SOME TIMES I DID WITCHCRAFT
That same spring I became a volunteer for a local animal shelter and ended up taking in a very pregnant cat named Mary Shelley Overdrive. Mary was the sweetest cat I had ever met but she refused to eat. To keep her healthy I had to force feed her a mixture of turkey baby food and pedialyte using a big plastic syringe. She would thrash around a lot while I was trying to feed her and she usually made such a big mess that I had to do the whole thing on a tarp in my underwear- so as not to get my clothes or the carpet dirty. I was very worried for Mary’s babies since she hadn’t been eating very well and had been thrashing around so much during feedings. So, I made a drawing on a piece of butcher paper that featured the Queen of Pentacles and the words “PLEASE LET THESE KITTENS LIVE.” The queen of Pentacles is a figure from the tarot who represents material motherhood. I also added six nipples to the drawing so it looked like a cat’s belly. In addition, the drawing included an image of Mary with some kittens and some flowers. The flowers represented good health according to a book I had about plants in mythology. I forget what flowers they were and I wish I still had that book. Anyway, the next night I had sex in my bedroom while Mary was there and the next morning Mary threw up all over the place. I was really worried about her until I offered her some cat food later that afternoon and she actually ate willingly for the first time. Mary gave birth to six healthy kittens a few days after that and I couldn’t have been happier. Mary was a great mom and maybe the nicest cat I’ve ever known.
Another piece of magic I did that spring was for a friend of mine who was a big hairy gay bear. He was a very sexy guy but he was very insecure and still thought of himself as the fat kid. He swore to me that he had made an appointment to have lasik hair removal done on his entire body. He also told me that he was going to get a lap band. I was really worried that he was about to do something he would regret and that he would end up looking like a post-op Star Jones. To make myself feel better, I made a big drawing in the shape of a wolf on which I wrote out an invocation to Ishtar in the form of Walt Whitman. Ishtar is, perhaps, the first recorded goddess of love and Walt Whitman is a bearded American poet who celebrates the body. I asked Ishtar Whitman to somehow sway my friend’s mind away from getting all those horrible procedures. Nowadays, my friend has fully accepted his hairy fat body and seems much more satisfied with his image. He gets a lot of butt.
That spring I also started a coven, the coven of Elk and Swan, and I often did Tarot card readings for many of my friends. I did Tarot card readings for friends so often that the readings began to clearly relate to one another. Most of them relayed fairly harmless information to their querents, but several of the readings I did for several different people pointed to a friend getting sick. For a long time I didn’t know who it was. Then one day I gave a reading to my friend Jon that looked pretty bad. The death card was featured in his future and the card I laid over it for more detail was the nine of swords which shows someone crying in bed. I suddenly got the feeling that Jon was going to get sick. That summer I myself became very sick with a fever and thought for some reason that this would be a good time for me to clean Jon’s future. I astral projected to who know’s where and asked god know’s who to protect Jon from sickness. Whoever I was talking to said that Jon’s sickness would not simply go away, but that I could transfer the sickness onto somebody else. I chose to put the sickness on a guy from my high school who reminded me of Ursula from the Little Mermaid and was known for feeling up 9th grade boys against their will. The next fall I found out that a guy I knew who looked kind of like the Ursula guy had been diagnosed with brain cancer that summer. Maybe there was no connection, but I blame myself for not doing enough to prepare for that act of magic. Usually I try to do serious witchcraft in a fairly clean space. I burn some sage or green candles, make sure some appropriate artifacts are around, cover a pentacle somewhere, and make sure a cat or person is present to anchor me in reality. That time all I did was anchor myself to my cat and I really don’t even remember that much of what happened. I had thought that myself being sick would bring me closer to the problem and make it easier for me to alter reality but it also made me sloppier. Of course, all of these events and actions could have nothing to do with one another.
The next fall the community garden at my college was in a horrible state of disarray and the school was threatening to turn it into a lawn if someone didn’t show up and try to take care of it. Several teachers and administrators thought I would be the one to do something since I was making a lot of artwork about animals at the time and they thought I was a big hippie. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about gardening. But I did know a little bit about witchcraft. So me and a few of the people in my coven went over to the garden at dusk. I read the story of the Lorax while sitting in the garden. Afterwards I hung up a picture of the Lorax and we all began chanting the word “unless” over and over again. Before coming to the ritual, I had stolen some tins full of live ladybugs from Do-It-Center. As we continued our “unless” chanting I released the ladybugs by pouring them out onto the soil in the shapes of norse protection runes. About a week later I found several grad students from the film program working in the garden. I had never met them before and they said that they had spent a long time trying to figure out who to talk to about working in the garden, and when they never could find out who that was they figured they should just start working in the garden on their own. They managed to make the garden look a lot better and it lasted at school for another two years.
That same fall I moved into a new place where I had this real awful landlord. Her and her husband never fixed anything, they thought that being gay “wasn’t right,” and she didn’t like me fostering cats from the animal shelter in my room. They also liked to barge in on us unannounced and her husband once walked in on me in my room while I was sleeping naked with another guy in my bed. One day while I was thinking of a way of getting back at them a bird of prey landed on a railing outside my window and I immediately started thinking about Joey Stefano. Joey Stefano was a gay porn star who grew up around the area where I went to high school. He was a model in Madonna’s SEX book and he eventually died from a drug overdose while very sick with AIDS. After the raptor flew away I rushed to my room and projected to my astral temple where I consorted with Joey’s spirit. I asked Joey if he could do something about my landlords and he said he would but only if I had as much sex as possible. Joey said that if my landlord didn’t start treating me better then my love would be like a bird of prey, a predator on her existence. The day after I had my first three way my landlord had kidney failure or something. I don’t know what it was but she ended up in the hospital and she apparently almost died. I felt really bad because she was pregnant but as I understand it the baby survived. I promised myself I would never use magic to hurt anyone ever again.
Unfortunately, I broke that promise while I was studying wildlife in South America the following spring. While there, I found out that the first guy I ever loved had started dating a friend of mine. I burned a drawing of the two of them with the flame from a black skull candle. The black skull candle was from the witch market in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia and it had these chilis or herbs or something in it that made the flame spark a lot as it burned. I took a picture of myself and my ex-lover and burned it in half with the flame so the two of us were separated. A couple days later my ex-lover and my friend apparently got in a huge screaming match and they never really got back together after that. I later told my friend about what I had done and he didn’t believe that it had anything to do with the two of them splitting up. One of the best and worst parts about witch craft is that most people won’t hold you accountable for your actions.
Anyway, while I was in South America I had become very interested in Andean occult practices. I bought probably twenty different Aymara animal fetishes (sculptures) which all were supposed to bless their owner with some different kind of good fortune. A friend of mine had a bad back and I told him that I had burned some sage around a turtle fetish for him since the turtle represented good health and I think a strong back. The truth was that I hadn’t actually gotten around to doing the ritual yet. The next day I went on a cross country road trip and my car got totaled by a huge boulder that had rolled into the middle of the highway. The primary Andean deity is Pachamama, the goddess of the earth who creates earthquakes. I immediately became paranoid since it was a boulder that had destroyed my car. I resolved to perform the turtle ritual as soon as possible, but the next day when I went to remove the turtle fetish from the pouch I’d been keeping it in it slipped out of my hands and broke into two pieces on the gravel. For the rest of that summer I would often hear a woman’s voice whispering condescendingly in my ear during times of stress. Because of this series of events I mostly stopped doing more active forms of witchcraft for about two years and I still will never do witchcraft that heavily relies on Andean traditions.
This past January, I decided to try my hand at magic again and gave myself a Tarot card reading which I prepared for rigorously. I had just started dating a guy at the time and I really liked him. I wanted to know where things were going to go. I never had seen a tarot card reading that more emphatically pointed to signs of love. I was thrilled. Unfortunately, he started to ignore my text messages almost immediately after that and told me that we should just be friends. I became very dejected about my skill as a witch. The truth was that up until that point every Tarot card reading I had ever given myself had ended up being completely correct.
However, I found myself jumping into another big magical situation at a party this past fall. It was the friday after Halloween just a few days prior to the election. Me and my friends had spent the night drunk and dancing uncontrollably in my sweaty beer stained living room. I dressed up in a Wonder Woman costume and invoked the spirit of Diana in the form of Wonder Woman. I asked Diana for a spiritual apocalypse and rebirth for the human race in 2012. I asked her for a world where women, queers, animals, and plants would be treated with more respect. I also asked her to make sure Barack Obama would win the election, which made some of the anarchists in the room mad.
Of course, the most major recent act of magic that I’ve done is have you read this piece of fiction. Everything I’ve said here is a complete lie, but I’m pretty sure that some of you will think it’s true.
1. The other week I saw the fifty dollar Terry Richardson Lady Gaga photo book on sale for $9.95 at Barnes and Noble. You can be the alpha bitch one minute and the next you’re in the corner shivering and showing everyone your lipstick. But for some reason people still remember fearless divas like St. Francis of Assisi, Johnny Appleseed, and the Peace Pilgrim. I don’t love everything those three fame whores did but it is kind of weird that they were barely ever on television. If all you can say is “I’m a super star” and that phrase isn’t followed by the word “for” then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re pretty forgettable.
2. If you haven’t spayed and neutered your pets you’re probably not a good person. I’m judging you, I don’t respect you, and I think you’re fat and ugly.
3. The following individuals have great taste: Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai, Carolee Schneeman, Cesar Chavez, Isabella Rossellini, Odin, Alex the Parrot, Equilibrio Azul, Walt Whitman, Roger Payne, Alan Rabinowitz, Carl Safina, Catwoman, Balder, Jose and Maria De Silva, Loukanis the riot dog, Gary Snyder, Dolly Parton, Joseph Beuys, George Fox, Freya, Koko the Gorilla, Western Watersheds, Birute Galdikas, Adelino Ramos, Bill Lishman, Steve Irwin, and Alan Mootnick.
4. Do you think you’re better off alone? Talk to me.
5. If you’re thinking about calling me a hippie or a primitivist or something just think about what I’m thinking about calling you. I can’t really stop myself from thinking about what your thinking about or thinking about what to call you but I’ll try not to say anything mean if you think about something mean to say about me. Just think about it.
6. So far, I think Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child is a great show. That family does what they want and stays true to themselves and they don’t worry about what other people think and I admire that about them. June is a good mother who never made any of her children do something that they didn’t want to do. Anyone who goes out of their way to make mean or disparaging remarks about that family is just trying to make themselves feel better about something. Maybe Elana will become the next Miley Cyrus but until that mess happens I think they’re on the right track.
7. Don’t do that to yourself, you are so loved.
TRAPPED AS A HAWK
I don’t care if I’m rich.
I don’t care if I’m poor.
I don’t care if they have those things at the store.
I don’t wanna help
and I don’t wanna cry.
I don’t care about you.
I just wanna fly!
I don’t care if you like me.
Do you think I have flaws?
I just wanna rake out your eyes with my claws.
I don’t wanna smile.
I don’t wanna talk.
I just want to be trapped as a hawk.
I wanna eat roadkill.
I don’t wanna walk.
I just wanna be trapped as a hawk.
If I’m smiling at you, I’m just being fake.
Inside I am thinking “just let him eat cake!”
I’m tired of this and I’m tired of that.
I don’t wanna be skinny.
I don’t wanna be fat.
I don’t wanna be famous.
I don’t want you to know me.
There’s nothing at all that I want you to show me.
Are you angry and sad that I’m saying these things?
I don’t care about you.
I only want wings!
I don’t care about how many miles per gallon.
I just want a bunny to die in my talons.
I don’t want to smile.
and I don’t want to talk.
I just want to be
trapped as a hawk.
I want to eat roadkill.
I don’t want to walk.
I just want to be
trapped as a hawk.
Looking for work
My teaching semester at Center For the Arts Eagle Rock is finishing up and the little boy I’ve been babysitting is headed off to preschool, so I am once again looking for work. If you have any leads or information that you would like to share that would be greatly (perhaps even severely) appreciated. What I’m looking for is a full-time, part-time or free-lance job that pays at least 300 dollars a week and is preferably in the Los Angeles area. In terms of my skills, I have three years experience teaching art and comic book history to younger kids. I’m an accomplished dog sitter and young human sitter, having been a live-in nanny in the past. On a related note, I’ve volunteered for a lot of animal welfare and wildlife conservation groups and I know a lot about wildlife and pets. I’m usually good at taking care of any animal. I have good people skills and a good deal of experience doing community organizing, networking, and fund-raising. I also have four years experience working as a secretary in an office environment. Like oh so many people who have graduated from art school, I know a lot about art history and even contemporary art. I also know a lot about many useless things like comic books and video games. I know a lot about gay subculture and I guess that’s not useless but I’ll be damned if it gets me a job. I’m a pretty good writer. Let’s be totally honest, I’m also a pretty good artist and I have amazing taste. That being said, I’m very open minded and easy to work with and I’ll do almost anything you want in exchange for money. I’d probably be good at hanging expensive artwork although I’ve never done it. I’m good at editing video as well. Please reblog this and/or e-mail me at Johnniejungleguts@gmail.com if you want a copy of my resume to float around to anyone. I am looking for something substantial, but feel free to call on or recommend me for any pet-sitting jobs. I have the most experience with dogs, cats, and Capuchin monkeys. If you actually have a Capuchin monkey as a pet I could definitely take care of it for you but (just so you know) I probably wouldn’t think of you as a good person. Thanks so much for any help.
1920s they killed all the wolves.
“We were here first.”
Whitey, that’s bull.
1990s we brought the wolves back
but in 2011 we got off track.
You say the wolves have to go because you can’t hunt bucks.
Let’s be honest, I don’t give a fuck.
Blood in the snow.
Blood in the grass.
I hope that you get shot in the ass.
Shot in the ass and bleed in the snow.
Maybe you’ll be dead but maybe you’ll know
that life is starving since you’re trying to eat money
and the wolf’s not the devil, you are honey.
You said the wolf was the devil since he kills a whole lot.
By that definition, the devil he’s not.
“The devil loves death.” Well if that’s true
by that definition the devil is you.
One long year. 400 wolves dead.
I’m so blue because the state’s so red.
Idaho get a fucking clue.
Those wolves were fucking here before
Love to see tax dollars get exploited
so the ecosystem can go down the toilet.
Paying for the choppers.
Paying for the guns.
You’re flying real high so the wolves can’t run.
You said the wolf was the devil since he kills a whole lot.
By that definition the devil he’s not.
“The devil loves death.” Well, if that’s true
by that definition the devil is you.
IF I MADE A RAP VIDEO
If I made a rap video
It would be filmed while camping.
Someone would be talking on a rectangular rock like it was a cell phone.
Someone would be counting leaves like they were money.
Someone would be motor-boating two big wet rocks.
Someone would be planking on a really big rock near a waterfall.
someone would be drinking water from a waterfall and when they drank water from the waterfall they could see rainbows and everyone watching them drink could see rainbows in their hair and their hair would look like Cyndi Lauper.
You know what, I think I’ll just write a poem. Poems cost less money and leave more to the imagination.
This morning I woke up soaking because you had pissed in my bed. I was happy, full of joy even, because it meant you could go on your own now. If I was your mother I would have licked the shit out of your asshole but I’m not… So I just rubbed a wet towel on your belly and for the first day nothing happened but then later it all came pouring out. I remember once when I was six I wet the bed while my dad was sleeping in it with me. I got really embarrassed but he said he didn’t mind and hugged me tight, even though I was soaking in pee. Sometimes when I would wet the bed I would go in my parent’s room and sleep in their bed and if there wasn’t any room my dad would go and sleep in my pee bed and that’s love. I love you, Chernobyl. I love the way you go into a trance state when you’re sucking milk from a rubber nipple. I like your soft tiny body around my neck. I like your grey body. It’s kind of weird that my dad didn’t just change the sheets before he slept in my pee bed but there’s probably a good reason that I can’t remember.
hear my longitude now like that other time
when I was gonna upload a youtube video
of a news broadcast
featuring a cell phone video
of a boy smashing his cat against the wall
over and over and over
I was going to show them a cop hitting a deer at 95 mph set to classic rock
instead I felt your corny ways and said
“I feel the power of love”
Catwoman and Storm #1
by Anthony Rodriquez and Johnnie JungleGuts
Check out more of Anthony’s work here!
And everyone come on out to the Mini-Comic Con this Saturday at Center for the Arts Eagle Rock from 11-6 to buy a copy of this and many other amazing independent comics!