The Devine Tragedy, Episode II

river

Go To Hell
J.T. Hilltop

Real horrors? Is he telling me this is the bright side of town and things get worse from here? Really? There is a hazy stench rising of the ground that’s filled with disease ridden rats and bugs, the walking dead are wandering aimlessly, and I’m negotiating my way ankle deep through a swampy slush of what I can only assume is a mixture of vomit and defecation. I really don’t think I’m gonna enjoy this you’re dead now go to Hell thing very much. I’ve always believed that when I died it would just be over, a big nothing like a never-ending nap or something. Now it seems I’m being taken on a tour of never-ending disgust and pain. Virgil grabbed my hand and led me through the throngs of the lost souls, swatting away all the bugs and kicking the deadly vermin as we walked. “We are about to go through Hells gates to the river Styx where we will take the ferry to the Rings Of Hell Proper and begin our journey. There are nine levels of Hell, each worse than the one before it and as we descend we will either be allowed passage or our journey will end on whichever level we are denied entrance. If we make it to the bottom you will meet your final judgment by Lucifer. It would be best for you to do as little speaking as possible, we will encounter many tricksters who will try and use your soul for trading.” I was about to ask him traded for what when we approached the iron gate. In a firm and deliberate voice Virgil bellowed “Aperi portam Hades” and the gate slowly opened inwards. Virgil looked at me with the first glimpse of compassion I’d seen since dying, “its time JT, lets go.”
We entered a sort of vestibule of stones with billows of smoke or something rising from the ground, but it was too dark to see real clear. It was cold and musty smelling of earth or moss. It had the feel of what I imagine a rainforest would be like, cool but humid with an omnipresent sense of danger. I didn’t see any snakes but I could hear hissing and sense their slithering movement. They paid little or no attention to us but my fear trembles assured me something was out there and I was aware of every movement . We walked for five minutes until we reached a riverbank. “We wait here for the ferryman then we will cross to the first circle. That’s when your final journey will truly begin.” I took Virgil’s advice and said nothing. After ten minutes of hearing or imagining spooky noises while trembling from the slithering of unseen snakes a boat arrived.
Standing on the boat with a long stick in his hand was a huge figure, all of ten foot tall. He had powerful muscular legs, and an upper body that made Hulk Hogan look like a wimp. Even his head was huge, but it wasn’t exactly human. The skull was the size of a beach ball with long pointed ears, as long as a rabbits but the look of a mythical elf, and enormous bulging red eyes. He looked to Virgil and with a mocking arrogant tone stated, “The dead one can come along but you must remain here, at least until you die.” His voice was deep and raspy, laced with sarcastic anger, “Choron, I am this dead ones guide, I must take him across to his judgment. As the prince states, ‘So it is wanted where the power lies’, I am on divine mission. Take this obolus as payment for your trouble.” Virgil handed the ferryman a coin and with a shrug of his shoulders he motioned for us both to get in, “Sit there amongst the blasphemes and keep your peace. Only a lunatic would cross this river without being dead.” Virgil sat next to me and whispered, “Say nothing, don’t be alarmed, its not the most pleasant ride but it‘s quick.”
Not the most pleasant ride? I’m dead, just trudged through a marsh of grossness with bugs and snakes everywhere and he’s warning me about the unpleasantness of a boat ride. The irony caused me to smile until the rocking began. Did I say rocking? The boat was going up and down and sideways at such a vigorous rough pace that nearly everyone in the boat tossed their cookies. The bottom of the boat filled up quickly with vomit as it got unbearably hot causing me to sweat profusely. The stench coming from off the water was beyond repugnant. Willows of decayed manure and stale urine sprayed up off the water and settled in on my head slowly trickling down my face. The smell was not just vile, it was thick, filling my nostrils with a smoke like substance that reeked of rotted old fish wrapped in decayed cabbage leaves. The air was literally thick of sweat, flatulence, and vomit and just as quickly as it got unbearably hot it turned to a freezing cold solidifying the sweat and whatever remnants of vile liquids covered my body. I gagged for two minutes before passing out completely.
I came to for the third time since dying laying on the opposite side of the River Styx. “What the Hell is going on here Virgil, you tell me I’m dead yet three time now I have passed out. Be honest man, is this a bad dream or a bad reaction to drugs?” Virgil stared at me like I was an idiot, “Passed out? Is that what you think is happening to you? My son each time you pass out as you say is another death, and each time you die on this voyage you come closer to your final death, the death that will be your final judgment. The fact you have gotten this far is amazing given your past. You must negotiate your way to Satan’s pit getting past him if you want to escape everlasting pain, torture, and ultimate discomfort. Now when we get to Limbo you will meet Minos who will tell you which levels of Hell Proper you’ll be allowed passage. If we survive all the rings and reach the pit we may be able to climb the mountain of salvation. Its conceivable you may very well earn entry into Paradiso, which believe me is far better than any of the alternatives here. But don’t get yourself too excited, very few ever get that far. I can tell you this my boy, you will not awaken any more times, the next death you enter will bring you to your eternal destiny. You must use all your wiles and skills if you have any hopes escape the horrors of Hell. Be prepared JT, there will be tricksters around every corner attempting to use you to gain their own freedom.” For a moment I honestly thought it was my own father speaking to me, giving me the advice in my death he was never able to in life. Use my skills, he said. What skills? I’m a gifted chef and story teller, I’ve gained some street smarts, but that’s about it. What kind of food do demons like? I began to worry for the first time since I died.
“I’m just curious Virgil, why are you taking this voyage with me? I mean what’s in it for you?” Virgil handed me some bread an a cup of honey flavored liquid, “This will give you sustenance, finish it all. I was assigned to you an have no idea why. Normally I am assigned to poets of grand scale. Perhaps it’s a mix up or perhaps you‘ve been chosen to tell of the story to reach the people of your era. You are living in a complicate epoch in a world that seems bent on self destruction. Maybe he has chosen an average story teller such as yourself to bring the message.” I pondered his words, “What o you mean average story teller? I’m just kidding Virgil, I understand what you’re saying, who were some of your other assignments?” Virgil was smiling now, I won him over, “I knew you were kidding JT, you forget I know everything. I have traveled with many great poets, authors, an artists. I’ve been at this a long time. No more talk, eat an gain strength, you will most certainly need it for the trials ahead.” I ate and drank in silence preparing myself for what lay ahead.
Virgil started walking down a path that descended towards a cave. I stood up following behind him as we entered the mouth of the cave. “This is Limbo JT, the first ring of Hell. It’s not really even part of Hell, its kin of a waiting room. The cave is filled with non Christians, the anabaptized, the moral less souls. They do nothing but are tortured by their own minds, having eternal insomnia with nothing to divert their minds. But believe me, that’s the easiest torturing of all Hell. It’s here in Limbo that the dead are given the levels of Hell that they shall either suffer in or pass through. The Assigners name is Minos, who will be your first test. If you impress him with your virtues and good deeds he may assign you to only one or two levels, and perhaps not anything too horrible. Anger him and he will send you to the depths of disgust and despair. Be on your toes son.” I took a long deep breath, “I’m ready, I will put my best foot forward.” With that we entered into vast open cavern.
It became clear enough to see everything in the cave, and the most striking thing was a giant of a man sitting perched upon a large flat boulder about ten feet above the ground. The man was about twelve foot tall wearing nothing but a dirty tattered cloth wrap which allowed his huge muscular frame to stand out. Long brownish hair in tight curls cascaded across his shoulders down to his chest. He donned a crown of thorns that seemed to mock Jesus. Time to work my charm, “Good afternoon Minos, my name is Justin, I was just telling Virgil here…” In a booming thunderous voice he cut me off, “I know exactly who you are you ignorant piece of shit. You dare to approach me calling me as a friend? You have always been a self centered sneaky conniving little shit too often drunk or stoned to have completed anything worthwhile in life. You are nothing but a fraud, a liar, a cheat, and a blaspheme. You deserve severe punishment you syphilis of a human being. You deny God so you shall spend your eternity with the other Atheist wastes in ring seven, the ring of violence. Have fun getting there JT, I’ll have fun watching you struggle you worthless shithole.” I began to protest but before I could even get a word out Virgil had grabbed me by my shoulder and firmly pulled me away, “Do you not know when to shut up JT? Take your assignment and get out before you get an even worse level.” I thought about what Virgil was saying. Worse? I don’t like the sound of that!

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Today Is My Natal Anniversary

bd142

Seems like only yesterday
I was carefree wild and young
When I realized how old I am today
I gotta tell ya it kinda stung

Cause I’m not aging as gracefully
As others my age seem to be
Overweight bald in constant pain
And can barely bend one knee

All my muscles sag a little more today
Plus I’m much too soft around the middle
Aging is a sudoko of a puzzling enigma
Wrapped around a rustic wrinkled riddle

Some people mature like a fine wine ages
But my getting older really makes me irate
Because I’m maturing more like lactose
And I’m past my best if used by date

When?

See its been one more lap around the sun
And they say that age is just a number
But instead me getting older and wiser
Seems like I just keep getting dumber

My birthday suit needs to be dry cleaned
Many deep creases and an extra wrinkle
I need to plan my trips around a bathroom
Because I know I’m gonna have to tinkle

Back in the day my hair was so wavy
Now its looking kinda thin and gross
The only waving it does these days
Is when its waving see ya or adios

Bones make strange new noises too
The creaking just won’t ever stop
Is it me or that bowl of cereal
Going snap crackle and pop

But no more Krispies its fiber one
Because it helps things move along
Need to buy things for my health
Like purchase a huge medicinal bong

What?

I used to bitch about the driving
Of all the old fogies on the road
Only one way they could go any slower
Is if their cars were be being towed

You don’t have too much time left gramps
Just drive and don’t be intimidated
If anyone you should be in a hurry
When your days are becoming limited

But on the bright side I save some money
You see now I get the senior discount
And birth control is no more a worry
Because I ain’t got no more sperm count

Odd smells permeate every room around
Perhaps one of those pipes is leaking gas
An old dude can still blame it on the dog
Everyone knowing the leaks from his ass

Who?

Gastric control has become a big joke
Another of the act of old aging trends
Pretty soon I’ll need to choose what I need
Do I buy diapers? Well that Depends

And the only thing I now can do all night
Is empty out my half full shrinking bladder
Choice comes down to having sex or a pee
These days I tend to choose the latter

But I’m not making no bucket list
Before its time for me to kick it
When the reaper comes knocking at my door
Ima tell him where he can stick it

Cuz us old dudes are allowed to be ornery
Say whatever’s on our ancient mind
And we can get away with touching ourselves
At this point in life who cares if I go blind

Wait!

Where’s my glasses where’s my keys
Losing your memory can really sting
I’m a faithful member of C-R-A-F-T
Can’t Remember A Fucking Thing

So happy birthday to me old man
With the AARP I’ll party hard and loud
I’ll have a couple extra drinks tonight
And wear my hangover regretfully proud

Getting old does bite and so does locating my eyewear so I can check the obituaries for my name each day. Like my Pops always told me, getting old sucks but it beats the alternative and today is my natal anniversary so to Hell with everything. I plan on raising all kinds of hell, raising shot glasses, Beer mugs, the roof, the proverbial “flagpole” and anything in my path because once the Alzheimer’s or senility set in I won’t remember what a fool I’ve made of myself anyway. Happy Birthday to Me Old Man

This Nonsense Makes No Sense

nonsense

A conscious Stream Of Unconsciousness

This nonsense
Makes no sense
It has no scents
But I can sense
With my nose
It does have no-no’s
Cuz the nose knows
But the ayes have it
Real ayes
To realize
With real eyes
Eye see
That what I see
Is so icy
When there’s chaos in the bedroom
There’s bedlam in the chaos
You say this guy
The sky’s in love with you
With Lucy and this guy
And I
Having this treat
On this street
Just the three of us
A three-way on the freeway
But the freeway isn’t free
I’ll do the freeway my way
Its my way or the high way
Getting high on the skyway
With Lucy in the sky
But this guys in love
In love with getting stoned
Getting stoned alone
Need to take out a loan
So he can keep on getting stoned
Stoned for all his days
Puts him in a daze
Dazed and confused
I am not amused
I am a muse
For you to use
Or abuse
You choose
Who chews
Whose who
And who brews
Who gets bruised
From being abused
I won’t tell
About the sins you sell
While in your cell
Now I’m going to Hell
In a hand basket
With a basket case
but just in case
I’ll case the place
Right at home
The funeral home
The seller is in the cellar
And I’m going down
Downstairs
To greet the stares
The icy stares
Of what I see
I see stairs
Icy stares
I see dead people
Like in The Sixth sense
That make no sense
What nonsense
Makes no sense
This nonsense

Left Behind

left behind

The measure of the soul
Hidden from sight
Bleeding its dreams
Of one erotic night

The range of my love
How much I gave
All of myself
No matter the crave

Imprisoned by love
Tenderly bound
Unchained emotions
Veiled on the ground

Searing desires
Glazed in moonlight
Dipped in sensation
Committed in fright

All that I have been
My love enshrined
The measure of my soul
Is what I left behind

Killing For Peace

killing

Bombs ripping up a once peaceful town
In an attempt to establish ersatz domination
Missiles of death won’t light the road to freedom
Killing for peace is a loathsome abomination

Humans lay dead some with limbs strewn about
Innocent children pay the wage of mans war
Chemical, biologic, or just old fashioned explosions
Blood upon the hands of the crowd as they roared

Shock and awe campaigns are strategies of terror
From behind desks a man calls for others to die
Then stands tall with the flags draping silent caskets
Making sure the public photo op shows him cry

Forcing surrender a displays of brutal capabilities
Percussion and flaming projectiles usher in fear
Flaming eruptions and devastation fills the voids
Weapons of mass destruction threatening our sphere

Peace can’t be won through massive eradication
Violence only attracts impassioned people of hate
Strive for peace with co-operative reconciliation
That path to co-existence should be lasting and great

Wars have us poised on the brink of annihilation
Killing of humans is absolved and glorified
Some get pumped up full of bravado and vigor
But the humanist of us are just left horrified

Because you can’t broker peace at the point of a blade
It takes compromise and the shaking of hands
The slaughter and destruction of cultures of people
Is no way to create peace through the lands

If you hide behind your religion waging battles and attacks
The integrity of your faith will for eternity dwindle
Murder in the name of Jehovah, God or Allah
Is nothing more than a sanctimonious swindle

“War is unhealthy for children an other living things”-60’s Hippie Slogan

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set then we would have peace“-John Lennon
“Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity“- George Carlin
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind“- Mahatma Gandhi
“There was never a good war or bad peace“- Benjamin Franklin
“If we have no peace, its because we have forgotten that we belong to each other“-Mother Teresa
“Peace cannot be kept by force it can only be achieved by understanding“- Albert Einstein
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peace“-Martin Luther King Jr.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one“-John Lennon
IMAGINE PEACE

Murderous Monday

aok

Oh its you despair we meet again
The murky hallways of my specter
You here to ruin my life again
In mask of fictitious protector

I hate myself again this morning
The evenings numbing never works
Good morning asshole here’s your life
Time to greet the grotesque smirks

They stare and snicker poking fun
Through the swinging of my mood
Call me names laughing from afar
They’re so god damn fucking rude

Maybe build an abstract fence
I hear fences make good neighbors
Or shoot the bastards one and all
Chalk it up as my life’s labors

Shut up despair I can’t do that
Stop pressuring me with those words
I don’t want to hurt nobody
The lines keep getting blurred

Someone help me someone please
Make the voice leave my head
I can’t hold myself responsible
Sanity hangs by crimson thread

Euphoria come back I need you again
Take me to that special sight
I need to find release from living
Despair let me breath tonight

Bury My Heart At Wounded Vow

A man and a woman on a pier

I read the message coming from her eyes
The culmination of a thousand lies
Saline reminders of her indiscretions
Leaving me numb a heart full of questions

Didn’t I give her all the she needed
Where did I go wrong softly I pleaded
Its all my fault she said through her tears
How could this happen after all of these years

A mistake she cried
Meant nothing she lied
The tears she dried
When our love died

Heartbreak betrayal the enemy unseen
Sneaks into your life creating a scene
Still never thought it could happen to us
Fell into a world of suspicious distrust

The salt of her tears burn where she cut
Scratch on my heart and pains in my gut
One day together you reach for the stars
The next you fake smiling to hide all the scars
A mistake she cried
Meant nothing she lied
Tears she dried
As our love died

Where do you go to repair a dream
When betrayal rips it apart at the seam
Will the pain linger as long as I live
Can’t find the compassion I need to forgive

She made me a promise I truly believed
Only to find I had long been deceived
A difficult lesson for me to have learned
Love is bleeding my heart has been burned

No more love I cried
Never again I lied
It hurts I sighed
So hard I tried

But I don’t quit I get back on the horse
I’ll try to love again this time stay the course
Maybe I’ll find love that isn’t a shamble
Because being in love is so worth gamble

Juice Box Hero (by Not From Around Here)

kill

Juicebox_Hero_by_vagabondx

Standing in the rain, with his head hung low
Couldn’t have a Capri Sun, his Mom said no!
Heard the roar of the toddlers, he could picture a scene
Bit the day care worker on the leg, they all heard her scream

He grabbed one juice box, tore the straw away
Shot some juice in his eye, so the very next day
Took a six pack Juicy Juice, behind Moms refrigerator door
Didn’t know how to open it, but he knew for sure
That the one juice box, felt so good in his hands
Didn’t take to long, for him to understand

Just one juke box, straw way down low
Be the hit of the daycare, only one way to go
So he started sipping
Ain’t never gonna stop
Gotta keep on sipping
Before the juice spills out the top
An be a Juice Box hero, Hi C in his eyes
He’s a juice box hero, heard the other kids cries
Yea juice box hero, Apple and Eve in his eyes
With that one juice box, he came alive
Come alive today
So he’s gotta keep sipping
He just can’t stop
Pass another Capri
That boy has got to stay on top

And be the juice box hero
With juice in his eyes
He’s a juice box hero
At nap time he cries
Gimme one juice box
don’t gimme no lies
Just one juice box
Now he’s a juice box hero
Yea a juice box hero
Stars in his eyes
JUICE BOX!

Under The Tyranny Of The Gun

Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia

Blood exchanged for diamonds
Life removed for gold
The children of a country
Are being bought and sold
Communities are frightened
Populations of fear on the run
Innocent and oppressed living and dying
Under the tyranny of the gun

Bullets are their masters
Killing helps to thin the herd
Soldiers before reaching puberty
Obey the new masters word
They’ll rape your only daughter
Make a man out of your son
Never know peace of freedom living
Under the tyranny of the gun

Guerilla warfare in a pick up truck
Weaponized citizens rule the soul
Slice off limbs to prove a point
Spilling blood to maintain control
A mothers tears can sign no treaties
No fathers wars are ever won
Take my life its not worth living
Under the tyranny of the gun

The Seven Habits Of Highly Caffenaited People

habits

Independence, your freedom to have coffee
Habit 1. Be proactive. Don’t stop at one cup in the morning, go for broke and have three or four, if you’re extra tired, add a shot of espresso to each cup. Move your hands constantly, talk like an Italian hand-speak master, this way no one will notice how much your hands are shaking from all the caffeine.

Habit 2. Begin with the end in mind. Establish your daily coffee needs with wherever you get your coffee. If its with a barista be sure the coffee artist understands not only how quickly you need to caffeinate, but exactly how you like to arrive at ultimate caffeination. You have achieved caffeine nirvana once the barista makes your coffee just before you’ve even arrived. If you start at home, have the coffee maker ready before going to sleep. Set the alarm if it has one.

Habit 3. Put first things first. Be sure everyone near you in the AM understands how important it is for them the STFU before you have had a minimum of one coffee. Once trained good family members will rush a coffee to you as soon as you wake up.

Interdependence, your journey to work

Habit 4. Think win/win. You know you need to be properly caffeinated prior to arriving at work to keep you from murdering your co-workers, so plan your trip wisely. While driving choose a lane with the least amount of traffic to lower the stress of the assholes on the road that have no idea how to drive. Never place the coffee between your legs, at best everyone will think you peed your pants and at worst you’ll have extreme genital discomfort.

Habit 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. The first part is easy, listen to what your co-worker needs are and understand that they have just as many rights as you. The second part is tricky and best practiced after a few coffees. Get your co-workers to understand you don’t give a shit about their fucking needs you only care about having another coffee. Be sure they understand to NEVER, under any circumstances have the last coffee without immediately brewing another pot. This will make things at work much clearer and understandable.

Habit 6. Synergize, create a co-operative atmosphere. Now that your co-workers understand how to best deal with a highly caffeinated person such as yourself use some guilt tactics to have them buy the type of coffee you enjoy most. Also establish the fact that anyone drinking decaf has no rights and should be forced to drink it outside in shame with the smokers.

Continuous Improvements

Habit 7. Sharpen the saw. This is important. Literally sharpen the saw and be sure all your co-workers know that you are not only capable of using the saw, but you can handle it efficiently and accurately. This will help to balance your resources.