Monday, December 20, 2010


Chapter 4 Deiknyomena:
The Æolipylæ Provisionals

And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man
Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.
-Richard F. Burton: Kasidah

Three young women reunited with their Doyenne were taking lotus tea in a courtyard garden on an island at the mouth of the Mississippi one late summer's afternoon in 1859. Xquiq, a Mayan ajq'ij or weaving day keeper come from the Mexican Island of Swallows accompanied Catiche Villard, the sole living grandchild of the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte as they consulted with their sister, the 'spirituale creature' Madimi, through the medium of the occult looking-glass brought circuitously downriver to this oubliette of freedom, Barataria. Back door to New Orleans, Barataria was the lost pirate utopia of the Lafitte brothers. Formerly protected by 'letters of marque' issued by the Spanish republic of Cartagena fighting for independence from Columbia, it was once teeming with nearly a thousand restless refugees, brigands and exiles from all flags leaving burned bridges behind. This throng had filled the ships' crews with gunners, navigators, carpenters, cooks and sail makers and riggers. Their descendants now constellated the bayous.

Behind them now stuccoed with oyster shells, Lafitte's brick two-story house facing the sea lay in ruins along with forgotten buccaneer schemes of marauding. Before them near the estate, still stood the barracoon quarters where smuggled slaves had awaited clandestine sale less than half a century earlier. Concealed within its crumbling walls there remained cached her grandfather's secret bequest for Catiche.

Xquiq's mother had come in times past to Barataria from Cozumel with Catiche's Creole quadroon grand-mother, Jean Lafitte's wife. An island outpost for Lafitte, Cozumel was sacred to the Maya moon goddess Ix Chel; women desiring children would make a pilgrimage to her temples. There, Catiche's mother had been born. Mother and daughter both had been blessed by the goddess with alluring beauty and insight. They had settled later within the Baratarian colony of palmetto-thatched roof cottages. Catiche inherited what was left of her grand-father's estate once the government and lawyers grew bored of scavenging in the postscript of his disappearance and the mystery of his fate.

Examining Cora's obsidian disc, Xquiq described for Catiche the transient properties of the Mayan mirror in which the Elizabethan Dr. Dee had centuries before stumbled blindly through the playground of their elusive sister, trying to follow her elfin labyrinth as traced by his skryer Edward Kelley.
Looking deep within the glass and following with her eyes Xquiq translated aloud as Madimi, within the glass, turned over bark-paper leafs from a lost Mayan glyphic codex held now in her arms; a tale of the Sisters, of how the earth is untangled and how the heavens are woven.

“Creation is born from the black hole at the Crossroads; birth cleft of the Milky Way's Great Mother. Images appear in the sky. Then will the sun be reborn completing his age-old journey though the stars of the night sky. Jaguar comes from another realm to attend the rebirth of the world, one called Bolon Yokte K’u whose jaguar paw at the foot of the nine-measured Creation Tree marks his presence. Present at the last World Age creation in 3114 BCE and again present at the next one, which begins the day of least light in 2012. 4 Ahaw 3 K’anki’in. Jaguar is descending along serpent ropes from the sky cleft bringing the ornaments from your ancestors. Ancestors peer out from the mouths of serpents descending from the celestial throne of Mayan kings, the place of transformation.
A sky canoe carved from Creation's Tree rides the Milky Way, sinking below the infinite horizon of night's progress, carrying star children of nearby constellations.
The spotted Jaguar wears these stars of night, its mouth opens the Underworld Portal, the dark rift in the Milky Way. Hear it roar. Our way lies there."

Madimi addressed them directly and spoke.

"Our order, wherein the wonders of time are wrought with power:
with you, as my words are: with my self, as my Creation is.
The generations of our alchemy quicken to fruition. Our trinosophia here prepares our sisters down the way.
Thrice triangular, our facilty extends to the horizon that lays unvanquished; seeing through the Aurorae to the theophanic form of the Eikon. To see in each luminous thing the light that reveals it,
this shewstone's dark lantern yields not reflections, but explication of an order most implicate. Our chamber of operations draws forth the hieroglyph, shedding cinders of vision; lampblackened petals of Midnight's stricken rose. Dark are my dreams choked within this collar of stone.
Here, the Chymical Wedding of novelty and terminus are entombed, incurring serendipity. Though hateful ignorance may mourn the dead believing the dreams of color, shall we play the game existence to the end of the beginning?
My Mother is at hand who opens the will of Fate."

"Behold! she says. I make a new heaven and a new earth..."

"My words pour from many mouths, a fountain everyoung enfolding the overlapping vectors of language reflecting écritures à lunettes; true mirror of our luminous moth drawn ever to the close at day's new dawning."

"But woe be unto those would-be bookends of the earth, for they are full corrupted; a leaking wicked wrasting stock, and firebrand to the conscience."

When Madimi had finished, Xqiq respectfully handed the mirror then to Cora.

Madimi came from a village on the Cauchy Boundary out beyond the lost horizon, unbound, scalar in time. She might appear a pretty girl about eight years old, attired in a chatoyant silk dress of red and green or a voluptuous young woman of their own age as occasioned her fancy. Space however, was another proposition and her interface with this realm was accessed by way of the mirror alone, like a genie and her lamp. Whether she was perceptible visibly or invisibly appeared to depend upon her whim. She might congeal like an apparition, obtaining substantiality in the vicinity outside of the mirror. Phantasmagoric hologram or no, she was capable of delivering some considerable degree of force recognizable to consensual physics.

Seeming to have a special wardship over books, Madimi's exegesis of John Dee's obscure Monas Hieroglyphica had equipped the Sisterhood with a technique for rescripting history.
She also lent an adroit hand at subverting indeterminancy and was instrumental in avoiding Cerberus.

Nightingale, stroking his beard, addressed the conclave.
"In light of precarious confrontations Barataria frequently found itself imbroglioed in with both soverign and foreign intrigue, the Corsair Lafitte prudently invested a sultan's ransom in a covert transport maintained against the advent of a sticky extrication. It awaits us in the old abandoned slave quarters yonder. "

"Finding himself finally in a place beyond fight, flight or seizure; our Æolipylæ's retrocausal itinerary persuaded Lafitte there are those more appreciative of his aerostat's uniquely equipped virtues than mere thrones, powers and dominions. Incomparably augmented by the infamous Lord Byron whom, while in the Aegean upon his travels in exile, encountered a sponge diver named Valerios Kondos. Discoveror of a most peculiar parapegma-like contraption off the island of Symi, that among other things calculates the equation for occurence. Unaware of its remarkable abilities, he gave it to Byron in exchange for the secret recipe to Sindbad's legendary rat-tailed chimichanga, reknowned for sustaining his stranded crew for a fortnight."

" Byron, eventually deciphering the device's recondite purpose, later presented it to Jean Lafitte; a token of his admiration for this other lone, wild and strange Magister Exemptus. Approximately the size of a gravid dictionary, with wooden sides and bronze faces, it operated by a handle on the side manipulating complex epicyclic gearing that indicated the results of its calculations on dials. A sort of hyperdimensional successor to the almanac that provides navigation for the airship. The device included a dial displaying progressed Saros cycles and Callippic cycles synchronized with the periodic solar variation index."

"Powered by a hydromagnetic dynamo driven by the inductive action of internal solar flows; sun storms, in other words, our forty foot long tri-lobe airship was formerly inflated by a portable hydrogen gas generator, a system of tanks and copper plumbing which converts iron filings mixed with sulfuric acid to hydrogen. The generator could be conveyed out to landing fields on a buckboard buggy. We, however, will be requiring a non flammable gas hitherto unknown, made available for use by certain merchants of chance receptive to our terms of trade."

"The balloon itself is composed of silk, varnished with caoutchouc. It's dimensions, containing so many cubic feet of gas supply sufficient supporting power for the machine and all passengers. A balloon, even though perfectly sealed to retain its gas could only be maintained for less than six weeks. We will be equipped however, with emergency provisions alone, as the experience of our transit's duration is accomplished in but a wink of the eye.
The gondola is composed of strong light wicker, with a rim is about four feet deep and furnished with a grapnel and indispensable guide-rope. I'm informed that strong arms indeed await us."

"We will catch the morrow's peak solar maximum, riding the frequency occurrence of coronal mass ejections through the magnetic field's polarity reversal churned by turbulent convection through the transport mechanism of the solar flow. The flux produced from a strong toroidal magnetic field within the solar interior forms a regenerative loop where the toroidal component produces a poloidal field, ones and zeroes."

Catiche shuddered in an attempt to parse Nightingale's code, her blue eyes narrowing through  disheveled hair: delphiniums tangled in blue-black wings lost to foreign fields of flight. Nightingale brayed on til his voice trailed off muttering softly:

“Recta tangit circulum puncto. Intelligentia videns. Contractus ad Punctum.
Adsit Ruach Hochmah-El; intellectus! Es sey Da;
der Geist der Weißheit Gottes; in dir Gott der außerlesene!”

Leaning over to Catiche, with a gleam in her eye Xquiq whispered:
" He can't see the Thesaurus for the Threes..."

Coming round again, he snapped out of his trance.
"Honored fiends & philanthropes, tempus fugit. Ours is the teleological attractor at the end of time unveiling interconnectivity climaxing in the attainment of singularity both infinitely complex and yet of infinite simplicity; the Zefirium. The point at which anything can happen and probably will. Everything imaginable occurring simultaneously. Hallelujah and amen, its about time I reckon."

Cora stirred as she felt the shewstone tremble in her hands. Looking therein she saw the moon looming behind Madimi, bearing an inscription: 'Si nunc se nobis ille aureus arbore ramus
ostendat nemore in tanto!' Madimi then withdrew into an orchard there saying to her, "Draw nearer."
In the mirror her head was half hidden amongst wide, dark leaves.
"The barren fruit upon these branches and amongst these leaves are but withering skulls. Not as they are am I yet. Do you stretch forth your hand."
Cora stretched her hand forth deep into the mirror amongst the branches and through the leaves. Then Madimi kissed her hand. Fire entered into Madimi's mouth and she waxed of higher stature, having now three faces.
"I and I have a few things to say, and I say."
Cora heard a marvelous music, as thunderous as many mountains falling, as if half the world were rushing downhill.
"This that I give thee is my posterity, as for thee, flee from this place into the Upperworld, and go where I shall lead thee."
"Through waste and wild, he wandered wearing the wolves' cap of invisibility; nine times the space that measures day and night waiting.
Confounded though immortal, dreaded hounds ere hunting, almost lost to name but for boon companions and our Lady's troth.
Nearer draw thee still, Haruspex; behold now this Liber Vitreus opening into your confidence. Read herein unfolding odyssey of Aidan's exile and concealment..."

Far upriver, they could all hear the guage-cock of a steamer screaming toward the coming violence of the sun.


From soul to soul hath war been waged,
From star to star, from sun to sun:
Nor e'er shall be the strife assuaged
That's hourly lost and hourly won.
Ancient of Days, that here in light,
And there in darkness, dost array Thee,
Thou madest day, Thou madest night,
And both obey Thee.
The sons of night Thy servants are:
They work Thy will, no less than we,
The sons of light, that with them war
Unwearied where no end can be.
-Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton : ORVAL; 1869
Alias: Owen Meredith
1831-1891 Dedication. TO COUNT ARTHUR DE GOBINEAU
Meredith, Owen. A pseudonym adopted by Edward Robert, first Earl of Lytton (1831-1891 viceroy of India, 1875-80), met de Gobineau at Athens, 1865;), son of the novelist Bulwer-Lytton,
After Paradise or Legends of Exile: With Other Poems

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Chapter III

 "Great talke there is of a glasse that he [Roger Bacon] made in Oxforde, in whiche men myght see thynges that were doon in other places, and that was judged to be done by power of evyll spirites. But I knowe the reason of it to bee good and naturall and to be wrought by geometrie (sythe perspective is a parte of it) and to stand as well with reason as to see your face in common glasse."

-Dr. John Dee

Finalizing preparations for their departure through the liminal concourse between chapters below and above, Cora looked over her shoulder and in a soft voice husky with insurrection, gave edict: "Nightingale, leave Mr. Ace o' Spades a note, tell him... I'm steppin' out."

In her hands the golden bough not only illuminated their way, but carried them forth as if they were riding bare-back an enormous but invisible serpent force.
In due course approaching their destination, the passage narrowed to the merest strip, neither bridge nor parapet; the bottomless vaults of Hades below. They crossed the terrible causeway, surrounded on either side by deep forboding waters and bordered by dense black poplars. The wrath of a sentinel wind disturbed from long uninterrupted slumbers staggered awake and came howling gale-force toward them, only cleaving aside as she held aloft the golden bough; sure as Moses cleft the Red Sea. Ahead, torch-light from two ever-burning braziers swam spectral across a hammered copper door set into the red granite's finality; like an augury in a dragon's eye.

Nightingale, stepping before the door, uttered: "Salammbo".
The door slowly swung open, begrudging admission. The hierokeryx stepped aside, permitting Cora to step forward into a subterraneum antechamber dominated by a wrought iron spiral staircase. They ascended to a workshop occupied by a broad table, upon which files and heaps of geometrical diagrams accumulated with complicated schematics littered amongst logarithmic mechanical apparatus and involved curvigraphical machines, automatons and curious devices of brass and ivory, nickel and mahogany animated by means of steam and multiplying gear.

Extensive volumes of books lined the walls and piled the nooks and crannies with titles such as Rays of Light on Operations with the Universal Instrument by Ala Al-Din Abu'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Shatir, Alchemical Fire in a Flash & Glow from Glow-Worms by John French, Banu Musa's Kitab al-Hiyal, or Book of Ingenious Devices, Archimede's On the Making of Spheres, Ctesibius On pneumatics, John Dee's Inventum Mechanicum, Paradoxum... as well as his Trochilici inventa mea and Simon Studion's Naometria.

Against the western wall there stood a gigantic clock of ebony whose pendulum swung with a heavy monotonous stroke. When the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock the rolling explosion of a gong; a sound which reverberated the skeleton of the entire ediface- so loud and deep and peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, even the dust motes seemed to pause, momentarily, in their trajectories to hearken to the sound and moths waltzing in the attics caught their breaths.

"Our present sanctuary, the once upon a perhaps remote possibility; a long lost appendage of the Otherhood, widely believed disassembled. I'm afraid our presence here reflects a complete disregard for the evidence of its non-existence. One may question the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence; a practical, epistemological position. Critical rationalism, skeptical inquiry, thrown back ad infinitum festering in Boojum Paradox. I, however am a True Believer and we shall set our conundrums to guess when-wherever we may..."

She looked at him wryly. "Just when-where are we?"

Varifying his own reckoning against the gargantuan clock, he determined: "for the moment we reside under the auspices of the Atelier Gryphon in Tweezerville, Indiana August, 21, 1859 and if we are to arrive in New Orleans to mate our destiny, we must deploy post haste!

Emerging from the romanesque limestone building carved with a female figure bestride a gryphon stretching its wings across the gable, they passed beneath an oroboric dragon encircling the entrance archway, maintaining its vigilance amidst ivy scrollwork.
Looking up past its twin cylindrical towers into the blue unblemished sky, Nightingale was startled to see it free from the vapor trailing raptors of war and industry.

Appraising her traveling apparel of cinched saffron skirt and buckled bodice over her chartreuse blouse, he blurted,
"Well, Cora if you ain't the Canary's Pyjamas!"

"You rude old toad! Better croak a sweeter song or I'll have your guts for garters..."

"Honi soit qui mal y pense, cherie."

"Just gun it, Grampy."

"By your gussets and grommets, I shall!"

"Gadzooks & god's pronouns!" The old curmudgeon winced at the impact as a locust detonated on his cheekbone; the speed on the 8 Hp flash-tube Serpollet modified Micheaux-Perreau steam Velocipede would hit the ceiling at 60 mph with one rider. Queen Cora adjusted her goggles with one hand as she clung to the motorcycle's swearing navigator. Exhilarating way to travel but hell on the bladder and kidneys, she thought. Their long dusters billowed behind in their wake, the boneshaker's constant eldritch shriek tore loose like a bat entombed in Tartarus broke forth smoking from the dark primordial chaos at the Earth's core to reckon with day.
They were boring their way south through the last of the stampeding dog days of summer dust heading for the Ohio River. There they would board the steamboat that would reconnoitre them, in theory, with a couple of Nightingale's shady accomplices; gamblers in possession of an item dubiously won, the utility of which Nightingale maintained they would soon require. Hoping his timetables were still accurate, by their account the ship would pass directly over the necessary temporal vent allowing portage from time wave zero.
"Time and tide..." he muttered.

The steamboat Lagniappe was on the last leg of its seven day journey from Cincinnati to New Orleans and Nightingale's mysterious liasons were still not in evidence among the passengers aboard the ship. Were one to check, their names would be absent from the ship's manifest as well. The Queen incognito and her whiskered escort though uneasy about the rendezvous, were content enough with the accomodations and allowed themselves to enjoy the comforts of the floating palace.

Promenading the specious boiler-deck at twilight on the fifth day, they passed a stateroom whose door was propped ajar to let out the surplus tobacco smoke and profanity. The sounds of surreptitious gambling, boasts mingled with sharp exclamations and liquor evaporating drew Nightingale's attention and he cast a quick glance inside.

"Ah gentlemen, at last."

Barton and Maxwell were two orienteering eudaemons, gamblers traveling the circuit along closed timeline curves, fleecing every rube and fondling every fiction; Fortune permitting them the gravest of injuries to fleeting coffers. Two refugees, leaving behind them now a pile of yellow-boys, grumbled past them out the door.
Maxwell was the epitome of lawless glissando: his grin slipping over the edge into the abyss and dragging out the sunrise; his voice a rusted timber saw virtuoso leaving sawdust behind rough-hewn auditory nerve endings. Barton was an elegant behemoth, soft-spoken though entirely audible. Eyes as gentle as doves; well-poached doves when he dipped in the whiskey. Both had extremely well-manicured hands, rascal masters of topping the deck and the center deal. These veteran wool-gatherers both carried horse headed alicorne canes.

Barton spoke up. "Sorry about the schedule, had a busted Lorentzian manifold on the way over."

Nightingale made the requisite introductions .

"Ah... Doyenne of the Ennead nine. Enchante, Madame." Barton brushed her hand with a genteel kiss.

Maxwell doffed his hat and in a Lochinvar drawl that would embarass a magnolia entoned: "It's a real pleasure, Ma'm. How is Zaimph, our Lady Illusionati? And Godiva's little Cricket?"

He sighed. "Zaimph, I'd still like to show her some new manipulations... card maneuvers, you know..."
He got a faraway look on his face that drifted them apace down the river before he began again.

Nightingale roused him from his revery:

"I presume as you have still the Outlandish Watch, transience remains at your disposal? You'll want then to catch up with her then for New Year's day 1990.
She will have Expeditus medallions for you both and Marie Laveau's gris-gris as prescribed: John Conqueror root, grains of paradise, powdered lodestone, eagle eye and shark tooth annointed with essence of three kings and two knaves. And perhaps a surprise... two or three, even. Last I spoke with her, she expressed a regret she hadn't learned the Zarrow shuffle from you."

Maxwell, reflecting; arched an eyebrow.

"Ezra, now about this old speculum you wanted... I've grown kinda attached to the rustic little mirror. Its just the sweetest way to shave. Imagine her a barber - Madimi. Maybe we could get her a cell phone instead for consultations... like the anachronaut female-impersonator used at the premier of Charlie Chaplin's Circus; poorly disguised SS from Cerberus looking for your truly. Lost us in all of Graumann's Ballyhoo: Alice from Dallas, the 503-pound fat girl, and Lady Ruth thirty-two inches tall and fifty-two pounds. Poodles Hanneford, the Ace of Riding Clowns and Pallenberg's Performing Bears on bikes, a lion tamer, and Samaroff and Sona's performing dogs."
"Great garbled embouchure, what are you trying to say man?"

Maxwell, with a sheepish wolf-eating grin, said: "Ezra, we have been travelin' together a while now and well, me and the little lady was thinkin' of gettin' hitched!"

An instant later he was howling and clutching his leg.
"She kicked me in the shin with those crystal winkle-pickin' slippers she wears. I was only larkin', ya tempermental tinkerbell. Well, no more chin-tucky bourbon for you!"

Barton rolled his blood-shot eyes.
"Are you gonna let a little flicker filly rumble you? That mirror's nothing but a closet full of cartoons and you're groaning like an arrow-head's in your bony old back-side."

"She's real as the meat and potatoes of the damned," Maxwell fumed. "Dark heathen glass, anyway. She up and left old Dr. Dee to rot. Here, I guess she's all yours."
He handed the glass gingerly to Nightingale who in turn passed the circular obsidian mirror, seven inches in diameter, to Cora; recollecting: 'The Black Stone into which Dr Dee used to call his spirits ...'.

"Smooth as a panther swathed in gin, my man", Barton ribbed his partner. "If a sweet little haint like her can harm you, maybe that makes you a vapor mechanic yourself?"

"O Madimi, shall I have any more of these grievous pangs?", Maxwell howled.

A child's voice ran through the cabin like a brook:

"Curst gambling devils are sore companions. Be seeing you..."


"He'd read Dee's prefaces before,
The Dev'l and Euclid o'er and o'er;
And all th' intrigues 'twixt him and Kelley,
Lascus and th' Emperor, would tell ye.
Kelley did all his feats upon
The devil's looking-glass, a stone
Where, playing with him at bo-peep
He solved all problems ne'er so deep."
-Samuel Butler: Hudibras, Part II, Canto III, 11, 235-8, and 631-4.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


II 1/2
St. Maroon

"Apres ye tire cannon Negue sans passe ... "
-An old 'Maroon' / Cimarron saying from New Orleans

Aldina Croquiere had lived on St. Ann St. in the Quarter with her venerable Creole Grandmother whom folk respectfully called the Widow Paris since she was a small child. Her mother had left Aldina in the elder woman's care for instruction in the old ways of belief that had become her own as well. Aldina had always simply known
her grandma as Mamaloi, listening to her wonderful stories on the veranda out front beneath the wisteria or
nestled at the foot of the feather bed, learning songs in tongues of elder days. Aldina was a young woman now,
following in the footsteps of the wise had led her to the Sisterhood; their
combination of skillful ways merging together in a graal of common purpose.

Mamaloi, crowned in her madras tignon and anchored in her rocking chair spoke.
is time, child. Go now to your mother in Congo Square. The Sisters of the Eschaton converge.
Calculations have been adjusted for echoes of that 1859 Carrington Event. Telegraph messages gone awry on that occasion, came from the mouths of beasts in the depths of the sea."
Handing her a small corn husk doll doing the splits and cornsilk hair veiling her face, she indicated: "this garde-corps is protection for the Three to come. "
Giving her next a pair of chamois bags, she explained: "This gris-gris is for the river associates of the herald that escorts Cora."
From around her neck she withdrew a reliquary necklace and handed it to her grand-daughter, "St. Maroon,
child; protect yourself."
Loading her then with sugar cane pralines to share with the others, she dismissed her grand-daughter.

It was midsummer, St John's day, the day her mother led the dances in Congo Square. In a basket she took the
plate of congri ringed with silver coins, several small chamois bags tied shut and her Grandmother's carefully
wrapped copy of James Bonaventure Hepburn's manuscript. With a small bag of
personal necessities, she kissed Mamaloi on the brow and went to meet with her sisters, following St. Ann St. up
the blocks to Congo Square.

Aldina was waiting in the shade of a sycamore when they arrived, both also bearing hamper baskets on their
backs. Disconcertingly, Eiderdown in petticoats and crinoline finery was wearing a top hat and smoking a
cigar. Cricket somewhat more discretely, removed her nano earbuds and stopped chewing gum to Malo's
"Suavecito" playing sub-audibly against the crowd babble. Nodding at Eiderdown, Cricket rolled her eyes and said:
"sorry we're late. I leave her alone for just a few hours and when I get back, there she is skyclad in the Orrery,
jay-naked and covered with butterflies. Baked."

Eiderdown blushed, muttering: "I had a very close encounter of the third kind."
Bewildered, Aldina stared at them. Translating for her, Cricket made a steeple with her fingertips: "Chosen by
Yidam in the monstrance-clock. You know, bareback Yippy-O Ki-Yay!" Aldina thought she understood. Loa cheval.

In Congo Square thousands had come to dance the Bamboula and Calinda to the Creole songs and drums.
"Dansez Calinda! Badoum! Badoum!" Children, dancing on the outskirts, adding their screams and mayhem to
the chorus and movement. A bazaar on the banquette was filled with lemonade, ginger beer, pies, and the ginger
cakes called "estomac mulattre," set out on tables with awnings, their streamers dancing in the breeze. Young
gentlemen from the College of Orleans, on their way to the theatre, stopped a moment to see the Congo dance:
tremors increasing to movement; bodies contorting in convulsions, frenzy, and ecstasies.

It was there Mam'zelle
Conjure initiated the dance that told of the Beginning, when the Goddess of All Things, rising from Chaos and finding nothing for her feet to rest upon, dances towards the south. Whirling, she caught hold of the north wind. Rubbing it between her hands, behold! She dances with the great serpent Ophion, the low humming song rising louder and louder; dancers whirling around, faster and faster, crying, waving their red
handkerchiefs, sometimes falling delirious, exhausted, pell mell, blind, ridden in the hot dense darkness down to
nightfall when the cortege would close, and the dispersing revellers would sing on their way home to another week of slavery and labour: "Bonsoir, dansé, Soleil, couché!"

But now, however, a frock coated blue ripple of double-breasted uniforms ruptured the confluence of spirit and
flesh as a phalanx of law enforcement wedged its way through the throngs of celebrants; star and crescent
badges slashing through the sunlight like scimitars. The dancing faltered and came to a halt, the mass of dancers
surrounding the woman with her formidable snake. At the tip of the wedge, Major Joseph M. Bell addressed the
"This gathering has not been sanctioned by the City Council and has been deemed illegal and unsafe.

You are hereby commanded to cease your activities and await further instructions."
Within the regiment, a slightly taller though nondescript trio was methodically moving, surveying the crowd. Each
carried a small dark baton in their hand.

"Uh oh, here comes the SS." Puzzled, Aldina looked at Eiderdown.
" Sidereal security for Cerberus Corporation. Rent-a-hounds from the Elsewhen. They mix in with the
local heat when they can. Pets of the Devil's Chaplain," she explained. "Cerberus supposedly owns exclusive
rights to all the Anubis gates of temporal anomaly. Goofy. By the way, stay away from those lightning-bolt cobras they carry."

Eiderdown and Cricket might as well have been spotlit. Marking the three women, the SS veered in their direction.
Once they had established their target, Cerberus moved fast, extending their telescoping spring batons charged
with a million volts each that would not only disable but render those it touched senseless for hours. The
display of the hissing, sparking anachronisms brought instant chaos. The crowd went hysterical. In the square's center, Marie Laveau calmly knelt, serpent draped; drawing a specific pattern in the dust.

In the ensuing melee, the three girls were divided. From her basket Cricket removed her peculiar prayer wheel
and began spinning it with her hand, producing a growling array of skin-crawling eldritch overtones augmented
by an inhuman throat singing crescendo emerging from her petit frame, as if some primordial beast was ripping
through the fabric of the space she occupied. This drew the attention of two hounds. Nearest the center of the Square and keeping her eyes on Cricket as the SS closed in on her, Eiderdown mused. Observe white crane dancing with ape; supple as a fountain lifting on the breeze, Eiderdown watched the arc of her attack.

One of the agents lunged, his weapon belching like a kid's sparkler. Cricket wasn't there. The concussion
came in a shock-wave an instant afterward. A flickering Ferris wheel hologram accompanied the bardo warrior's
roar. Then, there she was again, her dagger already done; the hound rolling backward into infinity like Hell's
bowling ball.

The other agent, having backed away, had already reached halfway to Eiderdown. Showtime, she thought. As he approached, she removed her hat. Odd jobs mam, yer horse at least I'll fodder.
Closing quickly, the dead-eyed agent barked, "time's up, you're coming with me, sweetheart."
She shook her finger. "That's Worshipful Mistress to you, and you can gag on your Münchhausen Trilemma
sandwich. Meet me Gibus, old chap."

Collapsing the trick top-hat in her hands she threw it at his feet. Contorting into a puddle around his feet, it began
contracting in a spiral; devouring him like a pit of quicksand. In rage and horror he shreiked -"What've you
"I know, I know; and you never thought a little girl like me would ever be able to end your wicked deeds," she
sighed. "Like Kit Carson said, 'Hell is paved with silk top-hats'."
With a sewer-burbling belch he was gone, where the goblins go; below.

Marie Laveau stood, drew back her shoulders, her head high and called to them: "Sisters, converge! The umbilicus of Expedite, quick, they must not have it!"

Aldina, however was cornered by the third against a wall of fleeing bodies; too far for Cricket to reach her in
time. As the agent whipped his wrist the baton extended, leaping with a viper's bite. Aldina clutched her necklace
and cried for the Saint. As the weapon scourged her mind with occluding cobwebs, massive arms emerged spectral from the chaos, catching her in mid-fall.
And he was there, enormous; arisen from some spiritual geology amongst the
aristocracy of the wild and free, a Cimarron nightfall of mahogany; the color of primordial gumbo roux. His head was adorned with plumage from the celestial hierarchies of the swamps and hung around his neck were shells gathered from the sacred mound where the Baratarian bayous merged.
With one swing of his thick sinewed arm, he struck the
agent's neck breaking it. The hound collapsed, an outdated sack of dogfood.

Cradled gently like an unbruised apricot in the crater of a volcano no longer dormant, her champion carried the
unconscious young woman to her mother, laying her gently in the circle. The mother's eyes met his. She addressed him in Creole/Mobilian trade jargon and English,
"Ayeko, ayeko chukma fehna nde. My Mother and I thank you. May the Almighty protect our faithful and defend against those who would
thwart us. Through Elysian Fields take safe haven."

Departing, the mythic figure melted through the crowd, his feathered headdress towering over the disorganized throng. Perceiving his route, the swarm began to follow. In the tumult of the riot, the police regulars had not seen their counterfeit infiltrators fall, but now the unit had regrouped and was making its way toward the center of the Square.

Cricket and Eiderdown knelt next to their sister. Marie Laveau setting Ophion with care upon the ground, rapped upon the earth three times calling, "La Bas, ouvre la port", stepping aside as the huge snake encircled the three Sisters within. Eiderdown drew forth the incantation bowl, wrenching the basket open and set it in their center. The interior of the bowl was a quantum cyclotron cocoon spinning brilliant light locked in an imperceptible orbit. Cricket and Eiderdown joined hands around Aldina's limp form. A muffled implosion like the sound of vapors igniting signaled the wangateur and she dropped a toby of Whirlwind Getaway powders on the ground, the ensuing dust-swirl obscuring the trio's abrupt disappearance.

Over Congo Square golden pollen began to fall beneath the weight of massive bees, their trumpet flowered tango in vines embracing oak.


“That which is called a demon is not some great black
thing that petrifies whoever sees it. A demon is
anything that obstructs the achievement of freedom….

There is no greater devil than Mr. Say So.
The child asks: why? The Devil answers: "Because I say so."
So until this ego-fixation is cut off, all the demons
wait with open mouths. For this reason, you need to
exert yourself at a skillful method to sever the devil

-Yeshe Tsogyal

Thursday, October 21, 2010


St. Expedite

"I'm goin' back to Storyville, that's where I long to be

Ain't no time to ask me why, everything about Storyville is just a part of me
Since I was just this high, goin' back to old designs
I know my way around.
Friends I know will shake my hand, nothing changes on Desire, that street of my hometown
The street where I make my stand, there's a cafe called the Pup that never shuts door
You can drop around most any time you choose
There's a lady tailored down in something cut low, she rock n rolls the old piano
With a King called the Blues
Goin' back to Storyville, gone to take my horn, 50 suits, a brush & comb
I just can't stand & wait til I'm back where I was born
My Storyville, my home."

Pirate's alley, short-cut from the Place D'Armes to the Rue de Royale lay empty; the hour for wantons satiated in abandonment expired, the adjoining garden of St. Antoine at peace. Near imperceptibly a manhole cover at the garden's entry stirred as if a streetcar were passing, then gradually groaning and toppling over, the concussion launched a volley of pigeons over the plaza into the twilit fog. As the ponderous disc ceased its clamorous spin, a curious emblem lay embossed upon the underside; what perhaps could be construed as a stick-figure of a horn-headed dancer. And this was odd because New Orleans had no sewers in 1863.

The head of an apparition slowly emerged from the hole and a deadly pair of eyes green as kryptonightingales flew in a quick survey. Cautiously the magicienne hoisted her lithe figure into the Vieux Carre, a breeze of anise, fennel and wormwood's delerium stirring in her long brown locks . The distinct incongruity of her tight biker jacket, jeans and rugged messenger-bag slung across her torso with the present's antebellum fashions gave dispatch to her purpose. Eiderdown made her way past the Absinthe Room, heading uptown destined for the center of the "District". Through the acrid bouquet of bar and bougainvillea and the necrotic gutter reek she went to rendezvous with her sister, Cricket at the throne of Storyville. Cricket was in the employ of Lady Cloud Walker's Palace: five-stories of oppulent galleries and columns on the corner of Customhouse and Villere where she in her capacity as oriental danseuse under the auspices of the Compagnie d'Opera Invisible Thibet was votary of Kalachakra Cham, Tibetan for Time-Machine tantra dance. Many lurid hourglasses gave up their painted sands to the circuit of her feet; many rapt auditors attained rapturous empowerment in the mysterious circle of her destreza.

Passing beneath mansard roofs with peaked dormers and florid shutters overladen with wisteria, Eiderdown glimpsed sunken arcades' shady enclosures lush with bromeliads, begonias and pirouette staircases winding serpentine through fern and ivy. Balconies loomed overhead whose ancient iron railings' hand-wrought airy and graceful patterns were ciphered in a delicate cobweb of baffling. New Orleans was stirring now, and the Big Easy would be awake before long. She continued on her mission, though she longed to linger in the still seething fragrance of night-blooming jasmine, proceeding to the edge of the Quarter toward the old Mortuary Chapel, that Atre Perilleus that lay on Rampart Street with the Cemetery behind it. She had an appointment there first with St. Expedite.

Arriving at the church, she slipped inside the massive oak door pausing to adjust her eyes to the still dim lighting.
Retreating into the rear, she found the statue of the saint. Reaching into her leather messenger-bag, she withdrew several items: a small parterre offering consisting of a slice of pound cake and a glass of water, a red candle and some fresh flowers. Arranging these at the foot of the Saint, she lit the small candle and softly intoned :
"Actiones nostras, quaesumus Expeditus, aspirando praeveni et adiuvando prosequere: ut cuncta nosta operatio a te semper incipiat et per ta coepta finiatur.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum: quod cras non est heri erit."

She heard the soft click of a release mechanism as the passwords of the Latin prayer engaged Expedite's clockwork innards.Trapped beneath the left foot of the saint was the figure of a crow sculpted such that a single word was crafted in Latin upon a ribbon emerging from its beak: "Cras" = Tomorrow. Reaching into its beak she grasped the word and twisted, feeling the puzzle piece release from its jigsaw recess in the banderole and plying it loose she drew it forth, suddenly wriggling like an other-worldly catepillar come alive; captive in her grasp.
Looking down she saw a tampon sized but no longer inert "thing" threaded with thin phlorescent pulsing veins configuring into graphemes rapidly metamorphing just beneath its surface, contorting in resistance mildly in her gentle hand like an infant's pretense to some vague distemper, intending instinctually to evoke maternal preserve.
Without warning, the warp and woof of the sanctuary hiccuped like a prayer mat shaken over an abyss and a monstrous black-handed void clenched the room in a terrifying fist tightening and twisting in a tourniquet typhoon drawn to the "Cras" cavity. With a sound like a child sipping noisily through a straw, the small red candle she had lit began absorbing the hideous phenomenon and she watched as it gradually dwindled, a shrinking crepe glove of charnel smoke, diminishing to a black pearl which hovered at the tip of the flame and vanished.

Still clutching the peculiar translinguistic critter, she placed it in her shoulder-bag nestled in the incantation bowl which her Sisters had obtained in prior preparation and secured it. Setting the flowers in the glass of water and breathing a word of gratitude she extinguished the candle. Remembering to put a pair of St. Expedite's relic medals into her pocket, she left at the chapel's rear exit. "Box-jumper", indeed!
Relieved at the narrow escape and glad all 5' 9" of her was gliding across Basin St. still in her snakeskin boots; she cut through the cemetery and Eclipse Alley, evaporating the remaining seven blocks to Lady Cloud Walker's Palace, the most auspicious seraglio in all the histrionic libretti of Storyville.

Eiderdown, too tall now to conform to that petite magician's assistant known in the parlance as a box -jumper, when younger had been precisely that. Until the age of sweet sixteen she had been tutored by her grandfather, performing at his side arcane antiquities refreshed; passed down from his own father, the esteemed Professor Balthasar Hoffman whose performances perplexed the great illusionists Maskelynes, DeKolta & Devant. Often she was required to crouch in a tiny space triggering an apparatus with her toes or distract the audience at precisely the right moment while sneaking a device on or off the stage gracefully yet invisibly. Nearly a decade later, for her reknown as Zaïmph, Veil of the Illusionati, she was awarded the prestigious Mandrake d'Or" Paris, France and Prix du Public" Grand Prix Magiques de Monte Carlo in recognition of her professional accomplishments. Diverting from trapdoors and false panels for the present, she sought with her sister anachronauts the enchantment non plus ultra. She had been reared well amongst those who excavated the ancient art's most elusive secrets, now she held her own.

Climbing up the steps, the entrance was through a passageway adorned with a couple of statues representing divinities of light and in whose hands were held lighted flambeaux. Beyond this lay the drawing-room, still abandoned at this early hour. Familiar with the location of her friend's quarters that lay on the 4th floor she passed the decorations of the rooms: pictures that hung on the walls, plated mirrors, the delicately tinted furniture embodying a sybarite's dream of luxury and repose. The fantastic and bizarre aspect of splendor without comfort, glitter and sparkle suggestive of death and decay- gave rise to singular reflections. But as the infamous "Blue Book" advertised, it takes a heap of lovin' to make a home a house... Ascending the staircase, she arrived and signaling discretely with her knock, the door opened and she stepped into a world remote.

A slight young woman with very long jet black braided hair secured by a carved piece of turquoise set in silver received her with an affectionate glad embrace. Cricket was of Himalayan origins - her skin was a dusky brick-red and her eyes deep as night swimming in a mountain lake. She wore Tibetan clothing consisting of a long, ankle-length dress and underneath it, an open shirt folded up into the dress and a rainbow colored, striped apron over her dress. At her waist a golden crystal phurba ritual dagger was tucked in the cloth belt.

Suspended through the vaulted ceiling an immense, multi-hued cylinder protruded, slowly revolving; nearly a yard in diameter and longer in length. Covered in the ornate carved symbols of the ancient tongue of ancient Dakini script, its mirrored inset petitions spun in silent rotations. Windows were spaced such that the sun's rays, striking the symbols, sent numinous flickers of light taking shape as sprites' dance trippingly became the transcription of carven prayers infiltrating the pores of every surface in a translinguistic transubstantiation constituting the Chronicon.

Eiderdown knew that this was the Lady Cloud Walker's prayer wheel, turning via an enigmatic orrery extending above it on the fifth floor in the cupola of the Palace. On each of the four walls was a curious circular mirror fashioned of seven metals; whose concave surfaces caught the reflections from above and focused them, converging upon a finely carved table which held her ritual implements: dorje, drilbu, damaru and a unique hand-held prayer wheel which stood upright upon a stand. This singular device contained a minute astrarium inside, mirroring the orrery at the summit of the Palace which, when revolved, spun so evoking harmonic resonant alignments between its spheres thereby issuing forth sounds with peculiar properties when set in motion.

A magnificent etagere stood in the corner upon which were statuettes of deities benign and wrathful, the work of artisans from the roof of the world. Adjoining this was an armoire on the shelves of which were stored linen wear and bed clothing. Next to the armoire was a damask sofa and over the mantel, a statue of Vajrayogini draped with several white silk khata scarves. A large sideboard stood in the corner next to a window on the other side of the chimney, and in this was stored a collection of texts. Another armoire of costumes, a table and the bed and armchairs covered with the finest damask completed the furnishings in the room. The hangings of the bed, even the mosquito bar, were of lace, and an exquisite basket of flowers hung suspended from the tester of the bed. Around the walls were suspended geometrical paintings that Cricket described as 'kyil khor' landscapes. The bloodstained carpet was of the finest velvet.

Cricket reached over her head and took hold of a small cord centered in the base of the immense prayer wheel above and pulling down, the floor of the cylinder descended like an attic's trapdoor, attached to a spring-like corkscrew lift.
"This will lift you into the orrery chamber above, where you can relax undisturbed. You'll find clothing in the cedar chest over there in the corner which should not draw you undue attentions of their own accord. Should be about your size, if I judged correctly. I must leave a while to make final arrangements for our departure, but I shall return by noon. "

As she left, Eiderdown felt the impetus of the morning's experiences tumbling over her, wipe-out in the pipeline... temporal jetlag. She reached into her pocket and drew out an Ashton panatella. She opened the double french doors out onto Cricket's 4th floor balcony and stepped out, breathing the intoxicating mingled New Orleans of another day, another age. Lighting the cigar she surveyed the rooftops and bagnios below: the muddy street, people looking down, watching where they stepped. She knew it was littered with snakes, rats and the virulent remains of corpses. She became aware of the conspicuous figure she posed, here not so very far removed from the street. Going back inside, she shut the door. She decided to explore the curiosity upstairs.

Entering the lift, she engaged the riser. Ascending through the cylindrical shaft until it came to a stop, a portal loomed in the tube and opening it, she felt like Dorothy Gale stepping for the first time into technicolor. The entire fifth floor was one spacious vaulted gallery. Through the dim she sleepwalked through shafts of light dancing full of dustmotes. She had never seen an orrery before, except in some kid's movie... the Dark Crystal? Yeah, that was the one. This was smaller, more magnificent; a glorious arcane Tree. Its burnished surfaces glowered with secrets. She walked beneath the different sized spheres in admiration, drawing on her Ashton. The Tree was alive; turning! If her grandfather could have seen this... What motive force quickened the fruit of this Tree? There was no electricity in the building...
It was the Kalachakra's solar system: the spheres Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury centered on a slightly raised circular platform shaped as a large green lotus, surrounded by eight articulated caryatid female figures. The planets were arrayed concentricly around the axis through which she had accessed the room. The lotus itself was cushioned and soft. Situated on a small table against the axis was a white conch, red gong, and a black jewel.

Something glittering drew her eye upward. Here was a mystery- reaching beneath an orb, she took hold of the necklace dangling there. Hanging on the chain, a gold bee, a symbol of her panageis Sisters. Looking closer she saw it was dangling from a compartment concealed in the sphere. Pivoting the curved panel, she reached into the interior and found a small blue gourd with the necklace around it. Drawing it forth she inspected it. In small carved letters, the hollowed gourd was labeled Xtabentun. She vaguely remembered the legends her Mayan friend Xquiq had once mentioned... A mythic turbo-charged ritual metheglin of the Yucateca Maya. Just in time for cigar's companion. Taking a long pull, she felt a flash of jasmine race through her. Meli mœnomenon. A cordial, tasting of the entirety of the seasons; in a golden age distilled... forever lately comes that sudden sun such as we remember; lustral, volcanic lineament of ungratified desire, reborn.

Opening the ledger of Dream, vision, like a wave foaming against a rock, withdrew to hurl itself once more, entering and departing this vast amphitheatrum with a sound both haunting and plaintive; at length altogether invading the interiority of her view.

Like the sobbing of mercy, some harmonica quote
the blues on the back of the butterfly coat;
elegies and operas caught in the throat,
blues on the back of the butterfly coat
Sovereign burden, our kingdom remote;
ashes we offer, our dust we devote
these blues on the back of the butterfly coat...

The scrolling jewell of her thoughts receded in pursuit of extinguishment, that vanishing point; the monad of consciousness itself, situating transports to this temple outside time.

Wait. I know this trick: hmmm, wasn't it called The Mescaline Scarves of Princess Papillon? Crowned with the winged head-dress of antennae horns, mesmerized she ascends the whirlwind of silks in willing suspension of disbelief; the whole cardboard house of Kansas gobbled up in a tie-dye cyclone. Unfurl, fly into celestial regions. Fear nothing, there is a watch over you; and if your wings, like those of Icarus, melt before the sun, we are here to ease your fall.

And there, a lapis lazuli skinned King came for her, a velocity of heads, eyes, shoulders and arms. His heads and arms swarming blue, red, white and gold.
"If you can just... get your mind together, come across to me."

Standing behind this sheer curtain, I move to meet him; inflowing his every orifice all molten and one with want, i close my eyes and tremble, anticipating heaven's contact.
It is coming. The magnet of his imminent fingers draw each hair of my body, the shudder of his approach disintegrates kisses. Winds disjoint the air, wanton with wishes. Under the tree Time's grave is laid, beguiled by love to lie down in the stream of our kiss pouring the Milky Way around the world, where we sail in the last ship.

"Lift me, raise me to the winding waterway. Set me among the imperishable stars."

He raises her in his arms, veins crossing like ivy on the branches of a tree.
Seething centuries flowed down his breast between square muscles; and the furnace of his breathing shook his sides. His bone girdle garnished with skulls rattled down to his knees.
Trumpets and violins surged forward in her mad honey, lava's smouldering wings bursting the hive of her aflame, straining upward from the dark hold of the lighthouse keep.
Her earrings were each a hollow pearl filled with liquid scent. A little drop would fall every moment through minute perforations in the pearl moistening her naked shoulder. It was a fresh, indefinable emanation, of honey, pepper, incense, roses and the odour of lightning.

Delirious omniscience, everything under the influence of time, and he is time and knowing all, writing our cyphers with anatomy. Our spines bear the gigawatt burden of a zillion volts, our bones groan, storm-wracked timbers of eternity's ship, surrounded by an aureole aflame like the female saints who fill their beds with God's angel, hanging fire between the flanks of night in lascivious incendiary absolution.

In Xambala did Kulkukan a pleasure dome decree
where Afqa's sacred river ran down to the endless sea

On the eight petals of her revolving green lotus, the eight mechanical statues had come giggling to life. Each had three eyes and was adorned with a crown. In the east was dancing a Radiant Black Lady and a Smokey Lady with four faces: black, red, yellow and white and eight arms, in their hands holding bowls of sandlewood, saffron, camphor and musk incense; a bell, a lotus, other flowers and black yaktail fans.

In the south mincing amok was a Radiant Red Lady and a Mirage Lady with four faces: red, yellow, white and blue and eight arms, in their hands holding a butter-lamp, a necklace, a crown, bracelet, scarf, ritual apron, earring, an anklet and red yaktail fans.

Shimmying in the north were a Radiant White Lady and a Sparks-in-the-Sky Lady with four faces: white, black, red and yellow and eight arms, in their hands holding bowls of milk, water, magic medicine, beer and bowls of nectar, an elixir that brings realization, ambrosia, truffles and white yaktail fans.

In the west boogied a Radiant Yellow Lady and a Butter Lamp Lady with four faces: yellow, white, blue and red and eight arms, in their hands holding a conch, flute, gem, and a tambourine, and in the left a guitar, a drum, a gong, a trombone and yellow yaktail fans.

Savage, holy and enchanted each super-numinous can-can coquette flickered with their flashing eyes and floating hair as they romped and rollicked simultaneously squealing a Betty Booped laughing gas chorus of: "Dukey Khorlo, Dukey Khorlo, oo la la! Weave a circle round her thrice, she's Honeydew of paradise!" to a careening Star Wars cantina band calliope.

The overloaded carrousel fluttered and hummed round and round:

The syntax of the orrery fused with sprung clock-work of her infinities. Cascading italics of passion paraphrased her, resourceful in the fluency of the kiss.
Well written, her phantom lover, fashioned from Time's empassioned memoires. She read the burning rubric hidden between the lines, conjuring the distillate of her own most ardent desires which at last became so real, so tangible, that she shivered wondering at her power to imagine him, so lost was she, subsumed, beneath the abundance of their attributes.

With his diamond thunderbolt throbbing in the cumulus of her, the cobalt blue capacitor of all that ever was discharged its shuddering moth. The accumulation of all that will ever be, soaring, homing irresistibly toward her whirling triskelion jackpot. She could feel him, wet blue cedar berry searching inexorably the inner-most chambers through the whorled core of her nautilus for that compass circumpunct held within her windrose; a Tibet roulette arriving in the triple zero pocket of Fate's rapture. She, become the Empress o'er the uncharted face of tomorrow.

She awoke curled on the lotus, beside her was a battered old harmonica and a yellowed sheaf from an old pin-up girl calendar. Focusing her blurring eyes on the message scrawled across the months she read: "Play for me the song of life, once upon a time in the East meets West, O variegated and righteous babe."
It was signed: Duke Khorlo, Big Daddy Kalachakra himself.

Some moments in time touch upon the pulse within the vein of poetry but without effort, as lips touch lips; then the confines of the waking world yield to unbounded magic and this fancy's again set free: that all we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
"Someday when things are right and like they should be we can do all this again by putting a quarter in the Holiday Inn vibrator bed and taking a special madness pill... but wait, hold over there, we can do THAT now. We can do almost anything now. .. and why not?"
- Hunter Thompson: First Visit with Mescalito, 1969

Thursday, July 29, 2010


When the Great Yee Haw! comes knockin' at your door like some Jehovah's Witness on a rollin' thunder chariot, in one hand a Revival Prayer Meeting Barbi TM doll in her birthday suit and in the other hand, his first edition signed copy of Where the Wild Things Are; there's one question he will ask of you:
"How did you treat my Coyotee when he came to stay?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dance Lessons from the Bottomless Pit

-John Meador

“Now, Cap’n Smollett,” remonstrated Silver, “dooty is
dooty, as I knows, and none better; but we’re off dooty
now; and I can’t see no call to keep up the morality
“You’re a damned rogue, my man,” said the Captain.
“Come, come, Cap’n, be just,” returned the other.
“There’s no call to be angry with me in earnest. I’m
on’y a chara’ter in a sea story. I don’t really exist.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island,
Chapter 32

Do metals do the rumba deep in the bowells of Pluto’s Keep? while spinster ores wallflower the benches of sombre caverns, envy scouring their pockmarked complexions, a band of unrelenting Kobolds kicks up a spangled & frisky dust as they break open an old bolero:

‘...At the very break of day
The peanut vendor’s on his way
At dawning the whistle blows
through every city, town and country lane
you hear him sing his plantive little strain
And as he goes by to you he’ll say
Big jumbos, big jumbo ones
Come buy those peanuts roasted today
Come buy those freshly roasted today

If you’re looking for a moral to this song
50 million monkeys can’t be wrong
Peanuts do bop do bop
Peanuts do bop do bop
Peanuts do bop do bop...’

An ancient grizzled prospector older even than Rip Van Winkle with gray eyes glowing like feral coals in the dark, observes the festivity from a shadowed alcove. He lights the last of his Habanas, sighs as he throws back his head, tucks the cigar box underarm and with a suave, debonaire step and rusty hip sway leads his prospective absent escort; blue smoke serpentine in the thickets of his vast & hoary beard.

The unsettling & sudden spectacle of this partying Lawrence Welk from Hell coupled with his own rug cutting enthusiasms had riled the old-timer and moved him deep within his own dark reaches. He farted a roar to rival the bellowing of Thor himself.

The congregation turned as one in arch regard of his momentous halleleujah.

Karys, virtuoso pungi player at the rear of the orchestra, sipped slowly from a flute of phosphor champagne as menopausal moths overhead hovered wistful, recharging their ardor in the xxx rated twilight of champagne TV.

“I caught a bullet in my ass”, expectorated the old geezer. Habana juice dribbled into his beard from the old stogy. “Silver, minted from my own claim. See, my pardner & me had equal shares. He didn’t much cotton to me making off with maybe more than I oughta. I saw the look in his eye, and I took off down the shaft, but that rabid jackrabbit of an old cuss set a fierce hornet up the seat of my worry and thats how I tripped down that hole that landed me in an underground river. Still there, that silver slug. I call it Vlad the Impaler. And dadgummit, one of you’s lucky that bullet weren’t wallerin’ in that sulphurous blast just then . “

The laughter rang like burning sleighbells in freefall.

The impish band leader stepped forward and addressed him: “Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho. Are you from the motherland? Wonderful!”

“Sure thing, Mozart. Now, where’s that rare persimmon among women, Her Majesty Queen Cora?”

At the old feller’s reply, a sudden hush overtook the merriment; echoes fled into the deep.

Pointing the way, the spritely minions directed him to a lambent glimmer reflected off glistening stalactites, emanating through corridors of schist and polished limestone whose myriad primordial windings through a succession of pillared arcades and sparkling mica ceilinged galleries emerged into an immense cavern. The Telesterion.

Approaching the quivering diffusion he could make out a sign ahead whose choreography of luminescent, futterwhacking moths spelled out his immediate destination- ‘Cora’s Cage: Cafe Arcane’, the nekromanteion botanica of the Daeira Avernus. Her’s & her’s alone, this throne to the unknown.

When he walked in she was wiping down one of the small obsidian tables, a blackness devouring the very name of Night; hair done up with her back to him she set down a coffee cup and spoke.

“Ezra Nightingale, what secrets bring you me? Sit, and I will reveal them.”

Hearing the sound of her voice again catapault a glacier smack into his gut. He shuddered at the freeze out.

“Make it a ristretto red eye then, Queeny” shivering still, he resigned himself to the inevitable, impending tasseography “-with a shot of kykeon; that aged Hofmann Reserve if ya still got some...”

Executing its ritual ministrations, the boilerplate serpent hissed and spat out its Stygian venom through brass spigots. The regent barista chanted softly to an old ditty vaguely familiar, drew from a shelf the requested ample vintage draught and with a graceful sashay she sat the ivory cup & saucer before him. Raising the steaming cup in futile exorcism of the lingering chill, he brought his gaze to the brink once again, into the initiation of the haze.

Ratcheting things up several notches, the beverage duly unbridled his tongue, percolating the fountains of oblivion.

“Y’know Queeny, I had my first bolt of steam-press thunder at Dominic Parisi’s place in Greenwich Village- Regio’s- back in 1927. He would let none else touch that machine. He polished it til the dragon guarding the base breathed fire. Old Parisi never took off his hat. He was America’s introduction to espresso, glory be.” Putting his finger on the hummed fragment of her tune, suddenly he remembered an American version:

‘Oh the girls in France
Wear their whiskers in their pants
And the things they do
Would kill a Russian Jew
And the clothes they wear
Could freeze a polar bear.

Do what your mama says
And do what your papa says
But don’t split your pants
Doing the Hootchy Kootchy Dance

Cuz the way the way it shakes
Gonna wake that sleeping snake
If it comes uncurled
In the lonely underworld
Have to kiss it’s head
Til you wish that you were dead...’

O, Little Ægypt! Swept far from the streets of Cairo and the horizon of the Sphinx, where breezes lull the datepalms with alluring masqued patchouli; camels drifting in the moonlight on caravans from Khartoum... The precinct of her virtue in perpetuity abides.

Surveying the gravy stain marooned on his overalls, she made a mental note of the recipe. Nothing quite like a down-home meal.

She sighed. “Nightingale, if I may interrupt the solemnity of your thoughts and relieve the burden of your depleted vessel...”

Putting the saucer atop his cup she overturned it briefly. Arighting it, she slowly whirled the remaining sediment thrice in its own revealing delta dance. Peering into the shallows of its pareidolic abyss, with soft solemnity she spoke:

“Looked have I and read often this cup of yours, how well I have known. The heart’s beloved sleeps in a haunted palace guarded both by dog and sombre shade of soldiers. Springtime’s princess here is sleeping, her chamber lost to waking. He who descends within her garden, to unplait her hair and take her hand is lost ... lost. Nights become the days that were. Far, the light that bids cold cheer...”

After the reading, she commanded: “Azaryahu Uzair, open your heart”.
He placed his right thumb at the inside bottom of the cup and twisted slowly clockwise, licking the plumb tasting of Pandora and secrets of the deep delved earth. A continental drift felt contained within the cup. He shivered as a frisson wriggled up the staircase of his spine, then he also looked.

And there he saw a dance that he’d never seen before. A curtain drew open in a crazy little joint with drinks served hotter than Sahara sands; club the Black Cat Bone, old Hootchy Kootchy Man’s.

Arrayed like never-ending Scheherazade, the cafe Queen, in her mystery and seven veils; zills on her fingers, girt with coin and cowry shells. Incense swirling round barley spears and poppy bud she wound and shook like willow while thunders rumbaed in his blood.

He recognized the pungi-playing snake charmer below from his earlier encounter with the goblin orchestra, tracing her sinuous birthing ritual through a delerious labyrinth of steps as her lithe and supple grace enacted the consummation of shadow and stellum.

Laying down her crown and bracelets and slipping from her shoes, upon a zebra skin she did the limbo til her belly-button bling popped loose.

His heart did a triple somersault as the seventh veil gave way, there: a cowgirl tattoo of Prairie Rose Henderson & Yippy-O Ki-Yay!

Yeah, como esta usted senorita
Come with me to the border...

She looked up into his startled eyes and winked.

Allmächtiger Gott, Lösche Aus!

“Lay up in your heart dreams which thou hast seen and the interpretations which thou hast heard”, she advised. Recovering his composure, he reached inside the remains of his weather-beaten cigar box, withdrawing an object. Closing the lid, he laid something before them on the table. In the wan light of the cafe it discharged a warm golden glow as he spoke.

“One exit visa, your Aureus-Virga.

The expression that crossed her face was not surprise. Perhaps never again would she be subject in that Kingdom of Surprise...

“Ah, formidable messenger come to us from out of the fog. So, your Société Angélique flexes its wings? Do they reckon the endurance of the seasons no longer up beyond these cloistered gates? There is an age of Winter on us yet and under mighty bonds I’m bound tho its lash sounds but a whisper.”

When the bowels of the world were forced open by men for wealth hidden in the depths it riled the ghosts of hell in an eruption of wickedness and sin. Wasteland. A heavy pall of dense mists enshroud the dolorous realm with embalmed darkness; a sovereign vengeance of disruptions, rents and chasms the resulting work of the seldom seen Lord Undertaker.

Her prescient foreknowledge of his arrival was to be expected, for she was mistress of its realm. The sponsors of his venture, however, remained mysterious as their name, and their purpose obscure.

“Tidings I bear, Great Queen. The threshold of thresholds is upon us all. The ancient ever-young awaits transformation untold. That narrative great work of Time collapses in a confusion of tongues as the singular Tale that lies beyond silence approaches. I’ve fasted, rode the kykeon blasted and been encrypted; from my chest taken vision; the Chronicles’s done, placed sleeping in a casket; and casket back inside my chest.
Borne through the elements we shall return into a Vernal midnight when a Star in glory shining overtakes both the gods below and the gods above. We shall behold the Anaktoron opening.
Cross the bridge Cora, it is time to begin plowing threefold fields of joy where once the frightened flowers fell from your long black limo- jonquils come before even robins dare to hatch the winds of march.”

“Pilgrim of eternity, even here in this dead realm, over your living head heaven bends; your spirit’s sister, this lorn nightingale mourning her beloved with much melodious pain; these gray walls moulder round, on which decay feeds, like slow fire upon a rotting fuse- but he lives, he wakes? Death’s dead, not he? Adonais, manna dew and splendour... Gawain returns with the Graal.”

“Aww Little Nestis, no need to moan those skeleton keys in the rain just to unlock that cherished captive. Queeny, its but a sibilant slippered step between Aidoneus and Adonais; come cease that ageless murmer of maternal lamentation high atop those rooftop gardens where the escaped cock’s evercrow transfixes your Aeon dawning on april’s couch stretched out forever; in lilac and lilies of the valley to the maypole at the crest.”


Miranda Ruling

(after William Shakespeare’s Tempest)

Come with me & bless these two
With prosperity and honored issue
Spring come to them at their farthest
Further than the scythe of harvest
With Cere’s blessing so upon you
In Proserpina Prospero’s arts continue-
Even tombs unseal when the eye’s well lit
tho Time hath writ what humbled hands Emit.