Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Because the charity of my native place
Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up
Them giving back him, who was to debase.
Then we finally reached where had to leap
From the second turn to third, and just where
Horrible art of justice you can seep.
To best describe new things I saw then there,
I tell that now we arrived at a site
Which any plant destroys and impair.
The painful wood is like a garland tight
Around it, like is the sad moat to it;
Here we stopped step after step nearby quite.
The space was of sand arid and thick split
Not quite so different shape from the one
Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit.
O God’s vengeance, how much you ought to stun
And frighten whoever is reading now
What to my eyes then manifest was done!
Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow
And all together wretchedly to cry,
As they were subject to a wicked law.
Some people of them supine to ground lie,
Some other sitting down fully curled up,
And other walked around with no why.
People who wandered was a larger group,
And the less ones lying to the torment,
But expressing their grief with louder weep.
Over the sandy soil, with slow descent,
Were pouring of fire very large flaps,
As snow on mountains with no wind extent.
Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps
Of India over his army saw
Flames solid down to ground to collapse,
So he designed pawing the soil to draw
With his arrays, so that the vapor hot
Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw:
So fell there the eternal fire spot;
Making sand to ignite, like the tinder
Under fire, to double the ache shot.
With no rest were waved around to hinder
The miserable hands, just side by side
To send away from self the hot cinder.
I started: “Master, who are winner wide
In all things, except with the demons tough
Who our entrance at the door before tied,
Who is that big who is careless enough
Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies,
So it look like on him fire to snuff?”
And just that one, as had way to comprise
That I was asking my duke about him,
Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise.
If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim
From which he took the lightning acute
That my last day me stroke with will grim;
Or if is tiring others to pursuit
At Mongibello where is the smithy black,
Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”,
As he made at Phlegraean battle attack,
And he darted me with his strength at all:
He couldn’t have his happy revenge back”
Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall
So tall, that never so strongly I heard:
“O Capaneus, since is not yet small
Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred:
No torment, except your angry wrath bad,
Would certainly be to your rage concurred”.
Then turned to me, and better aspect had,
Telling: “He was one of the seven kings
Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add
Contempt has to God, no regard brings;
But, as I told him, his despites are then
At his breast very appropriate things.
Now follow me, and careful not, again,
You put your feet in this hot and scorched sand;
But always keep your feet in wood as den”
In silence passed over to reach the land
Out of the wood where is a tiny flow,
Whose reddish color my mind still disband.
As from the Bulicame the waters go
Which women sinners then among them share,
Likely that runlet through the sand went low.
Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair
Were of stones, and the edges on the sides;
So I realized that the pass was there.
“With anything else I have shown besides,
After we entered the main door just through
Whose trespassing ever nobody chides,
You did not notice using your eyes too
Overt as it is this present river,
Which turns off all little flames not few”
Of these words my guide had been the giver;
So I begged him the dinner had to feed
After the wish he brought in me with shiver.
“In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”,
Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete,
Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed.
There is a mount which was of pride replete
For woods and water, which Ida had as name;
Now is a desert as thing to deplete.
Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim
Of hers son, and she at best him to hide,
When he cried, she sound shouting overcame.
A grand old man stands up the mount inside,
Holding shoulders at Damietta town
And looks at Rome as in a mirror side.
His head of pure gold is done and crown,
Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done,
Then of copper is made to the fork down;
The part below is built of iron dun;
Except the right foot which of faience is;
And on that foot more stands, the other shun.
Each part, except the golden one, rift has
As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow
Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does.
Their course in this valley deep falls and throw;
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form;
Then through this narrow penstock down they go,
At last, there where more drop cannot perform,
Produce Cocito, and how is that pond
You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”.
And I: “If this stream has to correspond
To a source like that in our world up there,
Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”.
And he: “This site is round, you are aware;
Although you already walked that much,
Even moving left, getting down to fare,
You did not yet complete the circle such;
So that, if it looks strange to you this thing,
Your face should not wonder and touch”.
And I again: “Master, where is the spring
Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still,
Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling”
“With all these questions, I admire your will,
He answered, “but the boiling water red
Should have just solved a question you made still.
Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread,
Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed
When their sin repented has then been shed”
Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need
From the wood, so follow and come me back:
Road is done by borders, which let accede,
And on them hot vapor will of course lack”
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
“Here the fierce with the thin pointed tail,
Who passes mountains and breaks arms and walls!
Here who with stench can the world assail!”
So my duke started to talk with his calls;
And hinted then it to get the bank close,
Nearby to end of marbles and of falls.
And then that filthy image which fraud sows
Came close, and just arrived with head and chest
But on the shore its tail it did not pose.
Its face was of the honest man at best,
So much benignant had its outer skin,
And of a snake was all its body next;
Two hairy gills it had to armpits twin;
Its spine and chest as well as ribs both too
With knots and wheels had like painted had been.
Vivid colors much overlapping do
Neither Tartars nor Turks drapes never made
No such canvas ever Arachne drew.
Likewise sometimes barges nearby shore stayed
In part in water and in part on ground,
And likewise there within the Germans strayed
The beaver prepares its war and to hound,
So the bad and evil fierce remained there
On stony rim of sandy soil around.
Its tail was flickering in void to scare,
Up twisting its fork poisonous indeed
Which armed tip like a scorpion unfair.
My duke told: “To modify now we need
Our pathway until we finally reach
That evil fierce which there lies, careful heed”.
For this we down got toward the right beach,
Ten steps we did then on the limit rim,
The flames and too the hot sand to breach.
And when at end we arrived close to him
A little farther I see just on sand
People sitting near the site with no vim.
Here the master “Now you have at hand
The truth about this circle in full just”,
He told , “go and their fate then understand.
Your reasoning way down there short be must,
Meanwhile you come back, I will speak with this,
So he will offer us his limbs robust”
So again up to the top of abyss
In that seventh circle now alone
I went, where sad people sitting exists.
Through their eyes the internal pain was shown;
Here, there defended themselves with hands
Now to steam, and now to hot soil of stone:
Not different are dogs in summer stands
Now with mug or with paw, when are bitten
Or by fleas or by flies or horseflies bands.
After I put on some my eyes smitten,
On whom the painful fire to fall saw,
No one I knew; but I saw as written
A pocket hanging from the neks to draw
With blazons and colors and well clear sign,
Of which they looked to be proud with no awe.
And as looking at them I joined their line,
In yellow bag I saw a sky-blue tint
Which of lion had face and clear design.
Then going to follow of sight the hint,
I saw another which was as blood red
With a goose that whiter exist didn’t.
And one who of a light blue sow well fed
Had his white bag clearly painted just so,
Told me: “How did you come in this ditch shed?
Now you can leave; and since you alive go,
Learn that my near Vitaliano still
Will seat then here at my left below.
These from Florence, I from Paduan mill;
So many times my ears are stunned nearby
From shouting: “Should come the sovereign will,
Who will carry his bag with three necks by!
Then he twisted his mouth and extracted
His tongue, as ox which nose to lick may try.
And since my stay could not be protracted
To shun master's regret asking be fast
I came back to souls badly impacted.
I found my duke who already had passed
Sitting onto the croup of the fierce beast,
And told me: “Now be strong and bold not last.
Now we have to descend such stairs so pieced;
Come up ahead, at middle I must be
So that for you the tail’s danger is least”
Similar to one whose disgust is close to see
The quartan fever, with nails just pale,
And looks back trembling at high degree,
So I became when heard the words assail;
But I was ashamed by his threats to me.
That a good lord makes right his servant fail.
I found my place on that back hard to see;
So I tried to tell, but no voice I had
As I thought and desired: “Let embrace thee”
But he, who times before to help was glad
Maybe for other, when I was there sat
With both his arms gripped and sustained me sad;
And told: “Geryon, you should move now at;
Be the circles wide, and the slope down short;
You must be careful with such weight as that”
Like a small ship leaves off its place in port
Backwards and backwards, so started then it;
And when he felt to be free to transport,
Where the chest was, he put his tail to fit,
And after stretching, it moved like an eel,
And with gills, inflated air to admit.
More fright I don’t believe would deal
When Phaeton unrestrained became then,
So that sky, as still seen, was burnt to seal;
Nor had Icarus with his sorry loins when
Losing feathers perceived for the wax hot,
His father screaming to him “Bad way amen!”,
The fright I had, when I saw where I got
Everywhere in air, and turned off I saw
Any scenery out of the fierce spot.
It goes away swimming slow, with no flaw;
Rotates, descends, but I am not aware
Except for the wind which comes from yaw.
I felt just on right hand the eddy mare
Doing an indeed scaring roar below,
So that with eyes my head to jut I dare.
Then I became more bashful to that flow,
Since I saw fires and heard tears of pain;
And trembling all I snuggled in me so.
Then saw, since view on I could not attain,
Descent and turning those great pains around
Which came close from various parts again.
Like falcon whose wings long flied up from ground,
Without sight lure or any bird at all
Pushes the fa lconer to tell “Stop hound!”,
Descends tired while it moved easy and tall,
With hundred rounds, and then volplanes quite far
From its trainer, with disdain and fierce gall;
So Geryon put us on rocks which are
At foot at foot of the profound barrow
And, after discharged the persons of our,
It sudden vanished like from bow the arrow.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
“Through me you enter the city of woe
Trough me you enter the eternal pain
Through me you go to people lost below.
Justice inspired my highest factor reign;
I was created by act of divine,
Supreme wisdom and the first love as main.
Of all created things the first is mine
Unless eternal, and I eternal last.
Who enters here must any hope resign”.
These words in color of obscure contrast
I written saw on top of a big door;
So I: “Master, their meanings me harass”
And he to me, as guy with a shrewd core
“Here you must abandon any bad mind;
Of any cowardice must die the bore.
We reached the place I told you, so remind,
Where you shall see the people full of pain
Who good of intellect have lost behind”.
And when his hand on mine put to remain
With happy face, giving consolation,
Told me deep secrets in a fashion plain.
There sighing, tears, cries of desperation
Were filling all the air empty of light,
So I had to cry with desolation.
Strange sounds, screeches with horrible insight,
Painfulness words, furious rage tones,
High and hoarse voices, and sounds to incite
Were doing much noise, which there high intones
Throughout that turbid air for endless time,
As when swirl wind moves sand and little stones.
And since I had so wrong my own head prime,
I told: “Master, what is the noise I hear?
Which is the people here bummed in such grime?”.
And he to me: “This forlorn way of here
Assume the dreary souls of those men past
Who with no blot or laud a life had mere.
Among that evil choir are badly classed
Of angels who neither became barely rebels
Nor faithful to God, with selfishness vast.
Heaven to shun less beauty them dispels,
Nor can welcome them the deepest hell,
Since for no sinner are of glory wells”.
And I: “Master, what is so hardly fell
To make indeed them strongly to complain?”.
He answered: “Few words to you I will spell.
For these of death the prospect is in vain,
And their blind living is so badly low,
So that of any doom have envious brain.
Of their renown worldwide there is no show;
Compassion and true justice them despise:
Don’t care for them, look simply and go low”.
And I, looking, saw a flag of big size
Which run whirling around at such a speed,
That looked to me to stop unworthy guise;
And back was followed by a crowd indeed
Of people, which I would never believe
That so far a large amount was death’s deed.
After who he was I reached to conceive
I saw and knew the shadow of the one
Who mean refused his great role to receive.
At once my understanding was thus done
That it was the sect of those captives here,
Not pleasing God and his enemies none.
These evil-born who had never life clear,
Had naked bodies and strongly harassed too
By blowflies and wasps which were flying near.
So doing blood was streaming their cheeks through,
Which, mixed with tears, fell to ground at their feet
Where it was picked up by pesky worms not few.
And since I looked back for a view complete,
I saw people nearby a large stream;
So I told: ”Master, you now me repeat
So that I know who are and for what theme
They have to look ready forthwith to pass,
As I descry in this light lack extreme”
And he to me: “Clear will be things at last
When our steps walking we shall bring to rest
At the sad bank of Acheronte vast”.
With shameful eyes low looking at my chest,
Because I feared by speaking to bore him,
Silent to the river I was at best.
And came us towards of a boat aboard
An old man, white for his ancient hair,
Shouting: “ Woe unto you, oh souls abhorred!
You have no hope to see the heaven air
I come to bring you to the other bank
In the eternal dark, warm and cold scare.
And you right there, of living souls your rank,
Divide your path from these ones who are dead”.
But when he saw I was not moving flank,
Told me: “Different ways, and ports instead
You have to reach, not here, to freely pass
A lighter vessel conveniently will lead”.
My guide to him: “Charon, don’t you harass:
So is the will up there where is the sway
To reach the will, and put no more contrasts”
After the fleecy chicks calm had to stay
To the old pilot of the livid slew,
Who flames round his eyes had to display.
But those souls, which were weary and naked too,
Forthwith turned pale and started to chatter
When heard the meaning of words so askew.
Blasphemed God and their relatives latter,
The human beings, where, when and the seed
Of their seed pearl and of newborn scatter.
They then all joined and came compelled to cede,
Bitterly weeping, at the wicked bank
Deserved by any man of God’s fear freed.
Charon demon, has ember’s eyes with swank,
Moving to them, is now collecting all;
With paddle beats whoever sits or sank.
As leaves which faded drop down during fall
One after the other, until the bough
Sees all his spoils fallen to ground to stall
So the wrong seeds that Adam could endow
Themselves throw from beach one by one,
His nod follow as a bird to call now.
So they above the obscure wave just run,
And before they the other bank descend
Another new swarm on this side is done.
“My dear son”, then told me the master friend,
“The wretches ones who die in God’s disgrace
From any country here come to their end;
The river crossing are ready to face,
Because divine justice now them spurs
So that their fear deep desire must displace.
Here no a good spirit ever occurs;
So, then if Charon is to complain with you,
You ought to catch well what his speech incurs”.
And when he ceased, the land obscure to view
Trembled so loud, that owing to my freight
My mind of lather still perceives the dew.
The tearful ground created a wind rate,
Which suddenly flashed a vermilion light
Winning my senses knocking down my state;
And I fell down as man who sleeps at night.
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Was the place where we climbing down the bank
Then arrived, alpine and, for what was there
Such as, that any eyesight would be shrank.
Similar to landslide that in side bare
Before Trento the Adige just smote,
Or for shake or as missing supports were,
That from mountain top, where had to demote,
To end plain are so steep the rocks indeed,
That no path to any up could denote:
Likewise down that ravine one must proceed;
And on the rim of the broken abyss
Lied along of Crete the infamous weed
Who was conceived in the cow false amiss;
And when he saw us, then himself he bit,
The way of guy on whom anger insists.
My sage toward him shouted: “Maybe it
You think that Atene’s duke is now here,
Who up in world to death you could commit?
Go away, beast, since this is not a mere
Learner from your sister already trained
But he is to see your pains as appear”.
As a bull which sudden becomes unchained
When it already received the deathblow,
And to move is not able, but jumps strained,
Likewise the Minotaur acted then so;
And that sage then shouted: “Through passage run:
While it is furious, better you go”.
So we our path then down rapid begun
Through those heavy stones, often not stable
Under my feet, by the new weight just won.
I was thoughtful, and he: “You are able
To think about this ravine, under guard
Of that bestial wrath I could disable.
The time, you now must know at this regard,
I came down here into the lowest hell.
This fallen rock had not yet crashed down hard.
But slightly before, if I recall well,
That came over the one who the huge prey
To Dis withdrew from the supernal shell,
Everywhere the high valley foul and grey
Trembled so that the universe I thought
Felt love, for which somebody trusts a way
Of world repeatedly to chaos brought;
And at that time this very ancient rock
Then here and elsewhere to revolve just ought.
But address eyes down valley, we now dock
At the blood bank in which is boiling now
Who other people with wildness could sock”.
Oh blind greed and too crazy anger bow,
Which indeed spurs us on in our life short,
And in eternal so bad to endow!
I saw a wide trench in bow self-contort,
As the one which is all the plane around,
According to what had told my escort;
And between foot of bank and it, compound
In group centaurs run, well armored with darts,
As used to do in world hunting and hound.
Seeing us climbing down, everyone departs,
And three of them then moved just toward us
With bows and arrows as their ready parts;
And one shouted from far: “At what distress
Along this coast now getting down are you?
Tell us right now; else my bow arrows shoots”
My master told: “the answer shall in short
Be given by us to Chiron forth on:
Bad was your will always prone to distort”
Then touched me, and told: Nexus is that one,
Who for the handsome Deianira died,
And by himself , the self-revenge was done.
And the one halfway, gazing his breast wide,
Is the great Chiron, who Achilles fed;
The other is Pholus, who rage complied.
Thousands and thousands at trench are there spread,
Darting any soul which tries to come out
From blood much more than their sin mislead”
We went closer to those lean beasts to scout;
Chiron took a dart, and then with the nock
Pushed back his beard to jaw ready to clout.
After he had uncovered his mouth block,
Told then to his mates: “Are you aware
That the guy back moves what he has to knock?
This way do not act feet of the deads bare”.
And my good duke, who just was at his breast,
Where the two natures are well joined and share,
Answered: “He is living, and is so pressed
That I have this valley dark him to show;
Not for delight, but for need is this quest.
Somebody from alleluia moved although
And then committed me to this task new:
He is not a thief, nor to steal I go.
But for that virtue for which I move through
My passage now on such a savage way,
Give us one of yours, to be a guide true,
And where is ford be able to display,
And also carry this one on his back,
Since he isn’t a spirit that fly may”.
Chiron then turned on his head the right whack,
And told Nexus: “Come back and guide them so,
And make move aside other groups’ attack”-
Now with the trusty escort we could go
Along the border of the boiling red,
Where the boiled were shouting their pain to show.
I saw people close to the edge of dread;
And great centaur told: “These evil tyrants are
Who bloodily acted and wildness shed.
Here are just cried the grim sins by desper;
Here is Alexander and Dionisio grim
Who gave Sicily years of pains with scar.
And that brow with black hair on him,
Is Azzolino, and the other who has fair hair,
Is Opizzo from Este, who looks so dim
Was killed by his stepson in world up there”.
Then I revolved toward poet, and he told:
“This one as first from now, me second bear”.
Just beyond on the centaur had to hold
Above some people who up to his throat
Looked as from that boiling tried to unfold.
He showed us a spirit well alone to float,
Telling: “That one in God’s lap had to cut
The heart dripping on Thames you can yet note”.
After that I saw people who out of river uncut
Kept their heads and their breasts at all;
Ad of these I recognized more than somewhat.
So more and more the depth became so small
Of that blood, and griddled also the feet,
Until the ditch our pace could not appall.
“As you can see here in a way concrete
The boiling stream becoming less and less”
Told the centaur, “I whish for you be neat
That the other part gives more and more stress
Toward the bottom, till is reached a state
Where tyranny is stricken in excess.
Divine justice can here sting and abate
That Attila who was on earth a scourge,
Pirro and Sesto; for eternal fate
Tears sucks, in boiling river to submerge,
Rinier from Corneto, and Rinier mad,
Who wherever wars always made emerge”.
Then turned his way and passed the river sad.
Long poem by
Ed Ebbs | Details |
This is a draft, my computer is being weird, so I put this here...
There was a time to survive the streets of Los Angeles without bruises, cuts and possibly your life, you had to size up those approaching by carefully watching each and every move they make; are you a target.
I'm watching to see if they take notice of me as I cross over the other side of the street. Sigh, they crossed over to the other side matching my movements. I'm in trouble, I can feel their penetrating eyes and everything inside is screaming. Remembering there was a storm sewer at the corner of the street I just passed a few moments ago, and without hesitation I turned to run for my life. Sliding into the street corner between the sidewalk above and the street below…a few more pounds and I would have been stuck. This storm sewer basin is a large concrete box with a large concrete pipe in the corner that goes somewhere. The gang members are all around outside of preventing any escape swinging their chains, sticks and blades. They're acting like a pack of dogs yelping and hollering as their prey is trapped in a corner. They are working on the manhole cover above with a crowbar which would give them access to me below. Fear is now getting the best of me so without much thought I quickly entered the large drain pipe and went deeper into a abyss. This drain pipe connects to a tunnel large enough for a car to pass through.
They must have opened that manhole because I hear their voices, they’re following me so I decide to run down the tunnel into the darkness so they would not see me and then stop to listen. I hear no footsteps, but I ran so far I cannot see a thing, there is no light, just nothingness. I start to walk and I bump into a wall. I can’t go back the way I came because the fate that would await me going that direction, but there is nothingness is all around me so I am not sure what direction that would be. I remember running down the left side of the tunnel before stopping to listen. When I start to walk again and I run into a wall, so that must be the right side, I think? I decide to continue, and being right handed I'm more comfortable on the left side so I turn and walk towards the left side to have something to touch. It seems like an eternity until I finally reach a wall. This wall will become my security from the nothingness...I can’t see my hands or feet, or even hear a sound. There is no frame of reference, only the wall and the solid ground under my feet. Thank God this was a time before those vampire movies or Freddy Krueger; I have only the Alfred Hichcook movies to pull fears from. Continuing through this nothingness a beam of light begins to appear from above. It’s amazing how much light is coming from this little tiny whole in that manhole cover—it lights up the whole area. I stand there amazed and I take a deep breath in this light, it has been a long journey to this point. Standing there I notice a ladder leading up to a possible escape. Listening carefully before pushing up on the cover, I push and push...I'm not strong enough. Many of the manhole covers are spot welded by the public works department to prevent an open manhole in the middle of a street. I climb down from the ladder and pause for a few moments in the light absorbing what I could before continuing on; this tunnel must lead somewhere, right? Another beam of light, another welded manhole cover. The fear of the gang has long past, my only thoughts now are those of being lost and I am starting to feel hopeless. I remember a verse I was taught about falling down, the faithful fall down seven times, but they get up again..at least that is how I remember it. They're words from a Sunday school teacher. I was terrible at remembering scriptures to get those stickers, but I remember what the verses meant. The nothingness continues as I walk, and it has been a long time since the last little beam of light and I have found the meaning of hopelessness. The floor below is beginning to get damp, ick, what am I walking in? I can’t see a thing still and I'm too afraid to stop touching the wall or even to stoop down--the wall is my security. My mind is pretty numb right now, my only thoughts are dragging my hand on the wall wall and walking. The dampness becomes wet, and from wet to splashing. A moment almost overcomes me fear, I pause to sense if the water is moving; am I going the wrong way and about to get swallowed up by a wall of water. The water seems to be static and the nothingness yields no sounds, so I continue. Finally, salvation from a beam of light shining from above reveals little fish in the water below. I'm headed to the ocean, I'm sure, confidence starts to be renewed. The movie Jaws was years away so there are no fears. The nothingness continues until again there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The wall is no longer my security, I follow the light. The water is at my knees as I continue towards the light. I can smell the ocean and feel a breeze. I can see the ocean and the sand. Sigh, there is a bar screen blocking my exit—I'm feeling defeated, their is no way I can every go back. Looking closely at this bar screen in the way of my freedom, one corner has been pulled away, it’s bent outward under the high tide. There are no other choices really, so I take a deep breath and down I go. My shirt snags on something as I start to reach around to the other side and pull. I struggle, my shirt tears and I am free. Freedom never felt so good. I look around at the beach, it’s rather windy, only a few people walking here and there, but it’s sunny! I turn in a circle to get my bearings, it’s sure great to be alive and free. Months later they’re welding bars over these points of escape. I am heavier now, and I would not fit anyway, but I ponder about my escape, what about others. I feel sad for them..
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
That color vileness painted on my face
When coming back my duke to me I saw
His new squeezing inside much more took place.
He heedful stopped as man hearing to draw;
Because his eye could not reach much far more
Through the black air and too for the fog flaw.
“At end we have to win this battle bore”,
Started him, ”Unless…. Someone offered aid.
Oh how late is other reaching this shore!”.
I saw clearly well how he had to fade
His speech at start when he reminded then on,
Telling different words respect he made;
But not less frightening gave his speech gone,
Because I bethought the truncated say
Probably the worst unwilled sentence con.
“In this hard bottom of the mournful tray
Never is who descends from the first grade,
Which only for his pain no hope must pay?”.
I asked this question; and he “I’m afraid
It’s quite rare”, responded, “That among us
Be somebody who my same journey made.
It’s true that here I had one time to pass,
Conspired by that Eritòn cruel indeed
Who retrieved the spirits to their corpus.
It was recent that my flesh was naked freed,
When she allowed me enter through that wall
A Giuda’s circle’s soul to keep had need.
That’s the lowest and darkest place of all,
And the furthest one from the turning sky;
I know well the path; thus do not appall.
This swamp whose stench around is very high
Encircles the mournful town all around
Where to go without wrath now we can’t try”
And told me more, but memory I confound;
Because my eye attracted full my mind
Toward the tower burning top then bound,
Where toward one point were fastly aligned
Three hellish furies fully with blood stained,
Who had members and acts female defined,
And with greenest hydras looked like were chained;
Small snakes and sidewinders they had as hair,
So that their fierce temples were hard constrained.
And he, who well recognized their despair
Of the eternal weeping the wild queen,
“Look”, he told me, ”The wild Erinni scare.
This is Megera whose song is grim obscene;
Aletto is the one crying on the right hand;
Tesifon is in the middle”; and hushed serene.
With nails each one hers breast there wildly panned;
They stroke themselves by hands emitting cries,
So high that alarmed I held the poet grand.
“Medusa will make him of stone in guise”,
All of them were telling while looking down;
“Teseo’s assault we did not yet chastise”.
“Turn back your face and cover it facedown;
Because if Gorgon shows and then you see,
You could never go back to upper town”.
So spoke my master; and exactly he
Turned me back, and did not hold my hands,
Before that with his hands I covered me.
Oh you who have a mind which understands,
Admire the doctrine which is hidden here
Under the veiling of strange verses stands.
And was just coming up with waves’ smear
A din of noisy sound, so full of scare
That both sides were then trembling as for fear,
Not so different from strongly blowing air
Vehemently coming from opposite heats,
Which hits the wood and no defense aware
Breaks the branches, strongly strikes and out beats;
Full of powder goes on and full of pride,
Wild animals and shepherds to flee hits.
He moved to me and told: ”Your sight now guide
Up there toward that very old dirt grime
And look closely where that smoke is more wide.”
As frogs which seeing forward on time
The adverse snake in water away flee
Until each one is hidden in the slime,
I saw more than thousand souls very stray
To escape from one front to them whose pace
Was moving on the Stix in dry foot way.
He removed that sticky air from his face,
Roughly moving oft ahead his left hand;
And only looked jaded of that disgrace.
I perceived that from heavens he was planned,
And I turned to the master; and he made sign
To keep me quiet and bow to his command.
Oh how much to disdain looked to incline!
He reached the door and with a little rod
Opened it, which made no flak to resign.
“Oh by heavens expelled, folks dirty sod”
He started on the horrendous threshold then,
“From where does come this hubris of your squad?
Why do you kick against that will, you men,
To which nobody can cut off the end,
And many times hurted you in this fen?
What does it profit against fate contend?
Your Cerberus, if you remember, still
Now has goiter and chin to amend”
He then moved his pace toward the road ill,
And didn’t speak to us, as to appear
A man who aims to perform a strict will
More urgent than the one of people here;
And then we moved on feet above that ground,
Safer after the saint words and no fear.
We entered there freely and with no bound;
And I, having desire of looking more
The condition that fort tightens around,
As I was in, my eye turned to explore:
And I see everywhere a country wide,
Full of pain and of vicious torment sore.
As at Arli, where Rhone stagnant is tied,
As at Pola, to the Carnaro close
Which Italy ends and wets its coast side,
The graves make ragged all the site at most
So there in everywhere and part just made,
Except a bitter way was shown by those;
Because between the graves high flames stayed,
So that they were in full completely lit,
That fused iron would not require more grade.
Were all open the covers of any pit,
And so much mournful laments then came out,
That plain was dreary people to emit.
And I: “Master, of people tell me about
Who, buried in those arks now we there see,
With mournful sighing we can hear to shout?
And he: “Here the heresy-arks must be
With followers, of any sect, and much
More than you think in tombs are with no plea.
Similar is buried with being such,
And their penalties are hot more or less”
And when he turned right to go in touch,
We passed through the borders of that sad mess.
Long poem by
Trisha Sugarek | Details |
The Ash Can ©
I got the call on Sunday night. I was traveling on business. When I looked at the caller ID
I wondered why my husband’s boss would be calling me. I was unprepared for what
he told me and my legs turned to water when he said that my husband was dead.
‘A heart attack? An accident?’ I asked. ‘No’, he said, ‘John committed suicide.
They found him in your garage this morning.’ I heard someone screaming and
wished that they would stop so I could hear the rest. His voice was very far away
and the woman just kept screaming. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ I need to hear. I clapped my
hand over my mouth when I suddenly realized it was me who was screaming.
I don’t remember hanging up or getting on the plane. (beat) Yes, John and I were having
problems and we had been separated for about three months but nothing was official.
After thirty years of marriage I never believed that we couldn’t weather this and share
the rest of our lives together. This was just a phase he was going through…some sort
of mid-life crisis. This had to be some horrible mistake, a case of mistaken identity.
My John would never do this, leave me like this. (beat)
I stumbled into our home around nine the next morning. The house looked like a woman
hadn’t lived there for months. Dirty dishes in the sink, groceries half put away, empty
beer cans and a full ashtray by John’s chair. Seeking comfort I walked over to his chair.
Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a reflection in the mirror over the
fireplace. Some wild looking woman with mascara smudges under her eyes and smeared
lipstick looked out at me. I walked closer to inspect this stranger in my house.
She looked old and used up. Who was she? What had life dealt her to look so worn out?
Oh, God, it was me. Staring out with those eyes bleeding hot, raw pain. (beat) I curled
up in John’s chair and closed my eyes. Was this all I had left of my husband? This slightly shabby piece of furniture that still smelled of him? How could I tell our children? Could I bear to go into the garage? What would I find?
I knew that they had taken his body away but what had they left there for me to see?
Maybe something there would prove that this was truly a mistake. I rose to my feet and
walked into the kitchen and through the laundry room to the garage door. (beat)
I slowly opened it and was knocked back by the remaining stink of gas fumes.
John’s car sat in its parking spot, the garden hose hanging from the back window like
some obscene snake. I gagged and pressed the button to open the garage door.
The passenger side window was open so I could look inside without having to touch the car. And what I saw on the seat told it all. There was John’s cell phone, an empty bottle of Vodka and a bottle of Excedrin. (beat) And something else…a second cell phone…what in the world? I was only allowed five seconds of blissful denial before it all came crashing down on me. The second phone…the secret phone that men who cheat keep to talk to their lovers. All those protestations he offered during the time that we were apart. ‘No, there was no one else’, ‘I just need to find myself’, ‘I don’t want a divorce’, ‘I just need some time’. ‘I love you; I’m just not in love with you.’ Lies, all lies! How could I have been so stupid? Then I notice a crumpled manila envelope on the floor of the car. Anger driven, I opened the door and picked up the envelope and the two cell phones and went back into the house. Sitting in John’s chair once again, I smoothed out the envelope and read what was written there.
‘Ricky, tell Sherry I love her. Tell Sherry I can’t live without her. Tell Sherry not to cry
for me. Sherry, I’ll love you forever. I’m sorry.....John-Boy.’ Who the hell was Sherry?
Did my husband of three decades kill himself over some tramp? Some other woman
whom he barely knew? I picked up the second cell phone and scanned the history of calls.
Where was area code 864? As I set the phone down my eye caught the partial title of
a book lying on the rug under the table. Picking it up, I read: ‘How To Keep A Long
Distance Relationship Exciting and New.’ I opened it to the first few pages and found an
inscription, ‘To my tiny dancer, until we meet again. Love forever, your John-Boy.’
My God, John, how could you? How could you do this to us? I yelled as I threw the
book across the room; will this hellish nightmare never end? (beat) I picked up the
cell phone and scrolled down the history; Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman, Sherry Hoffman. No other woman, huh, John? South Carolina…hence the long distance relationship…you’re such a fool, I told myself. There was voice mail saved and I listened to the most current ones. Those messages told a story of a married woman who had a son and a new grandchild.
Another sad, pedestrian story of a restless woman trapped in a loveless marriage but
unwilling to leave. The daughter-in-law apparently would not let Sherry see the child.
It seemed that John, in a misplaced attempt to help, called Sherry’s son to insist that
he let Sherry see her grand-baby.
Only to succeed in blowing up that family. The final message was not so sweet and
sexy from his lover. Sherry had dumped my husband. (beat) I didn’t know whether
to laugh or cry. I seemed to be trapped in a crazed, unbelievable soap opera. But what
is it that they say about truth being stranger than fiction? I sighed. John had always
wanted to rescue anyone in trouble…even when they didn’t ask for help. He had crossed
the line calling that woman’s son. Oh, John, what were you thinking?, I asked the empty
room. Didn’t you know? You were her dirty little secret.... (more)
(from my book, Monologues 4 Women)
Long poem by
Terry O'Leary | Details |
as the PROPHETS of profits, WE lead and WE’re fair
while WE’re living the life of the poor BILLIONAIRE
– silver yachts, pearly castles, cash (plenty to spare) –
with the world on OUR backs... ah! the burdens WE bear!
being HAVES (not the have-nots) as nature decrees
means WE’re certainly the better (they’re vermin on sleaze).
if they pray for a lift in their dark fantasies,
WE just kick ’em downstairs, get ’em off of their knees.
yes, WE offer great jobs (much too busy OURSELVES!)
for maintaining the toilets, restacking the shelves,
and WE teach ’em to fear god and play with the elves,
thus dispelling ideas where the dark demon delves.
though they build mighty bridges, twin towers and more,
peddle pizzas and popcorn, sell guns door-to-door,
still they gotta have BOSSES to tell ’em the score
else WE’d never be needed, WE’d thrive nevermore.
when OUR profits are plunging, they do their part too
for they dine on the dole! yes, no hullabaloo!
soon OUR fortunes redouble, rebound and accrue –
since WE fare well without ’em, WE bid ’em adieu.
’stead of wishing for welfare and standing in queues
or parading with pickets (look! holes in their shoes!),
they’d be better off scabbing to save union dues
... while WE whistle and warble, they’re singing the blues.
whether heros or hoboes, like spiders and lice
they just crawl all around us in life’s paradise,
but WE’re patient, big hearted and oft sacrifice,
spewing charity, kindness (though each has its price).
if they’re beaten or punctured or suffer assault,
are unhealthy or crippled or walk with a halt,
or retarded or helpless, it’s all their own fault –
just like US they should worship the DOLLAR exalt!
protesters and loud mouths, you’ll find ’em aplenty
some older, some younger, the worst not yet twenty.
they’re shameless and brazen (unwashed, soiled and scenty)
impugning the prestige of brave COGNOSCENTI.
if they’ve got clashing colors (or shades in between)
or opposing beliefs in the hidden unseen,
well, WE’ll always exploit it, deflecting their spleen,
for with god on each side, would WE dare intervene?
WE promote many methods to keep ’em in chains –
daily rags and the tube spin OUR circus campaigns
“to pretend you’ve a voice”, an announcement explains,
“you can vote and decide on which ONE of US reigns”.
OUR policemen protect US, they stay on the ball
(they arrest ’em, no questions per law’s protocol,
and then jam ’em in jail with their backs to the wall) –
if you’ve lucre for lawyers there’s justice for all.
down the ROYAL road of justice WE march all alone
– WE condemn their defiance, set ways to atone –
since WE’re sinless, unsullied, WE cast the first stone
(while WE cloak REGAL fetor with eau de cologne).
politicians, bald bankers, grand idols galore,
attend meetings, fete banquets in which they explore
how to rid US of rodents (the weak and the poor) –
well, just round up the riff-raff, dispatch ’em to war!
ah! OUR wars are.... well, just...... just a thing of the past
........... and the present............... and future... WE sure make them last!
if they frown as they gaze (armageddon!) aghast,
then WE smile back with pleasure, OUR treasures amassed.
useless ranting and raving (in rags, when they’re clad),
leads to losing their teeth (my! their gums are... egad!).
WE’re unselfish, indulgent, WE’d never be mad
if they drowned in the sounds of themselves feeling sad.
as the paupers are princes in midnight’s domain,
they have pipe dreams to lose, certainly nothing to gain
if they’re hoping OUR fortunes will wither and wane –
for “WE’re here by god’s will” as WE often explain.
yes, they wish to be US, with OUR wisdom and grace,
keeping up with ol’ CROESUS, maintaining the pace.
but perverseness or rancor? they’ll see not a trace –
for WE hold ’em at bay with a fist in the face.
WE’re la CRÈME de la CRÈME, yes! the proud UPPER CRUST,
and OUR clothes are the finest, OUR hair never mussed –
WE imbue ’em with piety, duty and trust
and they’re fed bread and water (if feed ’em WE must).
but they’re thieving, aggrieved, want a piece of OUR PIE
and request WE endure ’em, see EYE to black eye.
since they live in OUR land where OUR strict rules apply,
they must feast on the crumbs that may fall from the sky.
though OUR largesse and bounty WE don’t mean to flaunt,
yet the pittance WE pay ’em they surely can vaunt –
salty peanuts and pretzels (what more could they want?)
thereby keeping their kiddies so healthily gaunt.
yes, there’s room for the rabble (the back of the bus)
’cause WE treat ’em like equals, so what’s all the fuss?
all can rise to the top (yes! it’s always been thus),
to the suites in OUR penthouse (to sweep up and dust).
while OUR CHILDREN have tutors, the finest of schools
(being bred for the forefront, THEY’re nobody’s fools),
the ol’ school of hard knocks teaches: “follow the rules”,
building brawn ’stead of brains and broad backs strong as mules’.
and to keep ’em in line (to ensure WE prevail)
WE now monitor phone calls and read all their mail
(civil rights? what a notion! at best a detail!)
and if worse comes to worst...... well...... guantanamo jail!
WE’ve OUR quandaries and questions and headaches full blown
(like deciding design and decor of OUR thrones...
whether diamonds or rubies... to ivory WE’re prone) –
when WE deign to appease ’em, WE chuck ’em some bones.
now you know all OUR problems, OUR pains and travails,
– like preparing foreclosures, evictions and sales –
but WE’ve no need for worries or gnawed fingernails,
’cause WE’re sailing OUR yachts through tempestuous gales
(with them bailing OUR banks when OUR stock market fails)
sipping daiquiri sours, champagne, ginger ales...
Long poem by
cassie hellberg | Details |
sometimes i talk to myself,
my mind is racing,
i dont know what to do...
so hard to explain.
depression isn't a stage
or a faze some kids go through
it shatters you...
i saw it all.
she cried silent in her bed,
blood stains covered her favorite jeans,
her every shirt,
long sleeve ofcourse...
she suffered through it all with few people to call friend
and more to call enemy
even more to say where quite dissappointed....
her first name in school,
not started by a bully
or a mean rival,
but by her sister,
and it echoed through her soul,
repeating in her mind... over and over again,
like the ripples of still water
when a pebble is dropped
flash frozen in time
over and over again...
It was the first name they gave her,
millions where created over the years,
some repeating again, just as the first had..
gothic they called her,
emo, fat, ugly....worse things.
but in her mind, things where worse.
everything was repeating,
over and over again,
finally she believed it.
she asked for help, from everyone
tried to explain to parents she wasnt well,
got called a psycho for asking to see a theripist,
not from a teacher,
not from a class mate,
but from her own father, who wouldn't, couldn't,
believe there could possibly be a thing wrong....
finally, crying, she confessed her bloody secret to a teacher.
rather then giving her time,
she is sent back to class crying her eyes out, as if she wherent going through enough...
she is sent to the principals office a few minutes later, after breaking down in class...
the princlipal says she needs help,
sends her and her dad for a risk evaluation,
her dads crying as she shows him her cuts...
they walk into a hospital room,
it smells of chemicals and hand sanitizer,
the lady at the desk gives her a smile.
then she goes into a room with a lady,
her cheeks are sunken in and shes wearing way too much makeup,
the girl is gaging on her perfume,
and she looks really intimidating....
her dark brown hair looks dead and flat
even though its a bit wavy,
and she wears somewhat of a mocking frown.
asks her all these questions,
is mommy beating her?
is daddy raping her?
is she doing drugs?
is anyone beating her?
did anyone molest her?
oxcarbezapine, trazadone, citalipran, clinazapam, colonipan,
valium, lithium, more.......
and thats what they gave her,
some numbed the pain
some brought it out
tearing through her organs,
she became an addict by the time she was fourteen....
over dose after over dose
some for pleasure
some for pain,
gashes on her legs getting deeper,
this time she didnt tell a soul,
not even those she had come to call friends....
wakeup she screamed in her head over and over again
as she dropped weight like it was nothing....
you cant controll it she argued as things became worse.
at age fourteen she attempted suicide,
she didnt quite succeed.
the medication took away her aappitite....
she liked it
she hated her body
felt out of controll
found a new way to cope
as she shoved tooth brush after toothbrush down her throat
to keep her body from nuitrients...
as she whent weeks and weeks spitting food into napkins and making excuses
I ate at my friends house....
spoken as a whisper
heard like a sentance
echoing in her mind over and over again,
along with that word, all the words,
ugy, anoying, stupid, fake, worthless, nothing...
one bite she would say
rocking back and forth
craving nothing but food
her body racked with hunger pain
one bite and there she was again
over and over and over again
back to a toothbrush
this time she sees blood
she saw her ribs
she saw her bones,
it wasnt good enough,
she almost died, again....
choking on this deep dissappointment in herself,
gaging on everything they where pushing down her throat,
their words, and their insults, their criticism.... their drugs
all shoved down her throat like candy
and just as she was was trained to do she swallowed despite the bad taste
or the hurt
or the fact that at the rate she was going she would be dead soon...
and you know why?
because daddy yelled
and couldnt accept what was happening
not because he wanted to hurt her
but because it hurt him,
and she let him believe,
because she could take the hurt if it meant he didnt have too.
because mommy didnt want to sit in her room all day
practically having us raise ourselves,
she didnt mean to take anger, or frustration or hurt out on her daughter
she suffered everyday in her solitary confinement,
and from a young age she accepted her bedroom was the cage
her mother had created for herself.
because sister didnt want to effect her the way she did
she was just frustrated
fed up with the way things where
scared, she needed someone to take her cruelty
and to help heal her pain...
because people in school
who where so cruel
had to have learned from somewhere
and she wasnt going to play into their games,
and they knew she was an easy target
because she would never attack someone so weak
and she accepted her suffering was a sacrafice
to help all these people....
to help her dad,
every person who was beaten abused or hurt
and felt so weak at home they wanted to feel strong in the one safe place they had.
because depite the fact she had died inside,
and almost passed away on the out,
it was a saccrafice she was willing to make
so that no one else would have to feel that kind of pain,
and they all inflicted it and broke her down'untill there was nothing left but a shell
of somthing that could have been
and never had the chance
because she would take it and wouldnt strike back,
because sometimes "just taking it"
isnt so much about the weakness not to do anything
but about the strangth not to hurt others the way they hurt you...
Long poem by
Mario DE PAZ | Details |
Simon wizard, you poor under his sway
That all things of God, which then of good will
Must be always brides, and you birds of prey
For gold and silver adulterate still,
Now it's time that the trumpet sounds for you,
Because you in third circle just stay ill.
We were already, at the tomb next new,
Clambered up to the tall rock at that place
Where is the center above the ditch cue.
O supreme wisdom, how great the art base,
Which in heavens, on earth and ill world show,
And how much justice your virtue can trace!
On the banks and on the bottom I saw
The stone very full with of holes a lot,
All of the same size and each well round though.
These seemed neither be of more nor less slot
Than those you found in my Saint John church nice,
Where the baptizers their faith office got;
One of those, few years ago imprecise,
I broke to help a guy just drowning there:
And this to testify truth and lie vice.
Out of the mouth of each hole leaned bare
Of a woeful sinner legs and feet too
To the belly, the rest down to the hair.
Both soles burned to all of them hitherto;
Their joints were strongly flickering so that,
They might be broken wacky as a screw.
Likewise the glowing of oily things fat
To move then up to reach the upper end,
So were there from the heels to tips just at.
“Who is that, master, who worries must send
Flickering than the others well much more”,
I told, “and whose flame has stronger its trend?”
And he: “If you like, we go to explore
Down there then to the lowest lying bank,
From him you can all about his sins score”
And I: “So I like , as you like and thank:
You are my lord, and you already know
That your will is mine, higher is your rank”
Then we arrived at the fourth bank below;
We turned at left hand and well down we got
Just to the narrow bottom riddled so.
Good master yet his side till end did not
Offer to me, and thus we reached this way
Where that one was crying with his foot hot
“Whichever you are, upside down then stay,
Mournful spirit who as a pole stuck are”,
I started, “If you can, your words display”
I stood like friar who confessing were
Perfidious killer, who, since stuck is,
Then asks him for death to stop his anger.
And he screamed: “Are you there erect faces,
Are you there erect , Bonifacius now?
For years about the writing he lied has.
If you then to be full of goods allow
For which you were never restrained from wile
To pretty woman, and then her torn sow?”.
I became as those ,who stay doubtful while,
Not understanding what herd as reply,
Almost confused, and no word is worthwhile.
Then Virgilio told: “To tell him try:
“That one I'm not, not the one you believe””;
And I replied to follow him thereby.
For this the soul his feet just ought to weave;
Then he, sighing and with a crying sound,
Told me: “So what you want from me achieve?
If to know my person you are so bound,
That you for this down the bank now have run,
Learn that I had the great mantle around;
Really I was of the she-bear son,
So greedy well my puppies to wind on,
That up and here my assets were done.
Behind my head are here the others won
Who me preceded in simony the sin,
To the crevices of the stones put con.
There I shall fall also when will come in
The one that I believed before you were,
When I first asked you with agitation.
But for more time fire my feet incur
And upside down longer I have been so,
Than he will be sticked with red feet spur;
Since after him then will come with worse woe,
From west, a minister with any law,
Such as is correct that he on me grow.
Novel Jason will be, of whom read raw
In Maccabees; and as to that was weak
His king, so to him whom France as king saw”
I don't know if I was with mind oblique,
Since I responded him just in this mode:
“Ah, tell me now: which treasure had to seek
Lord of ours to Saint Peter just before
Giving to the lordship of him his keys?
Nothing else rather than ”follow my core”.
Nor Pete nor others from Mathias seize
Gold or silver, when he arose by draw
To the place where his bad soul lost through these.
For this it’s right, you are damned by good law;
And now good care take of the money took
Which made you against Charles so proud with flaw.
And if I were not hindered by the hook
Of obeisance for keys so highest then
Which you held in happy life but mistook,
I would use even more hard words again;
Because your greediness makes the world sad,
Crushing good people and lifting bad men.
Of you Pastors the Vangelist known had
When woman who on waters takes a seat
As whore he saw with kings in a way bad;
That who was born with seven heads complete,
And from five horns had power great indeed
Til hers husband could to virtue compete.
You God of gold and silver could concede;
How differ idolaters then from you,
But that they pray one, and you hundred feed?
Alas, Constantin, how much harm could do,
Not your conversion, but that wealthy gift
The first rich pope of story you gave to!”
And while such notes singing I had to lift,
Either was bitten by conscience or rage,
Strongly both legs was pushing with strong shift.
I truly think much liked this my duke sage,
Since he attended with so happy face
The sound of words with truth I could engage.
So with both his hands me had to embrace,
And after he had at his chest all me,
He climbed back the way then leaving the place.
Tired to hug me he didn’t seem to be,
So he brought me up of the arch to top
Which from fourth to fifth bank is designee.
Here weight to ground he could gently drop,
Gentle respect to rocks dirty and steep
That would oppose to goats a severe stop.
Then I discovered a new valley deep.