Accept this God

January 26, 2023

Bakkhic states of mind are laced with prophecy: when the god enters your body you’re suddenly speaking the future. He plays a vital part in warfare too — that shock of fear that runs right through an army before battle, that shock is Dionysos. Or that flash across the peaks of Delphi tossing like a great wild spark from crag to crag with a pine torch in each hand, that’s him. But you, Pentheus, put too much emphasis on forcing your way: do you really think violence is the only way to influence people? Think again. Accept this God. Pour his wine, dance his dances, say yes!

Anne Carson – Bakkhai: Translation of Euripides’ ‘The Bacchae’

She stood before him and surrendered herself to him and sky, forest and brook all came toward him in new and resplendent colours belonged to him and spoke to him in his own language and instead of merely winning a woman he embraced the entire world and every star in heaven glowed within him and sparkled with joy in his soul he had loved and had found himself.

Herman Hesse – Demian

Once the torturer’s application of pain had brought the witch to confess, she knew she faced execution, and she knew her executioner. In the procedure of interrogation itself, carried out in the presence of council interrogators, scribes and executioner, there is an unmistakable sado-masochistic logic, as the witch, in response to pain, might reveal details of her crimes only to deny them subsequently; or as she proffered scattered scraps of information about diabolic sex only then to tantalize her questioners with contradiction or silence. In this sadistic game of showing and concealing, the witch forced her persecutors to apply and reapply pain, prising her body apart to find her secret. Once it was found, she might herself identify with the aggressor.

Lyndal Roper – Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe

the cunnilingus jackpot

January 23, 2023

His mouth meets my clit and I’m not lost on the fact that this man will have gone down on me four times today. Forget winning the mega millions, I’ve hit the cunnilingus jackpot.

Ashley Bennett – Heat Haven

Stirring up hidden things

January 23, 2023

I’m afraid to write. It’s so dangerous. Anyone who’s tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things – and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood. I’m a writer who fears the snare of words: the words I say hide others – which? maybe I’ll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.

Clarice Lispector – A Breath of Life

witch-tales of Cornwall

January 23, 2023

The folklore record of Cornwall largely draws from 3 or 4 writers who had books published in the second half of the 19th century. William Bottrell and Robert Hunt are the best known, and whilst it is imagined that they collected their stories from itinerant story tellers (or droll-tellers), some of their accounts were also derived from contemporaneous newspaper reports etc. There are, altogether, hundreds of stories many of which refer to witches and witchcraft. Bottrell, for example, tells the story of ‘Old Betty Trenoweth’, the witch of ‘Buryan Church-town’, and quotes a curse used by her to ill-wish a rival. More common though, are stories that describe the relatively benign activities of conjurors. There is a story in Bottrell’s collection, which seems historically accurate, in which West Country folk are described as seeing a male conjuror (or ‘pellar’ – the terms are used interchangeably) in order to ‘have their protection renewed’. Bottrell also details incidents involving ‘Tammy Blee’, the famous white witch of Helston who, from newspapers etc, we know did exist. Some witch-tales are more fanciful. One of the most romantic and well-loved is that of ‘Luty’, a cunning man who is given magical powers by a mermaid who he rescues after she becomes stranded on the beach    –    Rupert White

How to Treat a Vampire Bite

January 23, 2023

This scene from Hammer Films’ Brides of Dracula where evil Baron Meinster (David Peel) bites good ol’ Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) should be compulsory viewing for everyone to avoid infection. See the famous vampire hunter takes action before he’s transformed into a vampire! See HERE.

Three hundred years ago people believed in the devil. They believed if an incident could not be explained, then the cause was something wicked, and that cause was often a woman who was said to be a witch. Women who did as they pleased, women with propriety, women who had enemies, women who took lovers, women who knew about the mysteries of childbirth, all were suspect…

Alice Hoffman – The Rules of Magic

Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.

Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin

The Mourning Star

January 22, 2023

The victimization of children is nowhere forbidden;
what is forbidden is to write about it.
Alice Miller


i.


The first star pierces
with dead light. 


Is a dirge.
Is you. 


Is known by how it tugs,
draws into. Sight shall fill
with shapes.


How we monster a bed.




ii.


You are an ecological disaster.
All your teeth are falling out.
Because you refuse to speak,
to shout. You fill your veins
with swamp. Let your anger
be the climate, raging. 

Become sea flood. Salt yourself. 

Let crystals sting as you rub them
                                into your skin.




iii.


There is a man who claims to be your brother.
He teaches you to whimper with a full mouth.
He will lay his hands across naked sheets. 

A stain remains.

As does ink.



iv.


Night was created so the gods had somewhere to hide:
their sins; their sins; their sins. And us, made
in their image – minus wing or cloven hoof – we follow suit.



v.


At midnight,
gather all your teeth 

and bury them.

At a crossroads.
In a cauldron.
In a coffin.



vi. 


That first star:
it can do nothing to save us
from ourselves,
from those men,
all ivory and ache.

The first star weeps. 

Because to bear witness is a burden. 

And we cannot sleep. 

Leave your body:
as ghost
step into atramentous.


Scott-Patrick Mitchell