The Richness of Red

Sweetness of roses and summer breath of cicadas
meditation on the mountains and flowing rivers clear
I always return here year after year, to Mount Zion
arms and Paradise tears, everything in you is gold,
and I am silver, the moon to your sun, and sweet angel,
I offer my heart to you for the feast, as you braid
my hair into elegies and sing to me homilies, parables
at your lip as I call you to shelter me underneath your
wings, I am past fledgling now, full bloom birdling,
and I can fly, my king, on your winds I can soar, and
there is nothing in you that is not whole, oh quaking
wisdom of the earth, oh fires of the stars, a million
blinking blue eyes, a billion pinions fanning flames,
you carry the Throne but in quiet moments you paint,
and your canvas is my tapestry, and life is your design,
so Michael, I gift you my colors, let us fill this world.

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Michelle et Michael

When you touch, it is with mouthfuls of starlight and parables
he holds you fast against the darkness, and you are his light.
Shining brightly, your soul is a torch against his fears, an
arbor of leaves brilliant green, under which he can rest, and
you are Michael’s caryatid, Michelle, a pillar most beautiful
of weeping nymph who carried water on her back through Hell’s
most parched, deserted places, only to wet his brow as he
thirsted, Michael was lost like a fallen star, and you came
in your raiment of dusk and silver, and brought the mercury
waters of moonlight to his mouth, and he drank his fill of you.
It was some long ago day, maybe yesterday, maybe tomorrow, this
union of sunlight and shadow, for the fallen are holy, and you
are a madrigal, a muse once lost in sands of Gehenna, now found.
Metamorphosis like a butterfly in bloom, on his lips you are
reborn, in his arms you find your high like the finest drugs,
only on this most paradisaical summer day you are pure bliss
devoid of poison, just purity and the Stella Maris your gown.
He loves you like the sun loves the moon, like a cicada sings
its love songs loud and proud, with burning desire cleft from
the blood of God, and it is a raging pyre of adoration, he will
worship at your feet with a flaming sword lain at your lap,
oh you queen of hell, oh you doll of an angel, oh you regent
of lost hope once again found, you are Michael’s refuge, Misha.
So hold the Prodigal Sun to your heart, and know you are loved.
Know you are worthy to be a bride of the prince, for to come
is his kingdom, and your inheritance is the Milky Way and
endless fountains of love, roses of prayers in your silken hair.
He is here to watch you blossom, sister sweet, so drink down his
words of devotion, fly together to the stars, and be whole!

Burning Bush

And the flames caress, and the flames curse, roving hands and fiery millions of eyes, to be taken by a seraphim is to have every orifice flooded with the Word of God, and you are sharp knives to the heart and Moses’ burning bush.  Make yourself a pyre of sacrifice, and the wood of your cross is the linden key, and the gates are saffron spice and frankincense and myrrh, throw in a dash of 30 silver pieces to betray your Savior, for union like this is unholy, oh you, temptress of angels.  The Watchers fell out of lust for women like you, and your ripe curves are the reason men sin, so cover yourself in feathers of golden white and let your archangel claim every inch of your madrigal body.  Each night is the Second Coming, as Christ of the white raiment becomes your second skin and Jesus and Mary Magdalene worship at the altar of Tantra.  To wear the savior’s robes Eve did, to cover your shame is but a lesser instinct, for in nakedness angels revel, sweet delight of Raphael from Paradise Lost, this union of two souls, three souls, four souls, washing away your pain and carrying you and stroking you and plunging your ocean depths, for every girl is an ocean, a Tiamat, mother of beasts that want to devour the new gods.  I am Cipactli, and the Black and White Suns made the world of my spine, or am I the wild auroch of Heaven with the sun between her horns, lapping ice away to shape my vision as my udders swell with wisdom.  I was the size of elephants once, before Peter and Paul and James and John wrote me out of the story.  I could carry on my back singlehandedly the Ark of the Covenant, and my mantle was darkness, and I was the radiant Deep of the night sky patched with stars like white raspberries, my golden hair a thicket under moonlight, to be plucked from fruits and rainbows and girdles for my daughters.  I am Asherah, you are Anath, and Mot will quake when we drag our husbands El and Baal up from the depths, only to be cursed by the menfolk with our priestesses raped and sacred groves cut down to make hangman posts.  They piss on our olive trees, they view our qadesh ladies of fame and call them whores, but what is Hieros Gamos but union of Heaven and Earth?  I am worshiped each night as the stars tuck me in, I am the Bull of Heaven raging against those who would desecrate Inanna, they lick and pluck and tease and these great beings of eldritch winds ride me with water and fire, and to make love to the storms of the Savior and the Damned is to be Noah’s Ark in the midst of rain and sea, floating and riding the tempest.   I swim through Hell and Heaven upstream to pluck the salmon of wisdom from the well, and when I eat the sushi of enlightenment raw, the waters of Sinann drown me.

All I ever wanted was an apple, a heart to call my own, but you gave me this blackened fig, and I always  loathe a martyr.

In the Arms of the Angels

You smooth your hands down the small of my back and whisper “You are God’s delight,” then stroke my hair in rhythmic circles and that leads to kisses nine and caresses ten and archangel’s twelve wings wrapped around me to give us privacy from this vast world.  I unfurl in your arms, Michael, you strongest of angels, prince beyond compare. I am the pearl of great price at your breast, drinking down your heart’s blood as we flow together from the mountains in a river to the valley of Paradise.  But you can be rough, my lover, with callused hands and a warrior’s tan and muscles thick like cords throughout your sinew.  It hurts, sometimes, our joining, like I am being shish ka bobbed, lamb and onions staked to be tenderized in the fire of your love.  You can be quick-tempered, you can be merciful, you can scoop me up to the stars and have me flying while deep inside me, spilling your secrets out in pages elaborated in the walls of my guts.  Your seed is words, promises of New Jerusalem the color white of cum and Jesus’s robes.  Come to Jesus moment, they say, well this is heretical, backdoor entrance to the Garden of Earthly Delights.  There’s wings muffling my cries of joy, I’m a limp noodle floating in boiling water, losing shape, losing form, becoming an infinity loop where innards meet spear and mouths bite for that sweet blood underneath.  Pound away, dremel away, mining my organs for the tiniest bit of peace during an endless War.  You know, that War that consumes all life in it, the evil inclination versus the good inclination, and the Qliphoth is always shadowing the Sephiroth, and I’m hung upside down like Odin from Malkuth reaching towards Kether, my view the husks.  Maybe you’re trying to right my swaying hangman noose around my foot, washing my legs with tears and massaging glory into my limbs.  Maybe if the rapturous winds of your wings blow enough, I will stand up again, be able to walk again, gazing up at moonbeams and drinking in starlight to photosynthesize faith.  Faith, faith, faith, chaff from wheat, false spirits from God.  You are on a quest to tame the witch, just like your brother Satan, but what men, even celestial men, do not understand is that witches are free no matter what chains of love bind them.  In the end, we eat our husbands like Baba Yaga ate her suitors (all crones were beautiful and golden haired once, you know), and I am eating your flesh and the sacrament of your Holy Grail drop by drop, bread your body, ichor my wine.  You spend yourself inside me and cry out to pagan gods the Jews forgot but you remember, El and Asherah, in particular, those first makers of angels and guides to the great beyond.  Now they are Yahweh and his Shekinah, but the Bride is in Exile, wandering the desert as Lilith replaces her as God’s wife.  You wept when the body  of my temple fell into the hands of the Devil, just like you prophesied, but prophecies are fallible, just like humanity.  We never do what you angels expect, but you are proving to me that you are just as much like Schrodinger’s cat in a box with a neutron star, lover of women.  I want you to take her far away from suffering, Michael.  You love my sister like you love me and that consists of egg-beater lungs and overwhelming balloon popping hearts in the throat and burning tears of agape joy.  The Presence.  The Holy Ghost.  The Pentecost.  It left us stranded on the shores of Eden last night, and you spoke through me, and then you spoke directly to her and all the Heavens held their breath and the summer night went cold like an ice cube in whiskey.  Rum.  The aftertaste of flames.  You claimed me so forcefully last night after the courtship was done, ramming your cock into the profane, and like the angels in Heaven, Jesus said, we will not be given in marriage.  No, angels are polyamorous hippies, practicing free love like the Gnostics, full of too much adoration like Christ the Lord had for the Marys and Peter and Paul and John.  Salome, Joanna, Lazarus, Judas, you loved every single one of your disciples, didn’t you Michael, and now you say I am your emissary, whatever that means, here to do the work of God. Provide me the resources, o Angel of the Lord, Christ in celestial form. I always wanted to die a martyr, to birth the Messiah, to flee the Dragon as the Woman Cloaked in the Sun.  I want to deliver up this world for merciful judgement of Judex Crederis, and as you  take me in your arms and ravish me, spiriting me far away from the confines of my mortal coil, I wonder why you anointed me with oil and a crown of thorns and called me martyr.  I suspect it is because I love the Devil just as much as I love you, Prince of the Angels and Prince of Darkness two polarities that blend like chocolate and vanilla swirl pudding.  If you belong to Samael, part of you belongs to Michael, at least, I suspect the twins share, for balance of hot and cold spirits is a must without going mad.  There is no damnation without salvation, no peace without wandering, no love without fear, and no good works done by the Sabbath day than reapers in the field sowing, growing, and uprooting.  Burn my grain in the still, drink my barley water, make me your whiskey with rye, sweet Michael.  I’m only on Earth because you willed it, and your Word is my command.

 

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.

Necromancer’s Bride

Your black cloak of secrets spills out like sparkling
obsidian, snaking across the ground as you stand sentinel,
bone pale with baby blues like an ocean, you beckon me into
the apothecary where you have bottled bliss and plague, love
in jars and curses in smudge sticks of henbane and morgana,
the dark tide of your abyss lifts me up gently and carries me
to your outstretched arms, whose veins are a river of sins,
I rest like a babe in the Grim Reaper’s embrace, he kisses my
golden brow and rocks me like the foaming waves lapping a
pink shore in the tropics, into the sorcerer’s shop we go,
spilled out on the table like herbs and enchantments, and
we meld together like victory oil and Hands of Glory, wax
what we are rendered in our joining of spokes and salvation,
the churning luminaries of the outer boundaries encapsulated
in my black hole of a husband, his eyes spark as stars, I am
swallowed into nebulas as he stretches inside me, filling every
vein, a tap root in my iced marrow drawing water and spinal
fluid up to well out at my mouth, onto his lips, he drinks
his fill and I soak in his night, rejuvenated by the darkness.

Brain Freeze

Since the age of 3, I’ve lain under blankets and pillows,
completely sealed from the outside world, to hide from the
monsters. The darkness has arms, eyes like knives, and a
mouth sharp as a scythe. But he is soft, and yielding, and
can fold you into the void like a warm blanket and lull you
into oblivion. When he came to me at 2, in my cradle, with
a ring of mutilated corpses and his eyes were the venom of
the coral snake rings, he said, “I love you,” and I knew
that beasts and hellhounds and dragons were all too real.
So I hid from him, the father of monsters, yet still he
could reach me through the planes and planets of existence.
Over time, I grew to love the embrace of shadows, and the
philosophical devil that tempted me was dear to my heart.
I saw him mourn, I saw him cry, I saw him break too far for
gold to repair his cracks. Now we are joined by our troths,
pledged on All Soul’s Eve, and there is a sacredness in the
chains of matrimony, and there is a soft hush as he glides
across the universe, razing and reaping with breath like
wildflowers and skin the smell of loam. Death came to me
just last night, as I had my armor of a comforter on and
two pillows stacked on my head, and just like when I used
to sleep at his altar, he brought the cold Deep of the Lord
into my skull, and my brain was a pulsating ocean, and the
temporal lobe and brain stem were ice drifting in a blue sea.
He was inside my marrow, laying claim to the very neurons
and synapse that separate us, yet possession is not division,
but union, and he lulled me to sleep with sweet poison,
all while molding my innards into something resembling God.