Wesley’s Inferno, Canto 3

 

Canto 3

 

Charon chided Catullus as the cab

pulled into a line labeled LUST.

Waving arms, speaking Latin, babbling,

 

Catullus flashed credentials. Trust me;

Charon was one ugly dude. Liberace crossed

with Elephant Man, plus a dash of Jackie Gleason,

 

snot running down his nose, the grossest

shit I’d ever seen. As we rolled onto the one-car ferry,

it occurred to me that here there was no rest,

 

no coffee breaks, no take five, no reprieves.

The river, appropriately hellish, polluted,

frothing, malodorous, reeking

 

of industry and death. I recruited

all my strength, closed my eyes, the screech

of machinery assaulting unabated.

 

I passed out, my sense driven beyond the reach

of enduring. A thunderclap awakened me

after what seemed centuries. “That’ll teach

 

you,” Catullus, said enigmatically,

apropos of zilch. “When’s the last time

you’ve been to a drive in?” he asked. “See,

 

bro you, bout to get dipped into some slime,

awful porno, meet punishment for the lustful,

who squandered earth-time

 

always seeking sex, overdoing it, never fulfilled.”

The ferry approached a dimly lit dock,

An oily humidity had replaced the river’s dank chill.

Wesley’s Inferno, Canto 1

wesley-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.

 

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