|Harlequin - Doug Nox|
There's blood upon the bridal wreath
The bridal wreath, the bridal wreath
The Devil shows his shiny teeth
His shiny teeth, his shiny teeth, all shiny teeth
Now take a seat there by the door
He'll leave you on the killing floor
He's gonna set the clouds on fire
They're burning there forever more
- Chase the Clouds, verse 1
That first black breath we take all full up with lust and drugs is the beginning of the end. This is the secret truth of the deal at the cross roads. Death is the beginning and not the end. True autonomy is hidden here, is the occulted relevance of the cross roads deal. The only choice you will ever really get to make is what you will suffer for, is how you will submit, is to whom you shall bargain your soul. Surrender is the only victory to be had for a sorcerer, a real one anyway.
Counter-intuitive I guess. We are collectively drawn to magic because of a sense of the greater universe, the realization of our fleeting smallness in the timelessness of existence. We seek control over our destinies when in fact there is no destiny. It is a profound vanity to believe the universe has a plan for you because it does not. You are the manifestation of a natural biological imperative, you are an accidental masterpiece of evolution and when creation is done with you it will portion you out at the molecular level in service of something greater and more profound. There is no pure state of being; enlightenment was the Buddha’s mischievous talk. The black ink of my tattoos, the poisons in my blood, none of it worse for me than breathing in the living death of my existence.
I have been set to a pilgrimage and I am unsure of where it is taking me. In my dreams I have come back to the Nails of my youth but Qemetiel is no longer a purity of burning fields. Now I see a ramshackle of shanties hobbled together along the banks of anti-freeze rivers, darkly haunted by inhabitants without a connection to their Other. Beneath that endless expanse of poverty and suffering is a temple city much older than the Old Victorian that used to inhabit that space, still the colours of rust and sunset yellows but now Corinthian and Ionic pillars hold up its iron sky.
I have wandered since December, from luxury condo to luxury condo in the ever-increasing number of sky-scrappers in Toronto. A blur of swimming pools and hot tubs and impossible vista’s, staring out over the urban sprawl of Canada’s largest city from its center point downtown. Cut free of the whole of an old incarnation, the woman I have loved the whole of my adult life clings to my hand, my fat cock, we are two people but one demon. What new forms will have us? We orbit the core of this city like a satellite picking up escape velocity.
Qemetiel is an endless shanty town and the crowd of impoverished gods huddle about their oil drum fires, rubbing their hands together and telling stories of their lives before the fall. Mostly lies I suspect. I tuned up my 12-string guitar so that I could sing along with the howling winds buffeting the austere heights of the Neptune Tower on Queens Quay. The Invisibles love the lyrical purity of a lonely musician. I gave up the first part of my soul for all the world's magic, the second to sing like the devil himself, the third to fuck like a satyr. Worth every penny. Of the four mortal parts, I got one left to bargain with. As for the three immortal parts, well they were never really mine to sell. So I am making my way to that Black Buddha to strike my final bargain, across the endless shanties and anti-freeze rivers. Through the poverty of your Gods, their oil-drum fires and tall tales, past the dark silhouettes of the Ha’wiyah who praise the Tetragrammaton while they jerk off to clockwork hookers and sacrifice their children in pursuit of self-deification.
Just a crusty sorcerer with a bit of soul to sell and a knack for the hard bargain. It is has been more than a decade since I last undertook the ordeal of the Pilgrimage and I am the wiser for them. I will burn incense before the mask of Harlequin and let the God-who-is-Not fill it up. I will spill blood and semen and cheap whiskey upon an altar for the Circus-Burlesque because that is what your religion is to me. A cock-tease and a wondrous spectacle. I will sing songs with the four winds until the Tower falls down in its joyous destruction.
And this time, I will write the whole damned thing down.