Once we disembarked
and reached the summit of a barren ridge,
a vista of innumerable parked
cars lay below. We drove through clouds of midges
swarming and stinging,
the cars’ occupants, naked and wedged
so tightly they couldn’t move their arms or legs, facing
a gigantic movie screen on which dead-eyed
chancre riddled junkies were forever fucking.
“This is my home circle,” Catullus said, “where I reside
when not giving tours. These Monicas and Bills must eternally endure
the stab of insects and the touch of flesh they can’t abide.
“During my earth time, I too was sex-obsessed. Nothing could cure
my cravings for Lesbia, Nihil sit, satis.
So now with them for my sins I must endure
the punishment of these stabbing stings, this looping film.” Catullus
then emoted a theatrical B-movie sigh.
“These punishments seem ludicrous,
“way over the top for a loving God,” I cried.
He broke into a sardonic laugh.
“Haven’t you read Nietzsche? God ain’t alive!
Literalism ain’t where it’s at!
Think of this night as a soul engendered hallucination,
Not a product of a bearded God’s wrath;
Think of it as a sort of game; think Play Station.”
“But this contradicts what you said before about reprieve!”
“Think of this as a trip,” he said, “a psychedelic vacation.”