Dante's Damned

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Dante's damned are singing in the garden today.

Submitted: August 14, 2008

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Submitted: August 14, 2008



Death could scarce be more bitter than that place!
But since it came to good, I will recount
all that I found revealed there by God’s grace.

-- Dante Inferno, I.7-9

Dante’s damned pay dearly for their sins,
even today; they’re wailing and thrashing
under the garden outside my window
as Sin grinds in their hips, pumping the
last burn of infernal need into the sockets
of their lips. There’s no trace of that gnash
here, at 4 a.m. this warm morning, not
in this town which limes those old-school horrors
with thick slabs of neatly-arrayed comfort.
But I keep a window open here for the
better of old ills; the moon’s near full
again, washing walls and roofs with
its black milk, slathering on the thick
so hellish nougat of desire. Smoke
is coming through that window too, a heavy
tang drifted in from fields on fire not
far from town, curling here round the
bliss of jasmine bloom like a calyx.
And where there’s smoke they burn;
and where they erred thus so do we,
drenching ourselves in wrong turns
for lack of heaven’s rain. Drought can make
a dry heart thunder, arousing a tempest
of hooves which gallop toward the first
place there is water by the ocean, no
matter how false it be -- a bottle,
noir catacombs, counting rooms neck-
high in liquid gold, You. It was the
taste of rain on the world’s own lips
too long ago which bequeathed to us
this thirst; our DNA recalls those first
aeons on earth when all it did was rain,
thousands of centuries where water fell
and rose and fell again, filling the seven seas.
That womblike memory in our genes
was crossed by our withered human
history,  three million years of wandering
from forest to plain to seaside only to
find that all that water was not ours
to drink, not ever. It’s so still and quiet at this
hour, this sleepy town so dead: Only now
does the moon tremble from the heat
of Dante’s damned. Those poor fucks
who fill old Hell had opened wide their
mouths to today’s moon, dancing naked
round the moon-frosted plinths of Stonehenge,
dancing so eerily white and black in the
borderlands of the human will, pushing
as far as God permits the ache which
grows ever more sated by what it saltily remits.
Paradox it be, we can’t live without our dead,
without their infamy. The half-revealed
and half-dark life is the sacred secret of
the moon learned in surrender
to all the ways we must not and can’t refuse
to go. I recall a girlfriend years ago who,
one afternoon the first month of our passion,
burst through my apartment door with
a wildness she never explained -- on fire
with that thirst. She pushed me on the
couch and fished out my startled cock
from my jeans, sucking it to slickened stone;
then got up, turned around, lifted her dress,
yanked down panties and mounted me,
hands gripping my parted knees like tongs,
impaling herself with a vicious sigh. She
commenced to fuck me in hot hurry,
her long curly red hair swinging s
left and right as her freckled ass went
up and down. On the other side of things,
staring up and out at whatever heaven
she was so thirsty for, she chanted Omigod
Omigod Omigod, busying her clitty with two
fingers, nails nipping at my cock. There’s something
both pure and damned in my memory of that
desperate, wholly surprising, late afternoon
wild fuck; something which makes tonight’s
full moon scour me in its blueblack light,
the half of what I saw that day in her heaving
shimmying lift-and-pounding ass, in the raw
and in the real; what’s up there today is what
remains of the fish-tail of the mermaid
revealed in the woman who fucked me
back then and how, the top half of her
obscured, still clothed, looking off the other
way toward my eventual life, all the short
and shattering liasions, one wife, another,
the rest that I can only write.  Fuse moon
and maid together there in that
singular drench and quench so many years ago:
Right then I became one of Dante’s damned
with both hands gripping at Sin’s hips,
holding on for dear damned life, watching
my bright world plunge again and again into that
brilliant slushy dark, my heart pounding along
to the brutal drum of ass on hips, a beat I
keep up here. When I worked finger into her anus
she came, shouting out Shit and God as
she flailed and clenched and melted, bringing
me to my mount, which, knowing she wasn’t
on the pill, meant getting out of the sea and
coming wildly on its beach, my raging dick
between her clenching cheeks as she cooed
yah baby mama wants it all the pen inside
the one I hold today,  a belfry tolling all the
bells of heaven as is squirted jots of white ink
between the margins of the mooned life,
a tempest which no  real storm that I’ve
encountered since has paid back in full.
That girlfriend left me the next week --
moved on in restless thirst -- and
I went my own starved raging way, seeking
water everywhere it couldn’t be found but
sought it anyway, refusing to to let go
of that raging faux waters’s cruel blue flow. 
Dante's damned are singing in the garden
today from every  burnt and bruised and
broke-off bloom, praising  eternal fire from
the soft loins God willed and cursed them
with, their pale black tongues crying God Yes
and More and Goddamit Now and How,
full moons delved up from waters of deep
rapture sailing forever cross our night,
pouring the milk of hell’s intercourse
over us in dewy rain:
while we, the real dead, sleep on,
untroubled by the smoke,
their screams. The feasting.

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