my paranoia is up
which helps me to
instruct myself better,
instructing them but
what I tell you is inconsequential.
merely I am pressure of depth
and that I believe it so,
having told you first
with conviction, I begin
to frame it.

legs crossed on the carpet,
hands out in imposition.
the wood mantle lit
and rearranged, objects
of sentimentality removed
so any backhand can’t
sweep it.
it’s important that my personal items
are kept away from the circle,
and maybe once I didn’t believe
but falling victim to your
own enchantment, you begin
to care about which stones
are set and things like that.
hands out:

first, you will be looking
up to notice
the sky dark but glittering
with stars
so the whole place
around you is lit up
and there are friends nearby. 

I say this directly to the
picture jasper draped in the
thread of my necklace,
the glyph of Lilith.
and hopefully,
as in with a little
upward inflection.

1.

normally
I just open the door
and walk right in
but this time I decide
I should be invited.
founded on repetition as the old adage
of classical conditioning,
some things work best in saturation,
a vacuum
and unrevealed to the participants.
this is an examination of ethics.
no, an examination of motive.
same thing, the query being:
is it stronger when stated?
as the querant believes,
it is stronger with want
regardless of
palpable confirmation.
want is hope in modern language
and the most consensual
exchange of felt.

either way,  it is
best to have some controls.
I arrive, same fashion,
dramatically.
you have been out in
the snow with your friends
and enjoying the view
of the constellations above
when you hear the twig snap.
you will see their yellow eyes to
your right as you react
and you will be alone
suddenly like that compelled
to walk right in
before you see me cloaked,
walk right out.
you say I am the coldest, darkest
thing you’ve ever met but
my two dogs are
licking your frozen cheek
as you lie beneath my feet,
a sturdy boot on top
of your face, me baring down
without much weight but
pressure of depth.
but you seem colder than that.

you are face down
becoming the tracks.
I am taller than you expected,
yes?

2.

I am up by dawn, or close
to it, again.
thinking this is what true love
is doing; proving habit,
demanding morning study.
this has happened before and
every time it happens,
it is strengthened so much so
that what has woken me is
an old phrase you said to me.
I could hear you fumbling with it;
an act of reflection while in stalemate.
how long can obstinacy maintain the
buoyancy of flight?
I am learning to stay fresh and put
and you are summarizing yourself
with an inaccuracy that doesn’t
need me yet.

I heard you rereading it one morning
to yourself, no doubt
questioning your word choice
as I stretch, be careful what you
say.
but I know what you meant.
and I know what you like.

there are rules to this though.

“the act of naming things”

about 1/2017

the ardor started at the turn of the year  and immediately. I had without any visible sign or warning that this would be the new circuitous trajectory, put my plans for being a student and a doting social worker on hold. I would become very deeply and fanatically obsessed with the occult. to be clear, spending  23 of 24 hours devoted to it and it’s worship, the bedevilment of trying to decode it.  the bondage of belief forcing myself to have one belief, just enough to witness the circle of thought, action and the sigils on the door. and to light them. the spoken things. the dreams. the thinking longingly  and lovingly about my master Lilith but also quite frightened of her. every night a tense unwinding. guarded.
crystals lining the entire apartment.
floating on epsom
but nervous.


that year was full of blizzards and I spent most of it outside, letting the wind chap my cheeks with her pointed slap. and reciting long verses of rhyme out loud. sometimes smirking but in a way that held me up, not as ostentatious but frantic and to tell others I should be mostly avoided. like a gate between us and them, my mouth loaded and sometimes open. I had begun to bite my tongue between my jaw to get it to stop moving so it poked out, forked and I would talk openly to myself and laugh. almost squeal. it was rare those days if I were sad. not at the turn of  the year. I became euphoric, I became energetic and mad. 


I felt the earthly parts of me receding, like general discernment, regularity,  good habits, water, rest, concern for appearance, friendship, chapstick, any intimacy with  another. I suddenly disappeared from all networks; even changing jobs in the middle of it and letting the lighter, flightier parts gain weight and hover on a darkness. I began to examine the motivations of the centipede that would  show up in some corners of my tub: observe it’s migration through the house, almost feeling spied on or mocked. but then almost feeling tender towards it. protective.


one of the first visions was of a pig slaughtered in front of my bookshelf.
I didn’t want to know. I made one agreement.  what they always say is to be humble, and to be careful what you say.
I will not see my death.
is the phrase I chose.
the dream I chose.
the rule I chose.

we make our own agreements before we walk into
the crypt.
        remind them to commit
I will commit.

you can tell me every secret
but you cannot tell me
the story of my last breath,
and when it begins,
two hands cover my
eyes and we commit.
they are enthusiastic
for vessel and agree
wholeheartedly that even
if they have to hide the
gutted life,
they would indeed
smell sweet like
carrots and I gallop.
I sing odes to them.
devote days to them.
I let the centipede
linger wherever she lands.
I don’t root for the cats.
I don’t remove them
from the tub either.

it didn’t feel
like sinking, it felt
like being pulled
down
the whirlpool.
breathing also,
cooing
sending cardinals
to lovers all
the way
just to remind them
there are sweet songs
and there are rules
to this. 

“the agreements”

vampire is my baddest,
most lustful need;
my need for everything.

I grow sharper as I walk,
as I cut through little groves of
mirror yous, trying to withstand
it.

I become an amethyst
at first sight of
you, opening,
unraveling each sharp edge
Of the hedge of the
labyrinth whirling above our
heads.
I didn’t create this myth,
but I did begin it.

“Lilith”

you were born to understand
and teach lessons.
you were given a choice.
you chose this road
first, then the
present.

become an alcoholic to
find a higher power.
meditate occasionally to
see how well it suits you.
in between,
fill the emptiness with Oreos,
coffee,
a smoking habit you detest
but gives your fingers something to
do when you’re speaking anxiously
in public,
when the caffeine is rearranging your
tongue into metaphors and you
need a moment of pause,
clarifying to the audience
with a descriptor you
forgot.

run a 5K every three weeks
to give yourself a mission,
get back in shape,
hone your vision of
yourself.
bathe everyday.
tell the cat you love her
and pet her for an extra few minutes
before you walk for hours
to lose those new found vowels
completely.
pluck out your roots and
dead ends
hiding in a stealth spot.
begin a practice of voyeurism.
sit comfortably and
file your nails into sharp points.
when deadly,
lean into them.
write everything down.

start ordering your steak rare:
inhale the lost veal,
the lost zeal of an entire feedlot;
the scent of plasma and cud.
devour a a squealing colony
without remorse.
give cannibalism a chance.
you’re talking to yourself in public again.
the looks from the other patrons are fine;
they don’t bother you.
you remember them with skinned knees on
bathroom tile;  your stomach in
velvet knots,
your obsessive purge.
you remember them peering at you
in courtrooms,
you remember them in handcuffs,
in shackles,
side eyes from jealous brides
as you make a scene at the open
bar.
the way you’ve stolen, the way you’ve
groveled afterwards. the way they held
onto those wrongs and their
condescending pats on the back,
withdrawn.
how you’ve managed to
survive it all with gratitude,
without much impact.
you’ve risen to their ranks.

get your wisdom teeth removed
and then
cut them into daggers.
check out Home Depot,
ask for “industrial size”
ignore all the
             are you ok ?
you’re muttering again.
read the directions,
this stuff is toxic,
don’t get it on your eyelids.
press the bone back into your sockets,
flick the canines,
gotta be solid.
smile:

you’re still celibate.
you’re still hungry;
avaricious,
less slovenly from

all the exercise,
less addled than before
and armored like the night.
go back to the diner,
lick your plate,
click your tongue.
you showed them how starvation’s done,
you showed them how to roam.
you put your money where your
mouth is: your gold
is in the bones

you glued into your gums.
now you show them home.

your mouth is lined with
homemade knives, and you’re
wafting noxious with each
breath    
you begin to teach
them how to
move on instinct.
you begin to salivate
with virile.
you begin to chew more
loudly.
Miss? you ok, Miss?
now you’re gonna
show them how

  to run.

“the siren”

 

I’m the fairest thing that ever happened to you. I know because I once saw the whole thing.  You could say I asked for it.

“God,” I began.

I was centered in sigil. My spine was straight, although I usually slouch. I usually admonish myself for taking up too much space on my couch; even alone, even in privacy, I shrink. This evening was different. I felt propped by something and sitting up, breathing softly, not nervous and with intention. The gasping I am used to transmuted into long, deep inhales; long, thrumming exhales. That night even the callous on my palm where I lay the plastic straw I can’t let go of, can’t stop twiddling as I walk around the city, felt soft.  It felt healed and my hands smelled like cherry blossom from the lotion I rubbed on my knees as I took care of myself, my needs, for once. Once a day, I drink water and rest. Once a day, I pause to smell a honeysuckle. Once in a while, I cease compulsion to drop the straw, pet a dog, move on.

I was melting; suffused with the moonstone resting on my lap, becoming waxing crescent. I was becoming spring. Dust around me tickled my shoulders to remind me: We are here to help you breathe. I immediately became breath. The room rocked like a cradle and I was swathed in her gentle nightlight. I was enveloped. Call the dust what you want, the noise what you want: dirt, fantasy, demons, guides, saints, Lilith and her coven (I light candles to all kinds), they were there that night using my forearms, using my hands, using my throat to sing. My diaphragm rose and fell with ease. God. I asked for breath. Breathe. I became breath. I became nestled in large silk strands.

“God,” I waited and then started again.

I let the fire in my chest build with each name I said until I could feel the slow burning rise to full flame. I waited until I could feel the full pounding of the floor dropping out, until I was hovering in air, until I was on the cloud. It’s the pyre I’ve been waiting for: the charred ribs, the suckled breasts, the ghosts that waft out of the ropes. I waited until I knew who to ask for; until I heard someone say it.

“God,” I started again, and let it be known I was not in fear, I was not shaking, I was not anxious. “Whose answered prayer am I?”

There is no trepidation. You only enter with one affirmation. You only enter with perfect love and perfect trust or you do not enter us. I waited.

I’ve always been drawn to sentences:

spent sunrise picking at
covered clots      carpet soaked with
unsheltered heart:
profuse and spilling drops that
take years, nights of picking and
other forms of self harm
but eventually amount to
one abrupt and disconsolate
flood.   I’m upright,

soaked in streams,
copper rivers and caged
in sore body and
the newest sun.
smear some blood from my thumb
as I pick up my phone to
take a picture of my torn knees
in the rising dawn.
find a filter first.

“sepia”
to cloak my embattled joints
(hide your armor)
before I send you the veiled snapshots
about it.
I’m not obvious in
torture.    I’m not
obvious in scar
but I have spent
previous lives hung and
spurned for your enjoyment.
     define retribution.
when you finally see me
again, I’m a smirk on a lynx
peeking
through a grove of bush:
dead quiet in pursuit,
low to the ground
holding steady for
pounce.
you will feel my jaws
land before you feel the beat
of my pulse.

if I am anything first,
it is a woman
of course.

“lilith”

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