Site icon Alexander Hammil

Jormungand, the Serpent

World girdling serpent, Jormugand is both the extent of the word and the limit of it, the envenomed paling between what is knowable and what is not.

We pass over his obscure birth, his unsightly mother, his horrendous siblings. Into the water sinks Jormugand, down past the kingdoms of the sea, past the dark cold where Llyr the Ever-Moving keeps endless patrol, down to bedrock and the massed weight of the world-river Ocean.

Moon pulls on Jormugand, now this side, now that. The belt of his body tightens on the waist of the world.

His body, his blood, his bones and his breath are rich with poison. His jaws are locked on the food of his tail; serpent without beginning, without end, the 1 and the 0 both. Thus: contradiction. Marriage of opposites. Though his life is poison, his death spells the end of all things.

This image: Brave, foolish Thor, laughing, casts the ox head over the side of his boat. Always hungry Jormugand seizes upon this rare morsel, this singular feast. Up he rises, too soon, swaying, the hooded head of the ocean rising, rising, rising, spraying poison and confusion into the sky he has seen but once.

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