The Magic Mirror

November 24, 2016


I was standing in front of The Magic Mirror
by Jackson Pollock in the Menil in late September.
I was looking at a woman looking in the mirror –

abstracted, but with a feathered headdress.
She was made of oil, granular filler, and glass
fragments brushstroked across the canvas

in 1941, the year my parents turned fourteen
and started “dating.” The war was on,
and black stormclouds loomed on the horizon.

I have imagined it all in slow motion –
their two bodies coming together as one
body exploding in rage into seeds and rain.

I was standing in front of The Magic Mirror.
I was looking at a woman looking in the mirror.
I was walking through the skin of the mirror

into the watery burial grounds of childhood.
I felt the strokes – black, purple, yellow, red –
raining down upon me, somehow freed

from the canvas – thick-skinned, light-filled –
and suddenly I was summoning all the wounded
animals inside me, totems of childhood,

and letting them go one by one – the mockingbird
of grief, the nasty crow, the long-beaked
hawk floating past a picture window flooded

with rain, heading for the Northeast Coast.
Oh let the wind release me from the past
wing by wing, bird by bird, ghost by ghost.

I was standing in front of The Magic Mirror.
I was looking at a woman looking in the mirror.
I was walking through the skin of the mirror

into the unexpected country of childhood.
I watched my body dispersed and reunited
somewhere else, transformed, transfigured.

Edward Hirsch


A necromancer or a sorcerer who works with these weird rituals and carries out barbaric invocations and incantations is incapable of systematically carrying out an orderly incantation, i.e. of speaking with the spiritual being. Nor does he have the ability to represent an authority, because a sorcerer or necromancer lacks the magical maturity and development. At best, a necromancer might achieve an ecstatic state during such an operation, but it cannot be considered any more than simply a mere shout into that particular zone, even when his citations are most terrifying and appear very promising to him.

In most cases, the sorcerer is subjected to the most corrupt hallucinations due to the ecstatic state in which he finds himself. Under the most favourable circumstance, an elemental or elementary could be created involuntarily as a result of the ecstatic tension of the sorcerer’s nerve energies during his inadequate invocation. However, this depends on how much nerve energy the sorcerer projects from his magic circle into the magic triangle. Unbeknownst to the sorcerer, this elementary will assume the form of the desired being, because the sorcerer cannot distinguish this being from the one he is trying to evoke and thus considers this being to be the one he summoned.

Franz Bardon
The Practice of Magical Evocation

in another’s skin

November 24, 2016


I dreamed I spoke in another’s language,
I dreamed I lived in another’s skin,
I dreamed I was my own beloved,
I dreamed I was a tiger’s kin.

I dreamed that Eden lived inside me,
And when I breathed a garden came,
I dreamed I knew all of Creation,
I dreamed I knew the Creator’s name.

I dreamed – and this dream was the finest –
That all I dreamed was real and true,
And we would live in joy forever,
You in me, and me in you.

Clive Barker
Days of Magic, Nights of War

The silence of poets

November 24, 2016


Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

G.K. Chesterton
Alarms and Discursions

Man on the Moon

November 24, 2016


Hardly a feature in the evening sky
As yet – near the horizon the cold glow
Of rose and mauve which, as you look on high,
Deepens to Giotto’s dream of indigo.

Hardly a star as yet. And then that frail
Sliver of moon like a thin peel of soap
Gouged by a nail, or the paring of a nail:
Slender enough repository of hope.

There was no lack of hope when thirty-five
Full years ago they sent up the Apollo—
Two thirds of all the years I’ve been alive.
They let us out of school, so we could follow

The broadcast of that memorable scene,
Crouching in Mr Langshaw’s tiny flat,
The whole class huddled round the TV screen.
There’s not much chance, then, of forgetting that.

And for the first time ever I think now,
As though it were a memory, that you
Were in the world then and alive, and how
Down time’s long labyrinthine avenue

Eventually you’d bring yourself to me,
With no excessive haste and none too soon –
As memorable in my history
As that small step for man onto the moon.

How pitiful and inveterate the way
We view the paths by which our lives descended
From the far past down to the present day
And fancy those contingencies intended,

A secret destiny planned in advance
Where what is done is as it must be done
For us alone. When really it’s all chance
And the special one might have been anyone.

The paths that I imagined to have come
Together and for good have simply crossed
And carried on. And that delirium
We found is cold and sober now and lost.

The crescent moon, to quote myself, lies back,
A radiotelescope propped to receive
The signals of the circling zodiac.
I send my thoughts up, wishing to believe

That they might strike the moon and be transferred
To where you are and find or join your own.
Don’t smile. I know the notion is absurd,
And everything I think, I think alone.

Stephen Edgar

Down the Long Night

November 24, 2016


Diary 24th November

Dawn disrupts me. I reach for the breakfast gin but in pouring it, I seem to hear the liquid measure of your steps in my head…


Wasn’t it Keats who said, ‘The poetry of the earth is never dead’? It’s certainly very true, but most of us see without observing; look without seeing. We are blind to all the beauty surrounding us. Here my imagination becomes the universe, and I am swamped by the terrible beauty of that.


They say that love is a corpse, its light gone from the world. I say what bollux. Love spoke this world into being. Even today it can torture, kill or maim any one of us at will. And when we two look into each other’s eyes, love chuckles somewhere behind us, knowing it can turn us both inside out like a pair of pockets if it wants.

Sure gravity holds us in place until we’re ready to leave. But love is the piano accompaniment to the changing seasons, the solitary violin staining the night with its melancholy sound. It is the tarot pack of our lives spread haphazardly across some pavement.

Love, my friends, is very much alive…


Here, ephemerality is perpetuated.