from "Priest/ess 20"


Hands entangled in Mother’s hair, I had pulled her head back and exposed her throat to the sun. Suddenly many figures emerged in the dream, confrontations in a wooden booth. She said something about how all interactions have been,

“Elsewhere since you won’t let them be inside your ego.”

I am stunned in regard to why she would be so dissatisfied, and suddenly given a scroll letter in which a female voice is lecturing space on

“Not keeping Facebook tags to date.”

Where was all of this negativity coming from?

“All of us are so taxed by you.”

I stop that line of thought. It is time for me to go and do my solo. The whole auditorium is full of folks, chomping at the bit to see me express.

I am aware my mother, my cousins, these women from my past are all trying to take my earnings from the monologue opera I am about to perform. I transmute the auditorium into a Cave and they are chasing me up a huge hill of golden coins. As I use my leg muscles to ascend, the coins fall back onto them. Land in their mouths. I cast a spell on the rounds in my hands and they begin shooting sunlight. Transition into congealed orbs that moves around me like silly putty. A protective layer of it.

From that protection I begin to sing. Sense of diamonds in river water as the water emerges. Then water sings.

Then—I am in my childhood backyard and the back garden is intensely overgrown with wildly shaped pumpkins, oranges, grapefruits. I ask her if I should pick some. I am thinking there are some I can give away but there are others I want to eat for myself. I want the golden colored ones. I reach down and into one and it morphs to a monstrous shape cupped around my clenched fist.

The grapefruit tree has grown a skin floor that leaks oils of light upward. I crawl onto the floor carefully so as to not break the surface tension of light.

“I love this tree so much...”

--my hands both embedded in overly large and leaking fruits like gloves.

A letter is within each fist. Pulling the fruit globes off, I find this letter is not about scrolled lectures of Facebook but is from a man saying he is learning the importance of pulling his resources back inside of him. He acknowledges I am,

 “Both gothic and light.”

The language of dark masks illuminated by hidden lights within them.



My childhood home front lawn—a very strange shape-shifting ritual taking place.

Blackbird would fly from high above—merge with moon’s light then down and through my black faux fur. Each time it passed through it changed places with the one holding the fur. This time Blackbird was confused. It started to head in the direction of the veil. Lightning clap right at the moment bird passed through veil. Close-up of transition—looking at its curved talons becoming my own. Feeling of old bones crunching, earth worms, wild carrion in the gullet of the beast as the contents of its throat became my own.

Spittle of Underworld debris back and forth between us as I became the bird below the human over me. Was this how to bond with The Below?

In the second breath of the three it was communicated this is the one in which my soul returns to me. Sends a shiver up my spine—had not known Blackbird was ally to my soul. Metabolize the revelation within the strata of the dream as skulls and dangling rattles play themselves.




j/j hastain

j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.


Edited for Unlikely by dan raphael, Staff Reviewer
Last revised on Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 21:05