Ninth Circle, Hell


NINTH CIRCLE, HELL—Stressing that the situation in the underworld was quickly spiraling out of control, Satan, the Great Tempter and Father of Lies, announced Wednesday that he would not allow any more Catholic priests to enter hell. “This place is completely overrun with those monsters, and frankly, they kind of creep me out,” said the Prince of Darkness, adding that every time he looked up, he saw another recently deceased member of the Roman Catholic clergy being cast down into the fires of hell, where each is expected to be tortured until the end of time by Satan and his minions. “We’re used to having every manner of unrepentant sinner down here, but those guys are beyond messed up. I swear, if I see one more of those sick bastards, I’m going to throw myself into the eternal flames.” In response, God has reportedly instituted a secret policy whereby the priests would no longer face damnation but would instead attend mandatory counseling sessions and then be quietly transferred into heaven.



the Catholic Woman

She had no oxygen…so I brought the metal devil to her.

Just a tourniquet for a blistered soul.

She never fared well, hot.

She never fared well, cold.

Quiet were her ways.

A tsunami were the words…she did not say.

One sinner could cling to her devotion.

Just as I, began to sink slowly in her god-fearing lifeboat.

Out and out, by myself, in a turbulent ocean.

Every Sunday metal tank set at ease.

No longer was she…to kneel before the hosanna.

Wheeled, forefront and center, beside other elders…

strands of rosaries, strung together like christmas lights.

A hymn all their own.

One Sunday with all the prayers of faith and health.

One Sunday…when the oxygen ran out.


Crowded Houses

It is a double-sided cross that gathers in my heart.

It is neither here.


Yet, it is everywhere.

I try to smooth it over with words…

But the words do not come out right.


with every inaction…

A splintered reaction.

Volatility, plus, age.

Makes the rising waters more difficult to bare.

Allowing for indiscretions.

A dress I prefer not to wear.

Sometimes, it is in the coveting of a curtain.

In cluttered entrances…

With pathways, nothing but uncertain.

Not so strange.

These crowded houses.

Beholding a double-sided cross.

Temperamental residents…

Moderate on the outside.

Not a glimpse to be caught.

Inside, a succubus shrine that runs hot.