Dandelion

Freyr shapes me into a fragrant yellow flower
at first I am a green bud, ripe with possibility
next, gestation, my pistil and stamen stretch,
bees grace me with honey kisses, each fertilization
a dream of mine petaled out in glory like the sun
fall comes, he plucks me with the harvest, blows
my hopes and desires and wishes across the fields
my dreams are carried to far shores, and I live on.

I Suck at Necromancy

Scapula, scapular, it’s all the same, for he
has scalpeled himself into remains, a corpse
white nude on a dungeon floor, blinking lights
in the laboratory of ruin, smooth muscle, arch
of ribs and abdominals, sunken eyes, black hair
that spools out like secrets into pools of blood
I know this is one of his tricks, his games, but
I cry anyways, rock Death in my arms, press cold
limbs and face to my breast, bloody a pink dress
his rigor mortis is frozen in a smirk, and with
dead red eyes, he watches me, staring ever upward
to Heaven, but there is no Heaven, this is Hell,
and there is a great black abyss, gouging wound
where his heart should be – I’ve eaten it before
like Siegfried the Dragon, its in my bloodline
to devour the immortality of monsters, but this
time, I did not pry it from his chest, instead
he has pinned his throbbing life onto a silver
dissection board in the freezing morgue, door
ajar and letting mist seep over his carcass,
the chambers dance, the veins pulse, it is a
puzzle – how do you make the Grim Reaper alive?
I take a needle and surgical thread and sew the
Forbidden Fruit back into his chest, but his body
is rotting, black veins, a stench like roadkill,
press the skin flap over, stab my toe on a needle
I cry out as the webbing of my feet beads alizarin
rocking back and forth, my blood paints his lips
damask, a rasping tongue licks up the offering,
and my Frankenstein monster groans, trembles, arise
to clutch his girl, his master, to his broken heart
Samael laughs and says I’ve done a shit job at
necromancy, that I should stick to dissections,
and with long pianist fingers he pries the little
needle from my foot and tosses it carelessly onto
the floor, he soothes me, singing a demon lullaby:
“I broke myself apart because you’ve stolen my heart,
it was a present just for you, my cardiophore, you
are the Life to my Death, and that is why you thirst
after destruction – what did you learn from my puzzle?”
I press my head to his bone white breast and sigh:
“I hate when you hurt yourself, you’re never satiated.
Isn’t my love enough? Can’t you be happy with my
devotion, my crying out for your touch, my madness?”
Samael deposits me on an oxblood comforter and sits:
“I will never drink my fill of your blood, I am Void
incarnate, and someday, you will realize why I gave
you my very soul – to create Life, Sin from Satan’s
heart full-sprung, Eve with hair of sorrow, Jophiel
whose wings are damnation, someday you will realize
why I cling to you like a knight his sword, a man his
wife, but for now, let us cradle each other in shadow
and dream of days when we are whole – the impossible.”

On Hiding Behind Okay

For the past month, I have been hiding behind okay.

What turned out to be a rare and serious case of strep throat the first week of April pushed me into a manic, panic attack ridden state with memory problems where I was messing up at work, forgetting basic details, and also my throat felt like knives and I had a raging fever but was too stubborn to heed my body – so I worked four full 9-5 days until the clinic finally called me, told me they got back the lab results, and that no it wasn’t allergies, yes you are seriously ill.

Then I went on antibiotics.  And I didn’t know it at the time, as the research just came out in 2015, but antibiotics can push bipolar patients into manic states.  So, already delirious off fevers and infections, I swallowed two pills daily that led to me becoming suicidal, violently unstable, a crying wreck with no self-esteem that thought she was a horrible person, and multiple panic attacks where I was inches away from walking into traffic or jumping in front of the Metro.

If you had asked me how I was doing, I would have said?

Okay.

I still went out with friends.  I went on dates with the guy I like.  Sometimes I had to cancel, and sometimes I went home in a crying wreck, curling up in my bed for a ball for hours.

But I didn’t miss a day of work.

I didn’t miss friend’s parties.

I didn’t miss my kindred dinners or blots.

I went to classes from 7:20-11:00 on Mondays without complaint.

I push, and I push, and I push, and I never admit that I’m not okay.

My best friend told me that apparently all my friends think I’m a badass, which never really dawned on me, but they’ve seen me wrestle with this monster that is bipolar type 1 with psychosis, paranoia, anxiety, panic disorder, and OCD.  One alone could put someone on disability.  I’m such a special snowflake I have six diagnoses.  And I work a my dream job doing hard work on Capitol Hill for forty hours each week and still have time to be a cornerstone for friends.

When I was at my sickest, and I couldn’t take care of myself, I still was taking care of other people.  Two Sundays ago, six of my friends opened up to me with their worst fears and problems all in the span of 5 hours.  It was therapeutic for me to help them, because I was so mentally weak and unstable, I thought maybe if I could stretch to listen to and nurture them, I could fix myself.

I still haven’t fixed myself.

After an entire month, I’m finally stable again, and my mania and panic attacks have worn off.  As in I-can’t-breathe-I’m-going-to-violently-kill-myself-and-blame-my-parents-for-not-aborting-the-worthless-cunt-I-am panic attacks.

I like to fantasize about my death a lot.

Oven head like Sylvia Plath.

Self mutilation like Van Gogh.

Pills, poison, jumping from a building.

It’s nice to know that at any moment, you can end your hell of a life.

And trust me, my life was absolute shit.

Sometimes I think suicide is stupid.  Sometimes I think it’s worth it.

Samael calls it selfish and shameful.

Michael just holds me and sings lullabies and runs his fingers through my hair.

Freyr became a tree with me, and I felt so at peace as a tree, feeding off starlight and rain.

Sometimes I wish I was normal, just for one, a single, glorious day, not a slave to my emotions or the turmoil and intrusive thoughts and delusions.

These gods and angels and demons, they could all just be in my head.

This universe could just be some sick trick a comatose brain is playing.

When you’re one of the crazies, you realize reality is fickle, and that you are never in control, not really.

So yes, I am okay.

But then again –

I am never okay.

When I was crying to my mom on the phone about to jump in front of the six o ‘clock train, she said I was too high-functioning to ever go on disability.  And it’s so fucking true. I’m too talented.  Insanely smart.  Too strong.  Not that being on disability means you’re weak, but honestly, with my diagnosis, most people are flat out homeless and very few have high profile jobs saving the world.

Most are probably just dead.

So I guess I’ll keep living, keep being useful, and try to take care of myself.

Because if I don’t, I’ll break again.

I’ll want to die again, return to the void.

Samael turned into the Void in one of my dreams, and he wrapped himself around me and I just dissolved.  Into nothingness.  That’s how I hope Death is.  Just erasing.  Nonexistence.

Because hell no am I doing this again.

I quit life next go around.

I will be nirvana.

Nothing.

 

Teratophilia

This is so much like what living with bipolar disorder is. Absolutely haunting.

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

18083774_1399831520109623_1963768446_o Drawing (c) Malicia Frost // Henna Sjöblom

I never wanted your understanding
All I need is a mouth
someone who roars louder than me
someone who grabs first and asks not
whether I’m enjoying it
to block out
my own desires
I have chosen to love the monster
I did not ask for it,
still
I think I’m quite comfortable in here

Being bitten is painful and familiar
I collect his teeth as trophies
like soldiers stacking bullets around their necks
like we used to compare our scars
in middle school
“I think he’s getting more violent,” you whispered
and shivered in terror and ecstasy
over the thought of getting torn apart
at the dinner table that night

Now,
my skin has become a topographic map of wars
that were never recorded in history
My anxious fingers wander up to his jawline
and starts deciphering
where the next impact will…

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Lucky Number 13

#DVPit is about halfway over, and I’ve had some AH-MAZING agents make partial requests, putting the agents with my manuscript up to… lucky number 13!

I really wanted to explore my Russian heritage when I wrote this book.  I didn’t know I was part Russian until I did genealogy research after college – I’d always felt this inexplicable draw to the culture, and people had always told me I had a Slavic nose, and I kept dreaming about Baba Yaga sending me on delivery routes aback Grey Wolf or making me milk a golden cow with silver udders – but it didn’t really cement until I learned I’m a direct descendant of Vladimir the Great (Saint Vladimir) and Vladimir Monomakh, also this awesome cave prophetess named Malusha.

One of my dying dreams is to go to Russia and visit Gogol and Pushkin’s homes.  This novel wouldn’t have been created without Cat Valente’s unbelievably amazing Deathless, which really inspired me at 21 to finally write that Russian novel that had been in my head since age 19.  Dreams of Morena, Veles, and Perun would follow, and so would obsessively watching Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky ballets and listening to Mussorgsky on repeat.

I’m obsessed with Russian folklore.  Libby and I both took an entire class dedicated to it, and I lifted the name Morozko from our favorite Soviet film.  What intrigued me the most were the nechist, or land and house spirits – the domovoi and rusalka, the vila and bannik (why did I try to make a bannik hot!)  But above all, it was for the love of leshys that I retold an entire ballet.  Also for Baba Yaga, because my babushka is amazing, and crazy af.

Hopefully I’ll have an agent soon – I will probably spontaneously combust if I get an offer, but I’ll keep you all updated accordingly!

Tzohar

Rabbinis tell of a sacred stone
a glowing light Noah illumined
all the deep of flooded worlds
given to Eve: Eden’s last breath,
a jewel suffused with splendor
it holds the dust of Creation,
leftover starlight, God’s promise
possess it, know Torah, truths
so holy only the wisest prevail
in mastering the gem, bearing it
high aloft on an Ark far adrift
Abraham healed with its wonders
Joseph sought dream shards within
Moses found it in forefather bones
and hung it on Covenant pinnacles
crowning the Tabernacle, perhaps
it is the same heart that was torn
from Lucifer’s crown, Lapis Exillis
searched for by alchemist, magician,
seekers of knowledge, vain man’s ruin
I clutch the Tzohar in dreams and sail
to World’s Edge, scale cliffs, dine
with Death, play chess with Reapers
the prize is God’s christening gift
to humanity – I knock down a king,
Samael crinkles in a serpent smile,
laughs, takes me to the interior
of the earth, rectifying, the hidden
stone is mine, disguised in plain sight
and I walk through cathedral caverns
to return it to Man, safe from Satan’s
grasp, I sprang from the heart of Lucifer
because I stole his most precious soul.

1-800 Dial an Archangel

Your sword parts confusion, brings the desert
fresh rain, but other times hail or firestorms,
you cut through the madness of my mind and give
me the sacred gift of peace, swimming in night
waters with you while the moon tilts askew, I
can be drowning in the crowd, alone in gloom,
but you reach down to me from the stars and
far exoplanets to bathe me in transdimensional
company, inter-dimensional stories like spaces
between lines of words, our book is full of those
white parchment pages meant for scrawling notes –
love notes, tardy notes, research and rhymes, and
I will never stop charting freckle constellations
on your skin, we banter in quiet hours, philosophy
laced with laughter, sometimes I clamp down on my
tongue to keep from chuckling in front of strangers
that will never be able to see you, but I see you
flying around dozens of times, a cobalt blue star
that buzzes around my desk, down the lone street to
land on my cheek with an electric kiss, I love our
long conversations, the interplay between woman and
want, between shield maiden and general, between two
strangers quick to fall in love, quicker still to get
lost in emerald and sapphire eyes, you buzz like wine
through my mortal coil – your exhilaration, humor, and
happiness at the smallest of things, we are two roses
twined round a sword planted in dirt, thirsting for sun
but the rains come and block out the light, so we stay
hidden in each other, waiting for starlight suppers.