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.’