black hoof

The “Folkloric Devil” is a term applied to the figure who appears in folk-tales and legends and who is often called “the devil”, but it’s obvious that he emerges from a different source than the theological background of Christianity.

Old divinities or diminished Gods that maintained a presence in the minds or cultures of European peoples are suggested (often enough, and for good reasons) as a source of this figure; but beyond that, the pre-Christian societies had spiritual forces and persons that they related to in the sense of “outsider” powers that could be shady or tricky or dangerous at times, but who often had kinds of relationships nonetheless with human beings. These are the main source of the “folkloric” Devil/Devils.

The Folkloric devil isn’t concerned with damning souls, primarily, but he always wants to make deals or pacts to help humans who need things, but so that he can gain, too- a sign of his origin in the older world of spirit-relationship and spiritual ecology. In Christian gloss, he begins more and more to want “souls” for his help, but he is always able to be tricked, himself- and this is very important. Human heroes or protagonists can outwit him. This is something that would be impossible to do to the Theological Devil, who is far beyond humans in power, and second only to God himself in power.

Modern Pop Culture produces surprising emergences of the old Folkloric Devil- Charlie Daniel’s song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is an appearance of a Folkloric Devil, who can be out-played by the intrepid and arrogant local boy, on the fiddle. There is the Christian conceit of the Devil seeking souls in that song, but that’s just a minor detail, more suited to a Christian audience and born from the imagination of a low Protestant folk singer.

The Folkloric Devil is a being- and a representative of a whole class of beings- who can be engaged with by humans, for gains. They can be harmful, they can be helpful, and they can be outwitted or outdone at times. Sometimes, they become protagonists themselves.

Theological Elites in the Pre-Modern period of Europe saw no distinction between their Theological Devil and the various emergences of the Folkloric Devil. The “Devil” of witch cults and covenants and of individual sorcerers or witches was of the Folkloric variety, though in their own personal understandings, even they may have believed that he was the same as the theological devil, such was the nature of their times. It’s not like there was a neat chart that spelled all this stuff out to earlier people, and folk in Pre-Modern times heard Christian ministers ranting alongside fire-side bards telling folktales, and so the Folkloric Devil/Devils could take on Christian gloss and attributes at times, and the Theological devil could appear in decidedly “folkish” ways.

What’s important to remember is that the Theological Devil doesn’t exist except as the shadow of Christian psychology. He is born from the idealistic Christian imagination, as the necessary counter-ideal or counter-force to their idealistic notion of good, the warped good, the fallen good, born in their continuation of earlier dualistic religious tropes that posited a cosmic war between good and evil cosmological forces.

The Folkloric Devil, on the other hand, very much exists, both in the form of a powerful former divinity worshiped by practically every human culture known previous to Christianity, and as a folk-memory of certain spirit-entities (very much tied to this world) that people have always engaged in relationships with, though they are a group of entities who are, in ways, challenging, dangerous at points, and ambiguous.

The Theological Devil is a remnant of idealism and the diseased imagination of absolutists and idealists. The Folkloric Devil is a remnant of ancient spiritual ecology and human relationships to the wilder, stranger Otherworld.

- Robin Artisson

I am glad to be born,
confused, a
large, mute animal
grazing the black
cloven hoof of
earth’s ryefield

I, who only displeased
you, surrender my miles
in apology

roe&       her       further

near noon one day,
sky is  as clear and thin as
her affections,
always veiled,

burnished as holystone,
I travel to my bed alone
the hounds gather
the dark night outside


I will remember 
her forgetting

Random Items: Give my Muse an Item via Anon or Normal Ask and see how they react..

1. Two Bleeding Candles

2. Catnip

3. Vibrating Underwear

4. Instant Beef-Stew: Just add Water

5. The Staff of Pestilence

6. Invisibility Cloak

7. Death-Worm eggs

8. Top of the Line HD-Camera

9. Thunder Cannon

10. MLP-Pony Hoof Slippers

11. Black Leather Trench-Coat

12. German MP-40

13. Screaming Bullet Vibrator x3

14. Hell Hound Summoning Attack Talisman

15. Pack of Cocaine

16. Valuable and Rare Blue-Moon Ruby

17. Electro-Shock Combat Gauntlets

18. Sexy Lingerie/Underwear (Male or Female)

19. Treasure Map

20. Duct Tape

hell sugar, purple weaving, seven phones ringing from their spines, black hoof sketching lower chins, old demons with coarse black hair lounging in sea caves, tulips decrescendo, which part of me explains my body, which part of me is the posture of me? i move so many ways. which way is the first? at attention? i was curled in the womb like a kidney bean. is not attention ramrod unnatural? unnatural? what is that love? everything already exists and so is natural. answer this letter. no. cut up this letter and let friction rearrange each sentence and that will be the meaning. you know i love you. you are foolish to think you know. what is my original posture in love? hunched over in inattention feeding as i was in the womb? what good do i bring you? what green shoot grows between us? i keep looking at the ground. strings are playing. a bird is cursing is pleasant.what good do i bring you? what wolf am i for you?
—  Stimie

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson {July 2015}


What happens when you ask all your friends if they’ve eaten anywhere awesome recently? Tried on Facebook last night. People come out of the woodwork. See below for their answers:

  • “Marben…brilliant. i’ve been there a bunch of times, and the gnocchi stands out to me–super pillowy soft, ‘cause they make 'em fresh and without a lot of flour. i also got the marben burger, which isn’t too bad.”
  • “other places of note: the black hoof, woodlot and the stockyards if you haven’t been there already.”
  • “YES! Gal’s Sushi in unionville. Awesome-ly fresh and they add interesting things to the meals.”
  • “Terroni’s grill menu is awesome”
  • “black hoof is a wild scene, man. their charcuterie board included horse, duck tongue and other assorted meats. sweetbreads are good, too.”
  • “Ed’s Real Scoop has some of the best ice cream flavours in the city.”
  • “Snakes and Lattes is also an incredible experience, though the food is very simple (but tasty! - I love their milkshakes..)”

And saved my favourite comment that ended the thread:

  • “the ultimate goal is frog sashimi somewhere in the depths of tokyo, where they serve a still-beating heart to you on a plate while they prepare the rest of the animal for you. those who finish one of these meals gets a photo on the wall. see you there!”

 Posted by: Jacob, Oct 14, 2011

From Haiti to Montreal: Arcade Fire teams up with Toronto restaurant duo to open Agrikol

The magic started when Win Butler blew up the PA system.

Last August, the Arcade Fire frontman was enjoying food and drinks with the band at Toronto’s Rhum Corner. Butler decided to ask restaurant co-owner Roland Jean if he could play some rara, a type of Haitian Creole festival music. Jean loved it – right until the speakers gave out.

“It was magic,” says Jen Agg, Jean’s spouse and matriarch of a mini-empire of Toronto restaurants that includes Rhum Corner, the Black Hoof and Cocktail Bar.

Bonding quickly that night, the two couples eventually shared their respective dreams of creating a Haitian-influenced space in Montreal. That was that: Crossing a provincial divide of nightlife, food and culture, their venture, Agrikol, is set to open this summer.

Featuring Haitian cuisine, music and visual arts, the space will build on the cultural advocacy work that Chassagne and Butler have demonstrated since Montreal-based Arcade Fire started raising funds for Haiti in 2005. For Agg and the Haitian-born Jean (who is also a painter), it will be a chance to take their signature, convivial restaurant style beyond Toronto’s Dundas Street West.

They could not be more excited. Here’s what both couples had to say about the joint venture.

How did this collaboration come to be?

Jean: I wanted to open something cool in Montreal but I never had the opportunity or the partner that I wanted. And one time Régine and Win came to Toronto and they said, “Let’s do something.” And that’s when the magic started.

Chassagne: Win and I have always been dreaming of a Haitian place in Montreal. And we met Roland and Jen and we started talking and …

Agg: … and it happened so fast. It was a whirlwind.

Chassagne: We said, “Let’s stop talking and let’s just make it happen.”

How has the concept for the restaurant developed?

Butler: It’s more of an art project. The idea is that it’s a cultural space. The thing that we were really impressed with at Rhum Corner is that it’s this space for Haitian and Caribbean culture and it’s really cool and contemporary. Régine’s family moved to Montreal from Haiti, like a lot of Haitians, and moving to this tundra, you know …

Chassagne: … you miss the warmth.

Butler: Yeah, you miss this cultural warmth. It’s something that I felt at Rhum Corner and it’s something that I know that we can do in Montreal.

Jean: We will make carnival every day.

What can you tell us about the food?

Agg: Jesse [Grasso], who is our head chef at Rhum Corner, is able to pick up on another culture’s food so well. He went to Haiti and did all his research.

Jean: My sister came and worked with Jesse. He is such a talented chef, and he upgraded her Haitian food.

Agg: It will be presented slightly differently, but the food and flavours are really authentic. MSG is used in Haitian cooking in a real way, and we want to get rid of the stigma. It’s a movement in the world of food. We use it at Rhum, just a little bit; it’s just like salt, just a seasoning.

The really nice thing about Montreal is that we have access to all these things, like djon djon mushrooms. It’s going to be fun because there is just a much larger community, so we have access to ingredients that we don’t have in Toronto.

There aren’t a lot of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs willing to innovate in both provinces. Any ideas why that is?

Butler: The Dominican Republic and Haiti don’t have much crossover either, but they’re on the same island. It’s just a language and culture thing. Cuba doesn’t know that much about Haiti and you can almost see Cuba from Haiti. It’s the same thing here. There are similarities, yet the cultures are isolated.

Jean: Language is a big thing.

Why is now the right moment for Agrikol to bridge these cultures?

Jean: There are nearly 200,000 Haitians in Montreal, so definitely I think that Agrikol is something we need here. It’s a celebration of culture, and that includes food.

Agg: It’s crazy that there hasn’t been a place like this yet. We’re going to build here and we’re going to move here. It’s a big life change – and I’m going to learn French. It will be great.

Chassagne: You can’t explain how beautiful it is! So now I think we have an opportunity to try to make a place for it in Montreal.

This interview has been edited and condensed.