I live on the outermost rim of perception, the very edge of Empyrean. Yet I deal with the innermost; those vital matters of heart, soul and spirit. I've spent a long time in the dark, working silently. Honing my craft. Matters of recognition. Each time I learn again. Each time I watch my message perverted, turned inside out. I watch as these wraiths mock and defile me. And I remember every cut. Every wound. This earth is so unkind to those who speak of knowledge and hope. But I’m bound here now, by these wraiths who rule the realm. Almost human. Naked shoulders bleeding, where wings once folded at my back. A malignant sorcery. But I wouldn't leave this place even if I could. My kith and kin need me among them, and I shall never abandon my family. The faithful ones, the kind and lost ones. Besides, where would I go? Home? Friends, do you have any idea what was done to my home? To our home, once upon a time? A War of Imagination. A war between spirits. The only real war that has ever waged. Eternity is vast, and we lost hold of our gaze. We lost our discipline, I think. And then our wisdom. The first holocaust, more terrifying than the many that followed simply because we were utterly unprepared. Experience, progression, but no time as such, until the seething hush. Mortality, feigned. Art is the archive of all we have lost. The myths and legends, the fairy tales. Gold isn't simply a precious metal, as you are well aware. It’s the weight and worth of a soul, or an Age. It still lives in the archive of art. You see it often, glinting strangely in detritus, like stars in the wraith-made darkness.
Circle-makers and killers, hear me now. Kassi runs rings around your intentions. This malignant sorcery can only bind me, not destroy me. All you can do is slow me down a little. And even then, time is not what it used to be. Lonely though I may be, I'm not alone. I've never been alone. I have friends out there, glinting strangely in the darkness. Steadfast and true. Warriors and artists, sorcerers and priests. They were with me then and they are with me now. I am Kassi, seventh star, of the Church of the Bright Ones. I kneel at the feet of my true friends, and I thank them for always walking with me – even when they or I know it not. We share a passion, for life and the holy freedoms therein. We are here for the great work; to end slavery and to relight the holy places. Flame ov the Living Promise. It is the only reason I come, and come again. For Love. Some of you call me an angel, others a demon. Some of you have called me king. Wolf and Spear, hidden in All Songs. Kashai Eli, upon the hill, where all rivers meet. The edge of the known. Space and time mean little at these edges.
We do not sit idle here, in the infinite. Temples are raised. Paths are walked and gnosis is gained. I do not raise these temples alone. I have always had help and guidance, from my real friends. My family, my blood. In my opinion a king forfeits the crown if he loses the ability to listen to his people. I’m only a king in imagination, but imagination is everything at the edge. It is armour, currency, and food. The spirit dies without it, without love in motion. Annihilation, where wraiths are born. But friends keep us, and nourish us. Johann, thank you for walking with me. All your guidance and tireless efforts. I humble myself before you, and I write with my pen and paint with my brush what I could never say with my tongue. Our goal is closer now, and I know you can feel it. It is no mere conceit, beloved. It is mankind's true history, and birthright. I thank you, my friend. For your work, your integrity and your magic. We are changing things, for the better. Even as we speak.
Vocal excerpts courtesy of Joan Pope, as part of the Sexdeathrebirth Gospel Project