Storm at Sea

And I’m sitting on the sofa, when suddenly my left side
aches and ices, and Asmodeus appears in a poppy blooming
robe and fuzzy red slippers, neckline lowered to reveal
skin like Montezuma gold, smoking a long pipe of opium.
It is only the afternoon, far from the time demons play,
yet he drapes his arm around me with talons painted black,
bares his clawed toes and crosses his leg as he blows acid
smoke in my face, my nose burns with the finest of drugs
and manic dreaming as he eases into my curves, humming
a Black Sabbath rhyme to himself, Mr. Crowley on his white
horse, and later that night, he curls up in a nest with me
outside as I sit gazing at fireflies, and the dragonflies
shudder at his cold, and I feel as if frost is settling
over the summer, past midnight he massages my back to
freezing, where my wings are weighed down with the void,
and Deus is atop my cerebellum, whispering wicked delights,
when we dance like water mocassins, it is with deadly
precision and lips like knives, our moans are fangs,
our limbs are razors, and there is nothing soft and smooth
about this, yet everything is gentle like gears serenely
churning dreams into reality, and the Son of the Dragon
Sakhr is tempting and sinuous, like rain in an oasis,
and the waters the camels drink from reflect he of
scaled leg and she of serpent tangles, and reptillian
witch and komodo dragon flick forked tongues to scent out
prey with heady cortisol racing through blue veins,
bite down on the sacrificial goat and know usurpant
secrets, coddle your darkness my child and rise proudly
to the Heavens, Saint Peter will fall to your sword, so
storm the Pearly Gates and claim your Kingdom Come.

No one will grant you a happy ending but eating your gods.

Take your glory by force alone, and drink the blood of angels.

We are Legion, and we are lightning, so quake in our electricity.

We are only here to feed.

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Aftershock

And the aftershock of grief sends you reeling into
patterns of world destruction, you have a razor
carving red canyons into your skin and chopping lines
of coke that you snort until your nose bleeds, I see
you and feel you and become your junkie manic rage
through symbiosis of the soul, and your parasitic
connections makes me feel the scorch marks on my
nasal membranes and a high like diving off Icarus’
cliff, there you are your snake black smoke hair
writhing and strangling me in your embrace, you
turn the faucets on weeping and roaring, your trench
marks of cuts and lacerations and bruises joining us
in the Unholy Passion of the Devil’s self-harm, you
sink into alizarin waters as your juices soak up
all the light, and it is swirling onyx and rubies
as you become a sea serpent biting its own tail,
Jesus Christ, it hurts, you drowning yourself but
your lungs don’t need oxygen and so you turn the
bathroom into an ocean of acid void, sizzling
pantomimes of what was once flesh, now bone, and
with your scythe in hand, the sulfur having eaten
your flesh, you reap and carve out drunken universes,
whole galaxies fall to your blade, you laugh maniacally,
still riding the drugs and endorphin buzz, exerting
your death grip manhood to assert dominance over
the innocents, this is the Plague of Egypts overcoming
burgeoning civilizations, yet you spare the Milky Way
because lo and behold, your Horcrux Girl lives there,
and then you are punching my guts and butchering my
lungs, be careful my darling, be careful what it takes,
from what it seems so far all the good ones seem to
break.

Frau Tottenkinder

In the wild woods the Witch Mother writhes
with snakes in her hair and amber glass eyes
dancing the tango of curses, serpents ride
on the swell of her hips, their tails dried
into rattlesnake poison, she bubble brews
ointments and anointments of stardust and dew,
demoness wailing, caterwauling the moon
she the dark side of the Devil’s tune.

Asmodeus

He sits on a divan smoking opium poppy perdition,
dressed in a silk robe with butterflies, long night
hair perfect for strangling and tangling, Asmodeus
grins with shark tooth smile and beckons me in to
his little slice of Hell. His eyes are the gray of
storm clouds and his skin russet, and in long snaking
movements he is dancing the dance of seven veils,
stripping down to the core of the Sword of Samael,
his wrathful son who was once just a frightened young
demon, enslaved by Solomon to build the greatest
temple ever known, Asmodeus shows me his youthful
self searing in the hot Jerusalem sun, toil and
trouble as he is chained and lashed to a boulder,
dragging through dust and sandstorm to raise the
pillars of the Song of Solomon high, demons sweat
and shake, Goetia enchained, as the temple walls
rise high as the moon. Then, flash back, and it is
the Flood, and Asmodeus walks the world in his first
life, fallen from the stars out of love for mortals.
The waters meant to drown him drive him to high places,
and for forty days and forty nights he clings to a
mountain spire, mourning the loss of his brethren
and Nahema. From there he developed his fear of
heights, and he despises birds and water, he cannot
swim, the Devil on two stilts, and Christ long ago
drove his head into the River Jordan as Asmodeus
screamed, casting him out, he has been bound many
a time, but Jesus’ punishment was like having God’s
burning foot of flame sear the side of his head as
the bubbles of your life breath flee up in panic.
He has not returned to Israel since, too scarred
by Sarah’s rebuffing, I see them splayed out as
lovers, and he was a fool for that girl Tobias loved,
pining after a silk haired maiden who the world
seemed to exist in her water pail, and Asmodeus
could see stars and the Word of God in her eyes.
No matter seven husbands slain, Nahema is back,
and he takes now to the stage as Dr Franknfurter,
doing the Time Warp through the ages as a fuck you
to the gender norms of the Abrahamic faiths, the
Black Pillar of Flame is serpent legged, clinging
to a mountain as Michael casts him out, and he falls
into Hell in the midst of a storm, it is raining ice,
and he is crying bitter tears as he wanders in the
wastes, still, so young, barely 25, trying to find
a father who built a kingdom on ash and bone, this
King of the Goetics was once but a curious child,
and at the heart of every demon is a lonely babe,
who looks at the stars and thinks, I was once afire
with God’s love too, so now that I am coals, what
is this aching gap in my chest? Asmodeus finishes
smoking the dregs of the opium in his den of inequity
then we know each other as woman and shapeshifter,
slithering and piercing and drinking down blood,
it is any day in Hell, under a banner of a moon,
and the tides of his life are a boiling river, so
best stay away from the water’s edge, you are only
this close to
drowning.

Sightseeing in Hell: Pandemonium

As Samael’s consort, I have certain duties in Hell, such as punishing the Damned, but alongside that comes rulership.  My favorite place in all the fourteen Heavens and Hells is what I call Pandemonium, my little slice of New York City meets Marrakesh in the Underworld.  Azael recently challenged me for my queenship over this section of Samael’s kingdom, and I found myself in a near-death duel with one of the Watchers who thought I was too green to rule.  I defeated her handily, and went on to enjoy a night of partying in Pandemonium with my people.

Pandemonium is the market district of Hell in the capital city of Dis and is a refuge for all different mythical races that have fled persecution of the Abrahamic faiths.  You can find everything from qilin to fey to djinn to unktehi to Melusines roaming the streets, selling wares from fine jewelry to exotic diamond and jewel fruits to fresh food, clothing that’s every style from Steampunk to Lolita, pleasures and vices for sale, from willing bodies to Cabaret to drugs made of the distilled essences of moonflowers and dreams.  The closest it comes is to a living carnival, full of its own customs, as Pandemonium is a melting pot of spirits.  I adore riding the Behemoths, these great black elephant-like creatures that carry travelers and caravans aboard their backs, and hearing the Behemoths trumpet with their trunks.  Only small vehicles are allowed, from caravans to horse-drawn carriages to motorcycles and steeds of every imaginable kind, and there is oftentimes dancing and masquerades going on, revelries of all sorts, from unholy mummer’s plays to traditions of each species’ homelands like Lunar New Year or Eid.

Pandemonium backs onto the Styx, where fresh fish come to the markets from the ruby waters, and tributaries are traveled by gondola and rowboat alike.  It borders Asmodeus’ bars, jazz and swing clubs, and gambling district and also Lilith’s go go bars, strip clubs, and red light district, the lively circus of Pandemonium’s bodies and festivals and wares spilling into any open space available like a living organ.  Buildings are temporary: yurts, tents, cloths, an open air market that is popular for shopping and romantic getaways with unimaginable tastes for the palate.  Exit Samael’s fortress of a castle and the market starts, with paths winding and erected by a madman, lit by will o the wisps, fairies, and dragon fire.  Danse macabre is a popular past-time as it is in Samael’s kingdom, and you’ll see the dead roaming the streets alongside the living.  Ghosts and ghouls and spirits come alive at night in the shadows of the stalls.

At night, Samael holds balls and all of Pandemonium is invited to the castle, to the Devil’s Masque, which can best be described as a Viennese ball mixed with a blood orgy.  Elaborate costumes, debauchery, fine wine and finer still blood mingling between lovers and enemies, the fruits of our labors and vintage of our wrath.  His subjects wear enchanted masks to disguise their identities if they so choose and hedonism reigns.  But my favorite holiday is the Festival of Lights, which happens on All Soul’s Day – the Damned and dead souls in Hell, all ancestors that dwell their for various reasons, are allowed to return to Earth as the archdemons open a gateway to the realm of the living and visit their descendants.  Basically the Hell version of Dia de los Muertos.  The Styx is lit with paper lanterns and souls returning to Earth are a Jacob’s ladder in the sky.  There are fireworks, fresh roses strewn across the streets, and danse macabre throughout the markets.

I own a little bit of woodland, what I call the Screaming Hollow, more of a park at the border of the markets that backs up into Samael’s elaborate system of courtyards.  This is the Lover’s Lane of Hell.  Samael’s garden is famed for his blood-red roses and viticulture, with red wine made on site and trellises hung with wisteria and grapes, briars growing in forests around them.  Here are the more dangerous spirits, the wild Seirim, the flying Lilin, the howling Shedim, and everything can be found in the Screaming Hollow for the right price – it may just cost you your soul.  A river runs through it from a deep tap root at the Tree of Life and the waters are a pure crystal blue with raw garnet stones in the basin.  Lovers wild off each other’s lips often come to the screaming hollow at midnight, when the witch moon sails through the sky.  This is where the Witches Sabbats are held, at the heart of the woods in a crippled apple grove on a high, desolate hill – a piece of Eden plucked from Heaven and rotting.  The witches in Hell I am a part of practice Satanic Witchcraft, if that wasn’t obvious enough, but there’s goes a step behind what the living could ever produce.  Think Malleus Maleficarum but high on nightshade wine.  Familiars are often lower-level demons, sent throughout the mythical realms to do their bidding, there is the osculum infame and blood sacrifices and cannibalism, and Samael presides over it all on a throne of bone as the Witchfather.

There are quieter parts of Pandemonium, like the residential areas, mostly stone and clay houses with thatch and patch roofs that are humble where the immigrants live.  Those are diverse as anything, with Japanese style dwellings to adobe.  Fronting the houses are often merchant tents, and the night carnival shifts each night, the heart of Hell where business off the ledgers is conducted.  Throughout it is enchanting music, buskers and street bands and sylphs and dakinis and enchantresses and sorcerers singing and fluting their songs.

Everything is for sale in Pandemonium, everything can be bought for a cost, but the best parts, in my opinions, are free.

Azael

I’m sitting prim and proper on the gum-stained
subway, where the fuzzy backings of the seats
of Hell’s hustle and bustle are worn down to
fabric. Of the terminal and into the train
steps a lady of fear and loathing, with slick
black hair and eyes like cuttings of a glacier.
Her face is severe and pokes like a cactus, she
is all business, with a gray pencil skirt, white
blouse, and black blazer, leather purse coiled
tightly around her chest. She has a biting tail
and wings like a vulture, and she dominates by
squeezing into the aisle seat besides me, then
wages mental war with enchantments and politics.
“I want your holdings, I’m appealing to Samael,
you’re too green to rule, and your dominion and
claim is too weak – you’re more angel than devil.”
Azael says in a voice like nightshade honey as
she wedges an umbrella between our knees, curving
and dark like a black swan. Her lips are drawn
thin and Azael’s lips poke out. I immediately
take a disliking to the harridan, she reminds me
of a sickly suffragette, beautiful but campaigning
for something we both should be allies behind.
“What I rule is my birthright, you will lose this
appeal,” I say, smoothing the skirt of my pink
dress. She glares at me and flexes her wings a
bit to box me in against the window, I grimace.
“You’re too innocent and soft-hearted to hold
lands in Hell, Samael is making a great mistake.”
Azael departs with those knife-like words, and
then I collect myself and wend my way through
the markets aback a Behemoth, those cousins of
elephants with black tough hides and docile
personalities, the Behemoth trumpets my arrival
at Samael’s court. Azael is already there, and
Samael is masked as the Judge. I go to his side
and cast an evil eye at the bitch. “Your consort
is just a child, she can’t possibly have the might
or acumen to rule,” Azael speaks haughtily, with
airs of pride that would make Lucifer blush.
Samael smirks. “So how shall we settle this, my
love?” he asks me. “Trial by combat, let me show
dear Azael my iron will,” I say, sharing a knowing
glance with Samael. And so we go to the raised
stage where the Damned make their appeals, Azael
draws a poison scimitar and I draw my flaming
sword and scythe, she is all cold fire and fury
as our blades meet and we draw shallow winds, but
I could have won blind, for I am a soldier foremost,
and I have Azael by the neck with Michael’s blade.
She curses me to the lowest pit but surrenders,
and once again I have protected my throne against
another usurper. Another day, another enemy in Hell.
Anyone who doubts my regency may answer to the saber.
Anyone challenging my strength may speak to my scythe.
I am Queen, I am Regent, I am Consort, I am Conqueror.
By Samael’s side, his weapon, his vessel and vassal.
Azael finally bows and there is finally respect drawn
by black blood rotting, and there on the courthouse
floor she acquiesces, and perhaps I have a new ally.
“You battled well. Perhaps I misjudged you,” Azael
says through gritted teeth, licking her bruises and
cuts. I smile, then go sit atop Samael’s lap and play
with a lock of his hair. “All is fair in love and war.
I am here because I love Hell, same as you, dear Azael.”
I say to the consort of Naamah, the bound one, and
she exits in business casual, and it is any day in Hell.
Just another day of shocked pride and challenged thrones.
I am blood, I am iron, I am fire, I am a Molotov cocktail.
Fuck with me at your own risk, for flames will follow you.

Michael et Samael

And the fallen angel says, I drink bitter wine
the dregs are where fungus blossom, scorching
noon-day sun of Isaac, and the prince says, I
drink rose water and rye-blend whiskey, and you
are drunk off blood of the damned, so I will
lay hands on you to heal your poison, oh, no,
says the demon, Prince Charming, you are full
of it, nothing can cure my wounds, my veins are
cocaine, I am the eternal high of outcast junkies,
and the prince says, do not believe yourself beyond
salvation, sweet devil, for I your brother am the
Christ, and in me is peace, and in me is redemption,
and when I walked through Hell’s Gate with nails
in my hands and feet, I paid a tithe of ichor and
iron to the lindworm, and he shed his seven skins,
and that beast was you, so do not lie through your
fangs and say you do not want to be forgiven! Oh
archangel, you righteous prick, you think that the
Scapegoat Samael who Azazel goats are sacrificed to
on Yom Kippur and assumes the sins of the world can
lose his Mem? Rabbis are forbidden from speaking the
gall of the syllables that compose Poison, Drug, of
El. And you are his Image, Who is Like God? Looking
at you, Michael, I bite my teeth and grit my molars
and know, tis better to reign in Gehenna and anarchy
free of saviors, my people need no one to hang for our
souls, for we are soulless, and the angel says, you,
who have caged hope in the heart of a girl, and your
core in a night dancer, these Horcruxes of your seven
chakras can be realigned, you know just let me – No.
No, holier than thou. No, burning with devotion, no,
I shall not bow, I shall not bend the knee or wash my
hair with spikenard oil, I am not the redeemed one in
this story, and I will drag you to Hell, at the end of
days, lest you trample my head, I, Great Dragon Beast.
And Michael says, if we fall, we fall together, I have
not smiled since I cast you out, dear Satan, and we are
family. So at the end of days, we both perish, and the
humans we created shall have ultimate freedom, no
yetzer ha ra or yetzer ha tov anymore, simply air
of a new day, and we shall become the dust. I would
like that very much, says Samael, and they embrace,
and they ascend, and leave their vessels craving home.