If you don’t know Poke Runyon, then he is no doubt more disappointed by that fact than any of you are. Poke Runyon is not a conspiracy theorist. Let’s make that clear. Poke is what you would call a magician of the ceremonial kind. He’s very similar to the ones you read about in medieval times. Men of sorcery and alchemy who scried into a black mirror or ventured across the land in search of sacred knowledge muggles like us never knew existed.
To put it it bluntly, Poke Runyon is a fabled mystical figure of his own creation. Just check out his Metapedia page, no doubt written by Poke himself. In it, Poke takes credit for black mirror scrying by rewording it into something different. But really, it’s just black mirror scrying. He didn’t make it up.
Reading his page and actually getting through it, was much easier than I thought it would be. That’s because as far as charlatans go, Poke is very good at talking about himself and making that information seem interesting. However, it gets convoluted very quickly. Somehow I know that a lot is missing. I feel like there is more to it. Something, just isn’t there. If I had two words to describe that something, I would call it the truth.
And here is where I encounter the limits of the Internet. Poke’s accomplishments are too fragmented across its treacherous landscape to extrapolate a reliable narrative. It became clear to me that in order to find out the truth about Poke, I would have to get it straight from the mage’s mouth. I would have to speak to Poke himself.
Speaking to Poke Runyon would be no easy undertaking. He’s a pseudo celebrity after all, and there is also some electronic proof of me slandering him out there. It also doesn’t help that I have the face of a slanderer. Still, with all this against me, I continued to take up this task, if for anything else, for the possibility meeting a great master magician.
I turned to the Internet again for clues of how to find him. Word is that Poke runs the Temple of Astarte, the OTA, out of a secluded lodge in California. Now I would go there, but that would be the easy thing to do. Also, I don’t have the money. But almost any other interviewer can buy a plane ticket. No. This deserved a more nuanced approach, a more, dare I say it, magical approach.
As I stared into the empty black mirror of my iPhone, it came to me, I would scry Poke Runyon, from my iPhone. With the help of a friend, of course.
“Nooooooo, noooooo, noooooo!” Benjamin said as he levitated above the tatami mats of his flat. “No fucking way.”
“But we call up demons all the time,” I said. “You love that shit!”
“No.” Ben said. “I am not scrying into a mirror for Poke Runyon. That’s where I draw the line.”
Ten minutes later, Ben had already prepared the basics for the ritual, we just needed one more thing….
“The black mirror.” Ben said.
“I got it.” I said placing my iPhone down on the table.
Ben turned off the lights to the room and got a couple of candles going. He then sat down in front of my phone and began to call upon Poke. It only took four minutes, but the fires from the candles got brighter, and the room was then filled with the faint aroma of bullshit.
“He’s here.” Ben said.
The following is a conversation between myself and Poke Runyon scried on the black mirror on my iPhone. It’s as real as any conversation Poke has ever had with a black mirror.
Thanks for coming Poke.
You’re most welcome. And thank you! I always welcome the opportunity to speak to a fan.
Well, I’m not a fan, I’m just interviewing you. Or scrying you, or whatever.
Oh? Are you a journalist?
No. I’m not a journalist.
Then you must be a fan!
Okay. Never mind, listen, Poke, may I ask you a couple of questions while you’re here?
Well, that depends… Have you taken all the precautionary measures for this ritual?
Yes. I think so.
And are you of sound mind? Have you partaken in any types of hallucinatory substances?
Have you …. You know? (The spectral vision of Poke in the mirror makes a smoking gesture)
Okay! Nevermind. I’ll stick with irresponsible speculation.
No. No. No. Proceed with the interview.
No. Seriously, I don’t have time for this shit. I only wanted to ask you a couple of questions. And you got all weird and shit.
No. It is rude to call on a spirit without consorting with it. Please, proceed with your questions.
(I look at Ben, who is already uploading some photos of the ritual on to the CMG. Ben types “Have you ever scried? What for, and how do?” )
Poke is right. It is rude to call upon a spirit without properly consorting with it, Ben said.
Ha! The rabbi is accurate. Ask your questions my young acolyte.
Thank you. Okay Poke, I only have three.
The only more perfect number would be 93.
Please stop doing that.
Responding to everything I say with a dramatic connection,
Do you not want me to answer your questions?
I’d like you to let me ask them first. We’ve been here for already five minutes and you haven’t even let me speak.
Did you in fact sell trinkets to rich people while living in the sewer?
That wasn’t me, that’s from the movie “Simon, King of the Witches” which is in no way based on my life.
That’s right, so did you do it or not?
Young man, did you not hear my words? “Simon, King of the Witches” is in no way based on my life.
I’ll take that as a yes. My second question. You’re credited with “rediscovering” the ancient method of black mirror scrying. First of all, how does one “rediscover” something that has already been discovered and in still in practice? And secondly, how does a person see something in a mirror without the use of drugs or any other kind of mind altering substances?
“Rediscover.” Such a fascinating notion, I guess I did rediscover this method and reintroduce it to the masses…
No. Poke, that’s not what I asked. I asked….
As for your second question, the answer is just as simple…
Ok then. My last question, and then you can go…. Please. When you died and came back, you allegedly returned with ancient sacred knowledge, what specifically was that ancient sacred knowledge?
The ancient sacred knowledge? Oh my. How do I begin…
You can by opening your mouth and telling me.
The secret ancient knowledge. Why, it’s simple, you only have to…. Oh, I’m very sorry my young acolyte, but I must make flight, for my journey through the ether must continue. Please feel free to call upon me another time.
Poke, that’s not how it works, you can’t leave until we close the circle and allow you to go. I know this from watching your DVD “The Magick Of Solomon.”
It is good to see that the younger generation has taken it upon themselves to preserve the ancient secret knowledge.
Stop referring to me as a fan, acolyte, and young. I’m forty. Dude, Poke, just please answer my question.
And what, exactly, is your question?
Grrrrr! What is the ancient secret knowledge?
That I cannot tell you, unfortunately. You must discover it for yourself.
Okay. We stay here until you tell me.
(Five hours of awkward silence pass. Ben had already completely lost interest and moved on to answering his Facebook messages, which at that point had to be in the hundreds of lost souls such as myself seeking his guidance. Poke’s eye had begun to twitch slightly.)
Ready to talk, Poke?
I’m sorry, but I can’t share the sacred ancient knowledge with you.
(Another five hours pass. During which Ben went down to the Lighthouse for a couple of drinks. I looked into Poke’s sleepy, pug eyes. He had the resolve, but so did I.)
You don’t have the secret ancient knowledge do you?
(Poke intently contemplated my question for an entire one quarter of a second before giving the answer that I should have known all along.)
So I closed the circle and joined Ben at the Lighthouse. The moral of the story being that perhaps Poke has something of value to share with the rest of society other than his outsized messiah complex. But, if so, he doesn’t know it yet, and even if he did, I doubt he would tell any of us.
“You’ve learned a very valuable lesson today,” Ben said with a smile as he finished his Vodka Cranberry.
“Never trust a magician.”