Wesley’s Inferno, Canto 1




In the second month of my 64th year,

I awakened in an all but abandoned

strip shopping center


where a scrawny hound

limped up and growled

mouth-foaming, rabid.


Suddenly, a screech —  an owl?

The hound turned around,

so I stepped away leaden-legged, slowly


away, inching straight ahead

with great effort, like in a nightmare,

petrified with dread.


Looking up, I noticed the car,

a cab, parked in the shadow

of a dumpster. “Sir! –“


“Shhhh, chill, thyself,” the driver said, “whoa.”

“Let me introduce myself.

I’m pretty sure you know


“The name Catullus. I’m here to help,

to be your guide,

but sushssssssssh, you whelp,


“you’ll awaken the dead

with that loud mouth.

C’mon, man, don’t be scared,


“Hop in. We’ll head south,

tour the hellscape,

the land of the uncouth.”


Click here for Canto 2.



2 thoughts on “Wesley’s Inferno, Canto 1

  1. In the Cherokee version of Genesis, the owl is considered sacred for its ability to stay awake for exceptionally long periods of time, and having seen God create the Earth. I’m guessing you are still in the N.C. mountains (which have one of the higher populations of Cherokees) if you have a guide. AND, I’m gonna take a leap of faith to believe the owl was worried so he was watching over you if you awoke in parking lot since he he more than likely hunted the previous night, and could’ve been sleeping through the day. However, if a rabid dog was near, surely he wouldn’t want any harm to come of you. “Because of these early beliefs, the traditional Cherokee have a special regard for the owl and cougar. They are honored in some versions of the Creation story because they were the only two animals who were able to stay awake for the seven nights of Creation, the others having fallen asleep. Today, because of this, they are nocturnal in their habits and both have exceptional night vision.”
    As for the waking the dead by excercising your 1st Ammendment… “The pine, cedar, spruce, holly and laurel also attained this level and play a very important role in Cherokee ceremonies. Cedar is the most sacred of all, and the distinguishing colors of red and white set it off from all others. The wood from the tree is considered very sacred, & in ancient days it was used to carry the honored dead.” –http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Culture/General/TheTraditionalBeliefSystem.aspx (both quotes came from this site)

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