Malleus Maleficarum

by: , May 14, 2019

© Photo by Kiara Worth

Age 10 I discover a book on witchcraft in the public library and slip it between the folds of an astrid lindgren novel this strange book with its spells and incantations and hags who transform into beautiful maidens and crows and owls and a recipe for dying one’s hair black but only under the light of the full moon and only with the eggs of thirteen ravens; and the birds fly off the page in a hitchcockian nightmare and i remember being excited and terrified by this strange magick so i hid the book under my bed and i poured over it only when i was sure i was alone because something very deep inside me knew that books like this were powerful and that something about possessing it could rub off on me; and at 10 you already think you’re disgusting and you know enough of the world to know that no one needs much of any kind of excuse to come at you and if you’re reading books on witches you may as well resign yourself to solitude or a coven because that shit rubs off and the last thing you need your mother to call you is evil because you’re already loud and kinda common and you haven’t learnt to sit with your legs closed when wearing a dress and you know just enough of the world and men who seemingly are the world to know there’s some kind of magic in your panties even if they use it against you even if they call you CUNT and they burn women you know they burn women you know they burn and so i return the book and try to sleep with the light off behind the oblivion of whiteness and beyond my mothers lace curtains the cinders of settlements burn – in sweetwater’s in henley dam and play the theme of the deerhunter and wear my mother’s peach nightdress and imagine myself anne frank in her last days weak and dying of typhoid and my childhood is littered with the bodies of defiant women but i keep them close slipped under my tongue i suck on them like peppermints because i am the keeper of witches and i know how to light the fire the trick to surviving see is always to offer up the first match 


Rosemary Woodhouse consumes chocolate mousse from the creepy as fuck Castevets and hallucinates being fucked by the devil like all women from the beginning of time, Rosemary Woodhouse (even though she sports a boyish haircut) is tainted by the carnal and so it would seem only fitting that a demonic presence would sew its seed in her womb. Rosemary -waifish and confined to her New York apartment grows wan and is the victim of gaslighting and devil rape. Rosemary Woodhouse is an incubator for the dark lord and looks super swell in oversized maternity dresses – she lives on a diet of morning sickness, paranoia and develops a taste for blood, raw meat and chicken livers. Rosemary Woodhouse cannot explain what is happening to her and is spiralling into madness until Grace Cardiff gives her a book on witchcraft and it is then that Rosemary discovers the spell in the form of an anagram and solves the puzzle to her living nightmare. 


and you with your Mesopotamian eye 

godhead on your sickle-back

good luck cloven hoofed wunderkind sage scented parapraxis 

on the steps of the Basilica in broken Balkan dialect

hammer toed arthritic downward dog cobra crone 

traffic light sentry 

face as hard as a carved ashtray 

eyes burn in Keatsian nightmare 

pissing over the gutter 

shape shifting Magdalena 

keeper of dried herbs and monkey skulls 

Macbeth fucker

augur of things to come


sultry talisman 

devil temptress, egg thief, child thief, hag, witchbitch, womb as barren as the Gobi 

who is the keeper of all our magick 

BaloiAbathakati [1]

love thy neighbour with my korobela [2] kinda love spell 

witches upon witches 

sinister matryoshka dolls 

harbingers of misfortune

Im sleeping with bricks under my bed 

she sends a tokoloshe [3]

he’s as small as a dwarf

everyone has seen him 

nothing worse than growing into an ugly old crone 

prowling the gardens of strangers all hyena-swag and Isidliso [4]

its a frightful thing wisdom 

they’re gonna smell it on you like sex 

out here 

they’ll burn you for less 



[1] In Sesotho and Zulu these are plural names for witches.

[2] A love spell that forces the bewitched to fall in love with someone regardless of their personal inclinations.

[3] Small, strange creature that does the witch’s bidding.

[4] Spells of misfortune–illness, death, divorce, loss of income etc.

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