The Night I Met My Demon

I was perhaps nine or ten, imagining places in far off galaxies, like some Will Wheaton tucked into bed with space ships and fairies. Why God picked my imagination to become Hell, perhaps I’ll never know. Do angels sift through souls above and choose the ugliest to inhabit the fragilest of shells, tithes to the demons below? Do they cast the strongest ones down as playthings, hoping they’ll emerge from the Pit?

Disease is a strange thing. It takes on a life of its own. Dreams are no exemption.

I felt like a castaway curse. I dreamt of strands of bone and the very pits of Hell. There were crushed deserts of marrow sand, dead suns that hung high above, writhing cliffs of flesh that oozed blood. Balls with high lords that feasted on flesh, where humans were herded like chattel. I danced with them by moonlight, tripping on serpent tails:

“Blood for blood,” they told me. “That is the law of Hell.”

They would drink your veins and sanity, then drain you even more, until nothing was left but a husk. How many intestines could you stand wrapped around you? How many screams? I learned to fear the night, to loathe sleep, and lionize my tormentors. I wrote stories to make light of my nightmares, tried reimagining horrors with happy endings.

In the end, it never worked. I thought I’d joined their ranks. My art became morbid: girls plucking their eyes out, skeletons starved of love, hanged women with legs chopped off.

All screaming out for help. Poetry pleading for release.

I was neck deep in shit. And no adult gave a damn.

The circles within circles of hell became a seven year labyrinth to navigate, until they made me want to take my life. My mind raped itself. That is the tragedy of disease. Nightmares offer no escape. I still sleep under the covers, head below the pillows, so the darkness cannot touch me. The macabre became my home, and I owned it, humiliated it, beat it until it was a pulp. I tried to find humanity in the unthinkable, in the starving raped messes.

I was nine the night I met the monster. Guts covered fields of slain cherubim. My angel stood beside me, sword in hand as he screamed in rage. He’d levelled a whole regiment of demons single-handedly. I knelt beside him, weeping. He stumbled over the corpse of a friend.

He collapses, shrieking in pain.

“What’s wrong?” I cry, senseless.

His skin grows pallid. His sky blue eyes and goldenrod hair change. Red swallows the iris, his hair tars to black, and with a voice like grinding chains he laughs hideously. He rips open the stomach of a demon, steaming intestines fall to the grass. I scream. He gnaws at them, fangs sprouting from his teeth, bat wings replacing his pinions. He spits at the ground beneath me. The vegetation shrivels under his acid tongue.

“What?” he taunts. ”Are you frightened by me?” His laugh shattered any innocence I had. The guts dribble down his chest like sausage rolls. He smears the blood over his skin like paint, basking in the stink. His eyes become black holes.

I shriek. ”Please stop. This isn’t you.”

But he is too far gone into the madness to hear me. He is broken by pain.

I cannot run away, as he is my only protector.

So I stay with the beast. I hug him. He weeps, perhaps chases me away.

Even angels are victims of war. But then, I can only suppose.


Running With the Wolf

Bruises blossom on blue, blood flows like wine.
You don the blindfold of the executioner, ride
on to the cusp of vespertine curses, the bright
moon is snuffed out by your rebellion, you swing
your axe and the guillotine of your heart reigns
over my beheaded ego. Unleash my demons and run.

Watchdog of Hell

I invented plagues for you, biting monsters that bore
a grim resemblance to your charred heart, your granite
hair, villains for you to crush, adamant angels while
all along, I should have been running from my demon
instead of straight into his arms. Satan has lips like
bloody stardust, teeth like poison, a mouth like wine.
Bitter dregs he sprung from, fungus fucosal, blackened
windswept grapes on a barren hill his vintage press.
My man is antique leather, old grimoires, Martian sigil.
My man is an onyx cloud I drown in, walking shadows.
Those beings that haunt battlefields, freaks of the night
they all cower at his name, and honey, my dog bites.

Feast for Crows

Ancient man didn’t have Devil –

Ancient man had winter.

Ancient man had fangs.

Ancient man had wolf.

The shaman’s drum beat pounds out a rhythm like the spinning world’s heart.  I’m flirting with the Grim Reaper, Satan to some, Sam to me, and ask him for a vision.

I am Deer.  I am Doe.  I run through frost and frozen fields, hill and harrow, as crows flock above.  My eyes are amber pools of the hunt, I dart away from the cry of the lupine far above this snowy winter valley.  I am long brown legs, I am soft fur, I am giving venison and bleeding heart.

Wolf comes.  Wolf has red eyes and fangs like moonlight.  We dance, we run, he sinks his fangs into me and tears my ribs out, but it is a sweet death, and my flesh is restored instantaneously.  We nuzzle and race, threading through peeling birch past a crystal river, paw prints and hoof prints into the unknown.

“What do you want from me, Samael?”

“To chase you.

Scarlip’s Thanksgiving

Firelight does not feed me, hoarfrost razes my skin bare,
I am in the wilderness with only my heart as a lantern.
The trees are tall as Ymir, my bread and ale are cold,
I am shivering without Freyja’s falcon cloak, so why
do they call me a flame? My warmth is their laughter.
When I am cast out of the long hall, my candle withers.
For I am a tallow made of the fat of Audhumla’s milk.
Burn me up and I will give riches like dripping wax.
Come too close to me, I am blistering heat, but all
that sunny humor is lost on me now as I wander, alone.
In truth I am in a cave, blinded by poison, mind in
Niflhel, bound by my son’s guts, and my breaking mind
is used to light my wife’s travails, blood seeps from
my cracked skull, but it is divine, so light the stubs
with the sorrow of the trickster, my winter is forever,
Narvi is a starving child in snow, and my sweet Vali
a ravenous wolf that devours what little meat Narvi is.

I never knew what I had until I lost it.

Once, I was rich as a king.

So, for my thanksgiving,
I praise memory – Mimir,
that I may live the past.

For the present is too
much to bear.