Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Or, the Travelling Wake of Michael Johannes.

Spent the day/night/whatever you want to fucking call it driving. To Hope. Because I'd asked Elaine for help. Bad fucking timing.
I was in Kansas. Dropped a package off with Opal. Notebooks. Not going to need them, maybe someone gets some good out of my being a crazy. Spent an hour sleeping, kept driving.
I don't have enough time. Two more to go.
I'm going to be locked out of the blog tomorrow, my own precaution, no one worry.
Well, maybe worry. It's really up to you. Every person who needs to know, I've talked to.
Or arranged for word to get to them.
Taken a while to get here, hasn't it. And I don't have enough time.
So this is... goodbye I suppose. Need to focus, long enough to get through this.

Elaine: You're a crazy, crazy person. Should get the hell out while you still fucking well can.
Some of us don't need more dead friends and you don't need to be coddled. I regret nothing. I suppose if 'I' see you again? Aim for the head, please.

Opal: I really don't suppose there's anything else worth saying at this point. Don't die.

Lis: I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. For everything. Thank you. Be safe.

Spencer: Don't fuck it up. You're better than that. Thus speaks this corpse.

Lucas: Good luck getting Joel back. Kick his ass for me. He should know better.

Joel: Hey, good job there, running off and leaving Lucas alone. Something happens to him? You know that's on you, right? Don't fucking die.

Blake & Tia: Good luck, I suppose. Sorry we didn't get along better. My fault.

I suppose the worst part is knowing, that I could have done so much more. so much. But there isn't enough time there's never enough time. I've tried, but there's really no way I'm getting out of this at this point. I'm on the way out. Goodbye, then. It's been... nice, knowing you all. I'm so sorry, so very sorry it ended like this.

i don't want to go

Monday, November 21, 2011

Non sum qualis eram

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here.
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Paradise 8/8

As in the sunshine, that unsullied streams
Through fractured cloud, ere now a meadow of flowers
Mine eyes with shadow covered o'er have seen,

So troops of splendours manifold I saw
Illumined from above with burning rays,
Beholding not the source of the effulgence.

Paradise 7/8

Such limit did its words prescribe to me,
The question I relinquished, and restricted
Myself to ask it humbly who it was.

Between two shores of Italy rise cliffs,
And not far distant from thy native place,
So high, the thunders far below them sound,

And form a ridge that Catria is called,
'Neath which is consecrate a hermitage
Wont to be dedicate to worship only.

Thus unto me the third speech recommenced,
And then, continuing, it said: Therein
Unto God's service I became so steadfast,

That feeding only on the juice of olives
Lightly I passed away the heats and frosts,
Contented in my thoughts contemplative.

That cloister used to render to these heavens
Abundantly, and now is empty grown,
So that perforce it soon must be revealed.

I in that place was Peter Damiano;
And Peter the Sinner was I in the house
Of Our Lady on the Adriatic shore.

Little of mortal life remained to me,
When I was called and dragged forth to the hat
Which shifteth evermore from bad to worse.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It hurts. Dear god, my head hurts.
Two more. Didn't mean to write those
I was trying to write this post.
. . . - - - . . .
Make it stop. Please
Make it stop hurting.
Why wont it stop?
. . . - - - . . . pleasehelpme

Paradise 6/8

Who would believe, down in the errant world,
That e'er the Trojan Ripheus in this round
Could be the fifth one of the holy lights

Now knoweth he enough of what the world
Has not the power to see of grace divine,
Although his sight may not discern the bottom.

Like as a lark that in the air expatiates,
First singing and then silent with content
Of the last sweetness that doth satisfy her,

Such seemed to me the image of the imprint
Of the eternal pleasure, by whose will
Doth everything become the thing it is.

And notwithstanding to my doubt I was
As glass is to the colour that invests it,
To wait the time in silence it endured not,

Paradise 5/8

To such a quiet, such a beautiful
Life of the citizen, to such a safe
Community, and to so sweet an inn,

Did Mary give me, with loud cries invoked,
And in your ancient Baptistery at once
Christian and Cacciaguida I became.

Moronto was my brother, and Eliseo;
From Val di Pado came to me my wife,
And from that place thy surname was derived.

Ere followed afterward the Emperor Conrad,
And he begirt me of his chivalry,
So much I pleased him with my noble deeds.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I remember

I think.
I remember the fires.
. . . - - - . . .
Every fire. So many fires.
Why are they all burning?
Because I started them.
. . . - - - . . .
How many times?
I don't know. I really don't.
How many people
Burning? They won't stop burning.
. . . - - - . . .
The worst part
Is knowing that
It will happen again.
. . . - - - . . . someonestopme

Paradise 4/8

And within one I heard beginning:
The radiance of grace, by which is kindled
True love, and which thereafter grows by loving,

Within thee multiplied is so resplendent

That it conducts thee upward by that stair,

Where without reascending none descends,

Who should deny the wine out of his vial
Unto thy thirst, in liberty were not
Except as water which descends not seaward.

Fain wouldst thou know with what plants is enflowered
This garland that encircles with delight
The Lady fair who makes thee strong for heaven.

Of the lambs was I of the holy flock
Which Dominic conducteth by a road

Where well one fattens if he strayeth not.

He who is nearest to me on the right

My brother and master was; and he Albertus

Is of Cologne,
I Thomas of Aquinum.

Paradise 3/8

Ah, bring swift compensation to my wish,
Thou blessed spirit, I said, and give me proof

That what I think in thee I can reflect !

Whereat the light, that still was new to me,
Out of its depths, whence it before was singing,
As one delighted to do good, continued:

Within that region of the land depraved
Of Italy, that lies between Rialto

And fountain heads of Brenta and of Piava,

Rises a hill, and mounts not very high,
Wherefrom descended formerly a torch
That made upon that region great assault.

Out of one root were born both I and it;
Cunizza was I called, and here I shine
Because the splendour of this star o'ercame me

Paradise 2/8

After that Constantine the eagle turned
Against the course of heaven, which it had followed..
Behind the ancient who Lavinia took,

Two hundred years and more the bird of God

In the extreme of Europe held itself,
Near to the mountains whence it issued first;

And under shadow of the sacred plumes
It governed there the world from hand to hand,
And, changing thus, upon mine own alighted.

Caesar I was, and am Justinian,
Who, by the will of primal Love I feel,
Took from the laws the useless and redundant;

Paradise 1/8

And I unto the shade that seemed most wishful
To speak directed me, and I began,
As one whom too great eagerness bewilders:

O well-created spirit, who in the rays
Of life eternal dost the sweetness taste
Which being untasted ne'er is comprehended.

Grateful 'twill be to me, if thou content me
Both with thy name and with your destiny.
Whereat she promptly and with laughing eyes:

Our charity doth never shut the doors
Against a just desire, except as one
Who wills that all her court be like herself.

I was a virgin sister in the world;
And if thy mind doth contemplate me well,
The being more fair will not conceal me from thee,

But thou shalt recognise I am Piccarda,
Who, stationed here among these other blessed,
Myself am blessed in the slowest sphere.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Earthly Paradise

But us Virgilius of himself deprived
Had left, Virgilius, sweetest of all fathers,
Virgilius, to whom I for safety gave me:

Nor whatsoever lost the ancient mother
Availed my cheeks now purified from dew,
That weeping they should not again be darkened.

Dante, because Virgilius has departed
Do not weep yet, do not weep yet awhile;
For by another sword thou need'st must weep.

E'en as an admiral, who on poop and prow
Comes to behold the people that are working
In other ships. and cheers them to well-doing,

Upon the left hand border of the car,
When at the sound I turned of my own name,
Which of necessity is here recorded,

I saw the Lady, who erewhile appeared
Veiled underneath the angelic festival,
Direct her eyes to me across the river.

Although the veil, that from her head descended,
Encircled with the foliage of Minerva,
Did not permit her to appear distinctly,

In attitude still royally majestic
Continued she, like unto one who speaks,
And keeps his warmest utterance in reserve:

Look at me well; in sooth I'm Beatrice!
How didst thou deign to come unto the Mountain?
Didst thou not know that man is happy here?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Purgatory 7/7

Our own transgression was hermaphrodite;
But because we observed not human law,
Following like unto beasts our appetite,

In our opprobrium by us is read,
When we part company, the name of her
Who bestialized herself in bestial wood.

Now knowest thou our acts, and what our crime was;
Wouldst thou perchance by name know who we are,
There is not time to tell, nor could I do it.

Thy wish to know me shall in sooth be granted;
I'm Guido Guinicelli, and now purge me,
Having repented ere the hour extreme.
Another fire.
Everyone's dead.

I didn't start this one. Believe me, please.

But they're all dead now.

I just watched my house burn again.

Purgatory 6/7

I still was wondering what so famished them,
For the occasion not yet manifest
Of their emaciation and sad squalor;

And lo! from out the hollow of his head
His eyes a shade turned on me, and looked keenly;
Then cried aloud: What grace to me is this?

Never should I have known him by his look;
But in his voice was evident to me
That which his aspect had suppressed within it.

This spark within me wholly re-enkindled
My recognition of his altered face,
And I recalled the features of Forese.

Ah, do not look at this dry leprosy,
Entreated he, which doth my skin discolour,
Nor at default of flesh that I may have;

But tell me truth of thee, and who are those
Two souls, that yonder make for thee an escort;
Do not delay in speaking unto me.

That face of thine, which dead I once bewept,
Gives me for weeping now no lesser grief,
I answered him, beholding it so changed!

But tell me, for God's sake, what thus denudes you?
Make me not speak while I am marvelling,
For ill speaks he who's full of other longings.

And he to me: From the eternal council
Falls power into the water and the tree
Behind us left, whereby I grow so thin.

All of this people who lamenting sing,
For following beyond measure appetite
In hunger and thirst are here re-sanctified.

Desire to eat and drink enkindles in us
The scent that issues from the apple-tree,
And from the spray that sprinkles o'er the verdure;

Purgatory 5/7

Hugh Capet was I called upon the earth;
From me were born the Louises and Philips,
By whom in later days has France been governed.

I was the son of a Parisian butcher,
What time the ancient kings had perished all,
Excepting one, contrite in cloth of gray.

I found me grasping in my hands the rein
Of the realm's government, and so great power
Of new acquest, and so with friends abounding,

That to the widowed diadem promoted
The head of mine own offspring was, from whom
The consecrated bones of these began.

So long as the great dowry of Provence
Out of my blood took not the sense of shame,
'Twas little worth, but still it did no harm.

Then it began with falsehood and with force
Its rapine; and thereafter, for amends,
Took Ponthieu, Normandy, and Gascony.

Charles came to Italy, and for amends
A victim made of Conradin, and then
Thrust Thomas back to heaven, for amends.

A time I see, not very distant now,
Which draweth forth another Charles from France,
The better to make known both him and his.

Unarmed he goes, and only with the lance
That Judas jousted with; and that he thrusts
So that he makes the paunch of Florence burst.

He thence not land, but sin and infamy,
Shall gain, so much more grievous to himself
As the more light such damage he accounts.

The other, now gone forth, ta'en in his ship,
See I his daughter sell, and chaffer for her
As corsairs do with other female slaves.

What more, O Avarice, canst thou do to us,
Since thou my blood so to thyself hast drawn,
It careth not for its own proper flesh?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Purgatory 4/7

But taken from me was this drowsiness
Suddenly by a people, that behind
Our backs already had come round to us.

And as, of old, Ismenus and Asopus
Beside them saw at night the rush and throng,
If but the Thebans were in need of Bacchus,

So they along that circle curve their step,
From what I saw of those approaching us,
Who by good-will and righteous love are ridden.

Full soon they were upon us, because running
Moved onward all that mighty multitude,
And two in the advance cried out, lamenting,

Mary in haste unto the mountain ran,
And Caesar, that he might subdue Ilerda,
Thrust at Marseilles, and then ran into Spain.

Quick ! quick ! so that the time may not be lost
By little love! forthwith the others cried,
For ardour in well-doing freshens grace!

O folk, in whom an eager fervour now
Supplies perhaps delay and negligence,
Put by you in well-doing, through lukewarmness,

This one who lives, and truly I lie not,
Would fain go up, if but the sun relight us;
So tell us where the passage nearest is.

These were the words of him who was my Guide;
And some one of those spirits said: Come on
Behind us, and the opening shalt thou find;

So full of longing are we to move onward,
That stay we cannot; therefore pardon us,
If thou for churlishness our justice take.

I was San Zeno's Abbot at Verona,
Under the empire of good Barbarossa,
Of whom still sorrowing Milan holds discourse

Purgatory 3/7

Darkness of hell and of a night deprived
Of every planet under a poor sky,
As much as may be tenebrous with cloud,

Ne'er made unto my sight so thick a veil,
As did that smoke which there enveloped us,
Nor to the feeling of so rough a texture;

For not an eye it suffered to stay open;
Whereat mine escort, faithful and sagacious,
Drew near to me and offered me his shoulder.

E'en as a blind man goes behind his guide,
Lest he should wander, or should strike against
Aught that may harm or peradventure kill him,

So went I through the bitter and foul air,
Listening unto my Leader, who said only,
Look that from me thou be not separated.

Voices I heard, and every one appeared
To supplicate for peace and misericord
The Lamb of God who takes away our sins.

Still Agnus Dei their exordium was;
One word there was in all, and metre one,
So that all harmony appeared among them.

Master,I said, are spirits those I hear?
And he to me: Thou apprehendest truly,
And they the knot of anger go unloosing.

Now who art thou, that cleavest through our smoke
And art discoursing of us even as though
Thou didst by calends still divide the time?

After this manner by a voice was spoken;
Whereon my Master said: Do thou reply,
And I: O creature that dost cleanse thyself

To return beautiful to Him who made thee,
Thou shalt hear marvels if thou follow me.
Thee will I follow far as is allowed me,

He answered; and if smoke prevent our seeing,
Hearing shall keep us joined instead thereof.
Thereon began I: With that swathing band

Which death unwindeth am I going upward,
And hither came I through the infernal anguish.
And if God in his grace has me infolded,

So that he wills that I behold his court
By method wholly out of modern usage,
Conceal not from me who ere death thou wast,

But tell it me, and tell me if I go
Right for the pass, and be thy words our escort.
Lombard was I, and I was Marco called;

Friday, November 11, 2011

One more Time

Nice to see I can still make puns.

Hard to keep track of time lately. It's like trying to keep a handful of sand in your hand. No matter how you try, some of it will always slip away from you. You lose track of it.

So I got a watch.

Purgatory 2/7

Covered with sackcloth vile they seemed to me,
And one sustained the other with his shoulder,
And all of them were by the bank sustained.

Thus do the blind, in want of livelihood,
Stand at the doors of churches asking alms,
And one upon another leans his head

So that in others pity soon may rise,
Not only at the accent of their words,
But at their aspect, which no less implores.

And as unto the blind the sun comes not
So to the shades, of whom just now I spake,
Heaven's light will not be bounteous of itself;

For all their lids an iron wire transpierces,
And sews them up, as to a sparhawk wild
Is done, because it will not quiet stay.

To me it seemed, in passing, to do outrage,
Seeing the others without being seen;
Wherefore I turned me to my counsel sage.

Well knew he what the mute one wished to say,
-And therefore waited not for my demand,
But said: Speak, and be brief, and to the point.

I had Virgilius upon that side
Of the embankment from which one may fall,
Since by no border 'tis engarlanded;

Upon the other side of me I had
The shades devout, who through the horrible seam
Pressed out the tears so that they bathed their cheeks.

To them I turned me, and, O people, certain,
Began I, of beholding the high light,
Which your desire has solely in its care,

So may grace speedily dissolve the scum
Upon your consciences, that limpidly
Through them descend the river of the mind,

Tell me, for dear 'twill be to me and gracious,
If any soul among you here is Latian,
And 'twill perchance be good for him I learn it.

O brother mine, each one is citizen
Of one true city; but thy meaning is,
Who may have lived in Italy a pilgrim.

By way of answer this I seemed to hear
A little farther on than where I stood,
Whereat I made myself still nearer heard.

Among the rest I saw a shade that waited
In aspect, and should any one ask how,
Its chin it lifted upward like a blind man.

Spirit,I said,who stoopest to ascend,
If thou art he who did reply to me,
Make thyself known to me by place or name.

Sienese was I, it replied, and with
The others here recleanse my guilty life,
Weeping to Him to lend himself to us.

Sapient I was not, although I Sapia
Was called, and I was at another's harm
More happy far than at my own good fortune.

And that thou mayst not think that I deceive thee,
Hear if I was as foolish as I tell thee.
The arc already of my years descending,

My fellow-citizens near unto Colle
Were joined in battle with their adversaries,
And I was praying God for what he willed.

Routed were they, and turned into the bitter
Passes of flight; and I, the chase beholding,
A joy received unequalled by all others;

So that I lifted upward my bold face
Crying to God, ' Henceforth I fear thee not,'
As did the blackbird at the little sunshine.

Peace I desired with God at the extreme
Of my existence, and as yet would not
My debt have been by penitence discharged,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Domino effect

I've seen the posts. I've gone through my emails. None of it is pleasant. No, that's an understatement. It reads exactly like me, but through a glass, darkly. It's scary.
But that's getting away from the point. Need to focus here. I suppose, at this point, sorry just doesn't do anything anymore.

There's no point in lying. Not exactly fighting the good fight here. More like digging my heels in against a landslide and trying not to fall over. It feels like a string of dominoes. You push one over, and watch the rest topple in sequence. And the next domino? Guess who.

And you know the part that really hurts? The feeling that you could have stopped things. That somewhere, back along that very long list of places you went wrong, making a left turn instead of a right turn, choosing whether or not to pick up a family in the woods in Montana, choosing to run when you could have fought. That making that one decision differently, would somehow put all the rest of the dominoes back up where they should be.

Now's as good a time as ever. Put this one off a little too long too. The white text, I'll have to trust you people when you say it's there. I honestly can't find it myself. And as for looking at it?

Elaine tried to show me on her phone once, highlighted the whole thing. The only thing I remember seeing is that blue "text is highlighted" colour, and then searing pain between my temples. Like the worst headache you've ever had. Like someone decided it'd be a good idea to run a few hundred volts back up from my eyes.

And then, just to be safe, I tried again. No change.

And then Spencer had it in his head to email me a shot of it. That went about as well as expected. I mean, not a bad idea, all in all, but it flipping hurts.

So, I'm sorry that promise is broken now, Elaine.
Even though sorry doesn't quite do anything now.
I'm sorry for what I've done. I needed to say that.
Though it's not like I can mend those bridges now.
They've already burned. Even the ashes are cold.
And I'm sorry I wish this could all end differently.
But wishes are for children, and the show goes on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Michael's a horrible liar, I should probably tell you.

Where to start:
Oh yes! All those "Don't stop fighting" comments, how well do you know Michael Johannes? Every time you say that, you prove that the answer is, 'not very well'. Michael isn't a fighter. He'll hide before he runs, and he'll run before he'll fight. You know all about that, don't you Lucas? If you back an animal into a corner, you have to be ready for it to try to bite you.

And of course, there's always the chance that you're actually going to be a threat (I'm looking at you Shaun) in which case I'm going to have to remind you, this isn't a time-share arrangement dearies. And getting hit in the gut is quite painful (again, Shaun).

Lis! Thank you again dear, for this lovely opportunity. And for introducing Michael to Spencer, in a round-about sort of way. He's so much fun to talk to. You know he didn't mean to harm you, (though good job of it) no dear, for whatever misguided reason the idiot was trying to save you the trouble.

Opal! You know too well he isn't fine.

Spencer! Ha. That's all.

Elaine! The drinking really suits you, keep it up dear :)

But I digress, Michael wants to end both of us, but doesn't have the spine to do it himself. Trust me, I'm in his head. Very elaborate plans, most of them would probably work (though driving the van into the Atlantic Ocean seems a tad melodramatic). I'm sure some of you wouldn't mind talking him out of it. The comments are yours~
And Tia, feel free to berate him as much as you like :)

Purgatory 1/7

Him, who still lives and does not name himself,
Would I regard, to see if I may know him
And make him piteous unto this burden.

A Latian was I, and born of a great Tuscan;
Guglielmo Aldobrandeschi was my father;
I know not if his name were ever with you.

The ancient blood and deeds of gallantry
Of my progenitors so arrogant made me
That, thinking not upon the common mother,

All men I held in scorn to such extent
I died therefor, as know the Sienese,
And every child in Campagnatico.

I am Omberto; and not to me alone
Has pride done harm, but all my kith and kin
Has with it dragged into adversity.

And here must I this burden bear for it
Till God be satisfied, since I did not
Among the living, here among the dead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The music can be found here, do mind the changes to the lyrics (Michael's on the right, my own on the left) if you decide you'd like to sing along

It's not easy having yourself a good time~
Greasing up those bets and betters
Watching out they done four letter
Fuck and kiss you both at the same time (<3 Lis)
Smells like something I've forgotten
Curled up, died and now it's rotten
I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't want to be a bad guy
I'm just a joker baby,
And now you've gotten in my way!
I can't decide
whether we should live or die
Oh your haven't got the courage
Just go hang your head and cry
No wonder why
my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride!
It's a bitch convincing people to trust me
If I stop now call me a quitter
If lies were cats you'd be a litter
Pleasing everyone isn't like you
Dancing jigs until I'm crippled
Slug ten drinks I won't get pickled
I've got to hand it to you
You've played by all the same rules
It takes the truth to fool, see
And now you've made me angry
I can't decide
Whether we should live or die
Oh you haven't got the courage
Just go hang your head an cry
No wonder why
My heart feels dead inside
it's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride!
Oh I could throw you in the lake
Or feed you poisoned birthday cake
I won't deny I won't miss you when you're gone
Oh I could bury you alive
But you might crawl out with a knife
And kill me when I'm sleeping
That's why!

I can't decide
whether we should live or die
Oh you haven't got the courage
Just go hang your head and cry
No wonder why
my heart feels dead inside
it's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride!

Ante-Purgatory 2/2

His sluggish attitude and his curt words
A little unto laughter moved my lips;
Then I began: Belacqua, I grieve not

For thee henceforth; but tell me, wherefore seated
In this place art thou ? Waitest thou an escort?
Or has thy usual habit seized upon thee?

And he: O brother, what's the use of climbing?
Since to my torment would not let me go
The Angel of God, who sitteth at the gate.

First heaven must needs so long revolve me round
Outside thereof, as in my life it did,
Since the good sighs I to the end postponed,

Ante-Purgatory 1/2

And one of them began: Whoe'er thou art,
Thus going turn thine eyes, consider well
If e'er thou saw me in the other world.

I turned me tow'rds him, and looked at him closely;
Blond was he, beautiful, and of noble aspect,
But one of his eyebrows had a blow divided.

When with humility I had disclaimed
E'er having seen him, Now behold! he said,
And showed me high upon his breast a wound.

Then said he with a smile: I am Manfredi,
The grandson of the Empress Costanza;
Therefore, when thou returnest, I beseech thee

Go to my daughter beautiful, the mother
Of Sicily's honour and of Aragon's,
And the truth tell her, if aught else be told.

After I had my body lacerated
By these two mortal stabs, I gave myself
Weeping to Him, who willingly doth pardon.

Horrible my iniquities had been;
But Infinite Goodness hath such ample arms,
That it receives whatever turns to it.

Had but Cosenza's pastor, who in chase
Of me was sent by Clement at that time,
In God read understandingly this page,

The bones of my dead body still would be
At the bridge-head, near unto Benevento,
Under the safeguard of the heavy cairn.

Now the rain bathes and moveth them the wind,
Beyond the realm, almost beside the Verde,
Where he transported them with tapers quenched.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

To run o'er better waters hoists its sail
The little vessel of my genius now,
That leaves behind itself a sea so cruel;

And of that second kingdom will I sing
Wherein the human spirit doth purge itself,
And to ascend to heaven becometh worthy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Treachery 4/4

At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching
A sinner, in the manner of a brake,
So that he three of them tormented thus.

To him in front the biting was as naught
Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine
Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.

That soul up there which has the greatest pain,
The Master said, is Judas Iscariot;
With head inside, he plies his legs without.

Of the two others, who head downward are,
The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus;
See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.

And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius.
But night is reascending, and 'tis time
That we depart, for we have seen the whole.

//Treachery// 3/4

Then he replied: I am Friar Alberigo;
He am I of the fruit of the bad garden,
Who here a date am getting for my fig.

O, said I to him, now art thou, too, dead?
And he to me: How may my body fare
Up in the world, no knowledge I possess.

Such an advantage has this Ptolomaea,
That oftentimes the soul descendeth here
Sooner than Atropos in motion sets it.

And, that thou mayest more willingly remove
From off my countenance these glassy tears,
Know that as soon as any soul betrays

As I have done, his body by a demon
Is taken from him, who thereafter rules it,
Until his time has wholly been revolved.

Ptolomaea is named for Ptolemy, who invited guests to a banquet and then killed them all. Here are resting on their backs, those who betrayed their guests, frozen in the ice for their treachery.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Treachery 2/4

His mouth uplifted from his grim repast,

That sinner, wiping it upon the hair

Of the same head that he behind had wasted

Then he began: Thou wilt that I renew

The desperate grief which wrings my heart already

To think of only, ere I speak of it;

But if my words be seed that may bear fruit

Of infamy to the traitor who I gnaw,

Speaking and weeping shalt thou see together.

I know not who thou art, nor by what mode

Thou hast come down here, but a Florentine

Thou seemest to me truly, when I hear thee.

Thou hast to know I was Count Ugolino,

And this one was Ruggieri the Archbishop;

Now I will tell thee why I am such a neighbour.

That, by effect of his malicious thoughts

Trusting in him I was made prisoner

And after put to death, I need not say;

But ne'ertheless what canst not have heard,

That is to say, how cruel was my death,

Hear shalt thou, and shalt know if he has wronged me.

The second round of the last circle of hell is reserved for the traitors against their country, named Antenora, after the Trojan who betrayed his people to the cunning of the Horse.


I had nightmares as a kid. The usual stuff, horrible clowns, ghosts, whatever scary movie I'd seen recently. You get used to nightmares. And then your head finds something else to use.
That's how it works.
I used to have dreams about a forest. Then nightmares. And then, I got used to those.
Well hello there nightmares, I see you've managed to come up with something new.
And I'm really starting to be sick to death of waking up screaming every few hours.
I'm worried that I'll get used to these nightmares. I'm terrified of the idea of getting used to them.

So I'm leaving Hope. It's hard to explain. I don't really get it myself. But it feels like there's a storm brewing. Just a massive, great-grandmother of a storm ready to blow the walls down. And I really don't want to be around for when it hits.

North-bound one more time. Let's see if it sticks. Elaine's been kind enough to put me on a plane so I can get my van back, and then it's all wide open from there.