Good Friday, 1300. Dante wakes up in the middle of a dark wood, and is found by the Roman poet Virgil, who has been tasked with showing him what happens to the souls who stray. Dante and Virgil enter the gates of hell and pass the Apathetic, who were neither enough for God nor bad enough for the Devil. They then cross the River Acheron to enter the Inferno proper, which descends through nine concentric circles to the centre of the Earth.
Underway with the underworld herewith,
and I’m with – no, you’re with – fine, we’re with
the dwellers of Hades
born BCs, not ADs –
not all, but the ones you’d have beer with.
A cartwheeling, heartreeling gust
corkscrews the guilty of lust.
Invented to whisk the
excessively frisky –
like Dante, I don’t think it’s just.
Sharp on the back of those gales
it rains and it pours and it hails.
These deluges flummox
the slaves to their stomachs,
who think they’re in Ireland or Wales.
(the hoarders + spendthrifts)
And now for the sinners who knew
how neither to spend nor accrue.
But all that each soul does
is push some great boulders –
the point here is lost on me too.
This once, I pronounce the word wrath
to rhyme with this sludginal bath.
Women, men it’s replete with
and none can compete with
the fury that hell, it seems, hath.
A Tuscan July couldn’t beat
this heretic-shrivelling heat.
The remoaning of boffins
melts away in the coffins
of the bothersome liberal élite.
“By these treestumps, my Master, what’s signified?”
“These souls are eternally lignified.
We saw others scream
in an ichorous stream:
for the violent, no ending is dignified.”
The fraudsters inhabit these cum-pits,
the forgers and classical strumpets.
And going down levels
we stumble on devils
whose derrières double as trumpets.
Now witness the Enemy sate his
Satanic three mouths with three traitors.
Three sets of teeth tweezer
two killers of Caesar
and the man who sold Christ to His haters.