Aftershock

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

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Divine Mercy

And Saint Faustina was plagued by devils and angels
dancing on her hairpins, walked with Christ and was
married to his Passion, saw ecstatic and terrible
visions, but when the Spear of Destiny pierced sweet
Jesus’ side, out poured the blood of the Sacrament and
baptismal waters, I have drunk my fill of those streams
of heavenly bodies as I suckled at his wound, and the
taste was like honeysuckle blossoms on a hot summer’s
day, and sweet mad Faustina saw a vision of brilliant
rivers flowing from Christ’s heart, rays of pink and
green, and he came to me last night wrapped in white,
dampened by a storm at sea as he was a water strider,
lighting my room with lightning, and the Mercy poured
from his pulsing heart like a chalice, and my room was
a maze of celestial blue sigils and rolling thunder of
God in scripture and stamps of the divine, a Matrix cube
and my body was carried aloft by flood waters and shining
infinity lit my limbs with violet fire as Christ bathed
my head in the chill waters of Creation, and my limbs were
rotating on the axis mundi, and my head unscrewed in his
hands like a marinette, and I was just a toolkit of a
soul on its way to higher ground, a puzzle for the Savior
to solve, and painstakingly he carpentered and fixed the
holy wooden golem of my body, and Eve was whispered Emet
in her mouth and kissed into life by God, body of clay
made with spirit of the stars, mud seeking the fires of
infinity, and I ate an apple of dreams of late September
dogs, and serpents laced my ankles, and Satan prayed with
me for redemption as Christ watched on from on high, his
work on my manifold birch body done, I am Embla and Berkana,
wood and dirt breathed life into by the highest form of
Divine Mercy, Divine Love, and Christ gathered our prayers
like a bouquet, and though there is enmity between the
Chosen and the Cast Aside, I believe there is purity in
the sacred as well as profane, so I will dance with devils
and waltz with angels and tango with tricksters alike!
Life is just marvelous, isn’t it? Life is a delight! I
thank the gods every day that I am alive, that I want to
be alive, for there were many times I didn’t, when all I
saw was a long dark tunnel of gloom and mushrooms and
asphodel of ash, but the gods and angels and demons would
scoop me up to their breasts to let me hear their sacred
heartbeats, from Odin to Hela to Freyja to Loki to Freyr,
from Michael to Ariel to Sameael to Beelzebub to Asmodeus,
and now sweet Yeshua, mightiest King of Kings, has said
admit your truth, and when I professed my love, the stone
of doubt and pain in my throat vanished, and my heart was
no longer aflame, for I love this world, and I love myself.
That is what Divine Mercy is, love for what you think is
irredeemable, no questions asked at the gates of Paradise,
just a warm kiss on the brow and anointment and embrace,
for we are all children of the Goddess, that great Shekinah
and Sophia and Holy Spirit, sweet and fierce Venus figurines,
Mother Nature reigns supreme, and She is All, and I am
Something, a dancer in one of the Goddess’ thousand hands!
So I will sing and fly and drink down glory, and contemplate
the mysteries of the Sacred Heart of Her Son. Jesus is a
mamma’s boy, all sweetness and chill waves of wonder, and
the Virgin and Bride and Wisdom are motherhood supreme, and
I will follow in Mary’s footsteps and create my own paradise
with the love of my life and children raised strong and wild.
I am blessed, I am healed by His touch, and I am growing into
a woman worth envying, for my heart is gold, my wit adamant,
but above all I embody love, and like Christ, I am a martyr.
My heart is black like the skin of a mamba, poisoned chalice
of Satan, but to bear the Lapis Exillis in your rib cage grants
a kind of fallen grace, and the rest of my soul is crystal pure.
My blood heals, my blood mends skin and flesh, my blood is wine!
I give my body up to the Passion, I feel the lacerations, I feel
the whip and thorns and anointment before an untimely yet blessed
death, when there is no separation between the soul and her god,
then that is gnosis, and the spirit moves through you, and you
become All.

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.

Tefillin

Yea, though the seas rage, I still set sail
into the tempest from which no man returns,
my fishing boat is trembling in God’s palms,
as He crushes the bow and sets the mast free.
Then comes you, balm of my soul, my lifeblood
and covenant of my womb, walking on waves as
if the ocean was simply a field of dandelions.
You are beatific, your smile agape, your heart
manifold rays of rainbow, bleeding out blessings.
You say “Walk, fear not, for I will catch you.”
And I leap from the sinking ship, and my faith
keeps me buoyed, and with hesitant bare soles
that have walked from the road to Hell, to you,
I am above the gales and raging fury of nature,
coming to your holy arms, feet wet, but no more.
You enfold me in your embrace and lift me up to
Paradise, and in it is a wild auroch with the
burning disc of the sun in her horns, tending
a valley of benediction, eating away as her sun,
your sun, shines down on righteous and wicked,
bathes my soul in celestial fire, the rising
wind, oh Yeshua, take me far from these broken
things, help me live a life of legend – you show
me in a beautiful study at a typewriter, in the
new home I have made with my earthly love, clack
away at keys as prodigious novels and manuscripts
come rolling out like clouds off hills, and my
name is on the printed page, and I am a voice
for the spirits that raised me, the only way to
raise Satan up to the grace of God is to convince
the Devil he is worthy of love, so my life is a
poem to Lucifer’s heart, and I am the bridge
between Heaven and Hell, High Priestess in the
vestment of the rich dun cow, in glens of heather.
My horns shine bright, and I clear miasma from
the stormy wretchedness of this Earth, through
your grace alone, and even in the pits, I shine
your glory, and my madrigal ribs drum like Adam.
I am Eve in the depths, comely and anointed, tithe
to those who think they are beyond salvation, and
to lift the fallen up to life is your mission to
me, done through lash and bindings of black ink
spilling out like tefillin to align the cosmos,
Amen.

Sightseeing in Hell: Pandemonium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Azael

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

Eisheth Zenunim

O Woman of Whoredom! You wrap me into earthen arms
the color of mahogany and loam, smell like jasmine
in your fineries, qodeshah, curved and plump off the
souls of the damned. You wear black silk and a train
of starlight, your curls catch grayscale rainbows,
and it is midnight in Hell as you tower over me,
pressing me to your ample breast, we kiss and feast
on each other’s flesh, mouths burning and branding
one Eve to one Eisheth. In my dream, I lay hands,
hold venomous snakes in the temple and am not bitten,
leeches suck my blood but I am unharmed, traitors
roam the halls but I am true to you, o Mother of
Darkness, Wife of Satan, Consort of Samael, Hail!
You were the first succubus, strangling men with
heady perfume of rose oil and supple midnight skin.
Eldest of the Four Queens, yet protectress of Hell.
It is you who are the bluebird, singing mournfully.
It is you who are the blood nymph, dancing playfully.
It is you who are the doll of mercy, crying wildly.
Oh, Eisheth, plait your hair my older sister, dance
with me our sorrows away, it is so dark no one can
see what we get up to, we can raise Cain on a Friday
night, make love to the trill of the nightingale,
a farthing for your heart, and I am all enchanted,
drawn to your arms like animal magnetism, Hail, Hail!