Jesse Glass

An Excerpt from:

Based upon A Truth & Faithful Account of What Passed For Many Years Between John Dee and Certain Spirits, Meric Casaubon, ed. (1659).



get ye of some person that shalbe put to death, a promise,
and swear an oth unto him, that if he will come to thee,
after his death, his spirit to be with thee, and to remaine
with thee all the daies of thy life, and will doo thee true service,
as it is conteined in the oth and promise following.  Then lai
thy hand on thy booke, and swear this oth unto him. 
I N. doo sweare and promise to thee Darger to give for thee
an almesse every moneth, and also to praie for thee
once in everie weeke, to saie the Lords praier for thee,
and so to continue all the daies of my life, as God me helpe
and holie doome, and by the contents of this booke.  Amen.


him make his oth to thee as followeth,
and let him saie after thee, laing his hand upon the booke. 
I Darger doo sweare this oth to thee N. by God the father
omnipotent, by God the son Jesus Christ,
and by his pretious bloud which hath redeemed all the world,
and by the which bloud I doo trust to be saved
on the generall daie of judgment, and by the vertues therof,
I Darger doo swear this oth to thee N. that my spirit that
is within my bodie now, shall not ascend, nor descend,
nor go to anie place of rest, but shall come to thee N.
and be verie well pleased to remaine with thee N.
all the daies of thy life, and so to be bound to thee N.
and to appeare to thee N. in anie christall stone, glasse, or other
mirror, and so to take it for my resting place. And that,
so soone as my spirit is departed out of my bodie,
streightwaie to be at your commandments, and that
in and all daies, nights, hours, and minutes, to be
obedient unto thee N. being called of thee by the virtue of
our Lord Jesu Christ, & out of hand to have common talke
with thee at all times, and in all hours and minuts, to open
and declare to thee N. the truth of all things present, past,
and to come, and how to worke the literary art, and all
other noble sciences, under the throne of God.  If I doo
not perform this othe and promise to thee N. but do flie
from anie part thereof, then to be condemned for ever and ever.  Amen.


him sweare this oth three times, and at everie time
kiss the booke, and at every time make marks to the bond. 
Then perceiving the time that he will depart, get awaie the
people from you, and get or take your stone or glasse,
or other thing in your hand, and sai the Pater noster, Ave,
and Credo.  And in the time of his departing, rehearse
the bonds of words; and at the end of every bond, sai
oftentimes; Remember thine oth and promise and bind him
stronglie to thee, and to thy stone, and suffer him not to
depart, reading thy bond 24 times.  And everie dai when you
doo call him by your other bond, bind him stronglie by the
first bond: by the space of 24 dais applie it, and thou shalt be
made a man for ever.


and constreine the spirit of Darger. that thou shalt not rest
nor remaine in the fier, nor in the water, in the aer, nor in anie privie
chamber of the earth. But onlie with me N. and with this N. all the daies
of my life.  I doo conjure and constreine the spirit of Darger. that thou shalt
not take anie resting place, but come unto me in great humilitie, and
to appear before me visiblie, in tolerable forme and shape of mankind,
and to obei unto me in all things, whatsoever I shall desire, and that
you shall not depart from the crystal without my licence.”

What is the Form of the Machine?—Without diagrams, it is somewhat difficult to give the reader an accurate idea of its form; yet in their absence we will endeavor to do the best we can.  We will now say, that although the thing corresponds to a rather weak approximation of the Human Form, yet it is only CORRESPONDENCE.  The principals involved, are the same as those of the Human Body, so far as Motion is concerned—nothing further than this.

But to come directly to the point of Form: the main part of the instrument—the Grand Nucleus of it—is a Circular Bed.  This is made of Black Walnut, about three and a half feet in diameter, with five legs—the centre leg being larger than the rest, and each of them perfectly insulated by large glass balls.  O!  It is effected by the insertion of a small tube of zinc, with a plug of gutta percha, the design of which would seem to be, to turn the current which is the moving power.

P,o,p,p,e,t,s, howl:

Dear Center for the study of Personal Tragedies:

I am attempting to find out all the details of my personal  tragedy, so any and all records you may uncover concerning it would be greatly appreciated.  I understand that I must pay for copies and postage, etc.  I am enclosing a self-addressed envelope with enough return postage so that you can inform me of the fee for several copies of my tragedy, should you find them.

The murder took place on July 23, 1950.  Mr. G. was 68 at the time and his wife, I believe, was a year or two older.  At the time of his death he was living with his son, David G. and his family.  Mr. G. was shot to death in front of his old home, where his wife and son Paul continued to reside. The trial must have happened very soon after the murder.  Mr. G, my great-grandfather, was shot to death on the afternoon, or early evening of the 23rd.

Amanda G. was found guilty and sent to Jessup prison.

This tragedy has affected all families in every kind of way, and it would be a real blessing for everyone if you could find this, and any information regarding the event, so all others can find  closure to this part of everybody’s history.

A walk of one hundred fifty yards brought me to a pagan gland of about one acre in extent, save in the center of which, and near to the road, a gigantic white oak scarred by generations of lovers with drill-bits and illuminated with thoughtful graffiti reared its stately form, and threw its wooden arms above my pathway.  I had advanced within thirty paces of this tree, when casually casting a glance forward, I saw a man standing in the center of the road, and immediately underneath the high architrave of boughs overhead.  Being thus suddenly and unexpectedly confronted by Darger, at the solemn hour of low twelve, clad in all the vesture of living humanity (although no words were spoken) conspired to raise within me, a feeling akin to awe, if not terror.  I stopped suddenly, in order to scrutinize more closely this additional barrier to my further progress.  No sooner had I become stationary, than he lifted himself up, apparently without effort, and appeared to be suspended in the zeit-geist about six feet above the eternal corpus, with his arms outstretched in a horizontal position, pointing due east and west.  I now became almost paralyzed with awe and majesty, certainly not with fear, for I disclaim disdainfully any secret or implied innuendo.  What to do in this dire extremity, I knew not.  It would appear prima facie that this latter demonstration was indicative of a desire or willingness upon his part to permit my free passage.  So acting in accordance with this first impulse, I started forward.  No sooner did I advance than this human form shot meteor-like again to the ground and stood bolt upright in the same position he was, when I first saw him.  While standing on the ground his arms resumed their natural pendant position.  As most men would have done under similar circumstances, I stopped again suddenly in order to survey more critically the surroundings.  But the most harrowing and perplexing feature was, that just as soon as I stopped, he shot up again like a n. korean rocket to his original position in midair, with arms extended as before.  We thus remained in our respective positions for nearly five minutes, I in the interim scanning Darger in extreme astonishment.  Whether he scrutinized me in the same manner is somewhat more than I can say, for I could not see his eyes, having on a large black felt hat and of course his eyes were shaded to such a degree that I could not see them, though I could plainly discern his general features.  Now some of my readers may attribute this strange apparition or phantom to a chimera of the brain, or they may possibly attribute it to fear and superstition combined, but permit me to state right here, that such was not the fact.  ‘Tis true, my hairs at this particular juncture had great proclivities for an upward trajectory, but certainly this was not the result of fear.  I felt as though I was in the immediate presence of some superhuman agency, and for the purpose of eliciting this definite truth is this paper written.  As stated, if I had known that the message delivered at the spiritual seance was none other than coming from the land of spirits, I would have been far from disregarding its positive mandates, and as also stated, I was not at that time sufficiently enlightened in reference to this particular doctrine, hence my seeming obduracy and perversity.-- How far, Darger in his attributes will justify the pleas of ignorance amid the revelations of eternity is not my province to determine.  I only know that man can find out far more than he knows, by a proper use of the facilities given him by an All-wise Detourner, and may be that Darger has already entered a general demurrer to the introduction of this plea, and if so it certainly will act as an estoppel to the anticipated introduction by the many who are passing from this state of existence to the great hereafter, and who are today building air castles of rhetoric, under the presumed availability of this plea.

After viewing the situation for nearly five minutes in a calm and dispassionate manner, I concluded I would make one more thorough and final test of the legitimacy of the warnings which I had already received.  No sooner had I begun my advance movement, than the specter-like figure of DARGER shot again to the earth with the velocity of lead, and stood fixedly in the road before me.  I now approached within three or four cm. of him and stretched out my hand to take hold of his collar, in order to have a more tangible test of his possessing a physical identity, than a mere ocular demonstration could give.  But nothing tangible came in contact with my hand, but it gradually and perceptibly dissolved into nothingness, as the slips of paper had done before.

In inverse ratio to this figure fading into nothingness, so did the darkness of the surrounding night gather about me.   The moon now became congruently engraved with crimson, ‘souvenir’ hatch marks, the luminous twinkles refused to emit their c-rays, and I was overwhelmed in a more than Egyptian darkness, and to heighten if possible my emotion and surprise, I now heard in an eastern direction, a wild chaotic Utterance, such as humanity fancies emanates from tortured phonologists in Pandemonium, approaching with winged speed the spot that I now occupied, sweeping by, and through the space lately tenanted by my frightful phantom, and loosing its doleful and weird like cadence far in the west. 

when great-grandfather Gow was walking the path he met his estranged wife.
Oh, what a night of withering perplexity and harrowing confusion, based upon a palpable violation of Elohim’s eternal decrees.  I only know that when reason regained ascendancy, the rays from the sun of a bright Sabbath morning were pouring a flood of golden light upon me.  The birds were caroling forth their Jacquard Cards of praise, and nature clad in the pageantry of silent homage, proclaimed eloquently to the heart, the sacred injunction, “I am thy Golem Darger  (the ontological rifle filmed across contiguous shoulders), walk thou instantly before my face, and be thee doxy-sided.”   

This event played out in what could have been the plot for an Orson Welle’s exercise in film noir.  In 1910 my maternal great-grandfather G. was listed in the census as a “gentleman boarder” at the home of his future wife, whose employment was listed as “seamstress” and already the mother of a 12 year old girl. A decade earlier the census recorded this woman and her child to be living in an odd situation of “seamstresses” all unrelated and cohabiting together, in a household headed by a woman in her 50’s, while G. was listed as an oysterman on the bay.  My great-grandmother was older than Mr. G. by three years, and family legend has it that she was pretty in the old Gibson Girl, Pear’s soap way.  She had red hair and green eyes.  My suspicion was that she was making a less than savory living at about the same time that Gertrude Stein and her art-collecting brother, Leo, lived just across Baltimore town enjoying daily tea and conversation with the Cone sisters.

The plot gets darker.  Mr. G., now a milliner, marries his rehabilitated sweetheart, they have two children together and they move their family to an odd house next to the railroad tracks in Rosedale—a suburb of Baltimore.  (Now a resident of Paris, Gertrude Stein has her portrait painted by the young Picasso and writes excitedly to the Cone sisters about it.) The house had stood empty for four years and was a bargain to purchase because of its notorious past.  A gruesome murder of the Freyers—a middle-aged, German brother and sister—took place there in 1916: railroad tramps (or so the police averred) hacked and beat the sister to death after chasing her out of the house and onto the wooded pathway and outraging her there, and had burned and beaten the brother to death in the kitchen.  They used black jacks and tar oil like pros.  My grandfather used to tell us stories of the day they first moved in and my then ten year old “grandpop” had helped his father, mother and sisters to wash the dried blood of the Freyers off the walls and floors.  Up until July, 1950, my great-grandfather told that story too—as my mother recalls.  However it was a yearning for Coca Cola on a Sunday afternoon that sent the pot-bellied, nattily dressed, 66 year old gentleman hat-maker to his doom.  My grandmother requested that my blonde-haired, blue eyed, 12 year old future mother, go to Miss Carol’s Store in Chesaco Park and purchase a six pack of “The Pause that Refreshes” for the Sunday meal.  My mother was sunburnt from playing all day with her friends and she complained that she wanted to stay in and rest.  My great-grandfather, who was now a part of his son’s family—having been estranged from his increasingly erratic wife, Amanda, since 1944—volunteered to walk around the block to the store and buy the Cokes.  He promised he’d be right back.  The shortcut he took through the Rosedale woods led right past the old murder house where his wife still lived with her daughters and one of their sons.  The Baltimore Sun goes on to tell the rest of the story, which resulted in Angels, ghosts and visions enough even for Dee & Kelley to negotiate three hundred years before.                                 .                                                                                 
Sources for found poetry & texts: 

Scott, Reginald.  The Discoverie of Witchcraft.
Spear, John Murray.  ‘The New Motive Power.’ The New Era, 5/3/1854.

Sylvester, John.  ‘What Was It?’  The Clarksville (TN.) Chronicle.  8/19/1871.  

Jesse Glass' recent appearances include three more pieces from Gaha Noas Zorge featured on the Poetics Research website, and a recent poem in The Golden Handcuffs Review.
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