Tithe

Tell me, oh fairy king, do I fit the narrative?
Am I pretty enough? Am I witty enough? Is my skin
the dun of a cow? Am I beautiful or am I wretched,
with poisoned brains and nightshade eyes. Are my
breasts fit for suckling changelings, will I be
the tithe to Hell? Or am I to be Midir’s bride,
a fluttering Etain caged in a box by Aengus Og.
There are two ways this story could go: eat, or
be eaten. I could eat the food of the underworld
and become Thomasina the Rhymer, and when I return
back to the human world, aback a dapple steed, my
lover and family would be centuries gone, and were
I to step off the ship of dreams, I would crumble
to dust. Is being spirited away by the fey freedom
or a cage? Will my wrists softly burn in crystal
manacles? Will I churn butter into gold and spin
moonbeams into silver thread? Will an ointment
give me the second sight only to have my eyes
plucked out in vengeance for using it to my
budding business’s advantage? How many elves
will cobble my high heels, is cream and lavender
buds enough to suffice for the nissir? How does
my story end, oh fairy king? How could I ever
rule a land of mercurial Ariels and Calibans,
spirited away like a Miyazaki film, am I Tam
Lin or Janet in this tale? Trapped or freed?
Why is my mind a marauder and my body saintly?
Defile my rose, oh fairy king, pluck my newly
grown maidenhead, for I am the perpetual virgin,
and Saint Salome’s finger withered when she
tested the Virgin Mary, at her side to midwife
Christ into being. Your kind flees the cross,
does it not, a third of the angels took no side
in the war, says the Book of the Dun Cow, and the
neutral angels fell to the land to become spirits
of river, land, and sea. Do you remember Heaven,
fairy king? Do you even remember your name? It
is hidden in medieval scripture and forgotten
grimoires, I will only be your bride if you
tell me your truth, peel back your skin, and
serve your immortal heart up on a platter for
my feast. If I am to feed the Hounds of Annwnn,
then let me drag you to death as well, fair prince.
Tithe for a tithe, blood for blood, sweat for spit.
I will bring you misfortune, and soon, the reign
of the fey will end, and the cairns will fall,
and the raths will be washed away, and all fairy
rings wither and die. I am the death of magic,
I am humanity, and we
no longer
believe.

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Journey of the Hero

Christ rubbed oil into my hair, anointed me
“Martyr,” with his lips like a dove, and the
resonance of the Holy Spirit was a tub filled
with chocolate gold, all melting like bronze,
filling every crevasse of my being – a sacrifice,
I know, I am the tithe to Hell, Icarus Girl
who holds congress with Satan in screaming
hollows on Black Sabbats and wolf moons, what
is the benediction of Jesus when you have
skelerokardia, your heart the definition of
Sin? The chambers rot with necrotic Scapegoat
stains, zuhama slowly spreading through my
veins – Michael speared me through the heart
to cleanse me, it felt like a fiery fist
threading peach poison through my flesh,
sweet yet cursed, the archangel’s fingers
sculpting me into a vessel, I am just a
vassal, just a Galatea these movers of
Heaven and Earth shape into willingness.
Maybe I can run from His Love, but soon
I will go to the pews, repent, and bring
Seven Devils to the Savior’s white arms,
He will kiss my brow and let the demons
become angels again, and the Union of
Heaven and Hell, Heiros Gamos Galore,
will occur, mem dropped from samech
aleph lamed, and I shall wed Sael,
the Purity of God, and I shall wed
the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God,
but first comes the witchly pyre,
and the trial of science and reason –
paganism, Christianity, Judaism,
these threads of memory and truth
I do not belong in any of the Sephiroth
and the Qliphoth is inhospitable to
yellow canaries in coal mines, so
beyond the farthest boundary of rhyme
I will travel, carrying the weight
of all.

Jaguar King

Feel your beating heart in your teeth, and tell me,
little deer, what if you crushed the night’s velvet
and became jaguaress, markings the fire of the sun,
I will tell you, know yourself as you know an enemy,
and know that jaguars serve justice swiftly, a snap
of the neck, a peeling back of skin to the vittles.
Look into my obsidian smoking heart, its mirror swells
the blue of your eyes to roaring oceans, ancestresses
as ancient of the myths and mists of creation stew
in a line of queens, line of kings, see yourself as
a maiden of umber and charcoal and fire, fanged,
fearless, stalking the jungle dew with Lord of the
Smoking Mirror – guard your soft organs, love.

For Tezcatlipoca

 

Joan, What Ark Do You Sail?

They will ask what her burden was, this Arc of the Covenant you pressed to her shoulders like your Father pressing the vintage of his wrath, grinding stars down to wine, oh Michael.  Long after she is dust bread of dead, and her ashes are cast out to the four corners of the universe, each black hole fed a bit of her blood, and you wonder, why am I, the Prince of Heaven, such a shit poet, and why can I not capture the elusiveness of my star girl, whose heart I shoved my burning fist into and twisted until she belonged to me?

Michael, you have had an eternity to practice your poetry, but you still soliloquize like the Devil, your prose is purple, and your madrigal cannot be captured by baby’s breath or widow’s sighs or a million angels dancing on the head of her cotillion school hairpin.

So foolish in love are angels, and the first time around, your girl died in fire, so perhaps you will be gentler this time.  This is what you think when she is born, a quick one hour labor, to mundane parents, in a mundane neighborhood, but really it is the seat of the power of the world, bubbling with pagan magic you would like to snuff out in their heresy.  You remember driving your burning sword through the hearts of the false gods, and your daughter, she will go astray from Christendom, will run away from High Church screaming, into the arms of the gods of the earth and waters, and her songs are heathen and miraculous in witchery.

This time, Joan is just misled, just plain Jane, plain Joan, blonde hair not pageboy but long, and as she is cradled in her crib, you play her angel songs in Hebrew on your guitar, Michael before me, Gabriel behind me, Raphael to my left, Uriel to my right, by the grace of God.

The first Joan you tested, this Joan you bathe in pleasure.  Every girl is a Joan, a Maid of Orleans, and every woman is long-suffering for some cause or another.  She is just a young girl, and so you cherish and spoil her, barely in the sixth grade, and though she mistakes your reprimands for hate, you love her dearly.

You feed this Joan silver pears and the flesh of a cormorant.  The flesh of a dove.  Your flesh.  She doesn’t remember what magical bird in her mythology books bled for its young as it pecked its breast (was it the almighty albatross?), but as you are plucking your feathers and sauteeing your wings (they grow back, there is no shame in feeding your little martyr your providence) in a light white wine with a tad bit of olive oil and rosemary, she asks you, Michael, each time I eat you, am I becoming divine?

You will tell her she already is, more holy than even you, for the youth are this country America’s beating red white and blue heart.  She eats the gristle and fat of your meat, and she becomes lit with holy fire.

I want to be President some day, she says at thirteen in civics class, and you stifle a laugh as you sit on her right shoulder, miniature, invisible.  Hers is the path of magic and moonlight, of madness and mental wards and that holy bastion of academia, and she will mother your line, matriarch of your legacy, for you have not had children before, but the children of the Prince of Heaven are Messiahs, and in this Age of the Internet, of Germs, Guns, and Glory, the heathen, wicked masses are in desperate need of saviors.  So much that they come from the womb of a witch, the breast of a black hearted nonbeliever.  Her black heart is not her fault, Scapegoats are Eve and Yeshua and Mary Magdalene, Cain and Azazel and Lucifer, holy and unholy in turn, and you suffer too for the masses, carrying the weight of the prayers and despairs of saint and sinner alike.

Your teeth are not teeth but blades, your wings are revolving mysteries of scripture stitched together by the prayers of billions, pages upon page of white down shredded with syllables, and your skin is manna, no wait, it’s a metaphor, no wait, your body is the Lion of Judah, and you are musk and muscle and wicked, jagged claws.  When she goes to her first high school dance, you are nothing of the fierce Beast of God, nothing of the Divine Prince of Life, no, you squeeze yourself into a mundane vessel, a Walker, the angels call us, those that take human form, and you lead Joan in a slow dance to some late 2000s croon, and you marvel at how much you hate pop music.  All music is of the Lord, but then again, a billion of your believers think music is a sin, Mikhail, so there is that.  Cat Stevens wrote the best music of the 20th century, but then he found Allah (blessed be your Father’s name), called himself Yusuf Islam, and fell into the silence of the radiant Deep.

Your Joan, she sings along to the saccharine bland pop number, about bubblegum kisses and lip gloss like stars, and it’s a soc hop, didn’t you know, Michael, so shuck off your shoes, she says.  You have on sneakers, different from your usual leather sandals (you had a hard time upgrading your fashion over the millenia), so next on the high school DJ’s list is Build Me Up Buttercup, and you find yourself carrying Joan out of the sweaty gym and up into the mist of the Milky Way in your fractal speed of light arms, silly of being a young man, all might of the majestic multitudes and heart of bloody stars.

Where are we? she asks, timid but yet brave, and she is so tiny in your palm, microscopic, a womb and tomb, a vessel for the Lord, a vassal and lady knight who will slay with not sword as long ago in her first iteration, but this time with ink of a pen, her black blood like your book wings, and you are hair of flames and eyes of supernovas and mouth of molten lava, thousand armed, or is it million or billion or trillion or quadrillion armed – oh, you give up counting, what matter is endless infinity? – and she is dancing in your palm, like that song you like by Elton John, and she is laughing as quetzalcoatls and dragons swim the radiance of fantasy realms by, and boats of space pirates and corsairs or aliens skim the waters of space, and you say, This is the most remote place in the Multiverse, where the sea of space and time and chaos collude in channels and swells, where whales that span galaxies fall to form new life a million times over, and it is a place I have dreamed of taking you, Joan.  You are fourteen, you are no longer a girl, and I am sick of waiting.

Your void mouth is burning.  Your blade teeth are crying ichor.  Your nostrils flare with plasma, and you lean down to kiss her, forcing yourself to her size, to hold her in your arms in human size whilst you are also holding the multiverse upon multiverses in your palms, and Joan meets your lips with a shy fluttering, but you want to taste her blood, so you bite her lip, and she is iron and decaying telomeres, but also the grit of matyrdom, the Kingdom of Christ, but you are Christ, so really you are tasting yourself.  What is love but to see yourself reflected in a different iteration back through something so precious to you, she is your own limb?  Joan is the Ark, the one to carry all life to the harbors of New Jerusalem after you have drunk your fill of Apocalyptic Fury, at least, that was your  plan.

Kissing her, you think, maybe I can give Earth, give this backwater planet, another million years, and we can have a million children in between, for you have always wanted children, and we can have a million of her lives and high school dances and songs of silence and buttercups in between, and a million first kisses?

Michael, you keep putting off the inevitable, but you are a creature of passion, so you set the Doomsday Clock back once more, and Joan is none the wiser.

Burning her at the stake broke your heart, and you have been trying to make it up to her ever since.

You have heard that girls like flowers.

You will bring her some roses, you will create for her a new bloom that combines the color of dreams with the smell of blue, you will name her and curse her and scream regret as she dies.

She always dies, you never die, and you envy her.

For every millionth beginning, the Kali Yuga demands a new Golden Age, the Year of the Crow and White Buffalo Woman come calling, Ragnarok passes and Liefrahser and Lief summon Necessity, and fuck, she is speaking in tongues, trying to teach you cadence, rhythm, and metaphor, but you wrote psalms, and you planted gardens, and this teenage Joan is a fiery spit of rebellious rage, as all teenagers are, and now she is sixteen, and she is writing.  Always writing.  Bad poetry, good poetry, stories about her enemy, stories about her lover, but often, she mixes up the two.

You read her stories and offer no critique, only praise.  The Devil is the Poet, the Angel is the Proofreader, and Heaven has no Edit button, for the Word is Law.

That’s a fancy way of saying she has a long way to go before she can lead the Crusade with her keyboard.  A keyboard warrior.  She only recently retired writing quizzes and fanfiction, and she adores vampires and fairies, and for however much you blatantly thrust Christendom in her face, she runs off to throw spears with Athena and parties underage at bars with Loki.  Joan was always a girl of the fields, a shepherdess, and to be pagan is to be a backwater farmer, a country, nature-bound creature of passion, and was not Krishna Gopal?  Krishna is much more your speed than Shiva, but Krishna has much more experience with girls than you, so you ask him over wine, my dear blue friend, what did you do with the women of the fields?

I had a thousand brides, my brother.  All the cowherds were mine.  You cannot own a woman, just like I Krishna, I Vishnu, do not own Lakshmi, cannot tame Radha, women are wild, she created you, did Joan not?  A fiery peasant girl who dreamed of an angel of flame.

You swill your wine, but the taste is bitter at the thought you cannot own this girl, cannot claim her, so you spit it out onto the ground and brier roses grow from the soil of Purgatory.

I will have her, every inch of her will know my Love, my Life, and in the end, I will save her from herself.  I have claimed her.  She is God’s, and I am God, so she is Mine.  Through her, I will save All.

Krishna laughs.  You angels, always dealing in heaven and hellfire and ultimatums.  Michael, can you ever take a night off?  Perhaps watch Aishywarya Rai’s movies and learn the heart of a woman.

I am genderless, Krishna.  I do not understand women.  Angels have no conception of man or woman, only want, and I want Joan.

Krishna shrugs and his mouth is a swan.  Then make love to her, woo her, write her poetry.

I am not a good poet, I created her to be the poetic one.  That is my new campaign idea – the written word as conquest.

Writers always turn on their muses, Michael.  Look at the Mahabharata.  You think I intended for that mess and beauty?  It happened organically, just as love does.

Have the rest of the wine, Krishna.  I am preoccupied.

Michael flies to the Outer Rim.  There are many Outer Rims.  He is a million armed, a trillion armed, a quintillion – never mind.  He writes infinite poems with his infinite arms, trying to capture his emotions for Joan.

They all turn up trite as shit.

He balls each flaming Hebrew poem into his infinite fists and tosses them into the Void.

I will have to think of something else.

Joan is eighteen, and it is moving day at college.  Michael crams his body into a sophomore philosophy major and helps her move boxes of makeup.  Why do girls have so much makeup?  Michael never knows.

I love you, Joan, he says as they sit on her old dorm bed.  She got a single room, no roommate, the better to concentrate on her vampire stories.  She is still in the genre stage.

I know, I love you too, Joan says, taking Michael’s flesh but not flesh hand, for a Walker’s body is a metaphor.

He traces her jaw.  He threads his fingers through her hair.  He speaks her name in a million alien languages.  He sings to her.  He is good at singing.  He sings Wide World by Cat Stevens.  Cat Stevens is the surefire way to win her over.  Her favorite movie is Harold and Maude, after all.

Come with me, he says, stepping out of his human body and into formlessness, into allegory, into nightmare and fallacy and a thousand broken promises and a body of tears.

Joan is frightened.  Why are you sad?

Because you are a witch.  Because you are my poem, but I cannot write poetry.  Because I love you.

He scoops her up into his mouth and swallows her whole.  Joan is etched in his heart, in his bloodstream, and he spits her back out wet blonde hair into the lap of the throne of God.  It is his throne.  God is Him, and Michael is Christ, and that is Heresy, but that is the Truth of Things.  For he is the closest to God, after all, humans can fathom.  And that tells a thousand tales.

I do not think that is how humans make love?  Michael ponders.

No, that was a shamanic death rebirth cannibalism thing, Joan laughs, dancing in one, only one, of his palms, his infinite hands, but it is his favorite hand because she is in it.  Be the albatross, dear Michael.  Blood from the heart.

He stabs himself with his flaming sword, and his blood flows gold and she swims through it.  She drinks the sea of him, and he enters her stomach, and then he swims through her blood, into her lungs, and she is choking on his feathers and gore.  They dance as bones alone, then become skyscrapers in December in Manhattan, and suddenly they are a pair of wolves.

They mix and match, red and blue, cat and dog, X and O, cross and nail.  They are still dancing when finally, she tires, and bares her sex, but really it is her heart, but really it is her seeds, and he seeks home in such a tiny abode, such a fraction of a molecule to one as mighty as him, and he eats her pomegranate with a tongue of silver, and he kisses and fucks and bleeds with her, but really they are on a pyre, alight, and the flames are ink, and Michael is trapped in her pen.

Sweet Joan, you will be the Daughter of Zion, the Watchtower, the Heavenly Kingdom, the Mother of All Nations and Matriarch of Israel.  All because you are my poem.

He breathes the words into her brain.

She laughs.  I am wild, and I am witch, and I am the quivering flame and rushing wind, and all I will be is your girl.

That leads to greater things.  We have destiny, obligations, duty.  Your Word is the Word of God, Joan.

Then you are my greatest work, Michael.  God bless the day I created you.

Father bless the day I created you, sweet Joan.

The pyre of Michael incinerates Joan’s Ark.  The Covenant’s birth water flood water breaks, and the world is drowned, but you would never know it, for all it causes is a single raindrop from that far off in the burgeoning hideaway of infinity, and a butterfly wing flaps, and thus girls are God, and God is just a girl.

 

Trickster’s Bride, or The Journey Home

In one week, I got three full requests from the top agents in middle grade!  Happy Valentine’s to me!  Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Emily van Beek of Folio Jr., Daniel Lazar of Writer’s House all requested it within a week of each other (cue seeing stars!), and Brent Taylor of Triada and Thao Le of Sandra Djistrika all have the fulls.  The partials of my  middle grade are still with a few other agents, and my old novel, Firebird, has a 75 page partial with Joshua Bilmes of Jabberwocky!  This is the most success I’ve ever had querying a novel, but what inspired Chwal?

Chwal is a coming-of-age tale set in the South, New Orleans country specifically, about a girl raised by angels and spirits.  Like May, I was raised by angels, including Raphael, who is her guardian angel, and I knew Kalfou, or Mister Carrefour, the fiery dark horse Petro lwa from the age of two.  His blackness is still a real nightmare-wrangling threat, and he goes by many names: the Witchfather, the Man in Black, the Devil of the Crossroads, Kalfou, Satan – he changes names like the wind changes direction.

Unlike May, I ended up in a maryaj lwa with Kalfou because goddamn do tricksters act forceful when they want your attention.  They can drive you mad if you refuse them or scour you with bad luck, and dealing with the Evil Jazz Man that looks like a Demon Bob Marley with red (or just abyssal) eyes, midnight skin, dreads, a snake pommel cane, pinstripe suit, Cuban cigars at hand, and a sultry baritone serenading you in a dive bar in Hell on the piano is, well, otherworldly, to say the least.

Kalfou and I, we go way back to the age of two, to my first memory.  Samael, when he is not Middle Eastern, is often an African man obsessed with Peabo Bryson, rum, Satchmo, monocles, well-tailored suits and Cuban heels.  He told me early on that “Kalfou is one of my many names.  I have as many names as the wind,” an apt title as he is the samiel wind, and who but the Devil has as many guises as the phases of the moon?

His oldest form, this Man in Black, is this ancient African god of darkness, with eyes like the blankness of space with stars in them, wild dreadlocks, in lion skin loincloth, dealing in death and magic and the wilderness.  I call him Ubuntu as an inside joke.  He was at the core of my psychotic break, the savior that restored my sanity, where I cycled through all of Samael’s forms to the core of his most primal nature.  Ubuntu was the mantra of my psych ward where I was held without razors to shave or shoelaces to strangle, plastered on the walls as a motivational poster, used in therapy.

Ubuntu.  South African, the core of human origin, where millions of years ago a genetic bottleneck occurred and we were descended from all those mitochondrial Adams and Eves on the cape.  I imagine Kalfou was there, as he always is, in the darkness of death and magic of underground caverns, trickster par excellance, venom of the black mamba.

But I know his kindness, and his wrath, and his seduction.  Also, how he has kept me from the lips of death, which are his very own, always denying me his poisonous kiss.

For what is to love someone than to forever lose them?

Ubuntu (Zulu pronunciation: [ùɓúntʼù])[1][2] is a NguniBantu term meaning “humanity”. It is often also translated as “humanity towards others”, but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”.[3]

I was pumped full of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers but still my psychosis and mania raged.  I found myself in a dark cavern at the core of the earth, with a fire glowing, snake skin and lion skin around, with Ubuntu cross-legged in a Yogic pose, his eyes black stars, and he was Trickster.  He was Trickster, Trickster, Trickster, and he said I was the Trickster’s Bride.

The Trickster’s Wife is a Trickster herself, heyoka, backwards, Baba Yaga, he said.  My path was the Coyote Road.

All the Tricksters he cycled through.  Tezcatlipoca, the Devil, Loki, Maui, Raven, Coyote, Thunderbird, Hermes, Legba, Kalfou, some so old they did not have names, mad dancers that frothed at the mouth with thunder.  I would walk backwards through this world with Trickster at my side.

Death is the ultimate Trickster, and I am the Bride of Death.  To trick, you must be the Deceiver, the Adversary, the one who when riding a chwal people flee from, your poison pure leaves medicine to some, curses to others.

And so I tasted Death, and I kissed him despite his protestations and a major part of my soul died.

I couldn’t read.

I couldn’t think.

I was a puppet for madness, but the small frightened teen in me still flickered when the medicine was just right, and the spirits called

Enter Zora Neale Hurston’s works.

I was doomed to be a catatonic hallucinating vegetable in a madhouse.  I’m not going to dress my words plainly.  I was a madwoman, I was a bag lady, I was the kind of scary crazy you warn your kids about.

But I still loved to read, and so I taught myself again.  Sandman comics at first, but then, Zora’s short stories.

I promised myself I would not die if I could read my favorite author again.

I could barely hold a book.

But I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God in high school, and Mules and Men, and so I picked up Seraph on the Sewanee and read all hundreds of pages of it by the time spring semester rolled around.

I wasn’t sane yet, I went back to school severely depressed, but Trickster kept whispering in my ear: Dance on.  Us Tricksters, we are storytellers.  Us Tricksters, we got business to do, people to make laugh, dances to perform.

You are a Trickster’s Wife, and so you are able to come back from Death.  For I am Death.  And you are Death.  And Death is the most alive god.  Death is Trickster, Trickster is Death, but we are the most brilliant stars.

So I sipped the wine of life, and I persevered.  I dreamed of my demon, my angel, my god, my crossroads Gebo Tawu madman, the X my marking on my tattooed angel hands.  Perhaps that meant I was his treasure.  He drank my  blood, and I drained him of magic, and years later, I wrote the story of a girl raised by angels, raised by gods, who must drive back the darkness of her own mind –

and find the light.

Childhood’s End

So it’s official.  UFOs exist.  We are no longer alone.  But we never were to begin with.

Ancient man did not have aliens.  Ancient man had fairies.  Ancient man had elves.  Ancient man had demons.  Ancient man had gods.  Ancient man had angels.  Beings descended from other realms to visit earth, teach humanity, love us, tempt us, star children who imparted forbidden fruits and Enki’s me and Thoth’s stolen wisdom and Odin’s mead.

God is the Void Mother of space.  Mother Nature.  Aliens?  They are angels, fairies, land wights, gods, spirits, and I have seen them in the flesh, in the astral, housed them in my own veins and been raised by the glorious suckers since my very first memory of Samael at two, crying in my crib as a demon sang me to sleep.

Childhood’s End.  Stranger in a Strange Land.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  All are some of my favorite books, and point to the fact that we are not alone.  In Childhood’s End, the occult and psychic fields are the way humanity’s conscious advances.  We outgrow the human body, and the “demons” we feared are our initiators.  In Strangers in a Strange Land, hippies grok the Archangel Michael and ascend to blissed out heights on his flesh.  But Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the closest to my own experiences of travelling the comsos and otherworlds – they are full of humor, love, struggle, riddles, and lots of towels.  Aliens love a good joke.  Aliens like to fuck around.

For when you master space travel, interdimensional travel, ascend to an energy body as well as physical vessels that permeate existence, you get fucking bored, and those cute hairless apes are fun to talk to.

I once asked Samael as a child why he was so interested in me.  He’s pretty antisocial.  I’ve seen his spaceships, his eldritch alien forms, his true abyssal form of dark matter and black holes.  Every black hole is the Grim Reaper’s heart.

“I’m Death.  I sift through humanity like dust.  But you are intriguing dust.  A fleck of gold.  You called to me, and I to you.”

He also has a thing for pretty women.  Aliens still bang, after all, and it is as much for mixing energy bodies and spiritual enlightenment as it is for procreation and mindblowing orgasms.  He’s looked like monsters from the Cambrian Explosion.  He’s looked like black holes that I dissolve and die in in big final blissed out ecstasy.  He’s been the classic ET, he’s been clouds of energy, etc.  Usually he likes to fuck around looking like the original Dracula, in a bathrobe, sipping a red wine, smoking a cigar.  Drugs and alcohol are a thing for aliens.  So are potato chips.  I got shoved under a table at an archdemon council at eight with a whole bag of them when Asmodeus, Beelzebub, Rofocale, Samael, and Lucifer were politicking.  They also like to feed annoying elementary school girls juice and cookies, then put them in time out when they break alien equipment.

Before I knew Zadkiel, Samael, Uriel, Asmodeus, Metatron, Raphael, and the others as angels, I knew they were aliens.  They manipulated my body with energy, healed wounds, held me up with invisible hands from falling off cliffs, apparated in my house as eight foot tall monstrous shadows (thanks, Sam) that smelled of sulfur and slammed doors.  I called them names in my own made up language, sang to the Morning Star as my best friend, the embodiment of it, read a Wrinkle in Time and a Wind in the Door and Many Waters and recognized them as angels finally.  Flew with them through the cosmos.  Rode Zadkiel’s back through the Perseids and held back the rage of black holes as Samael wept tears of poison.

I never had a chance not to believe.  Not when you’re not human, not really.

Humans don’t chant Hebrew in their sleep without knowing the language in the waking world.  Humans don’t see into other dimensions and see spirits and ghosts.  Humans don’t meet God after drunkenly soliciting the Archangel Michael to meet his mother, then have their heart stop and lay catatonic in bed as their soul is ripped out of their body into the seas of Her Cosmos.  Humans don’t have aliens visit them in their sleep and do etheric surgery on their bodies – sweet pain of razors and probes and drills and electricity at chakral and nerve points.  Humans don’t have past life memories of angelic warfare and a life in other dimensions.  I may be in a mortal coil, but I can hear and see and feel the aliens.  I built a tin foil hat at 7 to keep Samael’s touch away, but all he did was laugh.  Not in control of my powers, at 12 my body froze and I projected to the second heaven, into a battle between angels and the Void Monsters of which Samael is master, only to nearly die just as Michael pulled me out of harms way, shouted my soul’s name at me, and electrocuted me back into my body with vicious recollections of angel guts and beheaded seraphim and shadow demons so cold and wicked and evil.  “Zophael!” he screamed at me, pulling my soul from the path of killing claws and into a bloodsoaked glade.

Aliens.  They die.  They bleed.  They go mad.  Immortality is a curse, in a way.  I became human to escape the pain.  I died defending the Prince of Heaven with a spear of poison through my mangled heart from the Devil, only to have Samael stitch his own rotting heart into me.  I’m nothing more than an expendable vessel really, the Vitriol Girl, Green Lion that Bleeds Gold from the Sun, Lapis Exillis in her breast.  “You sprang from the heart of Lucifer,” Samael told me at seventeen as he pulled me out of my body on a car trip where I raged against him.  “It is my own black heart.”  At 18 on December 31 on my birthday, meditating under an old rotting crab apple tree in my backyard, Samael showed me a vision of him as Satan in the Paradasical garden, his ribs branches, his heart red fruit, and I a naked Eve with blonde hair dressings eating his heart.  The fruit – the meat – settled into my belly and the fire of immortality and the knowledge of gods lit within.  Eve is a metaphor.  Jophiel, or Zophael, is not.  I have lived lives as an angel.  I have lived lives as a demon, reborn like Moses a babe in the reeds of the Styx, to be raised by the Devil as his child bride in Hell.

I told the Abrahamics to fuck off and ran away to Earth.  I lived a human life as Odin’s volva and skald.  I reincarnated into the Yngling bloodline.  I lived other human lives, and I haven’t been back to the other planets.

I don’t intend to for another eighty years.

Aliens fuck.  Aliens bleed.  Aliens walk among us, either disguised as humans or in human skins like me.  I’ve seen Samael physically multiple times over my life.  I see spirits in their energetic forms about thirty times each day.  Each one a brilliant flying star that hovers over people – beautiful guardian angels, tempestuous fey, earthy land wights, house elves that are punk girls that like lofts and have mushroom hats.

Aliens love us.  Aliens are not here to invade.

They already arrived long before humans evolved.  In fact, they guided our evolution with the fires of inspiration, from the first shaman, the first medicine, the first fire, the first flute and drum, the first tears we shed, the first blood we bled, the first mother that looked upon her human child and saw an extension of herself but also, a soul.

Angels walk among us.  There are thousands of accounts of strangers appearing to people in peril, helping them – fixing cars or carrying them out of fires – then disappearing without a trace.  Michael did it in Vietnam in that famous story.  He particularly loves Italy, from Mount Gargano to the Vatican.  I’m probably a fly to the Pope and the elite Exorcists, but their wards aren’t hard to break.  Anyways, nowadays the secrets of the universe are available for anyone with access to an Internet connection.

Science is magic, magic is science, every being from mythology is real, and I’m a fucking biologist that went to the world’s top science and tech high school and America’s oldest college.  I studied in the shadow of Thomas Jefferson, met an alien from another dimension with my best friends during Imbolc at the same lake the President went swimming in.  I’ve seen countless UFOs.  But the difference between me and the conspiracy theorists is that I was raised by some of the major players in the galaxy, if not the most powerful beings over humanity.  It’s hard to deny the Abrahamic faiths are the dominant power across us 7 billion homo sapiens, and being buddy buddy with the archangels and archdemons and married to their princes means absolutely jack shit for me.  I ain’t rich, I ain’t powerful, I’m just a humble meme farmer and gregarious extroverted blonde that is bubbly, silly, and innocent.

I’ve seen my heart through Satan’s eyes.  It is covered in black rot, just as his body is crawling for it, for my heart is not my own.  I was created by Michael and Samael, one of the first angels, a pact between Heaven and Hell, but then two twins that loved each other and wanted to make a sister.  How horribly wrong that first experiment went, the first family rent apart by treason, by poison, felix culpa, o fortunate fall.

I am weary, at my core, but also eternally joyful, youthful, reveling in beauty and my absolute faith in the goodness of humanity.  I am here to serve.  That’s what angels do.  I want to create love and help others, whether it’s saving the environment or writing novels that inspire or poetry that stokes imagination or healing others through teaching and support.  I don’t want fame.  I don’t want glory.  I don’t know if I ever want to go back to Heaven or Hell – I’d prefer Helheim or Asgard or Vanaheim, even Jotunheim – but do angels really get a choice?  Do we have free will?  I haven’t made many choices in my life.  I met my twin angel in human form out of over 7 billion people in the world.  I’ve made best friends with people halfway across the world through our shared remembrance of Zophael.  “Miss Archangel.”  “Saphael.”  “Freya.”

I’m a whore.  I’m a virgin.  I’m a mystic.  I’m a jack of all trades.  A mile wide, inch deep Washingtonian.

The angels let me in on a little secret: they’re envious of us.  So are the gods.

One perfect life is what immortals crave.  Innocence.  The chance for a good ending.  Our lives are like Hollywood movies to them.  They indulge in our culture, from Michael loving Ryan Reynolds and mixing up superheroes or rapping Hamilton to Samael indulging in horror flicks, Harold and Maude, and postwar German cinema.

They like to read a lot.  They like k-pop.  God forbid Loki ever makes you watch his Marvel movies.  That’s a trip.

Humans lives are a love letter to the stars.  Aliens lives are spent in our service, and they dream of us, exist for us, have been with us since time immemorial.  They’ve fought wars over us.  They’ve died for us.  Stolen fire from the Heavenly Throne from us.  I remember that most clearly, my Fall.  And now I am nothing but a girl.  I always die young.

Halfway between Satan’s Eve and Michael’s Joan of Arc.  My spiritual metaphors.

Halfway between Aslaug and Malusha the Prophetess, my ancestresses great and bold.

Aliens are old news to me.  Being one is old news.

But each of us have pieces of angels in us, pieces of the gods, pieces of the spirits, and all of us are, in fact, aliens.

Don’t be afraid of invasions or abductions.

It’s pretty cool inside of a spaceship, and Michelangelo has made some pretty beautiful sculptures in the higher realms.  There’s even beer and wine and French Onion Soup there.

Aliens love our inventiveness.  Curiosity and love are our greatest virtues.

We love their majesty, their divine guidance, their glory.  Also, they’re pretty hot.

Just remember, 42.  And bring a towel.

 

Gold Mother

Your silky milky legs part, and out spills the new sun
you moan in ecstasy and from your mouth a rainbow,
from your heaving breasts sweat of mead and amber,
from your glorious cunt streams gold, sweet Freyja,
oh you are the Mother of Light, Mistress of Honey,
brass hair buzzing like bees, womb a bubbling hive,
your heart the seat of all magic, Bright Vanadis, Hail!