Monday, April 18, 2016

2016 8/30

(29.) ASTAROTH. - The Twenty-ninth Spirit is Astaroth. He is a Mighty, Strong Duke, and appeareth in the Form of an hurtful Angel riding on an Infernal Beast like a Dragon, and carrying in his right hand a Viper. Thou must in no wise let him approach too near unto thee, lest he do thee damage by his Noisome Breath. Wherefore the Magician must hold the Magical Ring near his face, and that will defend him. He giveth true answers of things Past, Present, and to Come, and can discover all Secrets. He will declare wittingly how the Spirits fell, if desired, and the reason of his own fall. He can make men wonderfully knowing in all Liberal Sciences. He ruleth 40 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, which wear thou as a Lamen before thee, or else he will not appear nor yet obey thee, etc.

After the Sumerian:

Inana abandoned heaven, abandoned earth,
and descended to the underworld.
She said:

Come my faithful minister
my minister who speaks fair words,
my escort who speaks trustworthy words
I am going to give you instructions:
my instructions must be followed;

On this day I will descend .
When I have arrived in the underworld,
make a lament for me on the ruin mounds.
Beat the drum for me in the sanctuary.
Make the rounds of the houses of the gods for me.

Lacerate your eyes for me,
lacerate your nose for me.
Lacerate your ears for me, in public.
In private, lacerate your buttocks for me.

Like a pauper, clothe yourself in a single garment
and all alone set your foot in the Mountain-house,
The house of the storm
When you have entered the Mountain-house,
the house of the storm
lament before the storm-god

Father, don't let anyone kill your daughter in the underworld.
Don't let your precious metal be alloyed there with the dirt of the grave
Don't let your precious lapis lazuli be split there with the mason's stone.
Don't let your boxwood be chopped up there with the carpenter's wood.
Don't let young lady Inana be slaughtered in the underworld."

When Inana arrived at the palace
she pushed aggressively on the door of the underworld.
She shouted aggressively at the gate of the underworld:
Open up, doorman, open up.
Open up

I am all alone and I want to come in.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 7/30

(28.) BERITH. - The Twenty-eighth Spirit in Order, as Solomon bound them, is named Berith. He is a Mighty, Great, and Terrible Duke. He hath two other Names given unto him by men of later times, viz.: BEALE, or BEAL, and BOFRY or BOLFRY. He appeareth in the Form of a Soldier with Red Clothing, riding upon a Red Horse, and having a Crown of Gold upon his head. He giveth true answers, Past, Present, and to Come. Thou must make use of a Ring in calling him forth, as is before spoken of regarding Beleth.17 He can turn all metals into Gold. He can give Dignities, and can confirm them unto Man. He speaketh with a, very clear and subtle Voice. He governeth 26 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, etc.

In the year 1609,
Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud , a 14 year old nun
prone to fits of melancholy and petulance
returned to her family's care for just such an episode
met a friend of the family,
Father Louis Gaufridi
a priest of a lower class, but witty
twenty years her senior
Soon, rumors began circulating
Gaufridi had spent an hour and a half closeted with the girl
they were prone to intense conversation

Madeleine admitted to Mother Catherine de Gaumer
at the Ursuline convent of Marseille
that the handsome priest had his way with her
and the mother superior sent her to the convent
at Aix en Provence, far from his touch

and for two years, nothing happened.

Madeleine became subject to shaking fits
her face convulsed and writhed
she shouted obscenities
and before Christmas, at confession
she smashed a crucifix.
Father Romillon, her confessor, attempted an exorcism

Three other nuns caught her malady
and began convulsing, crying out
Madeeline claimed Gaufridi
had been given intoxicating breath by the devil
had given her a green devil as a familiar
that he had first had intercourse with her
when she was nine
and that he had given her a charmed peach
that he had denied god, and given her a powder
that any offspring she bore
would not bear his face

Louise Capeau, another nun
spoke in the voices of a demon named Verin
convulsed and screamed like a flock of parrots
claimed she would not be free until Gaufridi was killed

Romilon reached out, in despair
to the grand inquisitor, and then another exorcist
Verin spoke, in a deep voice
blamed Gaufridi for 6,660 demons in her body
Astaroth, Ba'al Berith a host of black birds
for the ecstasies that racked her body

Gaufridi was sent for to exorcise Capeau
Verin claimed Gaufridi had eaten human flesh
and every tangle that bodies can do
claimed he was marked of the devil
Gaufridi did not know the rite of exorcism
and the nuns, drunk on the devil
called him magician, witch, fumbler

Gaufridi said, exasperated
“If I were a witch, I would certainly give my soul to a thousand devils!”

Gaufridi was taken into custody
his body searched for the devil's mark
his quarters searched for black books,
for tapers of baby fat
nothing was found

Released, he petitioned the pope to clear his name
took legal actions to suppress the convent
in her cell, Madeleine neighed like a horse
sang love songs, vomited froth
laughed and cried, disrupted mass
her bones cracking, her bowels unsprung
she crooned of sabbats, of blood libel and sodomy

Gaufridi was brought to court
and the devils allowed to testify against him
the girls writhed and had orgasms in his presence
shouted out that all was false, then showed their
devils marks under their breasts

Madeline's maidenhead was inspected
in despair, rat bitten and shaved
Gaufridi said the truth did not matter anymore
confessed to eating babies
sorcery, magic, idolatry, and fornication

He was strung up, dropped,
his bones delocated
weights were attached to his feet
and he was dropped again
he refused to indict Madeline in anything
and was finally dragged through the streets of Aix
in a sled for five hours
then by merciful dispensation of the bishop
strangled, before being burned atop a pile of bushes.

Madeline was cured and exhibited no more signs
though the posession burned through two more convents
and condemned a blind girl to the pyre

In 1642 Madeline was accused of witchcraft
and spent her inheritance on her defense
again in 1652, when witches marks were found on her body
after ten years in prison, she was released
and died in the care of her family, at 77

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 6/30

(27.) RONOVE. - The Twenty-seventh Spirit is Ronove. He appeareth in the Form of a Monster. He teacheth the Art of Rhetoric very well and giveth Good Servants, Knowledge of Tongues, and Favours with Friends or Foes. He is a Marquis and Great Earl; and there be under his command 19 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, etc.

My house the dead house
the burned house on the weedy lot
black timbers shipwreck the mud
My book the dead book
pages brown with burst pipes
crawling with silverfish, with woodlice
ancient engines turn to dust
and scarecrow Christ rots in the dustmotes
of a locked house, windowless

my hand a dead hand
with black rimmed nails,
scarred, relentless
rough edged as a rasp, as a file
as a salt-eaten rocker panel

the widow's car, resting on it's axles
the dry-rotted foam of the upholstery
crawling with infant mice,
birds wheel in the open attic
flashlight glow of eyes in the lightening struck tree
the moon pooled in every leaf

My mouth a dead mouth
stuffed with gravedirt to bury you
with bent pulled nails, with tacks and woodscrews
dead tubes, transistors, flux and lead
my teeth are dead teeth
that break, and yellow, the gums drawn back
to the rotting bone, cutting torch and framing hammer

my black boots ring on your floor
leave grease wherever they go
hobnails and cinders, the calligraphy of all I have touched

In your dream I am a mouthless
giggle, a worm that swallows the sun
the rictus-grin of a drowned dog
black eyes of the rat in the trap
the cold weight of my touch
heavy as a malt sack, and cold
Like a bottomless pool of oil and gasoline
a cloud of gas in a crawlspace
a spark in a pile of rags

all my tools rust in locked dark

all the heralds of my homecoming

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016 5/30

(26.) BUNE, or BIME. - The Twenty-sixth Spirit is Bune (or Bim). He is a Strong, Great and Mighty Duke. He appeareth in the form of a Dragon with three heads, one like a Dog, one like a Gryphon, and one like a Man. He speaketh with a high and comely Voice. He changeth the Place of the Dead, and causeth the Spirits which be under him to gather together upon your Sepulchres. He giveth Riches unto a Man, and maketh him Wise and Eloquent. He giveth true Answers unto Demands. And he governeth 30 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, unto the which he oweth Obedience. He hath another Seal (which is the first of these,15 but the last is the best

We would cut through the woods,
past the empty house with it's rotting curtains
the bullet hole-riddled no trespassing signs
where the trailer-dwellers fired rock salt at us

We would climb the back fence,
a few overgrown, forgotten graves
in the thick brush

cross the gravel path in the dark, hiding from cops

local legend said
if you kissed the angel statue at midnight
it's eyes would light up

said a light burned in the mausoleum
and someone wrote, or cried inside

we would run through the fog-filled bowl
of the muddy pond
drink stolen liquor

smoke shitty weed
on the mausoleum steps
lay on the toppled cross

came once, at midnight
to find a mausoleum door
standing open

a casket sitting in the middle of the road
saw the spray-painted swastikas
of teenagers worse than us

when you died they burned your body
threw your ashes in some lake

they never told me where.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2016 4/30

(25.) GLASYA-LABOLAS. - The Twenty-fifth Spirit is Glasya-Labolas. He is a Mighty President and Earl, and showeth himself in the form of a Dog with Wings like a Gryphon. He teacheth all Arts and Sciences in an instant, and is an Author of Bloodshed and Manslaughter. He teacheth all things Past, and to Come. If desired he causeth the love both of Friends and of Foes. He can make a Man to go Invisible. And he hath under his command 36 Legions of Spirits. His Seal is this, to be, etc. (26.)

What thirst the rocks must have
soaked and never slaked
thirst of dead things,
of dry seasons
dry roadbeds filled with bristling armaments
with the hurl of stones across fences
from the first murder and the feast that followed

how each son dreams he is fatherless
the knives we spit at each other
and we, each a world
so easy to break
a cheap leather suitcase
stuffed with forgotten names
and quotes out of old books
with misremembered songs
the untidy, temporary business of life
we are hastily poured cups
that spill so easily

history a heap of gnawed bones

Saturday, April 2, 2016

2016 2/30

AIM. - The Twenty-third Spirit is Aim. He is a Great Strong Duke. He appeareth in the form of a very handsome Man in body, but with three Heads; the first, like a Serpent, the second like a Man having two Stars on his Forehead, the third like a Calf. He rideth on a Viper, carrying a Firebrand in his Hand, wherewith he setteth cities, castles, and great Places, on fire. He maketh thee witty in all manner of ways, and giveth true answers unto private matters. He governeth 26 Legions of Inferior Spirits; and his Seal is this, which wear thou as aforesaid, etc.

The hoard we threaded our way through
welding tanks and boxes with question marks on the sides
gutted televisions, an oscilloscope
a piano, a dead aquarium
the black phone, the oil and the gasoline
the bedrooms packed with rotting fabric
with wet books
the crumbling walls
the dropping ceiling
the thousand mice
consumed in fire

do you resurrect?
Stand flickering in the half-dark
your overgrown foundations
a dare, a legend trip
for local teenagers
your overflowing garage,
clay ditch and fire-pit?

Or do you sleep in the mud
you glutted mouth
and await our return

we ghosts of Illinois

Friday, April 1, 2016

2016 1/30

A partial index of kisses before the age of consent

Beside the fishpond, too hard, and bumping teeth
in the back of a pickup open mouthed and tongueless
till our jaws ached from the empty feast of it
in dreams against imagined sex smooth as a dolphin's blowhole
furitively, the back of the hand,
shehulk and vampirella and cherry poptart in smeary newsprint
sheen of oil in a hustler, a oui, a cheri
a bad-tracked betamax snowstorm
back, then, drunk babysitter
hitting drums with wooden spoons
with ragged-tatters of insulation hanging like party streamers
with the foster girl beside the dumpsters, almost.
some distant cousin in the funeral parlor break room
to the biker's daughter, the trash-filled woods
in truth. In dare.
yellow polaroids older than memory
frozen sun, rapturous with an unremembered neighbor
who dared me eat a white spider
in the pig farm's dirt
or back to origin, my godmother
with jack daniels on her breath
or past innocence
a girl on a set of steps
who had had a Budweiser bottle broken over her head
beneath the cloud of county fair dreamcatchers
in the trailer park
on a cement pad beside a highway
covered in blood and dresed in white
in the rotting airstream, with old milwaukee
and bad hashish
in the haunted basements
in the gravitron line, the himalaya, the screaming eagle
through clouds of aquanet and cherry chapstick, sloe gin and coke
on the steps of the silverball arcade
in exchange for a Ratt t-shirt
after crawling through a doube-wide window
after everyone had gone to sleep
and rubber banded braces backstage at the crucible
in a maze of basements, and the rooftop of the athena
with college freshman and a mouth full of towny lies
in bathrooms, in stairwells
in the theater they were stripping of asbestos
in bonfire-lit woods in the river smelling mud
in the rock ridges of the hills
with my stepfather's mistress

in prayer to the devil
with shotgunned smoke, with old crow
with two mezcal worms in my belly
with a head full of blotter acid
in the woodshop bathroom atop a cracked sink
in a storm sewer, in a tent shaking with speed
on the handlebars of a half-stolen bicycle
under the railway trestle
in sprung beds and rent to own couches
and roach filled apartments above the street
in a forest green chrysler sedan with a dead battery
in a thousand graveyards
in the kicked in mausoleum
in the empty church
in the ruined house, beside the dead well

before the fire came