jadwiga the hyperbolean is stuck on an intricacy
which is stuck on misanthropomorphising itself infinitely
jadwiga is a witch
jadwiga is a witch who is burning
she can’t, won’t, really mustn’t
sit around sucking on lemons and biting her tongue
not when the full, round beaver moon is mourning overhead
and the clock has tick-tocked to 11:11pm,
the high-pitched time
when the henbane loons swimming in her spleen wail most grievously
and the mountain lions rampaging in her belly excoriate most furiously
plus, it looks like rain
rain lubricates things
plus, if it is too dry,
there is always the risk
– sometimes tempting –
of drying out and blowing away
– sometimes tempting –
but then you might land on some fancy-pants plate of escargot
and spend a fortnight sliding through cringing organs
been there, done that, old hat off to you brave monsieur
in any case, today it looks like rain
jadwiga drags herself from her firepit,
reluctantly animating her heavy flesh,
dented and dimpled
by the tumultuous breakout attempts
of her subcutaneous menagerie
she’s made it over her hearth
and pulled herself up into a vaguely primate posture
jadwida sighs little charcoal tornadoes,
grudgingly extricating the nine of swords
growing from her nervous system
she brushes off the ash from her skins
polishes her bones and unbruises her shins
she gives her flesh a good going over
up and down, back and forward, with the rolling pin
– the wrinkles aren’t really hers, after all –
– they belong to the worry wart crouched on the joint of her left middle finger-
she pops a chrysalis or two on her chin
and ties the moths to strands of her hair with the others
she spoon-feeds the violet orb in her right palm
with a tart mix of menstrual blood and vinegar
that’ll get some fur back on and round it up a bit
the poor thing having gotten downright ellipsoidal with neglect
jadwiga wipes away a penitent tear
and pets the orb which begins to purr
– jadwiga sure is taking her time –
– won’t she miss it? –
jadwiga sure is taking her time
that’s just how she is, okay?
but time waits for her today
today it is her time
so says the mourning dove nesting in her ear
and so says the grandfather clock she never knew
having died before she was born
besides, she’s ready now
she picks her way through the tangle
of crochet scarfs littering the floor
– it’s good for a sensitive girl to have a hobby –
– keeps her mind off of things –
throwing on a nice long stole last minute
to cover her inauspicious mole
she’s on her way now for sure
and out the door by 11:11pm
The full, round beaver moon gazes down through a tunnel that has been dug by a cynical celestiamole working to pay off a debt to a witch. The tunnel (illegal, by the way) goes all the way through the squirming, growling cumulonimbus clouds, which are itching terribly all over with the need to divest themselves of themselves. But they can’t just yet, there are more of them coming, many, many more are coming, to participate in the main event, a mass execution by electric chair, a beastly, ecstatic happening, a long time in planning, which will be known ever after as the Biggest Storm.
At the other end of the tunnel, hovering just above the crown of the oak in the courtyard, a violet circle of violent flames is suspended, within which the witch is suspended, with the full, round beaver moon’s gaze hovering just above the crown of her head. She is naked (almost), hissing, shuddering, jiggling, shimmering, engorged, enraged. She is unbeautiful, even hideous, in her demented struggling.
But, there is no one here to see her except the man crouched next to the brick wall over there, rocking himself and suckling hungrily at the breast growing from the foundation of his apartment, which lactates an endless supply of dialectible morsels: “do what i will, but harm none, if i harm another, i will be harmed, if i harm myself who is harmed back, if i harm myself i have already paid for my harm with my harm, so self-harm is exempt, we are all one, so all harm is self-harm, so all harm is exempt.” But, he is also naked (almost) and hideous and pays the witch no mind. He wouldn’t understand anyway. He can’t even see it.
This is no ordinary struggle. In front of the witch now is her old adversary, the shadow barrier, barring her from… what?, something, she doesn’t know because she can’t get to the other side. Whenever she attempts a crossing, she finds herself chained, literally, to this side of the barrier with little shadow chains connecting the ring in the wall to the ring in her right hip, the seat of selfhood. It is on this foe, the shadow barrier, that she pours her anger and anguish, pounding her potent fists impotently on its shadow bricks. To make matters worse, today the barrier has a face and a body. Today the barrier has her face and her body. The witch is chained to this shadow self from hip to shadow hip. She stares into her shadow face, pleading and cursing by turns, but shadow she remains unmoved. She chisels and saws with all the magic tools she wields but shadow chain remains unmoved.
For the clouds there is no relief, they are waiting, waiting for their release, everything waits. They crackle and chafe, biting down to hold back the burst inside.
For the witch there is no relief, she is trapped, she is trapped. The jackals scratch and bite at her pelvis and the boars throw themselves at her ribcage. Writhing epileptically, the witch pulls a knife on her shadow self, screaming as she brings it down repeatedly, “I stab you! In the face, in the face, in the globs, in the face, in the glob face, face, face, globs!” As the witch cuts off the head of her shadow self, violet blood bursts out all over her and shocks her from her delirium. The witch wipes the blood from her eyes and sees that her shadow self has bloomed open from the waist up into a jumble of moist new limbs and appendages: arms, legs, tails, tentacles. But worst of all, there it was, looking calmly out at her from between a new pair of legs, a face, her face.
After a long and bitter effort, at 11:11pm, the witch despairs. She throws herself into the arms, etc. of shadow self, raises her face to the full, round beaver moon, opens her maw, and howls. The witch howls, a horse breaks its leg, a ship is pulled into a vortex, a worm dries up in the sun, a planet is struck by asteroids, a girl bites her tongue, a seal is clubbed, a man is crushed to death in a factory, a sun explodes, a black hole forms. And still, there is the event horizon, the shadow barrier, unyielding.
At 11:12pm, it begins to rain. It rains like the whole world crying, pissing, cumming, spitting at once. It rains like hammers falling and stars falling. The wind scatters itself to the wind. Electric explosions wrack the sky and the earth, a death-trip across country. The clouds commit honorable suicide and pour their bowels forth in an ecstasy of unbirth.
At 11:12pm, the rain comes in at the witch’s open mouth. It fills her up full to the brim. It gets inside her organs, drowning all the animals, bursting mucus membranes. The lightning strikes inside her gullet, runs through her synapses and arteries. It gets under her skin, cutting connective tissue and dissolving bone and throne and kin. The witch is loosed inside herself, separate from her pelt like the beavers in the moon. Swimming in her womb with no umbilicus, no anchor, no tombs. The witch writhes against her shadow self, hip to hip, vulva to vulva, knotted together with curling hairs curling round each other. Swimming out of womb, into shadow womb, sloughed of self by birth by self, penetration of barrier by union with shadow self.
On the shadow side, the shadow witch dives off the oak into the ground, which closes intimately over her and ripples at her passing.
“Know what i will, but know none, if i know another, i will be known, if i know myself who knows me, if i know myself i have already gained my knowing with my knowledge, so self-knowing is knowledge, we are all one, so self-knowing is all-knowing, so all knowing is knowledge.”