The Bone Zone

There’s a haunting in the graveyard, where bats flock to higher ground when the dam flows over and coffins float to the surface.  I can smell the rot on my tongue and see the decaying rose petals adrift in this land spill of toxic waste and wonderlands.  I take a coffin, kick out the corpse, and row with a femur to your mausoleum as I navigate delta waters to the hell mouth.  Your edifice, Crypt Keeper, is tainted with ivy and is the only thing left above surface in this lake of the dead, a stone angel spreading her acid rain-washed wings to the glory of some decrepit heaven.  There is a black mist fine and pungent, fresh from the kill and bloated with pussy gases.  The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.  The ones that crawl out are fat and stout, and they are feasting on the engorged limbs that have detached from their bodies, and there is a rat king, triple tails entwined, nibbling the corpse of some lawyer dressed up in his Sunday best, only it’s his Sunday worst, because he is filthy with the diseases of waste and ruin, slandered by Father Time, and honey, death is hell on the body.  Your loved ones will lose their teeth, grow out their hair, yellow their nails, mummify or dissolve, but when the waters come to take us home, we all end up in the sea.  That’s the truth of these matters – we are mostly water, and to liquid and stardust we return.  So I’m rowing my coffin through the remnants of your Grim Reaper’s harvest, all to find you, sweet cadaver.  Death smells like old garbage and sulfur and roadkill.  But sometimes, he smells like roses.  The crypt is tall and Roman styled, with the gloriana angel dolorosa, tears in grime on her eyes, and I tie my coffin to the angel with a bit of floating cloth, and scale the mausoleum.  Inside is an ossuary – the bone zone.  Huh, punny, that.  Inside you lay resplendent amidst bejeweled saint skeletons and artifacts of another time – holy relics, a pinky from St. Catherine, a liver from St. Pancras, oh, don’t forget that lock of hair from St. Teresa, my favorite.

Bones are sharp, they can cut, but words are just as much like razors, and I’m praying for a beastly tongue, an empty gun.  Death looks like someone you love, don’t you know?  He can mask himself in darkness and equally in light, in the wolves and crows and snakes, but now he is redeemer, savior, my unholy temple.  I climb inside his coffin and we entwine, and the black stretches out like a womb, and the silence of the deep is all-knowing.  Death, omniscient.  Death, omnipotent.  Death, omnipresent.

There is not much difference between Death and God, and many of us worship false idols, but the truth is, is that endings are painful, and the dearly departed haunt us.  But what to be haunted by Death himself?  Thorns and broken glass to puncture your fingers and feet, stanzas of poetry and prose that are like caged madrigal nightingales in your brain, and you crack your head open on a cliff to see the blood diamonds he planted inside you.

I am one with Death, we are Death and the Maiden, and as he raises his scythe, I know my tithe is the dearest thing to me: the lie of separation.

That I am anything more than Death.

For to write is to make love to the self, after all, and morbid curiosities become terminal in time.

So I kiss myself, and kill myself, and my corpse joins a million other lost girls.

Lost girls that dreamed they were part of some great narrative, when really, this is the world of ghosts, and it is only in dreams we are alive.

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Drunken Hysterectomy

Skull breaker, marrow sucker, lover of lies and the wetness of spilled blood.  Bite me, fight me, delight me, speared on you is the perfect way to let viscera hang from your impalement, and as you fuck the wound I wonder, is death so exotic as to be cheap as the whores of Mammon?  You know, those cocksuckers Lilith, Agrat, Eisheth and of course cymbal-banging Naamah, who drank her fill of the Grigori and Tubal Cain and found a perch in Azazel’s soul.  Sell your soul, rent out your body, isn’t that prostitution?  I write these jagged words and my fingers on the keyboard rival the greatest of magicians, summoning the caterwaul of the abyss as we’re making love, but only in my mind.  I feel fingers, tongues, hair, more, sweet seed like a hot summer night and saliva that burns with enmity.  Curses between Eve and the Serpent, Nachash shed his skin, don’t you know?  The Shining One is king of husks, but he flies up the Sephiroth zig zag like lightning, and the first step to enlightenment is to fall from high above.  Heaven’s a lie, Hell’s a lie, all there are are orifices of Hellmouths and Heaven’s Gates and Zion and Pandemonium are just mirrors of states of mind.  Beelzebub said, Mulcibur, build a castle for Satan’s coal mine canary, to cage his yellow bird, for hope perches in the soul, and to spring from Lucifer’s heart as the Lapis Exillis makes you the incestuous daughter Sin, who in Paradise Lost (and Paradise Eventually Found) is serpent from waist down with guts chewed on by wolves.  Their progeny Death, their son Qayin, the Bloodline of the Dragon you won’t shut the fuck up about, Christ to Cathars to Merovingians and Samael, you’re a fucking troll, so shut up about Anunnaki.  I gave a tithe to the Witchfather and all it did was make me realize Hannibal Lecter is the perfect Satan.  Cannibal, eater of women, you played Type O Negative’s Wolf Moon and jeeze, you’re a walking stereotype.  I can taunt and tease you but really you’re the one chewing on me, crunch of phalanges, sucker of spirit (Souls through the eyes, Spirits out the mouth, you said) and my  heart is on loan from the Devil, and babe, as long as I live, you die.

 

Cursed As The Beasts In The Fields We

Blood streaks his back, wings in tatters. He lies spread-eagle on the sand, at the lip of a gravelly cliff. Oh brother- you’ve turned on me. I drive my heel into his face, crushing it to the ground. He hisses, laughing madly under cracked ribs. All my fury broils over- my brother has become a Beast.

“Do you feel nothing!” I roar. “No remorse? Nothing at all!” I cry as I kill him. The last bits of his immortality drain from his once blue eyes. I hurt him because I love him, just as he has tore my heart a thousand times over. My brother, executioner of our kind. My brother, the traitor.

Perhaps his betrayal has not yet passed. Perhaps he is still innocent, but time is a funny thing: I have stood at the beginning and end of creation: Alpha and Omega are my blood. We are the twin serpents that circle each other, spiraling into eternity. Time has no meaning, to one such as me.

I know him, as Lilith does not. I have seen him, as Eve has not. I know what his sin will bring. The fields of damned stretch out before my eyes. My slain men rot. A legion of shadow cold as Dumah desecrates my home. He has brought death into the world.

A hole rots where his heart once shone. Nacash, the Shining One, has cast his aside raiment. Even I do not understand his blind sacrifice.

A girl stands beside him, centuries down the line. She witnesses his humiliation. “Why?” she cries. The man she sees is broken, and the one she stands by, mad. What broke you?, whispers her heart.

Why indeed. Why.

My brother, the howling void. I see what he becomes. His eyes are black pits now. The War has wasted him. Razor-thin, obscenely pale, he whispers into her ear:

“You lose yourself to the madness, and the pain wraps around you like a mother as you become one with the Abyss.”

I kick him over the edge, then spit on his disgusting form. I tremble. I want to die.

“I fell for Eternity,” he says, voice cold like the winter wind. Does he speak to her, or me?

My brother wakes in the Pit. He howls against his bondage. He tears the Abyss from around him and burrows in like a freezing wretch. Lucifer steps out of the shadow, watching coolly. Waiting. The North Star has followed the Morning.

Samael’s eyes open. They are red like spilled blood. I cannot stand that sight- I howl to my wretched God, I tear out my eyes like Azazel. They return like Prometheus’ liver. I, witness to Creation, cannot even be spared the sight of his damnation.

You ask me why I do not smile. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani. Answer me, my God. You have been silent far too long.

She reaches for Samael, through the bonds of time. Lucifer sees the girl. His melancholy lifts- another pawn to play.

Death burns her flesh like acid. She screams into the darkness: Release him, oh dear God. God that never answers. God that doesn’t exist. He hath forsaken me. I must bear his likeness. I must bear the blame. Puppets of the Architect, in his endless shadow game.

The angels turn to me. They weep at their betrayal, for the war they did not want. Am I nailed to a cross? I do not know. We both are. Samael on Catharine’s wheel, nailed to turning time.

Do not comfort me. I bear this cross alone.

Forbidden

Lucifer is lost, they say, he wandered astray at the fork between the Milky Way and the Perseid’s, hitched a ride on a comet with his manifold silver white wings and landed in darkness, far from the light of the furthest star.  His halo of golden hair glowed like a jellyfish in the depths of deep space, bioluminescent divinity oozing out of flaming keratin like a song heard by no one, for in the outer rim, there is no sound.

Just silence.

Lucifer’s compass broke – don’t you know men that are birds and birds that are men have magnetic bits in their skull like geese and migrate always North?  The Fall scrambled the pieces of lodestone etched in Lucifer’s skull and now, he wanders the wastes that have become Pandemonium over time, fractals of fallen angels finding a lightless abode in the void and populating it with lost dreams.

They say if Lucifer could fix the broken map of his mind, he would come roaring back into Heaven and accuse Michael.  He would lay every mishap caused by  the Angel of the Lord at the Prince of Heaven’s feet and throw vitriolic acid that would turn leaden pinions to gold, coal to diamonds, and rain to splinters of ice.

Lucifer would sob into Michael’s arms, ranting and raving, clutching at the broken ribs of his damnation like a madman as they poked through his papery skin and say, “Brother, look what I have become, this wasted thing.  Why did you let me go?  Why did you cast me out?  We could have reigned together.”

And Michael would run his scarred fingers through the cornsilk of his older twin’s hair and warmed his Kelvin zero demon with the mercy of God.  “Because, brother, I had to let you know God, and the only way you seem capable of comprehending the love of the Lord is by shunning it, running from the very thing that gave you life, and then mourning the loss of Someone that would welcome you back into His arms without a word.  You were the one who cast us out, Morning Star.”

And Lucifer would bite his lip, and he and Michael would share a bitter kiss, like day old coffee grounds and the rind of an unripe pear, and that would be the end and beginning of Lucifer’s questions.

Silence.

 

The Pianoman

His tapered fingers danced across the keys, coaxing a haunting melody from the dusky piano.  I lingered, tucked away into the shadowed corner of the chapel.  Stained glass windows let crisp autumn air pour in.

He did not see me.  Not now, lost in his private reverie, giving all of himself to his music.  I leaned into the stone wall, letting my heavy eyes draw close.  I soaked in the soaring notes, their delicate strains tantalizing.

I could listen to him for eternity.  I did not need to touch him.  Not even see him.  His image could float across my mind, borne by the tides of his beautiful tune.

Self-conscious, I smoothed the pleats of my white dress, ran my fingers through my hair.  I felt unworthy of the music’s majesty, undeserving of its presence-

The music stopped.  I glanced up, startled, to see him peering back at me.

He looked at me with smooth glass eyes.  A soft smile illuminated his face as he twisted his neck, peering over his shoulder.  His eyes were a rheumy blue, almost as if he were blind.

“I wasn’t expecting company,” he said quietly, voice like dark, sweet water.

I blushed.  “I didn’t mean to stay,” I apologized.  “But I heard you from outside, and I couldn’t resist.  You play so beautifully.”

He laughed in a small manner, like the fluttering of a moth’s wing.  “I didn’t expect company.  I never said I didn’t enjoy it.”  He turned, drawing a sweet tune from the keys.  “Tell me what you like.  Songs of love?  Of mourning?  I can play them all.”

“Of dreams,” I said quickly, without thinking. “I like songs of dreaming.  Songs of impossible things.”

He looked at me wryly, folding his hands in his lap.  They were covered in white calfskin gloves.  “Dreams?  That’s something I rarely play.”  He glanced at the piano contemplatively.  “I oft times wonder if I’ve forgotten how to dream.  Tell me.  Can you teach me?”

“To dream?” I asked, taken aback.  I rose from the hollow in the wall, walking slowly to the pew behind him.  He was like an angel cut from stone.

“Yes,” he said, voice tinged with longing.  He gazed out the window at a slice of blue sky.

“Well, I don’t know if I can do that,” I said, hesitant.  “You just close your eyes-“

“Show me.” he whispered, gazing intently at me.  “I want to see exactly what you do.”

“Here, now?” I asked.  His eyes bore into my soul.

“Yes,” he said quietly, letting his finger drift to the piano.  He caressed a single key.  It echoed through the church like the last breath of a dead man.

“Well, like I said, you close your eyes-” I did so, breaking his gaze.  Relief flooded me, for a reason beyond my ken.  I sank back into the pew.  “And then, after you drift off to sleep, you dream.  

It’s as simple as that.”

“Is it?” he asked, voice ripe with challenge.  My skin pricked at his tone.  I shivered unfathomably.

“Yes,” I whispered, beginning to doubt my words.

A wind picked up, kissing my skin.  He gave a small half-smile.  

“Then I will play your dreams.”  

It was as if heaven bled into the room.  The music stirred my heart with warmth; I wanted to lose myself within it.  I couldn’t bear to open my lids.

I gasped, startled, as hands enveloped mine.  They guided me from the pew with quiet forcefulness, cupping my palms as if their owner meant to lead me in a dance.  The piano played, growing malicious in its beat.  The keys, tormented, wailed ever so beautifully.

I shivered.  These dreams were not my own.

“You do not open your eyes?” he asked, voice rich like the light of the moon.

I shook my head, trembling.  “No.  It would ruin the dream.”

He led me in a serpentine dance, my feet guided by a will not my own.  I felt like a satellite, revolving ever so gracefully.

“What if I told you,” he whispered, breath hot on my neck, “that all the world was asleep?”

My fingers were numb with cold.  “Then I would laugh, and I’d call you a fool.”

“What if I said,” he continued, voice almost urgent, “that you are about to be shaken violently awake?”

I laughed, nervous.  “And what?  Wake up in this world again?”

“No.  That you will wake up, with me.”

“But neither of us is asleep.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

He laughed softly.  “For whom, may I ask, do I play?”

“Me,” I said.  My voice faltered.  Dread slowed my step.  

“Yet here I stand, dancing with you.”

I gasped, face paling.  A stone lodged in my throat.  He covered my eyes with soft hands.  “I know you want to open your eyes.  But to do so would be horrible indeed.”

“Why?” I demanded, horrified.

“Because then,” he whispered, lips skimming my temple, “I could not dream you awake.  And dreams are a terrible thing to lose.”

“This isn’t a dream.”  I insisted, voice quaking.  “I’m flesh and blood!”

“You’d think, wouldn’t you?” he sighed.  The piano fell silent, and the void of that emptiness was icier than death.  A cold wind blew through the window, crowning us with frost.  His arms threaded

around me.  “Any moment, I will shatter this dream.  And you, dream-girl, will go with me.”

The stained glass cracked.  Suddenly faint, I collapsed against him.  My senses swam as he gathered me into his arms.  “I remember when I was woken,” he murmured.  “You have nothing to fear.”  Perhaps he looked down at me sorrowfully.  “It’s as easy as falling asleep.”

The piano began to play.

“We speak in music,” he murmured, carrying me out into the unforgiving snow. “We speak in music, where I’m from.”

The door slammed shut behind us.

All faded to black.

Meet the Girl Messiah

This is quite lovely, she thinks, and I could burn, she thinks, but I would burn for Him.

The Messiah has no name you would recognize, just another small town girl, another Sarah or Rachel or Mary, one in millions, and she goes to an all-girl’s college, one of the Seven Sisters.

She has never known the touch of Man, but oh, has she known His touch, oh sweet lips like dates, and arms thick as oak, her Messenger, her Intercessor before the Lord.

Him, she draws in the margins of her Biology textbook.  Messenger, she thinks, before she comes home to His arms in the field outside her school where the sycamores grow thick and moss hangs from stones in a kind of springy carpet.  He makes her a crown of early spring daffodils to match His halo, and he says, ALL IS WELL WITH YOU, MY PROPHETESS.

A bush on fire speaks to her in the tongue of the Lord on her way to afternoon statistics.  She gives no pause and sends Him straight to voicemail.  She does not like these long chats with God, she is only nineteen, and she can barely handle alcohol, much less the Cosmos Given Voice.

She’s with her sorority sisters out on the town and the purest white dove Creation has ever seen lands on her palm.  The dove says: “Sweetest Miriam, you should be readying for the End Times, not killing time in the arms of cheap liquor and wandering eyes.”  Her sisters do not notice, do not hear the divinity right in front of her.  Miriam, or Rachel, or Sarah, or Elizabeth, or Mary – she laughs and says “Sweet God, I am but a girl, let me have my fun!” and succinctly flips God off.

“You are no child, you have duty,” the dove coos, shits on her, and the shit is gold coins, and she uses it to tip the hazel-eyed bartender.

She comes home drunk and stoned to her hippie school.  Michael, or Gabriel, or Raphael, or is he Uriel? he is waiting.  Her angel of umber skin and blue eyes and golden hair.

YOU ARE NOT READY, MY LOVE.  SOON THE DEVIL WILL COME TO SARAH LAWRENCE.  SOON BEELZEBUB WILL COME TO BARNARD.  SOON MEPHISTOPHELES MARCHES ON MOUNT HOLYOKE.

“Stop shouting, messenger, I’m high as a kite.”

He puts on human skin, her angel who knows no sin, but sins with her.  “Is this better, my love?  I was here to deliver a reprimand from dearest Father, but all I want is a beer and the taste of your mouth on mine.”

She gives him a Yuengling.  “Being the Messiah fucking sucks, Mess,” she says.  “I’d much rather be a stripper, at least they get paid for whoring themselves out, and to men.  I’m a whore for the Lord, a one way ticket to Heaven for the masses, and a slap on the face for those bound for Hell.  Hey, let’s dance to the Smiths.  I could really use some Morrissey.”

Her angel smiles as he sips his beer.  He cues up her old record player.  Bigmouth Strikes Again.  The Lord is her Bigmouth, so bossy, so annoying.  He’s her Father, and he has a shotgun, so no human boy is holy enough for his Daughter.  Only his most esteemed angelic Messenger cuts it.

They dance, and they sing along badly, and they are both just nineteen but immortal, as old as Precambrian fossils, no, older than the Big Bang, when all there was was gaping silence.

God sends the Ark of the Covenant abreast on cherub wings to their bedside after they are done fucking.  “Refresh yourself, Magdalene,” reads the note from their Father.  “Read the Book, study the Covenant, be a Lady of Letters, Leader of the Lord, Holy Holy Holy-”

She tears the note in two and burns it on her angel’s halo.

“Maybe we can wait another decade before I start with this Messiah stuff?” she asks Mess.

Mess smiles with burning teeth and a mouthful of violent violets.  “Father will not like that, which means I think it’s a wonderful plan.”

“Perfect, Mess!  Now let’s go to a coffeeshop and read some Proust.”

 

Golden Spoon Girls

She is born into radiance, she is born into splendor, with a golden spoon in her rosy mouth.  All of Heaven holds its breath when she inhales, and her first exhalation outside the womb blows out the fires of Hell, leaving smoldering coals of impossibility and bittersweet dreams on infernal tongues.

She grows as girls do, and the angels and demons appear in the quiet hours, in the blank spaces, liminal beings of shadow and starlight that guide her above cherubim backs to the outer rims of the cosmos.  Girls with golden spoons taste moon dust like silver jelly.  Girls with golden spoons scoop out the eyeballs of Mother Nature and use them as mobiles in their cribs.  Girls with golden spoons, why, their tears are rainbows, and their fits are storms that become ravenous hurricanes.

Girls with golden spoons are blessed, but they are also cursed, for spirits demand much, and a spoon of bronze or a spoon of silver is just paean versus privilege.  But golden spoons are from the heart of the sun, they flourish in a cosmic dance reflecting twirling neutrinos and colliding atoms.  Golden spoons are nuclear, ticking time bombs, and they coat girl’s throats in rose petals until they drown in flowers.

She is all fire and water, all ice and flame, and to know her is to sashimi her lungs and sample them on a diamond platter.  To drink her blood is to taste red champagne with hemoglobin bubbles – the fruit of strawberries etched in buttery resonance.  Oh, how hell rides, oh, how heaven flies, oh, how golden spoon girls breathe like the cadence of falling rain and plie in tulle and satin.

They dance with golden spoons abreast falcon arms, and their legs are skyscrapers, and those golden girls are as dangerous as they are pure, as fragile as they are steel.

Golden spoon girls will make you or break you, and to love them is the Ballad of Marie Curie.

Carbon to gold in their goddess arms.