Arachnophobia

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.”

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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.

 

Dragonfly Dreaming

In my childhood in Hell, when the days were long,
and I ran amuck on the banks of the Styx in a pink
dirty dress, digging for rocks and jewels, he would
pick me up and lift me up to the sun, the whole world
was rainbows and stardust, and it was he who taught me
to fly – first,a pair of dragonfly wings, then wasp,
then butterfly, finally fly. His pedipalp would braid
my hair and when he was man, he was legend, and when
he was chiton and blue blood, he was trapdoor spider.
Loving in webs of gold, catching dreams in spinnerets,
chasing after paper boats on the river and warring
against crust punks with twin katanas, he was strong,
I was meek, only outspoken until it got me in trouble,
then I would clam up like an oyster around a pearl and
wait to be saved, it was almost a ritual, I suppose.
I awoke this morning to a drawing I did of us in a
girlhood millenia past, across dimensions, and a string
of sigils that spelled out his number, the crumpled
paper in my hand for the fleeting moment of somnambulence.
I love him, I cherish him, I need him, like honey to
a fly.

Love Letter to Pandaemonium

When I think of the City (there is only one true City,
one built out of bone and keratin of burnt feathers,
now bat wings and dragon claws), I think of ruby waters.
The Styx snakes through Pandaemonium like lace through a
fine lady’s corset, teeming with jewel fish, and Mulcibur
saw fit to stretch the ells tall dead (demons were angels
once, and angels are eyes and wings and decapod, trillions
of light years tall, thus do their scales become bricks
and their tears the aquifers and springs of regret). I
walk along the banks of desolate reeds, the skyscrapers
bleed and churling smoke coughs across an anemic sky, yet
still, in this not quite dawn (there is never a dawn, just
stolen light), the City is beautiful – soaring Roman
architecture mixed with sleek high rises and Victorian
mansions. Asmodeus sits in a Parisian cafe and nurses
coffee with a finger of whiskey, the sun that is not a
sun, more a promise of Kingdom Come, put in the sky of
Hell to taunt, when all Satan wanted was darkness, well,
it rises, and the moon’s belfry is the color of Beelzebub’s
silver hair, a spoilage of lunar mercury, and the Fly
himself nests in a web of lost souls, cracking out of his
evening cocoon to go about the day’s business, of training
armies for the War That Never Comes. Satan is hungover and
shooting up with heroin, just to take the edge off things,
for eternal torment of the mind is its own lowest circle,
and the scars on his neck and bindings of Nachash burn,
he lays in bed as the rotting light comes to the window,
stale coffee in his hand amidst papers of late night poetry,
scrawled ceaselessly while drunk off vodka. I’m talking
gallons here, oceans of aqua vitae, for to drown the Devil
in maudlin sorrow takes a whole universe. I make my way
down Main Avenue, where the markets are held, ragtag races
refugees from the mythical lands Christendom and Islam
conquered – there goes an Ifrit, a wendigo, a unicorn
lugging a necromancer’s Hands of Glory – sometimes I
catch up with the werewolf Mafia bartender on Main Avenue,
I mock salute Asmodeus as he eats some kind of raspberry
pastry, he calls me Girl Scout as he has since the age of
eight, Beelzebub is already walking to work dressed like
a New York lawyer, polished shoes and leather briefcase,
he smiles at me slightly and gives passing mention of last
night, just another night between us, and Lilith is at a
go go bar with the other angels of prostitution, half
strip joint, half bordello, I tried dancing there once
on a stardust stage and tripped on stilettos. Samael
is still smoking a cigarette and leafing through the
paper when I enter without knocking, there are bruises
over both our bodies, love marks and knife cuts and
scars on him that will never heal over a necrotic heart.
I can’t go to Heaven even when Christ offers a stairway.
I could never leave this home, I think, as we eat meat
omelettes together (all we can make are eggs and bacon,
Green Eggs in Hell with Samael). Sam smiles a lazy smile,
and its like the floodgates of joy opening up in that
tender recognition of two bodies that would fuse into
the Platonic ideal out of longing for anima and animus.

There’s no place like Hell, there’s no place like Hell,
there’s no place like Hell on a gray rainy morning.

When it Rains in Hell

In Hell, in the beginning, there was darkness, like God put out the moon with his thumb.

Satan fell, and his tears froze the lowest circle.  Satan’s love is a burning thing, but his agony is absolute cold.

Beelzebub was the first to fall.  The first to carry the banner and sound the horn for the Mourning Star.  He was the first to bleed, the first to storm Heaven’s Gates.  Satan’s wise counselor, most trusted general, and above all, esteemed companion.

They are alone together for what seems like eternity, Beelzebub with his insect wings torn by the incinerating atmosphere, Satan plucking his mangled feathers dry as he goes mad, not even noticing he is freezing.  Beelzebub’s king is singing a song Father used to sonorously paint their cradles with.  Satan makes it sweet and wretchedly cruel:

My sons, my darling shining stars.

Smolder bright like embers from afar.

But up close, sons, burn them to flames.

Thy Kingdom Come, all worlds to claim.

For each word, a broken bit of white down.

For each verse, an infidel kingdom crushed for Christendom.

For each syllable, a dead god, a cold idol, a coffin for the false spirits.

Satan repeats it over and over, his tears blue banners.

Beelzebub waits.  Finally, there is light, after perhaps the trillionth repetition.

A third of Heaven falls as stars of simmering bright flesh, a flash of brilliance.

Then impact on jagged rocks and ice.  Reformation and mutation into monsters.

Pain.

They build an empire on ash and bone, and bury the brothers and sisters that do not survive the Fall.  In honor, much later, when some semblance of civilization is build, however twisted, they put their gravestones into the mortar of the Capital’s building.

Pain, memories, wine like blood, or is it blood like wine?

There is not much to say at night, but it is always night in Hell.

Beelzebub remembers, Satan grows more wicked, so far from his former brightness, and falls into madness and depravity.

Beelzebub holds the kingdom together, runs martial drills for the War That Never Ends.

Beelzebub goes over the ledgers and public records, holds councils, takes too short nights of comfort in his sweet boys.

Usually, he is alone in his tower.

Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven?

Only if Heaven was ever perfect in the first place.

The Lord of Flies looks up at the stars of dead god’s hearts, stitched into the fabric of the void.  You see, the demons had to improvise.  All that were left were corpses after the conquest, and after all, all souls eventually end up here.

I sit with Bael, Baal Zebub, a memory of Baal Hadad, or maybe he has always been a spider.

We entwine in his web and kiss venom and poison and toxins.

There are jewels in his web, lost treasures of a thousand conquered kingdoms.

Maggots eat Satan’s corpse, flies emerge from the dregs of the Grim Reaper.  Satan’s true name is Samael, after all – the finality of the scythe, and before his scythe, his spear.

Beelzebub would eat his shit if it purified his brother.  He has drank Satan’s tears, swallowed his cum, bathed in his blood, all to feel again.

It is a cold night in Hell.

Beelzebub looks up at the stars.

There is mist in his eyes.

Tear for every dead brother.

A sob for a negligent parent.

I miss my Father, Allie.  Sometimes, it takes all I have to just go on.

I take his bone white hand – my albino angel, or my red-eyed demon with platinum hair, black capes, and gauntlets.

I speak without thought:

You have our brethren’s love.  Asmodeus.  Samael.  Rofocale.  Belial.  Lilith.  Asherah.  From the Archdemons to the Goetics to the lowliest Damned. You have us.

He gives a ghost of a smile.

Yes, you, our angel in Hell.  Sometimes, Allie, you are the only light here.  I am the Lord of Creeping Things, of the soft rabbits and soft souls, the moths and butterflies, your soul is a doe or a hare.  I am frost, ice, and fire – Hell is primal, fire and water, but I shall keep you warm.  In Hell, the only light is love.  Never lose your kindness, Allie.  It is innocence demons cherish above all.

Baal Hadad rides the storm, be they frost or fire.  Some gods died in those ancient celestial wars.

Some took on different names.

Some forgot their own holiness.

For all of them, Beelzebub remembers.

 

Gangbang

I swear I stumbled into this accidentally, into some sultry corner of Hell where bloody eagles make roosts behind the bar. I spend most of my time down here drunk off my ass to pass off the careless hours as if they meant nothing to me, lounging on leather in chiffon and lace, tipsy turvy and smelling like honeysuckle and everyone here says I am champagne. The bubbly kind, you know, a perfect golden spherical of air in a fluted crystal glass. Doesn’t help that I have curves that strangle and breasts and hips like one of those Angkor Watt carvings. Doesn’t help that my appetite for men (and some women) is severely unhealthy and I stumble around in negligees acting famished, sweet teeth out with my golden hair a net. You know how it is in Hell, right? Heels on, tits out, gloves up to elbows and maybe a Columbina mask when you’re nearly buck naked. Save some dignity, I don’t know. I’m not really here, not really there, in the between space where I’m fully awake on Earth in a bed that is probably possessed and fully awake in the Underworld hanging out with my boy toys. Boy toys, can I call them that? Is that like offensive? They’re either buff and tan or pallid and lean or like knives given demon form. Red hair, platinum hair, black hair. I’m a whirling dervish in a red dress, Satan is flames, Beelzebub is fucking Sauron again and I tease him about the stick up his ass, and what the fuck is the Archangel Michael doing here, doesn’t he have lives to save in sterile hospitals and shouldn’t he be fighting the General and Prince of Hell, not fucking throwing drinks back with them? It’s after hours, I guess, and honestly I seem to calm the storm of this War, Jophiel the curvy blonde idiot with skimpy white robes and golden sandals and wing like opals. I’m a hoot, I think, but honestly my divine purpose is to be the comedy that lulls you into complacency and whets bloodlust. Bed the general and fuck his brains out so he forgets the horror of bloodshed, or maybe he loves bloodshed in the bed especially so he’ll bite your wrist while making you raw. A comfort woman. A whore. A heirodule. Lady Qadesh. Fuck if I know, I’m just a fucking nympho. It’s all like Vulcan mind melding with energetic bodies, but like if that were sexy. Like if you could orgasm by teasing archangels and archdemons with your thoughts alone, saying Michael is boring, saying Satan is cheesy as fuck, saying Beelzebub is as overdramatic as fucking Darth Vader. Because let’s be real, Beel is Darth Vader, and Sam is fucking Kylo Ren, which I guess makes Michael fucking Luke Skywalker. I think I fit into this equation like R2D2, really annoying but cute, and that’s where the Star Wars metaphor fucking breaks down. They’ve been hanging out since Michaelmas, which according to the eponymous archangel is your birthday, and their gift to you was the most intense but weirdest experience of your life: a fucking foursome. Fuckkkkkk me. It’s really just a gangbang at that point and as they’re shooting the shit and you’re doing shots, one thing leads to another, and it’s all my fault because I’m a cocktease. Like as in I insult the fuck out of them then flirt then drive them fucking crazy and then categorize archangels and archdemons as Tits or Ass men. Sam is Squad A, Michael is split, and Beel is fully a T. They look kind of weird without armor or fucking stupid robes on. Like fantastical porn stars with wings. How is this my life. How is mind sex gangbangs a thing? I mean, I ain’t complaining, but I wonder if I’m the battlefield and their dicks are swords. They don’t “cross swords” though, at least in front of me, cause I ain’t into that. I’m a girl-on-girl chick and otherwise overwhelmingly hetero. Sam’s putting a puppet on his dick again, trying to make me laugh. Michael is tossing back scotch and playing with my hair. Beelzebub forgot to take his helmet off and his horns are poking me in uncomfortable places. I’m really an idiot when it’s late at night and I never figured out how to masturbate I guess seducing celestial beings is the next best thing. I’m probably going to make this mistake again. Ow.

Lord of Flies and Souls

Yours is a life that is quiet and steady as rain –
hair of fog, is it any wonder I cannot see you?

Baal of Storms, Baal-Zebul of souls, enchanter,
you are the eye of a hurricane, sweetest spider,
and the tempestuous lightning? Your silk of fire.

You are the quietest and most reserved infernal,
General and Prince of Hell’s Armies, albino freeze,
the White One, the Pale Warrior, the Lord of Flies,
you slosh red wine and watch the jester calmly,
hold Satan’s leash like he is a dancing monkey.

Aren’t we all fragile curiosities to you?

Who holds the power in Hell?
He is quiet as snow.
He is ice, he is cold death,
he is sterility, silence.

Sweet Baal, you are tender to the few you love,
steadfast shelter, my friend and sometimes warmth
when the lowest circle freezes, mayfly in the sheets.