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Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Hell translation CANTO X

Now is going on through a secret way
Between the martyrdoms and the ground wall,
My master, and I behind him to stay.

“Oh highest virtue, who me gently haul
In wicked rounds”, I started, “If you please,
Speak to me, and to my requests befall. 

The persons  who are in graves abductees
Might perhaps be seen? Because opened are
All covers, and too nobody guards these”

And he to me: “All will be closed by far
When from Iosafat they will come back
With their bodies which just there up left were.

The graveyard on this side happens to stack
Epicurus and followers them all,
Who make souls of dead corps follow the track.

But to the question you put with your call
An answer will be given in time short,
And also to untold  wish you enthrall. 

And I: “Good  duke, I just do not comport
To hide my heart if not to speak at less,
As you have always tried to me exhort”.

“Oh Tuscan going in the fire stress
Alive speaking in such an honest way,
Please stay more in this site and don’t egress.

Your way of speaking is a clear display
Of your indeed noble  homeland birth place,
To which I was nagging perhaps it may”.

Suddenly this loud sound came out to face
From one of the graves; so I went then close,
Fearing, to duke my guide a little space.

And he: “What are you doing? Don’t oppose! 
Now you see Farinata who stood up:
From the waist up you can see he arose”.

Yet I had turned my face his sight to clasp
And he with waist and forehead then stood
Looking as had hell in great spite to grasp.

And the lively hands of duke promptly could
Push me between the graves then towards  him,
Telling: “Your words be well weighed should”.

After I reached of his grave the rim
He looked at me, and then, scornful just a bit,
He asked: “Which is your original limb?”.

Since I was akin to his will admit,
I did not hide it, opening at all;
So he then scowled up the eyebrows well split; 

Then told: “Were fierce rivals, as I recall,
To me and parents and my partners too,
So that twice I could dispel them and maul.”

“If they were expelled, they came back, is true”,
I answered him, “And both the times indeed;
But yours this art were not able to view”

Then rose uncovered to my sight concede 
A shadow, along this, up to chin:
I think to rise on knees  it could succeed. 

It looked then me around as it had been
Anxious to see if any else was there;
And then after the suspect became thin,

Weeping told: “If you now in this despair
Prison are moving thanks to your brain height,
Where is my son? why with you doesn’t fare?”

And I to him: “Lone I don’t reach this site:
The one who waits me there, and is my guide
Maybe your Guido did not like his sleight”.

His words and the way too with which he cried
Already to know his name could allow ;
Thus my answer was so quickly implied.

Immediately pricked up he screamed: “How?”
You told:”he did not”? Does he not live yet?
Does not then lance his eyes the sweet light now?”.

When he realized that he did not met
Any word responding to his reply,
Supine fell and to show he did not let.

But the other noble, the reason why
I stopped there before, did not change face,
Neither moved his neck, nor bent his side by;

And replied keeping the previous trace,
“If they have that art”, told, ”so poorly got,
It gives me sorrow more than this bed place.

But less than fifty times of light will spot
The woman’s face which always commands here,
That you will know that art how weighs a lot.

And if your return to sweet world is clear,
Tell me: why that people is godless so
Against my guys in all laws to appear?”

So I to him: “The torment and ruin flow
Which the Arbia river colored red,
This speech in our temple makes then so low”.

After he sighing had shaken his head,
“I was not alone”, told, “And nor for sure
With no reason I moved with others then.

But I was alone, when hard to insure
For each one the city of  Florence save,
Who just defended it with open cure”.

“I pray, hoping your seed rests in this grave”,
I begged him, “You should now untie the knot
Which until now has knotted my speech wave.

It looks like you see, if rightly I caught,
In advance what in the future will be,
While in the present to see you cannot” 

“Like that one who has wicked light, we see
Future events”, he told, “which are still far;
This much our high lord to shine is yet free.

When things are closer or happen, vain are
Our arguments; and if no one gives news,
To know your human status is not our. 

So you can realize how we must lose
Any understanding from that point on
Which of the future the door must then close”.

Then, as by a sense of be faulty won,
Told: “Now to that fallen soul you shall tell
That his son away from life has not gone;

And if, before, I was not to retell,
Let him know I did it because I thought
In the wrong way, you after have cleared well”.

And my master already for me sought;
So that I begged the spirit onwards more
To tell me who to stay with him was brought.

Told me: “Here with more than thousand lay sore:
The second Federico is now here
And the Cardinal; others I ignore”.

Then he hid himself; and I walked near
The ancient poet, back thinking in the while
To those words which hostile might me appear.

He started to walk; and then moving so,
He told me: “Why are you so harshly lost?”.
And I satisfied his question aglow.

“Your mind has to remind at any cost
What heard against you, that wise could say;
“And now look here”, and up his finger tossed:

“When you shall be in front of the sweet ray
Of woman whose nice eye can just all trace,
From her you shall know of your life the way”.

He then after moved toward left his pace:
We left the wall and went the middle through
Making a path cutting a valley place,

Which up to there his disgusting stench spew.
 


Long poem by Victoria Anderson-Throop | Details |

SEX ON A CLOUD

                                                          SEX ON A CLOUD

                                                            (HER STORY)
                                                      She grabbed his voice
                                                     Through conference din
                                                     Sought to win his gaze--
                                              But crowds of gabbers tottered in...

                                        He missed the sexy nod she sent his way--
                                      Distracted by a phone call--
                                                               faded from his day.

                                                         But oh his face....
                                                      Would not be gone....
                                                                 wild
                                                      bony visage--home
                                                          of passion's eyes--
                                                       Fate teased in him
                                                           her Paradise--

                                                           Upward Man
                                                   Brash Upward Plans--
                                             Such a heart must be attached--

                                                       Her stubborn mind
                                                    holds fast to dreams,
                                                         bows to Fate--
                                                   but loathe to schemes....

                                                   She stalked his dreams
                                                       The night is theirs
                                                          Palm to Palm--
                                                    All answered Prayers.

                                                            Eyes exult
                                                      Besieged by bliss--
                                                     becalmed by thoughts
                                                          of moonlit kiss

                                                       she Owns his Face
                                                 sweet charmed caressing
                                                     that leaves no trace
                                                       but silent blessing

                                                              (HIS STORY)
                                                           Over a shoulder
                                                             behind a pole
                                                            he saw a face
                                                     that grabbed his soul
                                                           wild hair so red
                                                       his heart caught fire
                                                          hands of grace
                                                      could capture choirs

                                                          Laugh of bells
                                                       tolled 'cross the hall
                                                       he moved toward her, 
                                                           then had a call--
                                          stepped out in search of quiet space,
                                                           cut short his call--
                                                          yet lost her face.

                                                           She was gone...
                                                            Another man?
                                                            Abysmal sight....
                                                            a f_cking awful
                                                           maddening plight.

                                                         He's lost his chance,
                                                          in town
                                                                      One Night.

                                                         Her essence brands,
                                                         Flays bare his heart--

                                                          But business tugs him
                                                                   Worlds...
                                                                     Seas apart--

                                                                 Mellifluous--
                                                            tho hard to place--
                                                   She's the tune he can't erase.
                                                               
                                                              a love so fierce
                                                              
                                                           Each night they tryst,
                                                            shake clouds above
                                                    grant them every lover's wish
                                                       
                                                              She nuzzles love
                                                            and slips o-er him--
                                                           encased and blessed
                                                              in  Passion's Glove.

V. Anderson-Throop
Sept 2013


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Translation of Canto XVI Hell by Dante

Already I reached the place where heard the sound
Of falling water in the circle next
Suchlike the rumble done by hives around,

When three spirits together changed their treks,
Running, out of  an horde just passing there
Under the rain and of their pains effects.

Came towards us, each one shouting despair:
“Stop here you who by behavior look
One not belonging to this depraved air”.

Alas, the sores I saw their bodies took,
Recent and oldest, just burned by flames!
Recalling now again by pain I’m shook.

To their shouts my guide then offered his aims;
Turned his face to me and “should stop by now”,
Told “Courteous  be to this people’s claims.

And if there were not the strong fire’s blow
Along this place, then I would certainly tell
That you more with hurry then them move so”.

Restarted , as saw us resting, to dwell
The previous words; and when they reached us,
All three around us stood in circle well.

Similar to naked and anointed champs,
Warning their catching and their vantage too,
Before they start their fighting with hand clamps,

So moving around, each his face through
To me moved, so that backwards my neck
Moved respect to feet continuous soo.

And “If  the squalor of  this place you check
Puts us and our prayers in so a bad light”,
Started then one, “and our aspect of wreck,

Our fame your benignant soul induce might
To tell who you are, so alive your feet
That with much safe you move in this hell tight.

This one, whose footsteps I now step and meet,
Although going naked and completely bold,
You can’t believe the high grade he could seat:

Grandson he was of the Gualdrade good so told;
Guido Guerra his name, and in his life
Made many things with sense and with sword hold.

The one who on my back with sand has strife
Is Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, whose speech
In upper world should be considered rife.
 
And me, punished with them for the same breach,
Was Jacopo Rusticucci, and sure
My fierce wife made me this hard pain to reach.”

f I had been covered by fire spoor,
I would have thrown myself underneath them
I feel that pain to doctor could procure;

But since I could be burned more than the hem,
It happened that such fear won my good will
Which wanted then give help to fire stem.

Then I started: “Not mischief but grief still
Your condition painful fixed within me,
So hard that only later all can spill,

After this my guide sir had to decree
Such words which made me to be convinced deep
That people as you are, I had to see.

I am of your same country, and so steep
Your works and too your honored names indeed 
For bosom listened with my ears to keep.

I’m leaving gall to catch up more sweet seed
Promised to me by my duke who is true
To get through center is before my need”.

“If for a quite long time your life gets through
Your limbs”, then answered me again that guy,
“And if your fame after you will shine too,

Kindness and worth their lost dwelling cry
In our town as usually goes now,
Or have gone totally away thereby;

Because Whilelm Borsiere, who complains how
With us a while and then goes there away,
Much chagrin now to us his words endow”.

“New come people and rapid earning way
Generated proud and undue excess,
Florence, in you, so  only cry you may”.

So I screamed with lift up face to express;
And the three guys, who took it as reply,
Then looked each other as to truth give stress.

“If all times costs so little to imply”,
All replied, “satisfaction  to others,
You can be happy when some speaks of thy!

But, if you survive this place which bothers
Getting back the nice stars again to see,
When it will be worth tell “had togethers”,

Then make people to speak of us be free”.
After that broke the circle, and to escape
Wings resembled their slender legs to be.

Not the time of a word to tell with gape
When they had gone then vanishing away;
For my master decided to leave as scape.

I followed him, and after little way, 
The sound of water was so close to us,
That it was hard to hear a word to say.

As that river which carries out his course
Before Monviso and to east then flows ,
Of the Appennine just on the left coasts,

Whose upper name is Acquacheta, close
To the final drop in the lower bed,
And at Forlì another name it shows,

Over Saint Benedict rumbles its spread
From Alps then falling in a chasm steep
Where even thousand rivers could be shed;

So, down an abyss just immense and deep,
That roaring colored water we there found,
A sound for ears hard a short time to keep.

I had a rope encircled me around,
And with it never at no time I thought 
To catch the spotted panther as the hound.

After out of my chest I had it brought,
As had commanded the good duke to me,
And then I gave it him wrapped as he sought.

So then he turned to the right hand to see,
And far away from the bank with strong force  
He threw the rope then down in the gorge free.

“To some new action I should give the course”
I told to me, “when next gesture is done
By master with his eye of message source”

Ow so much cautious must be men with one
Who even not seeing the works and how,
Still in the minds can see and wisely stun!

He told me: “Early will come here now
What I am waiting for and that you dream;
It is time he arrives and shows to thou” 

Always the truth which false happens  to seem
Man must avoid to tell as much as can,
Even without fault people reproach deem;

But here I can’t be mute; for the span
Of this comedy, reader, I now swear,
If it hasn't to be void of grace plan,

That I saw in that heavy and dark air
Swimming a figure just coming straight up,
Wonderful for any heart with no scare,

As goes back a diver  after the drop 
The entangled anchor sometimes to free
From rocks or other in the sea to grip,

Who up moves with momentum foot and knee.


Long poem by David William Breidenthal | Details |

Your Sanity

Stuck in place…
Free in space…
you’re insane 
I’m as sweet as sugar cane…
Whatever happened to your unique personality?
Whatever happened to your sanity? 
Has it transformed to insanity?
I like the way you make me feel
Oh, you don’t have to make it a big deal
I love the way you lie about me 
Right behind my back
I never needed you in the first place
I don’t want you back! I don’t want to see your hideous face!
You pushed me in the margins…and you threw me away
You took advantage of me as if it was another boring and laborious day!
I don’t want you back, 
So go ahead and run away with your pack!
I’m the last magazine, 
Left alone on the magazine rack
I don’t want you to see my cry a river…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you see my ocean of emotion? 
Why are you sponging in melancholy?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I don’t want to bleed without you…
But you’re rather bittersweet 
You boast way too much – that’s just neat…
I hate the way you treat me – like B.S. literally  
You think you’re better than everyone else – 
I think otherwise, you stinging bee!
You are literally bad to the bone
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you understand what I’m saying? 
Do you consider my plea?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
I’m a loner, talking to myself again, 
Walking all alone…in the streets of shame
My happiness is hardly ever shown – this feeling of rejection has no name
Feelin’ this shame without a name…
I know these feelings might seem lame,
But they’re real to me – 
I’m jaded corrupted
Am I the cause of your misfortune?
Am I a singer, singing out of tune?
I miss you, but at the same time, 
I’m happy that you’re gone
I’ve never grown out of my fears of losing you – that’s sublime!
But, it seems like I can’t move on
Move on…man…just move on with this life
Though I might be the victim of strife
Your envy and heartless comments stabs me like a knife
And you ask if I’m alright…
Good riddance, you weren’t my ecstatic delight! 
You disowned me 
You joined the pack…
You rejected me…
You never got my back
Instead, you stabbed me in the back…
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Do you even remember who I was? 
Your friend who would make your 
Heart jump with glee?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His… 
His compassionate child of jubilance
Am I of any significance? 
You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing
You will feel my loathing…
I’m gaining fruitful insight 
That you lack tremendously
Your thoughtless words 
Made me taste your envy and vanity

Whatever happened to your sanity?
 
Whatever happened to your sanity? 

What are you afraid of? 
Returning to your misery?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll accept you in His family 
We’ll all sing with merriness 
In our hearts, we’ll never let our passion 
Get in the way or our lament will stay
God is our Father and 
We need to honor Him 
And obey every single day
I’m surrounded by my enemies now….
Save me…deliver me from them, 
For they use their bullying ways
God will answer our prayer in His own time – 
It might take hours, it might take days…
Until He takes full action
But He wants us to have a cheerful heart, 
Beating vigorously with gratification 
My emotions are ganging up on me…yah see? 
Will you ever leave me be?
I’m fighting this battle for my own sake…
I will watch you suffer and slowly, but surely break
Don’t take it easy, you’re getting it the hard way
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Whatever happened to your singing, uplifting me?
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of tranquility
Tough luck, you jerk! You’re so berserk! 
You’re like a madman…
Bombing the city and doing abominable work!
 
Maybe you’ll find your courage another day
Do me a favor and unchain me free from my poverty
Maybe we’ll be in good terms 
And in the same demented boat
Whatever happened to your sanity?
Why are using uncalled for profanity?
I can relate to your eccentric insanity…
I need you to do me a quick favor and 
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll consider you His faithful child of serenity
Pray to God for forgiveness 
He’ll craft His miracles of mesmerizing euphoria 
Free me from this abhorrent agony 
Keep on pressing on with your uplifting ecstasy…
You would win my heart 
If you’d be so kind to make me a root beer float
You are the opposite of gravity, 
Lifting me higher than the mountains 
That used to stare me down 
The morning will be brought back to life 
Sooner than you think
I’m not in the brink of total disaster – 
I trust you won’t break my heart 
Like you did in the past…
The past’s wicked adversaries reduced me to sorrow
IS there hope in store for Tomorrow? 
Please tell me if it’s so…or this envied grief and curiosity will grow…
You wouldn’t catch me before I sink 
I’d like to thank you – that was sarcasm
I’ll give you a wink that signifies my appreciation of having you, you little brat 
But, you and I have gone through hardships in our personal lives…
I should’ve not of trusted you, but you were as mysterious as a bat! 
You were as sneaky as a black cat! 
You are so deceptive…so corruptive…so inattentive…but I still love you 
Hey! Don’t even try to step on me over and over again like a mat!
I won’t let you stomp all over me like that! 
My faith towards You will never shrink
As long as You’re here with me…
That’s what matters most, you see?
I would like to visit you 
We’ll meet eye to eye one day with a smile on our faces – 
Not a trace of dismay is seen and we’ll share our embraces
I really don’t know what to do or say
I’m speechless, but I’m fatigued, 
So let me lay my head on Your shoulders for a while
I want Your relief to shed Your perpetual peace on me, 
Wiping away the despicable bile
Rinsing away the mixed emotions, piling on me for a while…
It seemed like a long time 
At least it’s all over – at least I don’t take pleasure in committing a crime


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Canto XVIII Hell translation

In hell is called Malebolge a site
Completely made of ferrous color stones  
As almost all the rim around looks quite.

Of the malignant field the middle zones
Are the seat for a well much wide and deep,
Of which I will portray order it owns.

The remaining band is then round and steep
Between the well and the so hard bank tall,
Of which ten valleys just the bottom sweep.

Like, where to guard and defend the walls all
More and more ditches the castles gird then,
The part where are placed gives form to wall,

Such way made there the image of those ten;
And as toward such strongholds from their door
To outer bank there are bridges again,

So from top of the rocks there are stone corps
Put just the banks and ditches down to cut
Until they reach the well which picks them fore.

Here, from back we were brought down on rut
By Geryon, so we found ; and poet thus
Went to the left, me back with no rebut.

Saw new pitiful things at right of  us,
New torment and new wilders of lash,
Of which the first bedlam was full with cuss.

At bottom the sinners were naked as trash;
From middle hither towards us they came,
The same direction, but with stronger dash,

As Romans their large army to acclaim,
The year of jubilee, the drawbridge through
Make people pass then with attentive claim,

So all have their front oriented to
Just the castle and to Saint Peter go,
On the other side to mount their walk do.

Here and there, climbing the dark stone though
I saw horned demons with wips  very big,
Who back stroke them with strength wild and aglow.

Ouch how the souls had to flee and renege 
The first beating! Nobody already
The second expected nor the third dig.

While I was going, my eyes were ready
To recognize one, and I then so told:
“I know this guy, my belief is steady”.

I to see him my feet had to withhold;
And my sweet duke then stopped his walk with me,
And agreed to leave me his way to hold.

And that frustrated thought hidden to be
Moving down his face; but with any hope, 
Since I told: “You whose eyes ground try to see,

If the symbols you carry with truth cope,
Venedico Caccianemico then you are,
But how it happened that you here grope?”

And he : “Reluctantly I give answer;
But I am involved by your speaking clear,
Recalling me old things which happened were.

I brought Ghisolabella to adhere
Willing  the marquis to seduce and try,
For this obscene  yarn now I stay here.

Not only mine is from Bologna cry
In fact of them this place is so much full
That not as many voices  tell and lie

At Savena and Reno “suca” pull;
And if a demonstration wish or need,
Remember then how is our greedy bull”.

While speaking a fiend hit him hard indeed
With his lash, and told: “You must go away 
Pimp! Here no whores you can pay and feed”.

I rejoined my guide after that astray;
Then with few paces in short time we got
There where a rock on bank hindered the way.

Quite rapid we were to surpass this lot;
And turned to right went up to the rock top,
Leaving  eternal circles cozy not.

When we reached the place where it is the drop
Open to admit the lashed souls below
The duke then told: “to see, it’s time to stop,

The face of these more sinners I must show,
Whose visage you did not see even still
Since they came with us together although”.

Of the old bridge we  looked the trace until
We saw people coming on other side,
Similarly chased by the knout with will.

And the good master, by no question tied,
Told : “At that great man you have now to look,
Who seems to pain be indifferent denied:

How regal aspect still here he took!
That one is Jason, who by heart and mind
The muttons to Colcos  could steal and hook.

He went to the Lemnon island to find
The very fierce and ruthless women which
Every male of their to death consigned.

There with deeds and garnished words could bewitch
Isifile deceived, young woman indeed
Who before deceived others with a switch.

Her abandoned there, pregnant, lone mislead;
Such fault then to such a pain has damned him;
And revenge for Medea too was decreed.

With him are those who deceive, people grim;
And this is enough for the valley first
To know and of those who lie in this rim”.

We yet were at narrow of way cursed
Where the second rim is abruptly crossed,
And forms with it an arch open as burst.

Then we heard many people who are lost
In the next circle and with muzzle puff,
Self - beating and with their hands hardly toss.

The banks were encrusted with a mold stuff,
Due to ejection merging from there down,
With which the view and nose fight and rebuff.

The depth is so dark, that only facedown
One has to try to look climbing to top
Of arch, where is allowed seeing around.

Here we came; and then at the trench drop
I saw now people submerged in a shit
Which seemed from humans to be done atop.

And while looking  there with eyes to some meet,
I saw a guy with head so full of crap,
That if cleric or laic he could cheat.

He screemed: “Why are you so avid to trap
With eyes me than any dirty else more?”
And I: “Since if my mind right back can tap,

I yet just saw you with dry hair before,
Alex Interminey from Lucca are:
For this to you I push my eyes then fore”.

And he then, beating his head to answer:
“ By flatteries I was submerged here
So ample in my words I had by far”.

After this my duke “Let now me push near”
He told , “My face a little forward quite
So that the face well to my eyes appear

Of that filthy and dissolute woman might
Who with shitty nails is self -scratching there,
And now she squats or now she stands upright.

She is Thais, the whore who acted unfair
Responding.to hers wanton asking sex
“Yes it is marvelous this lure affair!” 
  
And after this our sight no more expects”


Long poem by Trisha Sugarek | Details |

The Ash Can

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 Isaiah Zerbst | Details |

A Poem of Ruth

The tears well up, and scarce could she not moan
When father, brother, husband, all have died.
She now has no possessions, neither home,
But travels to a distant, unknown land:
Once so secure, yet now compelled to roam;
Once rich in love, she treads through foreign sands.
Her weary feet move forward but by faith;
For all left to her name is mere belief:
Mind, heart so far away she seems a wraith-
Love, happiness- all taken by a thief.

When, sometime since, her heart had broke in two,
The path of life, once single, parted way;
Forsake she could, but this she would not do-
All else was gone- with mother she would stay:
"Intreat me not to leave thee," was her plea,
"For whither thou wilt go, there will I; pray
Forbid me not to follow after thee,
For where thou lodgest I would also stay:
"Thy people shall be mine, thy God my God;
And where thou liest, I will gladly lie
Beside thee, overhead the selfsame sod;
That even then thou mightest be closeby.

"And so they twain walk on, hand clasped in hand;
Both hold the only thing they yet possess:
The younger but a stranger in the land,
An enemy, a widow in distress.

She rose before the sun to find a place
Where she might gather barley ears and wheat;
A field where she might find some needed grace
To gather for their winter store of meat:
Then Boaz comes from Bethlehem, and see,
He tarries with the reapers of the wheat:
He comes to Ruth and says, "Hear'st not thou me?
Remain until the harvest is complete:
"Go not from hence, but in my fields abide,
And let thine eyes be on the field they reap;
Behold, these maidens thou may'st work beside,
And near the reapers thou may'st ever keep."
Then to her face she fell, and wond'ringly
Asked why to her, a stranger, was so kind;
And he replied that she unfailingly
Had cleaved unto her mother with one mind,
And left her father, mother, and the soil
Of her nativity, and kissed the dust
Of some strange land wherein she meant to toil;
Forsaking gods of Moab God to trust:
"The Lord," said he, "reward thee for thy deeds,
 And recompense thy labour and thy love:
The God of Israel answer all thy needs,
And make his wings a shelter from above."
 Then said the maid, "My lord, please let me find
Some grace and favour in thy blessed sight,
For that thou hast been friendly, spoken kind,
And I am but a stranger in the night."
Then Boaz said, "At mealtime here abide;
Rest in the shade, come, sit with us and dine:
So down she sat, a reaper on each side;
She ate her wheat and dipped her bread in wine.
Then Ruth arose, and to her work she leaves:
The master thus commands his servant men,
"Let this young maid glean e'en among the sheaves;
Rebuke her not, for she shall come again;
And let some handfuls fall onto the ground,
There let them lie for my sake and for hers
That she may glean and plenty may be found;
For reasons she has need of it are pure."
And as she worked, Ruth knew not what a sight
Of beauty and of diligence she made,
As in the golden field in sunset's light
She bowed her head and knelt as if she prayed.

It came to pass that in his fields she stayed
Until the end of barley harvest came,
When mother told the lovely little maid
To seek for his provision and his name.
She washed and dripped an oil filled with sweet
Perfumes of wild roses on her face:
She had not much; her beauty was complete
With but her finest clothes to seek his grace.
Her braided hair shone brighter than the gem
That never graced her soft and shapely form;
Her eyes, they sparkled brighter than the hem
Of gold and pearls that she had never worn:
Thus Ruth went down unto the threshing floor
Where Boaz winnowed barley till the night,
And peeked at him so shyly 'round the door;
She never let him leave her searching sight.
His workday done, the master ate and drank;
With happiness his heart was full when fed:
Then by a heap of wheat he went and sank
Into the furry robes that made his bed;
And Ruth, a while watching till he sleep
Kept vigil from a stone used as a seat,
Till when his eyes had closed and sleep was deep
She lifted up the cover from his feet
And softly laid her down and dreamed of brides
Until the watchman struck a dozen beats,
And being startled, Boaz woke and spied
A woman sleeping at his very feet:
"Who art thou?" queried he in sleepy voice;
"Thine handmaid, Ruth," was her unsure reply;
Then blessed he her for wise and kindly choice,
For passing poor and rich young fellows by.
"And now, my daughter, gladly shall I do
According to thy wishes, for all here
Consider thee as virtuous and true;
Howbeit, there is one to thee more near,
A kinsman who must duly have his say:
If he decline, then rest assured I will
Perform the part of kinsman." So she lay
Down at his feet, and both were quiet, still.

In grey of early morning she arose,
Before a face could be discernéd there;
To keep from what some people might suppose
And who might stand along the road to stare:
Then Boaz said, "Bring here the vail thou hast
Upon thy head and hold it in thy hand:
Six times the barley measure filled and passed
From heap to vail as much as she could stand.
Then Boaz went up to the city gate
To find the nearer kinsman, whom he sought,
To see if he would purchase the estate
Of Ruth, and she herself, but he could not;
So Boaz purchased all the widows' land;
The houses, barns, and fields, though overgrown;
And bought what pleased him most, Ruth's comely hand
To cherish and to make his very own:
Then Boaz went to find the handmaid, Ruth
And lift her from a servant to a wife;
To love her in all tenderness and truth
In every day God blessed them both with life.



[By Isaiah Zerbst. Published 9/7/14. Parts of poem have been removed due to soup's limitations.]





Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divine Comedy Hell translation Canto VII

(Continuing the trip through Hell of Dante with poet Virgilio)

Pah-peh Sah-tan, Pah-peh Sah-tan al-ept!”,
Started Pluto with his hoarse voice toss
And that gentle wise, who any knowledge kept,

Told to encourage me: “don’t have a loss 
By your fright: since any power has he,
Shall not forbid us this rock down to cross”.

Then he turned to that face swollen to see,
And told him: “You have to shut up, wolf damn!
To consume  your rage in yourself agree.

A good why there is to go in this dram:
It is willed up there, where Michael just
Could the wild pride with revenge lam”

Like the ship canvas by blowing wind thrust
Fall totally wrapped, when breaks down the mast
So fell to ground the cruel monster bust.

So we got down in the fourth circle vast,
Of the mournful bank then achieving more
Where every sin of universe is massed. 

Ow divine justice! Where find anymore
New travails and pains as the ones I saw?
And why our fault reduces us so sore?

Like a wave does over Cariddi raw
Crashing on that which meets while rebounding,
So here people fights for a tragic flaw.

Here people was more than else abounding,
On one part and the other, with high screams,
With hard back force just heavy weights rounding.

Jostled each other; and after in such reams
Each one turned around, then rounding back,
Screaming: “Why do you hold? And “Why joke themes?”.

So they were turning in the circle black
From every side to the opposing side,
Shouting in turn with their ribaldry thwack;

Then each one turned again, when to end lied,
Through his half circle to the opposing end.
And I, with my heart in pain almost tied, 

Told: “My master, now you some word expend
About these guys, and if clergy where  all
These with tonsure who stay at our left trend”.

And he to me: “All had of blindness fall
In their minds during their previous life,
That money spent or save with restraint small.

Too much their voice barks with clear strife,
When they reach the two parts of circle round
Where are unpaired when odd faults are rife.

These were clerics, who are not crowned
With top hairs, popes and cardinals as well,
Whose greedy stinginess had to abound”

And I: “Master, among these who here fell
I should be able to recognize some guys
Who for certain failed in these sins for hell”.

And he to me: “In vain this hope can rise:
Their shameful life that made them to be dirt
Renders beyond recognition their guise.

Eternally these two will fight and hurt:
These ones will rise again from their tomb
With closed fist, the others with hairs curt.

Bad giving and bad holding gave them doom
To lose the heavens, forcing them to fight:
Without any regard, for other words no room.

Now you can see, my dear, how much is tight
The use of goods which with Fortune come,
To which the human beings commit quite; 

Since of existing gold and too the sum 
With ancient one, of all these weary souls
What tempers their hunger could not become”.

“My master”, then  I told, “tell me the roles 
Of this Fortune which you evoked to me,
What is it, which so the world’s goods controls?”.

And he: “Ow humans fool to high degree,
So much ignorance is offending you!
Now with my sentence you must just agree.

The one whose knowledge transcends any view,
Created heavens and a guide them gave
In order to any place the shine ensue,

An even dealing out of light to save.
Similarly with the human shines he made
Titling general minister, guide brave

Who could exchange goods of any vain grade
From people to people and among breeds,
The adverse will of humans to dissuade;

Thus one people grows faint and other leads,
Fortune judgment to follow  they are  bound,
Which is as occult as a snake in weeds.

Your knowing can make to her no rebound
She provides, judges, and pursues as well
Hers reign as do other gods being crowned.

Hers changes are then frequent and impel:
She must for necessity have great speed;
Is frequent who succeeded to excel. 

She is the crucified often indeed
Even by the ones who should her commend,
Her giving blame with fault and bad read;

But she is blissful and does not intend:
With other prime creations has delight
Turns hers sphere  and is joyful with no end. 

Now almost we descend to major blight;
Any star then already falls which rose
When I first moved, and delay isn’t right”.

We cut the circle  at the else bank close
Over a seething water source to spill
Into a ditch deriving from its flows. 

Water was darker than its dirt to fill;
And we, following the course of waves dark,
Went below through a different way still.

In the so called Stix quagmire as a mark
Goes then this wicked stream, when it went down
To the grey beaches evil to remark.

And I, while closely was looking around,
Saw muddy people down in that morass,
Were naked all of them, with an aspect frown. 

These one to other hit with hands in mass,
But with head and with breast and with feet too,
With teeth cutting each other in contrasts.

The good master told: “My dear son now you
See just the souls of those by anger won;
And I would also like that you sure knew

That underwater sighing still goes on,
Which then makes  this water boiling on top,
As your eye can tell you wherever spun.

Steeped down in slime they tell: “Our faulty drop
Had place in sweet air where is happy sun,
We brought with us a very slothful flop:

We are now with gloom in the black sludge spun”. 
This anthem they are gurgling in the throat,
Since any full word from them can’t outrun”.

So then we turned around the dirty moat
A long way, between the pond and dried bank,
Looking guys in mud cramming and no float.

We reached then a tower back foot from flank 


Long poem by SillyBilly theKidster | Details |

Billy the Kid's Great Escape

*
Sentenced to hang in the town of Lincoln,
Billy made his bold escape.
Both of his guards died from thinking
that a shackled young boy couldn't break away.
*
I've often wondered what thoughts were going through his head
as he stood staring out that window chained to the floor by his bed,
watching the gallows being built that would soon seal his fate.
Was he planning at that very moment his greatest escape?
Did he already know that his hanging would never come to be?
Was he already aware that before night fall, once again he'd be free?
Whatever his thoughts, they were interrupted rudely
by Deputy Bob Ollinger, one of his guards while in custody.
"Word has it you said that if we ever met again you'd kill me on the spot. 
Well here I am Kid. Now's your chance. Show me what you've got. 
It's a shame that you'll hang in another week or two, 
because I'd love to be the one who gets to kill you. 
I've got 16 silver dimes in the barrells of my shotgun. 
I'd love to try them out on you, but I can't unless you run. 
If I free you from those chains will you run for the door? 
Oh by the way Kid, your Ma was one sweet dirty whore. 
I'll kill you before you hang Kid. That's a sure bet." 
"Be careful Bob," said the Kid, "I'm not hung yet."
Bob thrusted his shotgun hard into Billy's gut. 
The Kid looked up at him in pain and said, "Now what?" 
"Don't do it Bob," Bell screamed angrily,
"or you'll be the one who'll hang for sure 
for killing an unarmed man in cold blood
who was chained helplessly to the floor. 
It's time for the other prisoners to be escorted across the street to be fed. 
The Kid's not going anywhere. He's chained to the floor by his bed. 
Anyway, I took the prisoners last so now it's your turn. 
Go and have yourself a beer and I'll stay here 
and guard the Kid until you return." 
Bob Ollinger placed his shotgun into the gun rack. 
Before he left he said to Billy, "I'll see you when I get back." 
No one can say for sure if the above dialog ever truly took place, 
but one thing's for sure, 
Ollinger tormented Billy at a merciless endless pace. 
They were arch enemies who fought against each other
during the Lincoln County War. 
Ollinger was in the posse that killed John Tunstall,
Billy's employer, friend and mentor. 
"I have to use the privy Bell," Billy said to the deputy. 
Bell kept his rifle trained on Billy as he tossed him the key. 
Billy unlocked the chains that kept him bound to the floor. 
Still in handcuffs and leg irons, Bell escorted Billy out the door. 
Billy entered the outhouse closing the door behind him. 
"Let's not take too long in there Kid," Bell said with a humorous grin. 
While in the outhouse Billy managed to slip one of his hands out of his handcuff. 
"You fall in there Kid?" Bell laughed, "You've been in there long enough." 
"I'm coming out now Bell," Billy said opening the door. 
"Sorry I took so long Bell. I must have ate something bad for sure." 
Deputy Bell then escorted Billy back to the jail cell. 
Once inside, Billy spun around and smacked hard Deputy James Bell. 
Bell lost his balance, dropped his rifle and was momentarily stunned. 
"Hands Up Bell!," the Kid yelled. In his hand was a gun. 
"Please don't do it Bell," Billy pleaded, but Bell tried to run. 
The Kid had no choice but to do what had to be done. 
He shot and killed Bell, then went and got Ollinger's shotgun. 
The Kid never found pleasure in killing, 
but Ollinger would indeed be the exception. 
Knowing that Ollinger heard the gunfire, Billy stood by the window 
and waited for Ollinger to appear in the street down below. 
One senior named Godfrey saw Bell fall dead down the stairs. 
The moment probably gave Godfrey a few more gray hairs. 
Ollinger ran out into the street as Godfrey screamed, 
"The Kid's killed Bell!" 
Ollinger looked up into both barrels of his own shotgun 
and whispered, "..and now he's killed me as well."
"Hello Bob!," Billy called out with a song in his heart 
just prior to blowing Bob Ollinger apart. 
He blasted both barrels into Ollinger's chest and face. 
Pieces of old Bob lay scattered all over the place. 
Billy smashed his shotgun in two, threw it at him but missed. 
"You'll never rifle me again," he screamed, "you son of a b*tch!" 
On the balcony he addressed the crowd whose jaws hung agape. 
"I don't want to hurt anyone, 
but I'll kill anybody who tries to prevent my escape." 
In the office he found a sledge hammer
and smashed the chains of his leg irons free. 
He told Godfrey to fetch him a fast horse immediately. 
As he walked down the stairs, he came upon Bell's lifeless body 
and many eyewitnesses admit
that the Kid looked upon him and said almost tearfully, 
"I'm sorry I killed you Bell, but couldn't help it." 
As Billy mounted the horse the chains of his leg irons startled the beast. 
The horse reared up and threw Billy down onto the street. 
He was at this point his most vulnerable laying down on the ground. 
The crowd could have overtaken him easily, but none made a move or a sound. 
Once again Billy mounted the horse
and fled with the sound of his leg iron chains ringing. 
Many claim that as he rode out of Lincoln County
that they heard the Kid singing. 
Billy had escaped danger so many other times in his past, 
but this was his greatest escape ever. It would also be his last.
*
"I had no intention of killing either one of them. My plan was to tie and gag Bell and then get out of there before Ollinger got back, but then things went terribly wrong.....I certainly didn't want to kill Bell, but I had to in order to save my own life....I never felt happier than when I gave it to old Bob. I said, "Look up here old boy and see what you're getting". I then blasted him in the face and breast. He use to ride me to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore."
- Billy the Kid


Long poem by Mario DE PAZ | Details |

Dante's Divina Commedia translation Canto VIII

I tell, to follow, that long trait before
We reached the  back foot of the tower tall,
Our eyes went up to the top core

For two little flames we saw install,
And another responding from so far
That barely I perceived being so small.

And I turned my face to the full sense star:
I told: “What does this mean? and what reply
Gives then the other flame? And those who are?” 

And he: “Above the dirty waves and by
You can perceive already what to expect,
If the fume of the swamp does not deny”.

Rope never pushed an arrow to eject
Which faster and thin too rushed out through air
As I saw a shorty boat well direct

Through water toward us with no compare,
Under the drive of just one only oar,
Who shouted: “Now you arrived soul unfair!”

“Flegiàs, Flegiàs, useless is shouting your”
Told then my lord, “It’s only this time now:
Once crossed the marsh you’ll never see us more”

Like the one who listens a great false vow
Which he undergoes, and regrets then,
So was Flegiàs owing rage to allow.

My guide entered now the boat on the fen,
And then he let me enter after him;
So it looked fully loaded once again .  

After my guide and I were on wood grim,
Cutting across just goes the ancient bow
The water even more than used to trim. 

While we were running in the deadly flow,
In front of me then came a muddy man,
Who told me: “Who are you coming here now?”

And I: “If I come, to remain don’t plan;
But who are you, so unsightly to see?”.
Answered: “You see  that I just grieve for ban”.

And I to him; “With mourn and of  tears  sea,
You damned spirit, now you can stay on still;
I know you, even though  dirty you be”.

Then he aimed both hands to the board until,
So that my mindful master then pushed him,
Telling: “Get off from here, stay there, damned will!”

And then with arms he cuddled my neck rim;
Kissed my face, and told me: “Disdainful core,
Blessed woman who gave you birth with vim!

That guy was a person proud in his life yore;
Kindness you don’t find recalling his acts:
So his soul is here angry as before.

Plenty of people up like  king enacts
And here after as swine in mire shall stay
Leaving of themselves just horrible facts!”. 

And I: “Master, I would have happy play
If I see him to plunge into this slush
Before that from this lake we get away”.

And he to me: “Before ending our rush
To reach the bank, you full sated will be:
You must enjoy along your wish to hush”. 

After short while the torture I could see
Performed by people lying in that mire,
To God much praise and thanks go still from me. 

All screamed: “To Filippo Argenti dire!”;
And the Florentine spirit queer indeed
In his own body flesh sunk his teeth spire.

Here we left him, and no more words I need;
But in my ears I felt a beating pain,
Which made me cross eyes forward as my deed.

The good master told: “My dear, get again,
Now the city called Dite is getting close
With grievous citizens,  many restrained”

And I: “ Master, its towers already shows
There in the valley distinctly I see,
Vermillion like from fire just arose

Now”. And he: “the eternal fire sea
Which is burning inside makes them so red,
As in this base hell you can see to be”

We then inside the deep ditches were led
Which corrugate that disconsolate land:
And looked of iron made the walls ahead.

Not without moving around a turn grand,
We reached a place then where the helmsman strong
“Get out”, shouted: “Here is the entry stand”.

I saw more than thousand coming along
As poured from above, who with nasty huff
Told: “Who is this one of the living band

Who goes around the kingdom of deads gruff?” 
And my sage master then motioned to me
He aimed to them speak  secretly enough.

Then they reduced a bit their disagree
And told: “Come you alone, and he must go
Being in this reign entered of scare free. 

He must get back alone the street so fow:
Let him try, if able: you remain here,
Who guided him in this land without glow”.

Think, reader, how much I had then to fear
While hearing the sound of those words so damn,
Because I thought I couldn’t be back clear.

“Oh dear guide, for seven times saved I am
By your help giving assurance to me
In high distress I encountered as a dram,

Don’t abandon me”, I told, “without lee;
And if to pass it is denied beyond,
Let us find our path backward to fast flee”

And that lord who guided me there so fond,
Told me: “Don’t be afraid, because our stride 
Nobody can stop: from so high gets bond.

But wait me here now, and your spirit tied
Encourage strongly and feed with hope good,
Since I will not leave you in this world bide”.

So went away, and abandoned I stood,
My sweet father then leaving me in doubt,
So yes and no to fight in me then could.

I did not  hear what he to them gave out;
But he did not remain with them long time,
To observe that all in turn left the bout.

Closed the doors those people faulty of crime
Against my lord breast, who remained outside
And came back to me so slow as to climb.

The eyes to ground and lashes had to hide
Any pride, and telling sighs in between:
“Who the sorrow houses now me denied! 

And to me “You, if I am not serene,
Don’t dismay, since I shall the battle win,
No matter which against us be the screen. 

This arrogance of their not new has been;
They used it for a door secret much less,
Which without any lock is still therein.

On  that you saw of dead write the impress:
And on this side descends the terrain steep,
Then passing through the circles with no stress,

So for him the ground be open to sweep”


Long Poems