Numeral I

Satan's Claw 

Hear: an otherworldly, disembodied chortle

(and its echo)

issue gutturally through a windpipe sunk in cesspools

sloughs of phlegm

its rasp infectious


a contagious, mocking snigger

an eruption of ordure as if emptied from a bowel.


Smell: putrefaction.


Taste: scorched entrails such as a road-kill corpse’s

festering in the heat.


Feel: itchy rashes spread

inflamed by an atmospheric swelter.


See: His / Her throne

a monolith sheathed in raw vermilion leather

sewn with viscera

stretched over skeletons

(ravaged hides on a frame of bone);

its timeworn armrests end in fists

(white-knuckled, grossly gnarled)

its legs are bowed

(as from complaint of oppressive weight)

its rigid back unyielding...


Vapor rises, mimicking steam from a reeking pile of excrement... growing thick... coagulating to define a murky silhouette. More mirth ensues. A word reverberates—“HACK”—croaked hoarsely, like a derelict’s crude catarrh, disgorged from a supernatural source whose spectral forms congeal; a viscous ‘fog’ assumes corporeal features—‘smog’ into flesh—unwholesome, skin that sags and rots and stinks from its patina of slime... thighs, knees, shins, feet (alike to cloven hooves) take shape apace with talons (grafted onto fingers) clutching Malcolm Poole’s response to the Nightmare Phantom’s ad—plot, ploy, ruse, scheme—contrived to vent an outrage aimed at The Divine by methods demoniacal.

A tapered torso looms, its shoulders massive, muscles flaccid, veins (turned varicose) articulating roots that spread toward wings unfurled like tumors in a mantling span of flightlessness (atrophied, weak) their grand expanse a proud burlesque of aeronautic prowess (long-gone lame) their once-majestic plumage rife with flap-disabling pestilence.


Focus: face,

a visage gargoyle-like appears

evinces traits akin to bestial

less than anthropoid in their tug-of-war

between human being and goat

stout horns through scabrous temples jutting

hair above them matted, mangy,

brow below them deeply furrowed with contempt;

bile brews between—

by which the purple prose of Poole is cynically disparaged.


“O of plentitude”? “Lean yet amply curved”? “Bald as a Bishop’s tonsure”?


With a deafening HOWL, a hellhound’s BARK, a YELP, a HOOT, a CACKLE—more confused than the tongues of Babel are the sounds She / He emits—unbridled scorn is vehemently heaped upon the designated ‘Hack.’

Licentious lips writhe artfully in their semblance of a smile. Gender—male or female indeterminate—subtly, slyly shifts. The spike of beard that points to breasts deployed like a pair of shrunken lifebuoys, leads the eye to that which also seems devoid of verve, concave; a mass of flaccid folds and wrinkles masks what passes for a belly.


“On the verge of curly”? “Virgin forest”? “Unspoiled as is your chastity”?


A shriveled prepuce shyly parts to free an enervated glans, its porta oozing, leaching pre-cum, linking penal shaft to maw; distended labia further amalgamating masculine and feminine.


 “Finally, you are head-over-heels in love...”




“—with me—”


From under twofold genitalia creeps a third appendage, sinuous, lean and flexible as a bullwhip, lengthy as a python, oily as a slick, designed to infiltrate the largest to the smallest body orifice, to conform within whatever space its cunning coils will fit—vibrations from its twitch spurring orgiastic spasms.


“Yours Eternally, body and soul”?

I hereby accept!

Pact signed; fate sealed!


Acknowledge: Satan

Prince of the Air

replete with wish-fulfilling wiles

disposed to make a feckless dupe


who sleeps.


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