Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Sunday Lurches

(what, can you tell i'm on drugs?)
(i'd like to complain about the hallucinations, they're not at all what i expected...)

Lex Insulinsur Real - the Testament of Solomon

sunlight reflects blindingly off the table. i feel comfortable behind my shades, always, the world's painful intensity dulled, but i take them off because i want to drink in her eyes, put the dark glasses on again when the sun comes out of the clouds and the glare becomes intolerable once more.

i have not been sworn to silence. "you haven't even sworn me to silence" i say. "i trust you" she says. shouldn't have.

i want this young girl who is asking me how to kill someone and get away with it so much it fucking hurts, but the valium and hashish take the edge off and my thoughts of raping her in a pub toilet are vague, detached, abstract. when memories of her naked perfect skin arise to torment me it is not too difficult to forget.

she wants this human being dead because she thinks it will make her relationship with her boyfriend finally perfect.

fucking idiot. accessory to murder.

her fucking accessory, you.

we sink deeper and deeper in a happy world in the middle of the day.

sugar, don't be fucking stupid. you are delusional. you would never carry this out. you don't know what it is you're proposing. ("are you still seeing your councillor?" i ask. "have you been diagnosed with any mental disorders? are you on any medication? what drugs have you been taking recently?")

--are you cold enough to do it?

you don't even know what it is you're considering. i am not god, to decide whether this human deserves to live or die, and you are not fucking god, to calculate cause and effect. the ripples from this action will spread in ways that you cannot even guess.

--are you really?

and so... and so i tell her about LD50 values, organic versus inorganic toxins, fatal doses of various drugs or non-prescription medications, coroners' toxicology reports, and if she is researching poisons to do it on a computer they will not be able to trace her search records on. i tell her about falling from heights, head trauma, diabetic crises, the effects of insulin, hemoglycaemic index, syringes, needles and air embolisms, unnoticeable entry points such as between toes or at the sites of existing scrapes, cuts or scars. i tell her how the optic nerve can absorb a lethal dose of something as innocuous as butyl nitrate poppers poured into the eyes directly into the brain. we discuss night ferries to holland and hypothermia.

it's not murder, really, is it? it's just a sort of.. ah... retrospective abortion.

but no, if you were expecting me to have a magic pill in my wallet for this situation, no, i can't help you.

i do have 10mg diazepam. i know it would make me feel better...

your alternative, of course, is black magic. evocation to visible appearance. the real hardcore shit. you will want to conjure the ....

no, i don't even know if i should say that name out loud...

in case your familiarity with the medieval occult tradition is not great, allow this to serve as an introduction:

in the tradition of the medieval occult and kabbalah, solomon was an accomplished sorceror and many texts are (fancifully) attributed to him. a tract i found here speaks of the great king solomon (or suleiman) son of david (ibn daud), who had authority over all spirits under heaven, under earth, of the deep oceans, and power over all djinni.

the magnificence of solomon is discussed at length, and how his wisdom, power and munificence leads all to pay respect to the lord God Sabaoth of Israel and render tribute to the Great Temple which Solomon built for the lord god...

granted power over the demons by grace of god elohim sabaoth, one by one, he begins to summon the spirits:

43. But I Solomon glorified the Lord, and bade another demon come before me. And there was brought to me a demon having all the limbs of a man, but without a head. And I, seeing him, said to him: "Tell me, who art thou?'' And he answered: "I am a demon." So I said to him: "Which?" And he answered me: "I am called Envy. For I delight to devour heads, being desirous to secure for myself a head; but I do not eat enough, but am anxious to have such a head as thou hast."
44. I Solomon, on hearing this, sealed him, stretching out my hand against his chest. Whereon the demon leapt up, and threw himself down, and gave a groan, saying: "Woe is me! where am I come to? O traitor Ornias, I cannot see!" So I said to him: "I am Solomon. Tell me then how thou dost manage to see." And he answered me: "By means of my feelings." I then, Solomon, having heard his voice come up to me, asked him how he managed to speak. And he answered me: "I, O King Solomon, am wholly voice, for I have inherited the voices of many men. For in the case of all men who are called dumb, I it is who smashed their heads, when they were children and had reached their eighth day. Then when a child is crying in the night, I become a spirit, and glide by means of his voice. . . . In the crossways1 also I have many services to render, and my encounter is fraught with harm. For I grasp in all instant a man's head, and with my hands, as with a sword, I cut it off, and put it on to myself. And in this way, by means of the fire which is in me, through my neck it is swallowed up....

he seems overcome by insatiable curiosity, interrogating the demons about their natures:

16. I then asked of the demon if there were females among them. And when he told me that there were, I said that I desired to see them. So Beelzeboul went off at high speed, and brought unto me Onoskelis, that had a very pretty shape, and the skin of a fair-hued woman; and she tossed her head [D: Onoskelis means "she who has ass's legs."]
17. And when she was come, I said to her: "Tell me who art thou?" But she said to me: "I am called Onoskelis, a spirit which has been made into a body, lurking upon the earth. There is a golden cave where I lie. But I have a place that ever shifts
16. At one time I strangle men with a noose; at another, I creep up from the nature to the arms. But my most frequent dwelling-places are the precipices, caves, ravines. Oftentimes, however, do I consort with men in the semblance of a woman, and above all with those of a dark skin
18. For they share my star with me; since they it is who privily or openly worship my star, without knowing that they harm themselves, and but whet my appetite for further mischief. For they wish to provide money by means of memory [commemmoration of me], but I supply a little to those who worship me fairly."

18. And I Solomon questioned her about her birth, and she replied: "I was born of a voice untimely, the so-called echo of a man's ordure dropped in a wood." [For the demon born of an echo we have an analogue in the Hebrew Bath Kol, "the daughter of a voice." In D: "I was generated from an unexpected voice which is called a voice of the echo of a black heaven, emitted in matter. (meaning uncertain)"]
19. And I said to her: "Under what star dost thou pass?" And she answered me: "Under the star of the full moon, for the reason that the moon travels over most things." Then I said to her: "And what angel is it that frustrates thee?" And she said to me: "He that in thee is reigning." And I thought that she mocked me, and bade a soldier strike her. But she cried aloud, and said: "I am [subjected] to thee, O king, by the wisdom of God given to thee."
20. So I uttered the name of the Holy One of Israel and commanded her to spin the hemp for the ropes used in the building of the house of God; and accordingly, when I had sealed and bound her, she was so overcome and brought to naught as to stand night and day spinning the hemp.

the demons responsible for epilepsy and bad fortune, for fits, for night terrors, for unclean spirits from the desert, for diseased winds are described, their names given, and the angels who have the power to frustrate them, and the means to invoke them. one by one, solomon summons the demons before him, revelling in his new-found power and setting the demons and even the prince of the demons beelzeboul to work building the great temple:

21. And I at once bade another demon to be led unto me; and instantly there approached me the demon Asmodeus, bound, and I asked him: "Who art thou?" But he shot on me a glance of anger and rage, and said: "And who art thou?" And I said to him: "Thus punished as thou art, answerest thou me?" But he, with rage, said to me: "But how shall I answer thee, for thou art a son of man; whereas I was born an angel's seed by a daughter of man, so that no word of our heavenly kind addressed to the earth-born can be overweening
24. Wherefore also my star is bright in heaven, and men call it, some the Wain [Ursula Major, the Great Bear], and some the dragon's child. I keep near unto this star. So ask me not many things; for thy kingdom also after a little time is to be disrupted, and thy glory is but for a season. And short will be thy tyranny over us; and then we shall again have free range over mankind, so as that they shall revere us as if we were gods, not knowing, men that they are, the names of the angels set over us."
[Asmodeus also appears in Tobit 3:8, and is ultimately derived from the Avestan demon Aeshma-daeva ("demon of wrath"). -JHP]

22. And I Solomon, on hearing this, bound him more carefully, and ordered him to be flogged with thongs of ox-hide, and to tell me humbly what was his name and what his business. And he answered me thus: "I am called Asmodeus among mortals, and my business is to plot against the newly wedded, so that they may not know one another. And I sever them utterly by many calamities, and I waste away the beauty of virgin women, and estrange their hearts."
23. And I said to him: "Is this thy only business?" And he answered me: "I transport men into fits of madness and desire, when they have wives of their own, so that they leave them, and go off by night and day to others that belong to other men; with the result that they commit sin, and fall into murderous deeds." [D: I spread (or, I *sting to ?) madness about women through the stars, and I have often committed a rash of murders.]
24. And I adjured him by the name of the Lord Sabaôth, saying: "Fear God, Asmodeus, and tell me by what angel thou art frustrated." But he said: "By Raphael, the archangel that stands before the throne of God."

and so on and on. and solomon is secure in the wisdom granted to him of the lord god of israel, and peace reigns in the land, and repose and rejoycing are in jerusalem, and solomon takes many wives.

but he is unsatisfied; he dreams of, he desires violently the shummamite... her, she of the people who worship moloch, the dreadful black-magic god who demands burnt sacrifice of children...

she must have been a young dark-haired princess, just like mine...

the story ends abruptly and ignobly. solomon writes:

129. And when I answered that I would on no account worship strange gods, they told the maiden not to sleep with me until I complied and sacrificed to the gods. I then was moved, but crafty Eros brought and laid by her for me five grasshoppers, saying: "Take these grasshoppers, and crush them together in the name of the god Moloch; and then will I sleep with you." And this I actually did. And at once the Spirit of God departed from me, and I became weak as well as foolish in my words. And after that I was obliged by her to build a temple of idols to Baal, and to Rapha, and to Moloch, and to the other idols.
130. I then, wretch that I am, followed her advice, and the glory of God departed from me; and my spirit was darkened, and I became the sport of idols and demons. Wherefore I wrote out this Testament, that ye who get possession of it may pity, and attend to the last things1, and not to the first. So that ye may find grace for ever and ever. Amen.

no punchline at the end here, just a rambling digression. i don't even know why i wrote this. i keep changing it. you see what i've done, though. young beautiful.

"Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief; Kill for inspiration, then sing about the grief" (misheard U2 lyric...)

(a note on the text: from "The Testament of Solomon" (translated from the codex of the Paris Library, after the edition of Fleck, Wissensch. Reise, bd. ii. abth. 3)

rapidly adapted and re-formated from


Lx said...

only fair.
things change as we write them.
i like the line about cannibalism.
the end.

theelf29 said...

Love the way you've taken the Testament and added background, interpretation and parallels. Good stuff! I shall be back!