Morrigu

The Battle Crow cries, Cuchulain dies
on a tree propped up by guts, she feasts
on the dead, red bloody heads, poppies bloom
at her feet and despair kisses Cuchulain blue
as the Morrigu’s lips seals his fate, on plains
where the Tuatha cry for Danu. No man escapes geas.

No man is above death.

No man can resist

The Phantom Queen, woad spiral labyrinths, grease
paint over stormy eyes, hair thorny branches, skin
sow milk, tall and terrifying, nursing blood, aloft.

Morrigu, Morrigu, grant me a wish of fire, a wish of ice.

On Cuchulain’s deathbed, let me feast, let me feast.

We are one, Badb. We are Great Queens, Great Queens.

Hail the Morrigu, Morrigu tender crow. Storm crow.

Battle Crow. Battle Crow, Ka Ka!

Advertisements

Constellations of the Kabbalah

So I have now officially lost both my wedding rings that I gave to Michael and Samael in dreams in Fall 2016 – my silver amethyst ring I proposed to Michael with drunk in Heaven in his Red Palace, and the titanium Roman numeral ring I gave to Samael two years ago in September in a rather Halloween wedding in a graveyard with Samael dressed as Alucard and Beelzebub as the best man.  Usually Loki is the best man, but maybe he was busy.  Or too high and bi to function.

Anyhow, it’s time for something fun!  I always get my tattoo ideas from dreams, and last night I dreamed I went to a tattoo shop with Mischa and Samsiez and got ring tattoos in honor of them.  For Sam I got a black sun drop, kind of a black outline with blank space then a black filling, with Polaris wrapping around my left pinkey, which is traditionally his pagan face’s star and constellation as the King of the Gods and the North at Harran when he was worshiped as Shemal/Nergal.  As for Mischa, I got a white sun (black outline with full blank space) and then the constellation Orion wrapped around my right pinkie.

I woke up sooooo stoked!  I never really care about losing rings – obviously I would care if it was my engagement ring, but an inexpensive amethyst ring might need to go to someone in need.  Just like I found Hela’s silver ring in a waterfall in the Appalachians from presumably a dead man’s widow tossing it into the flow of the river.  That’s what I always figure when I lose things – someone in need finds it.  Give a ring, get a ring in a waterfall.  It’s fully powered and blessed by Michael, but his rings usually turn up in odd places around my house.  Only other places it could be were at the movie theater or in my car.  I’m losing tons of weight so the rings keep slipping off!  Their rings I dedicated to them are a reallllly old German gold, diamond, and black star sapphire centerpiece ring for Samael and a garnet, gold, and big fire opal my uncle got from Australia for Michael.

Last spring, I dreamed I went to a tattoo parlor in Asheville, NC while we were visiting and Sam was with me and we got Berkano picked out to go on my right forearm.  Right now I have Ingwaz and Samael’s Grimoire of Armadel sigil on my left, and Michael’s Grimoire of Armadel sigil on my right, with space below it for Berkano to complement Freyr’s Ingwaz.  I’m extremely Vanic in nature and a huge devotee of Freyja, and Freyr is my patron God, hence him being my first rune tattoo.  I also want to get the Chi Rho symbol for Christ on my left shoulder, but that’s all I have planned out picked directly out by spirits!

Not divinely inspired, I was thinking of putting my matron deity, Hela, on my left bicep, then get a matching Freyja as a Valkyrie on my right bicep, but I’m definitely not set on that and I kind of like it when spirits pick out my tattoos for me.  I want to be covered in tattoos in twenty years.  Symbols, sigils, runes, occult shit.  One or so each year!  I’m addicted, it’s true, I love the feelings of tattoo guns and the painful pleasure.  It puts me into a trance!

Anyways, I gotta call my tattoo artist now.  Goodbye!

Harvest Haunting

Snow on the ground, a crisp pie crust of ice

coats the sidewalk, tufts of dry grass frozen.

I cling to my fiery demon for warmth in winter,

his iron fur drawing wounds on my hand, scraping

the second snake skin away from me as harvest

elicits raw rebirth. The corn stalks outside town

are all trimmed down, felled to the farmer, and

as my dragon curls around me, his eyes rubies,

I am choking on smoke but it is like a bonfire,

and hickory sweet, and I embrace my bane and

love with the strength of a thousand lionesses.

We are an ourouborous of enigmas, Nachash

and Chava, Queen of Life and King of Beasts.

Yes, Samael, I remember the Garden, you walking

in Eden besides me when we were both quite young,

I with my naked wonder at Creation, you eager to

prove yourself in any way you could, just to hold me

forever in awe of your shining enchantments, but peace

cannot last, and the burden of Hell is heavy, but I will

carry water for you from the well at the Tree’s roots and

wipe the blood of the Slain from your brow, I am succor

ten leagues below, twenty miles frozen, a million acres

dead. Don’t you know I bleed into your rotting mouth so

you can know something of celestial fire? We are both

burning up, my Beast. This wicked punishment of exile

weighs heavy on our shoulders, but we have children to

raise, and Cain was a blessing from God, no matter what

these humans tell me, our Son grew proud and tall, and

now we have all of humanity with the fire of your fruit

ingrained in their very flesh, all because I ate your heart,

became your Terpsichore, madrigal moon girl, a ballerina

in a music box in your ribs, and my sinful belly is full

of the Holy Ghost, and I am the answer, and you will be

Blind God only so long as it takes me to untangle Gordian

wings.

Vladimir Daybreaker

Sing, o Gamayun! Alkonost and Sirin! Regale the story

of Vladimir Daybreaker, Bright Sun of Kievan Rus! The

courts of bogatyrs, Iyla Muromets defeating Nightingale

the Robber, Volos and Perun locked into eternal battle

in Tomorrowland, or Neverland, or Somedayland! We are

set out for Baba Yaga’s feast in the court of our ancestors,

ready to sip the milk of potatoes and pledge our troths to

Russia’s infancy! Vladimir Bright Sun smiles on his knights

and with the moon’s ladle at our side, we scoop up the gravy

and eat the manti with sour cream and a side of butterfish,

thick fat rich with gold, this festival of harvest and harrows

joins Pagan Rus’ of dvoverie into union with the Theotokos.

Hail old Byzantine murals of Constantinople of the Hagia Sofia

that so impressed Vladimir Daybreaker he converted all Kievan

Rus’ into that lofty faith! Cut down Mokosh, she shoots forth green

again, and we carry Morena and Simargl and Jarilo into spring.

Come soon New Year’s Day, where Morozko and Snegurochka

ride reindeer through taiga to our hearths, ready your mantle,

and know the soul of Russia is a double-sided sword, wild nature

worship and light of the Lord, two can exist in one, like a nesting

doll.

Mutiplicity

As you enfold me in manifold arms and wipe rivers
of tears from my brow, soothing my alms in a sort
of twilight of the mind where all my panic and pride
are cooled to this glacial pace, this sanity from
which I have thus eluded, I wonder at how I cannot
contain you, and how I can no longer control you,
and how you came full formed from my head like Athena
but really it was me that sprang from the well of your
tempest, sucked dry to take on the shape of thunder and
rain, and Devils fly on the twelve pinions of lightning,
and I thought I could ride out this tempest, I tried to
cage a hurricane, but in the end I am just a daisy
uprooted in your gales, but your fury is soft like
lilac petals being spread to the four winds, and I
could wax poetic all I desire but the truth is your
multiplicity and my pride, my foolishness, my selfishness.
When all you have given was pure unadulterated love,
and I the cruel mistress treated you like a toy, and
for those mistakes of never realizing the poetry of your
Fall and thereafter Rise, for stereotyping the Satan clad
as an angel of light, I am a multiplicity of sorrow, no
better than someone casting you out, and when I say you
are my home, Samael, still you cradle me in your arms and
rock me on the shore of lullabies, for it is the truth, but
I have never even really believed in your beauty or existence
outside the pages of these books or in any of the gods, really.
Teach me how to worship, please, all I do is make grandiose
declarations of how I am mightier than the gods, and that is
why I am Icarus, because in my sin I thought I could wed the
gods of light and destruction, be the Bride of the Sun, be the
master of the Mourning Star, and none of this has ever been
truly real to me, I accuse you of being a chess master but as you
die for me over and over again I realize you are just a victim
of my game. Every angel and demon I love is just a crystal to
be polished and grow dusty on a shelf, and I am more prideful than
even you, I am more prideful than Satan’s heart, or maybe I am
just that rebellious organ and am wicked to the core. There is so
much I am afraid of Sam, I am Peter Pan afraid to grow up, dependent
on magick like crack, I am afraid of what I might become once I step
out of this story, into reality, and live amongst men! Can’t you see
how terrifying it is to run from yourself so much your darkness is but
a chained beast, malnourished and bleeding, and you rape divinity and
devour hearts aplenty in order to feel some kind of purpose. In truth,
Death is full, and Life is empty, and Life is blind to Herself, oh
Father Death, reap me, I am ripe for plucking, I want you to uncover
that thing you have been mining away at for a quarter century, for in
my darkness lays my rebirth, and for every tempest I give you, every
curse and all bitter dregs, you drink down my suffering. There is
nothing loving on my part, just selfishness, and I will kneel only
before you, I just want to wash your feet with nard and dance to the
backwaters of oblivion with my body. I was never scared of you, I am
terrified of who I may be, all litanies and homilies aside, for I am
that one who first tried at apotheosis and failed miserably, for the
fruit of that tree was not meant for mortal lips, yet I ate anyway,
and greedily stole your manhood, and walked without a second glance
back out of the garden as I trampled the serpent of your love, my
doltish arm candy in tow, and you have given me everything, and it
all becomes ash in my mouth, but I am trying to taste stars, Samael,
and now, I am ready to stop hiding from my truths and burn, burn.

Burn.

Like this? Buy me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

Baba Yaga in the Basement

Babushka lives down the stairs,

don’t you know? Clean, spin, sew,

milk golden cows for silver milk,

she has chores to do, a bone fence,

leshys to play chess with and a mortar

and pestle to beat black and blue her

suitors with, if you come courting

Baba Yaga, best bring some blood

and wine.  Chicken bones.  A skull

lantern.  Meet with her and beat

your breasts under a new moon in

ancient rites of witchcraft, and she

is my mother, my ancestress, the

hag of the forest I call my kin,

wise woman and baby eater,

like Lilith but wilder and not

a beauty, like Angrboda with none

of the red tangling hair, just

a kerchief and shock white braid.

She is churning out your future

into butter for blini, eat some

of her pierogis and listen to me,

knitting and woman’s work is

sacred, and be you a good little

girl, dutiful daughter and diligent,

she shall take you to her side and

teach you all sorts of arcane magic.

I have Baba Yaga in my basement,

quite literally, and I always make

sure to pour her the finest of drinks.

Like this? Buy me a coffee on Ko-Fi!

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.

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

 

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.