There was a young lady called Freeman
Who had an affair with a demon
She said that his cock
was as cold as a rock
Now, what in the Hell could it be, man?

Doreen Valiente

The Pomegranate

February 8, 2018

The only legend I have ever loved is
the story of a daughter lost in hell.
And found and rescued there.
Love and blackmail are the gist of it.
Ceres and Persephone the names.
And the best thing about the legend is
I can enter it anywhere. And have.
As a child in exile in
A city of fogs and strange consonants,
I read it first and at first I was
as an exiled child in the crackling dusk of
the underworld, the stars blighted. Later
I walked out in a summer twilight
searching for my daughter at bed-time.
When she came running I was ready
to make any bargain to keep her.
I carried her back past whitebeams
and wasps and honey-scented buddleias.
But I was Ceres then and I knew
winter was in store for every leaf
on every tree on that road.
Was inescapable for each one we passed.
And for me.
It is winter
and the stars are hidden.
I climb the stairs and stand where I can see
my child asleep beside her teen magazines,
her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit.
The Pomegranate! How did I forget it?
She could have come home and been safe
and ended the story and all
our heart-broken searching but she reached
out a hand and plucked a pomegranate.
She put out her hand and pulled down
the French sound for apple and
the noise of stone and proof
that even in the place of death,
at the heart of legend, in the midst
of rocks full of unshed tears
ready to be diamonds by the time
the story was told, a child can be
hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance.
The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured.
The suburb has cars and cable television.
The veiled stars are above ground.
It is another world. But what else
can a mother give her daughter but such
beautiful rifts in time?
If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift.
The legend will be hers as well as mine.
She will enter it. As I have.
She will wake up. She will hold
the papery flushed skin in her hand.
And to her lips. I will say nothing.

Eavan Boland

out of the labyrinth

January 18, 2018

mask2

The writing of Suarez (I was Dora Suarez), through plunging me into evil, became the cause of my seeking to purge what was evil in myself..If I had no guilt to purge I would not have known where the road to hell was, nor how to look for Dora. It was an 18 month journey during which the world of light was no stronger than my belief in it, but it was enough for myself and Dora to find our way back and out of the labyrinth. On my journey I left the world for the page, and the page of hell, and the hope for the return journey. I have returned. I crept terrified into a dark place and struck a light in another’s darkness and I have returned here with the knowledge that Dora’s agony among the lost is over. The squalid atrocity of her death has dropped away from her and she is freed, unlocked, no longer lost and dead to herself, which is what damnation is. That I have never known Dora in life, that she was just the face in a police photograph of a dead, anonymous girl whom I named Dora doesn’t matter; that she should have found her identity is what matters. What matters is that we met in the middle world where the living and the dead meet, and brought each other away from that lightless place.

Suarez was my atonement for 50 years’ indifference to the miserable state of this world; it was a terrible journey through my own guilt, and through the guilt of others.

Derek Raymond
The Hidden Files

a form of Hell

December 23, 2017

I think it doesn’t hurt, once in a while, to tell the audience what they’re seeing, or what they’re not. There are many Hells: The Miltonic Hell which, as we talked about, is the medieval Hell, and there’s indeed the nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Hell. You can view Auschwitz as a form of Hell. Hell is mentioned in another book of mine, The Damnation Game. Hell is re-imagined by every generation; we have to reinvent the worst so we can reinvent the best.

Clive Baker
Interview in Nightmare Magazine, August 2015

naked witches

December 9, 2017

Mine are the lusts of hoofs and horns,
Of the he-goat and the loon
And the naked witches that demons deflower
On the dark side of the moon.

No common sin may fire my eyes,
Glutted with excesses fell —
My lust is stained with the dung that stirs
On the stinking streets of Hell.

Robert E Howard
Letter to Tevis Clyde Smith September 1930

as if evil crept in

October 20, 2017

When he was dead I raised myself to my feet and I looked about me. Everything was still. A loneliness had come upon my soul.

There was darkness everywhere now but in the forest. And even here there were wisps of grey, as if evil crept in.

I lifted my head to the sky and I shook my fist. “Oh, I reject you. I reject your Heaven and I reject your Hell. Do as you wish with me, but know that your desires are petty and your ambitions have no meaning!”

I addressed no one. I addressed the universe. I addressed a void.

Michael Moorcock
The War Hound and the World’s Pain

where they work much evil

October 10, 2017

…all the Irish, believe that the fairies are the fallen angels who were cast down by the Lord God out of heaven for their sinful pride. And some fell into the sea, and some on the dry land, and some fell deep down into hell, and the devil gives to these knowledge and power, and sends them on earth where they work much evil. But the fairies of the earth and the sea are mostly gentle and beautiful creatures, who will do no harm if they are let alone, and allowed to dance on the fairy raths in the moonlight to their own sweet music, undisturbed by the presence of mortals…

Lady Wilde
Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland

something not quite right

September 8, 2017

8 th September

Evening peels the clothes from women’s bodies
until at last their soul’s revealed
the smile locked up inside
Clothed a dream dangles from a hanger
Lips whisper in the shadows
Hands slide from walls
and entwine at the ankles of desire
while the evening uninvites
the thorns of the day

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There’s something terribly onanistic about the act of creative writing (creative anything, in truth!). At best it’s hard. But if you are forced to it for survivals sake, if it’s not something you WANT to do in the first place, then that certainly defines hell on earth.

#

Her hands are cold
and she smells, not of talc,
but of something not quite right.
She pulls me against her beads,
hugs me for ages,
then stares her lilac eyes
straight in my face.

These creatures, once women, perhaps, dance on the moor at night. They tempt the careless traveler: the backpacker camping for the night, the loving couple exchanging caresses near the stream – all are potential prey! They have no fear, these night things, and will plunge into the abyss without thought. They can transform themselves into night birds and fly back out again or cross the dimensions if they so wish.

Their smiles are deadly.

And from their icy gaze there is no escape –

26th August

Medusa lost her head, but she was only trying to defend herself. These things are a simple matter of perspective –

Both Pandora the first woman in Greek myth and Eve the first woman in Christian myth disobeyed divine prohibition with dire consequences for humanity. Are they male myths revealing the true nature of women? Or anti-feminist fables? Again Perspective is all important –

Tertullian denounced women thus:

“Do you not know that each of you is an Eve? God’s sentence on your gender lives even in our times, and so it is necessary that the guilt must also continue. You are the one who opened the devil’s door; you unseated the forbidden tree; you first betrayed the divine law; you are the one who enticed him whom the devil was too weak to attack. How easily you destroyed man, the image of God! Because of the death which you brought upon us, even the Son of God had to die.” (On the Apparel of Women, 1, 1.) –

The misogyny of the Christian Church fathers grew and multiplied throughout the middle ages –

But then “a witch-angel polarity emerged in attitudes toward women. The sexually active were often associated with the underworld devil, while those with unruptured hymens were adored on a par with heavenly angels. Virgins had virtue because, as the roots of these words indicate, they had male (Latin, vir) restraint. “Ava” was Gabriel’s greeting to Mary, according to Jerome, because the Nazareth virgin reversed the bad name of “Eva,” the sexual siren of Eden. The exalted “Queen of Heaven” of the cult of Mary set in bolder relief ” witches” who, by means of satanic voluptuousness, enchained men for consignment to hell.”

The gateway to hell was unknown until Tertullian located it between the legs of a woman. However, if we turn to Chaucer, his wife of Bath has this to say:

“If women had but written stories;
As have these clerks within their oratories,
They would have written of men more wickedness
Than all the race of Adam could redress.”

All about perspective again.

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Dinner party for eight tonight. Veggie lasagne followed by strawberries and cream, and a vat of wine.

Hell

July 30, 2017

Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide –

John Milton
Paradise Lost (Book IV)