baal Zebul originally meaning “Lord of Souls” in ancient times, corrupted to Baal Zebub by the Jews to mock that specific cult of Baal, making his name “Lord of Flies.”  In ancient times, flies were associated with souls of the dead throughout the Ancient World, and Beelzebub presides over the judgment of the Damned in Gehenna.  He sits on the court of the underworldly Sanhedrin and delivers verdicts, which Samael as executioner executes.

His weapon of choice?  Twin katanas, and he loves defending ladies’ and mens’ virtues.  Beelzebub is the closest thing to a white knight in Hell and has saved me from a hormonal Lilith and various lowborn demons on the streets of Pandemonium.  Dual sword wielding in Japanese hints at bisexuality, and oh is Beelzebub bisexual.  I went on a third wheel date bowling and for ice cream at a futuristic mall with one of his boy toys.  He looked like a twunk, some human that Beelzebub was head over heels for, a gym dudebro impecabbly manscaped.  That is the only time I have ever seen Beelzebub dressed down in jeans.

He’s one of my consorts, and sends wicked cool visions, from his fly form to his spider form to spider nets of jewels to visions of sacred geometry.  Beelzebub is a top notch gentleman and will always put his practitioner’s needs first.  But be you with sin?  He will be merciless.

He was the one that taught me to fly in Heaven, before the War.  He has a whole arsenal of bat, bird, and insect wings one can try on, and I used to draw pictures of us playing together when I was the astral equivalent of five.  Beelzebub loves children given their freedom, and is very respectful of boundaries, unlike some (cough Samael cough).  He gave me his number the other night, a seven digit string of alchemical symbols, but all I remember is the sigil of salt.

Theoretically, I could have booty called a demon lord.