To Be Flesh, To Be More

In the end you’re just meat, girl, a doll of blood and bone,
thus decay goes to flowers, and hellscapes bloom in snow, I
was born when ice and fire sparked into existence’s black maw,
but you are almost as ancient, the union of water and lightning,
amino acid dance into DNA, primeval ribonucleotides, a swimming
single celled blossom, fruiting into multicellular, now limbed
and mouth and anus and past blastocyst, oh bodily bearer, your
nightmares and fantasies are just projections of reptilian brain,
you know your biology, Krebs cycle from tired muscle, cytokines,
we are the stuff crocodiles are, time trapped in our gullet, so
as I finger and devour and eat and kiss and fuck, know death is
also a dance, bow, plie, caress, and don’t ever open your eyes,
because if you do, I will disappear to the shadow of nothing,
past the edge of midnight, where monsters belong, and I only
live as long as you believe in existence beyond the flesh.

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Roses on Rot

Camera shutter shade, I am three-fourths drowned,

image in glass slivers of quicksilver mirror, black.

One quarter livid, barely alive, my wine runs dry.

Toe broken, I cannot walk, so I fly past pins and

needles meant to sew filth into my side stitches,

I am a doll, I am a saint, an angel, just a whore!

You are a nightmare dressed in white feathers,

cobra eyes and hiss click of a fanged lisp, I cry

out in the tongues of the Elder Gods, but only

the lonely graves hear my name, as down into

the marrow of the coffin I go, a lily my heart,

a rose my sex, my eyes nightingales, to soar,

to stifle, the Judge is architect of nightmares,

the Lawyer would leave me for a prettier girl,

for the clients he takes are trapdoor spiders,

hiding in glass Snow White cages, poison apple

lips and mouthfuls of worms, down here flesh

is shades of gangrene and dribble of putridity,

pulchritude, multitudes, passing glance at fate.

I seek my Death, I drink my Death, I kiss Death

and as he strangles me with silence and bruises

I wake, I quake, I shake, I make love to myself

and wonder in the midnight hour why he let me

go.

Draculina

Crooked teeth, or maybe they’re just my busted fangs honey, sinking into the meat of my back to make me your little Draculina.  I’m the demon in your mind, the devil at your ear, wolf mother at your door and poison cobra curled around your wrist.  I lick your pressure points, I devour you in one sitting, and as my poison sinks into you, you wonder.

Will her tortures ever end?  Will she keep flirting with my blade, courting my punches, crawling broken footed to my arms and crying me a river of joy?  Forget about wounding me.  She is always crumbling around me, like a stone fence bent by age, rocks scoured by wind, salt licked clean bare by deer.  She is the eidolon cleft from my ribs, but really, she is my own heart, weeping aorta the color of black lichen.  You know, the kind that grows on cliffs in the farthest reaches of Hell and feeds on blood, or is it wine, or is it blood?  Down here getting drunk off your wives is in fashion – a spritz of lung, a nibble of the ear, a bit off the waist, all to make you thinner, love.

I only eat you because I believe I can save you.

Whatever happened to Wonderland?
And where’d Alice go? Oh.
I took a night train with knife in hand,
And cut out to the next show
Back in her living hell.
I wish to dwell, I long to be,
In the blood and the guts
With the birds of prey and the stinging of bees and bullets maybe.
Leaving heaven behind for good this time, the angels can keep it.
I’ve got a demon in mind and she’s standing behind my dark secret.
Draculina.

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.

I Suck at Necromancy

Scapula, scapular, it’s all the same, for he
has scalpeled himself into remains, a corpse
white nude on a dungeon floor, blinking lights
in the laboratory of ruin, smooth muscle, arch
of ribs and abdominals, sunken eyes, black hair
that spools out like secrets into pools of blood
I know this is one of his tricks, his games, but
I cry anyways, rock Death in my arms, press cold
limbs and face to my breast, bloody a pink dress
his rigor mortis is frozen in a smirk, and with
dead red eyes, he watches me, staring ever upward
to Heaven, but there is no Heaven, this is Hell,
and there is a great black abyss, gouging wound
where his heart should be – I’ve eaten it before
like Siegfried the Dragon, its in my bloodline
to devour the immortality of monsters, but this
time, I did not pry it from his chest, instead
he has pinned his throbbing life onto a silver
dissection board in the freezing morgue, door
ajar and letting mist seep over his carcass,
the chambers dance, the veins pulse, it is a
puzzle – how do you make the Grim Reaper alive?
I take a needle and surgical thread and sew the
Forbidden Fruit back into his chest, but his body
is rotting, black veins, a stench like roadkill,
press the skin flap over, stab my toe on a needle
I cry out as the webbing of my feet beads alizarin
rocking back and forth, my blood paints his lips
damask, a rasping tongue licks up the offering,
and my Frankenstein monster groans, trembles, arise
to clutch his girl, his master, to his broken heart
Samael laughs and says I’ve done a shit job at
necromancy, that I should stick to dissections,
and with long pianist fingers he pries the little
needle from my foot and tosses it carelessly onto
the floor, he soothes me, singing a demon lullaby:
“I broke myself apart because you’ve stolen my heart,
it was a present just for you, my cardiophore, you
are the Life to my Death, and that is why you thirst
after destruction – what did you learn from my puzzle?”
I press my head to his bone white breast and sigh:
“I hate when you hurt yourself, you’re never satiated.
Isn’t my love enough? Can’t you be happy with my
devotion, my crying out for your touch, my madness?”
Samael deposits me on an oxblood comforter and sits:
“I will never drink my fill of your blood, I am Void
incarnate, and someday, you will realize why I gave
you my very soul – to create Life, Sin from Satan’s
heart full-sprung, Eve with hair of sorrow, Jophiel
whose wings are damnation, someday you will realize
why I cling to you like a knight his sword, a man his
wife, but for now, let us cradle each other in shadow
and dream of days when we are whole – the impossible.”

Czernobog the Black

His body dissolves into a cancer
blackness that clouds the sky
he smells of turpentine and dirt
and swallows the city in a gulp
of clashing thunderheads, I fly
far to the looming horizon, but
Czernobog reaches tendrils through
skyscrapers, roots himself into
vertebrae, strips ribs from men –
soon they are left with no guts
just spines their shirts hang
dull off disappeared torsos,
he is giant as a nuclear blast
but instead of light, darkness,
he coalesces into sharp planes
the riptide of his transformation
knocks me out, I awaken paralyzed
in his velvet bed, poisoned, near
comatose, and his dolls have stars
for brains, he paints my lips red,
dresses me in a bell of a white
ballgown, and as I dance with
him on trembling feet, at odds
with the Deathless King, dead
crooning violins and dry tongues
around us as they rattle their
bones, I know there is no escape
from Black Gods, just stalemate

Lilith and Eve in a Shadowbox

Lilith’s body is in the branches, her roots
coils of a wooden snake wrapped round Eve
it all starts with a Woman and a Tree, bark
the dark of the Mother of Monster’s skin,
her hair black as rue at midnight, greendark
Eve is always gold, hair brass, skin like sun
she lays like Aphrodite in her bower of grass
body curved in comparison to Lilith’s sharp
collarbone and ribs, Eve’s breasts heave as
Lilith probes her veins, snakes of bones all
tremble as the women join, it is a shadowbox
of two women trapped in each other, and I look
at the past of humanity and demon’s mothers –
Mother of Life, Mother of Abortion, clashing
in this diorama that Samael shows me in dreams
the dead are at the door, the Lilitu and corpse
children of Samael and Lilith, and I am New Eve
barricaded behind a door in a worn library, my
lover my monster, my past trapped behind glass
the Evil Queen sent her brood to bring me back
to her, and the Devil always hands me over to
his Queen, so I just laugh at how desperately
Lilith and Samael cling to a woman who does not
want them, blue languor eyes glance bone skin,
the bruise black Lilitu come, eviscerate me, I
am always breaking for the two of them, spilling
jewel guts for the King and Queen of Hell, and I
gave up asking after Lilith’s lips long ago, how
she is both Mother and Childless, Queen, Pariah –
but the shadowbox my corpse clutches to her breast
tells a different tale, of a simpler time, a quiet
temptation under the shade of an apple tree, with
a snake, a tree, a demoness, and an overcurious girl
who never learns not to kiss enemies who always end
up being the death of her, a sweet death, one that
tastes like the dregs of red wine, my blood fountains
Samael and Lilith both search through my viscera for
answers, but I never give up my secrets, no matter
how many daggers and scythes they dig into me, and
to be honest, I enjoy dying to wake out of dreams,
for at least when the Reaper truly comes, and Black
Madonna of Hell sings a lullaby, I will be all ready
to follow them down into Gehenna, to burn, smolder
and finally learn what drove demons to covet mortals.