Of The Shadowy Nature


of the shadowy nature
of the teeth in the dark
of their brains built from insects
of their hardening hearts

of demands i have made
of commands they’ve denied
of their ears filled with screams
of the silence they find

of the echoes down hallways
of my name in the dust
of the gesturing whispers
of a promising trust

of rejections and gossip
of their eyes after me
of their hunting in sickness
of some truth i don’t need

of me, red-blooded in anger
of me, raging at cages
of my summons for vengeance
of their promiscuous faces

of jade-colored hatred
of venomous masquerades
of my defeated long laughter
of confetti in hand grenades

of nothing in trophies
of picking up sticks
of building in exile
of a lie i wont miss

of searching inside
of new questions to learn
of rebirth into death, i burn,
oh how i burn

My name is Anu. You must not tell this name to anyone; they will not let you keep it. I am here only when you need the duende to conjure yourself to this place. Speak “Kulthos Akki-Stopholenn” -lo’ the beasts that wander will permit their souls to find you. Remember to take only what you receive; the thirst will come again, and you would be wise to stay in wanting. Now, become.

Do you remember the path to the duende? First we must find our muscles and activate them. Meditate on feet, hands and shoulder chakras. Build up energy, re-learn how to move and walk as the beast does in the moonlight, then howl at your beauty.

The duende is, as is my understanding and personal experience, the true inner Magic of humans. It is freedom of form in movement, freedom of thought, the third eye ladder to epiphany bathed in the mystic blood of inspiration. Elliptic, aware, harmonious, mind wide open above the conscious aether.
The path to this place is likely different for all travelers who seek to find it.
We’ve made this trip before, and found ourselves screaming silent faces at the long dark tunnel of our end, postponed, yet inevitable. That horror drove us, first inspired, then consumed, left trembling in the depths of our own ineptitude.
This will be our second attempt, going back to the beginning, but with all of the knowledge gained during the first voyage. Memories are dripping back to us now. I’ll do my best not to retrace where we went wrong before.

One night, while walking at the edge of town, I had these stereo headphones on and an mp3 player.  I was in my music, in my steps. My head would lean back, and up over the moon. Eyes fixed on the stars, I let the small stones under-foot guide my way.
Habitually I walked several city blocks at midnight. A dotted-line with farmers fields on my left, fresh-tilled Earth, with the animated ruckus of grass violinists and flying needles dancing with wet bellied frogs in the cacophanies of sex. On my right the city streets were dismally quiet, vacant tombstones of cold machines waiting to explode. I drift on in silence through the thickness of it all, bobbing gently in between the speakers, just on the outer-crust of practical excuse for my whereabouts.
Presently, I feel unfamiliar.  I know my town’s geography well enough in the sober light of day, but not here in the drunken shadows of 1 am. Precautions must be observed so as not to alarm attentions. I’m beginning to feel as suspect as a wolf where the sheep are jumpy and prone to kicking fits of awareness.
But this night is still, and their dreams are cushions.
Before long, the path narrows to a trail winding up uneven terrain, then down just enough to lose the city lights, to waxen moon glitters on spring-heavy grass. There I sat, -off, the music, off, the headset, to expose my ears to the all natural buzz and chirping incantations of Her soliloquy. Here, as I sat with meditative legs crossed, nature’s voice took on a tone of repetition that twinged at my inspection. It grew, as wrinkles about my brows, frustrated question “What is that sound?” and still I sat, patiently waiting as She grew menacing acoustic features. Then all at once, the rhythm soured to a grating, as though the entire orchestra had turned to scraping metal, sharp on metal, gnashing chords, and still they sang until unbearable, turned to fear and I grew deaf as they drew near.

I gathered myself up as quickly as I could, though I’m sure my stumbling must have looked as an abortive attempt at inconspicuous behaviour. I felt disheveled, in tatters, hurried motions, paranoias, back-pedaling through logical, uncertain ‘what ifs’. Back into my music, trying to settle -to forget- yet still the growing insect garble haunted me in throbbing pulses I couldn’t mute.
I abandoned the path for quiet city streets and no back alleys, no shadows. Visible sure-footing, under street lamps would best get me back to where I want to be.
Some more blocks now and I’ll be there, as familiar as the front door and that first-floor balcony. My legs are tired and my breathing, stiff. I’m crashing like a plane. No engines. I’ll do my best to aim my wreckage at my couch or my floor.
Just like that I’m up and over the balcony, and the curtains are shut with me inside. Still, my thoughts are racing all at once and they’re out there with headlights and barking dogs and my pores reek of galactic stairwells and cosmic soup and the slow moving worms of impossible reasoning- must get naked.
Must take my clothes off, hang them up, fold them up, put them away -put myself away. Panicked and complaintive with all my arguable backwards biting ,”I told you so” to myself and “Never again” -“I feel filthy” -“Take a shower”.
My blood still boils, turn the hot water down, make it colder. Drown them out, colder still, this wouldn’t work. “Nothing will.”

Sometime later, when the voices left my windows, when the snuffling noses had retreated,
when my skin had stopped its crawling, my compulsive obsessions found me on the kitchen floor, trapped chanting manic verse “I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to” over and over.
Scrubbing unseen dirt with ritual virility, naked as the day I was born. Appeasing imaginary dragons as Mayans or Aztecs or whoever tossed their virgins to volcano-gods, I spent dishrags and bacteria-laden sponges to the waste bin as I rocked back and forth in and out of time. I begged to be tethered to the ugly skin suited vessel that I own if but to treat it better. I begged to be freed from from the labyrinthine bowels of hopeless fragility. That this act of acknowledged penance may appease the Minotaur that I had awoken in the centre of it all.

Two years, I spent recuperating, healing from that madness. Though the things I’d seen and heard remained a burned after-image on my psyche. I had returned, rebirthed with a new shadow on my soul. Without a name, I named him Crow.
Through him I found a vent, a release or amplifier for the deep, inner self-disgust I carried and saw mirrored back at me in every thieving liar, swindling flesh-merchant, hawker of pornographic God-heads. These glittering angel-faced sell-soul whores that beg and bend or blow for the almighty dollar ideology; all, prepared to fuck and be fucked in a seething. writhing mass of worms that gorge themselves on the pleasures of feast and blood rape in the murky, pungent, breathy sweat of hollow servitude.
Gold is your master, possessions are your prize and reminder to succeed is to trade handshakes for daggers to the spines of any and all you can screw in a pitiable mass of carcasses, breeding carcasses with no future. I too, am among them; hating and being hated by the reflections of myself I find in secret perversions I preserve to polish my jade throne of self
-defeat. I know that all I’ll accomplish is to eat and be eaten until eternity. The contradiction is that I am fed just enough to be dependent, and yet I’m fed up.
So I rebel with a new faith. Crow showed me that the road to anonymous orgasms is as nothing but a fruitless anger that feeds itself excuses to remain chained to its fallacy, like any addiction. Humans are fundamentally weak and easily programmed or encouraged to believe they’re really just victims. We hit and yell and judge and gossip and envy but we’re only victims ourselves after all so it’s alright, right?
That most don’t know or that most don’t want to is no one’s fault. Well it is possible that we could all entertain conspiratorial tones of cigar box tape recorders in dimly-lit hotel rooms where faceless men in hats rendezvous under inconspicuous smoke screens. Switching briefcases amid cardboard cafe backdrops of promenaders dressed like foreign tourists, where nothing is, and nobody is as they appear to be; where governments puppet-master shadow corporations built on misinformation, designed to milk money from the over trusting masses.
Whether or not we can prove or disprove that our media is controlled or that drugs are in the water, in our food, or that we’re being systematically divided doesn’t matter. I can say this because I am alive today. Anything that yet may be or might have been does not stop my lungs from filling with air, metabolizing oxygen. My muscles and my heart keep pumping blood. My senses keep my mind aware of its surroundings, to calibrate the limbic motions of its machinery. This glorious truth keeps me sane in an asylum full of neon sign slogans of professional grade miracle cures in polished chrome, in leather seats, in upperchalant illusions, in bottles of booze, in style and attitude encased in the four-walled coffins of cigarette cartons. Chocolate hearts for shallow smiles and flower bribes for new paint jobs and fresh manicured make-believe, and in all the carefully prettied-up, sweet-smelling, petitely packaged commercial lies.
Its no wonder the duende is dry, the mystic ways are lost to us now. Sold-off for affordable image, or agnostic faithlessness.


When alone, I think about a certain man. This man counted all the days of his life; moments of splendor and of sadness. Without family or friends to aid him  at that time he had only his memories. Some of her, and of himself in drunken mornings, passed out in the empty spaces where her packed boxes had been, where her scent had hung on pillow cases folded neatly between picture frames.

Those boxes sat there a week, and in all that time he hadn’t bothered at all. He knew she said it was over. He knew she had meant it this time. Yet still, the entirety of it all hadn’t hit him, just yet.
When the week was up, she had gone as she promised she would. As the silent spaces between he and her grew wider; distant memories seemed to crawl, screaming from somewhere inside the walls, the house shrunk all at once. All the world seemed smaller, and he at once felt less important.

That house, in the woods, cradled him as a child in the arms of a mother. His pain was deep and dear, and oh, how he wanted all of it at once.
For weeks on-end his days and nights became a blur of meaningless activity. I watched him as he would toss and turn himself out of bed, just to shuffle around sobbing at his losses until he felt too weak to stand and so he would go searching again for sleep.

His dreams were fractured images of he and her and arguments, of screaming silenced by a smile. She would turn to him with some off-hand remark or laughter before they would snap back to their darknesses. Throwing things and slamming telephones, at the top of their lungs about everything, and picking fights then fucking wildly in the bedroom. Pulling hair, biting at each others sweaty bodies. Blowing kisses across rose-colored restaurant tables, and holding hands in lazy park-bench afternoons. He both loved her and hated how he loved her. He felt certain that she felt the same, but mostly now he just hated that he’d met her at all.

That would have been it, right there, had suicide been a worthwhile venture, however, to exit defeated didn’t sit well with him. The thought of breaking stirred his anger even more until his nights were filled with ranting and pacing back and forth, in and out of rooms. It wasn’t vengeance on his mind, but salvation. He had begun to fight for himself. He began to understand new possibilities.

Humans have all had that eureka moment; a moment where the bulb of inspiration flashes brightly and they have it; the puzzle is unlocked, the mystery solved. When he came to realize that all of this was by his design, it was not wonder and awe that struck him, but a horrific purposeless futility that sprang to life in his wide eyes. He was the maker of his damnation. He was his own worst enemy.

As all the demons of regret and doubt played mischief in his mind, he knew that to be spared from this torment he would have to reshape all he knew himself to be. Indeed, everything he once believed to be true would have to be brought in to question. Every wrong he had righted, every desire, every purpose he had fought for, everything he was would have to be destroyed. The only glint of hope that he had left, was that in acknowledging all of his faults, in seeing them for what they were, he could change them. If he could make them, then it was reasonable to understand that they could be un-made. He could change everything in and of himself.

Where to begin seems an unanswerable question, and so I helped him to imagine self as a vessel, filled, though not yet full, with the teachings of parents and of environment. If he were born to different parents with different moral ideals, or born in to a different environment with different values for survival, he would then be quite unlike himself. This, I assured him is reasonable; he is exactly who he is and this can not be changed. Remedied perhaps, but not rewritten. If every belief he has is only his through some unbroken chain, as a child grows to have a son of his own, who in turn becomes his father and so on, then he is not living as himself but as some one else.

If one can imagine self, and all the things self did not ask for, and all the choices self had no part to play in, then one could imagine something better. One could become unlike those that came before. Now that self has seen at least that much, the real question is: how?

My intentions in all of this were only those of an observer. Meddling in the affairs of mortals is not an interest of Demons such as myself. Though, I must admit; I was not satisfied with idly watching this man grope in the dark at impossible questions. His fragility amused me. I was overcome by a temptation to show him the true nature of the supernatural that he’d so long desired. I will never forget the night my curiosity got the better of me.

It was late summer. A storm had rolled in under the prairie sky, that had, by nightfall, veiled the world outside with a blackened rage of howling wind and sideways-falling rain.
The old wood house seemed to groan against it. I watched him leap from his bed, where he had moments before been laying soundly asleep. He was up like a bolt, and into heavy clothes, and out the door faster than I could follow him. I do not know where or for how long he was gone, but when he returned he was in pain. Pressing his back against the door, breathing hard and choking back tears, he collapsed on the floor. I watched him lay there for a time, scared for him. I could feel so many thoughts and emotions boiling at his insides. My spirit nearly broke at his beautiful transformation. I wanted to pick him up and wipe away his agony, but I could only watch him struggle.

Eventually he got to his feet and out of his wet clothes, marched himself, naked, up the stairs and into the bath. The storm outside was quiet when he returned, now renewed. Exhausted, he lay his body down to rest once more. I lay there with him, troubled, in invisible silence. I caressed his curly hair like a morning vapor, dreamed his dreams, and wished that he would dream of mine.

It was then that I forgot myself as I lay, wrapped around his body, face pressed against his neck. I did something unexpected, I laughed. What’s more, he heard me somewhere within a dream. As voice that was not his woke him in one mutually startling moment, I was more surprised than he, I’m certain, but oh, how his pulse did race. It excited me in a way I had never before imagined.

Mortals are such delicate creatures. For all their will and determination, their realities can be shaken to the root with only the suggestion of the impossible. Even those who have guarded their souls with faith, those who have endeavored to unravel the mysteries of the universe are jilted inestimably by what goes bump in the night.

Ghosts and Demons are very real, I am proof of that. Angels and Gods however, are a different matter. I have never seen or heard a thing of, and none of my kind ever speak of them. But in our ways, we know; the old ones say “that Shadow is cast where Light prevails, where there is no Light, only Shadow veils,” credence to Earths natural dualities.

Humans do not see themselves as unnatural, a lie we are content to help them preserve. The truth is devilishly simple; the more they believe in salvation, faith, hope, or light to guide them, so too, the legion of shadow grows to compensate.

Even though it is forbidden, I have fallen in love with a mortal man.


when I am not here
when I
am that of myself
am I
a monster? were that I,
horrible inside
or I,
a creature of the night
foundling seed
as grown by need
at that
be blamed
lay taunting tricks and withered haunts
as the immaterial
bends, o’er
where the shadow fens’
on the lee
of grown obstruction to
the light

I tell you, I would try
were it that I
thought myself capable
to convince you
that there is truly
nothing here
that you’ve not
lent, through the looking-glass
of self-divide

that fractured, tepid pool
vent, wen
vie creature drew
drek-headed tendrils
mossy fingers to the root
a conscious riddle
fie; human-machine
borne you
of Ones design, or
of the ilk, that ever die?
beneath shamanic mantra
vicious filth,
as knelt to pray

waive thy mortal weaknesses
that I find strength
to publicly renounce
thine, imperfect vessel
that all may witness
self as healthy
that I must ever tend thy garden
to grow once more
in the thorny vale,
a sumptuous seed, dey Sin

to be returned
there, by that again
wanting this forgiveness
or, in there
to claim thy circles
as a slave-made debt
portioned unto thee,
that a strong heart, beats true
thy gifted salvation
risen, clend o’er
carnal beasts
bathe themselves unclean
that a light may grow
lay there
stead by silence,


which I oppose
by compromise: that I
may never
tell a lie

this path
will survive you
you may thread the line.


I had thought it once possible to learn, by experience and understanding, the mystery of life. Then once learned, that it could be taught to others. In that i only learned the curse of knowing too much.

“They will not see, as you have seen nor will they know as you have known.”

it rests, as it is
yet to be tested
as its roots have not
gripped a hold
in the fertile, mossy

let’s imagine that
a pool,
reservoir of knowledge
where ideas, freshly clipped
from the cosmic loom
of imagination
wait to be tested
even until our body stops
or, we forget who
and what
we are

beginning there
in the subconscious
war with idea
versus idea
(moving faster now)
as self imagines identity
external stimulae
either supports or denies
what self has decided,
self dreams it is

and should an idea be no,
then it is at once
brought in for questioning
and measured against
what self has come
to believe
as an unquestioning decree

as though
customs agents
have observed, and acknowledged
that they each have handled
these incoming packages
and there decided
that either they support
or they
(others ideas or opinions
of our individual identity)
simply do not agree with us

so then,
like all discarded things
they linger in disuse
or in forgotten fiction
like bodies washed away
in faceless, sunken slumber
along the spongy bottom
of (our) internal
oceanic ether

for what use do we have
of things
that we do not agree with?

now, in here
where some ideas are kept
close to the surface
designs (we have) recently
fought with
terrible incarnations of
another’s dreams
contested, and found
to be illegitimate
to our
personal thoughts of self

perception: is at once
governed by plausible excuse,
and further justified
by the knowledge
we have come to own, or have used
to bring us to
here and now

memory: an intangible
road map
deciphered by ego
and kept in the foreground
of our imaginings
at this we can then claim
“We are, for we have done!”
though these self interpretations
are as nothing
the agitating catalyst
of externally decided notion

awareness: the immediate
agreed position
of what we claim to hold
as our own
pre-defended conclusions
intellect then,
is as unrecognizable, as
uncomprehended answers
to questions
we have not yet

we are
then as equals
each, and every one
of us
capable, and incapable
of providing proof
in defense
of what we
have come to call

what are we

in hand-spun clothes
matched by color,
and thread count
to disguise
this fragility?

if that were true,
then we treat our flesh
to hide our skeletons
as our minds
also, reassess
our infantile grasp
of (this) divinity

we are not
men, and women
but creatures
in constant,
pendulum swing
right and wrong
set adrift
on the gray waves
of nowhere
to find in that
a cruel joke

if you can not save
(as you can not prove
you are sane),
then you can not
save another
though you will try
only to find
that you have given answer
to a question
have not arrived at

how then,
can we claim
to measure

© Emerys Watchel, 2016 All rights reserved.

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