Beelzebub asks the virtuoso of sadism for advice
(from Satan Repentant)

Issue SixIssue Six PoetryPoetry

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By Michael Aiken


Beelzebub fallen to disease, absent himself

willfully, to muster some inkling, some new insight

born of nothing but itself

with which to instill pain in the greatest lord of torture.

Knowing his force of mind

to be his greatest strength, he sought and sought the cause

of making a free will submit.

He lowered his neck and raised his head:

“I will ask her. She may help me.

The all-mother of suffering, creator unsurpassed

for all things awfully weakening, endured

for want of power to pursue another path.

She will help me.

She is the nation of suffering,

she is the east and west and all points intermediate

where pain and penance intermingle.”


He hauled his corpse from off the throne

mangled bits of jellied hoof

half-gnawed bones and worms mashed with maggots

sticking to his hind, dragged on those legs like a centipedal omen,

crawled down an efflugent pipe descending to deeper pits.


Entering by twisted vents, fragmented

tubes of razor glass, perpendicular lined

by hairs all thin all sharp and skinning,

slipped deep to emerge in a vestibule to

a great forgotten chamber, fluted Hall of

the Quibblers, ante-chamber of that palace well submerged

where the heroic sufferor rules.

The writhing floor this vestibule snaked with insect chains. Beelzebub reached

to feel the glassy wall, a chitinous serpent spread,

roamed from wall to wall, filthy articulated body, eyes for skin,

shimmering dermis, swathe of lenses

staring each at the other and every other thing, giving one million angles,

wishing be thought many minded while doing aught but admiring itself

arguing with itself. Yammering ceaselessly

‘That which can be asserted without evidence

can be dismissed without evidence, that which can be

asserted without evidence can be dismissed…’ Underfoot one million slithering babies, all quibblers themselves, crunch and scatter as he walks.

‘Harmless’ the Pig-king scoffs, presses on to the vault beyond.


Lit by the song of hordes of habited gorgons

ministering over death-near victims

who would rise if not for their continual curses,

pronely penitents who surrendered in life

by family, by friends, by their own religion or will

to sit service to the all-mother of suffering.

Theresa of Calcutta, that awful God-witch, her form

outgrown and monstrous

as the urgings of all accumulated sufferings, disease, embrace of passive inhalating

the vapours set to atmosphere by her many suitors fanged and clawed,

her tentacled mouths consume the souls of babies

born starving to unlivable homes,

her long and silken flagella falsely stroke the brow of

millions perpetually bed-ridden, ill-stricken souls she reaps

in life now sets to feed

her psyche, sucking toothsome energy along those same extended tentacles.

Never allow them dissipate, nor recover enough to rise and heal.


All nineteen bishops and twenty seven presbyters of the council of Elvira

sat beside, an entwined mass of mouths and limbs

and flesh, contorting torturous trussing

self-immolation and auto asphyxiation,

sat as her consort-husband

to brood and breed with that matron of undue suffering.

The two together beget never-ending

a stream of hurt, confusion, pain, self-loathing

division and sustainful hatred.


She exhales and advises Beelzebub

how best make Satan suffer.

Theresa’s voice is the cries of a billion starving babies

suffering as they expire, the sighs of bedridden ghosts

moaning through prolonged life…


“Make them believe

they deserve their pain. Make them think it noble

to rot in bed while the world lives on. They’ll smile

and bless you and call you ‘Mother’,

but inside they suffer, suffer more for surrender

to suffering, become suffering

as ones who know it is their purpose by birth. Devoted,


you will not long for them

for they will wire their souls willingly

and pass into your maw forever.”

Beelzebub saw the awesomeness of this laid out before him; turning

made to leave. “My child, why haste away? There is always

one more sick bed here.” She drew with a cord

of plasmoid flesh a chair and deck before her.

“Sit, lay awhile, take your rest. You are suffering,

weary, you take on too much. You deserve tending

by nurses kind and palliative.’


A moment the lieutenant usurper awed,

agog at the empire of distented self-deleterioration

this witch had fashioned from herself. He left

contemplative, unsure himself of how to match such might.

‘These sufferants always were’ she

called behind his shoulder. ‘Remember

that. They were born to it; all my great achievement is revelation

to my subjects

of their need for subjection.

Find the nature within and it will rise to the bait

like a white and bloated carp in a pool of viscous slime.’


Published in Satan Repentant (UWA Publishing 2018).