<= 2007.05.29

2007.06.27 =>


Exhaustion is banal. So banal I can't get outside of it to see its banality, and get deluded into thinking there's something important going on.

It seems like all I want is rest, a blank world, where nothing will happen. Which must mean that a lot of things are going all right.

Là ci traemmo; e ivi eran persone
che si stavano a l’ombra dietro al sasso
come l’uom per negghienza a star si pone.

E un di lor, che mi sembiava lasso,
sedeva e abbracciava le ginocchia,
tenendo ‘l viso giù tra esse basso.

“O dolce segnor mio,” diss’ io, “adocchia
colui che mostra sé più negligente
che se pigrizia fosse sua serocchia.”

Allor si volse a noi e puose mente,
movendo ‘l viso pur su per la coscia,
e disse: “Or va tu sù, che se’ valente!”

Conobbi allor chi era, e quella angoscia
che m’avacciava un poco ancor la lena,
non m’impedì l’andare a lui; e poscia

ch’a lui fu’ giunto, alzò la testa a pena,
dicendo: “Hai ben veduto come ‘l sole
da l’omero sinistro il carro mena?”

Li atti suoi pigri e le corte parole
mosser le labbra mie un poco a riso;
poi cominciai: “Belacqua, a me non dole

di te omai; ma dimmi: perché assiso
uiritto se’? attendi tu iscorta,
o pur lo modo usato t’ha’ ripriso?”

Ed elli: “O frate, andar in sù che porta?
ché non mi lascerebbe ire a’ martìri
l’angel di Dio che siede in su la porta.

Prima convien che tanto il ciel m’aggiri
di fuor da essa, quanto fece in vita,
perch’io ‘ndugiai al fine i buon sospiri,

se orazïone in prima non m’aita
che surga sù di cuor che in grazia viva;
l’altra che val, che ‘n ciel non è udita?”


When we approached, we saw some people
resting in the shade behind the boulder
as men will settle down in indolence to rest,
and one of them, who seemed so very weary,
was sitting with his arms around his knees,
his face pressed down between them.
‘O my dear lord,’ I said, ‘just look at him.
He shows himself more indolent
than if sloth had been his very sister.’
Then he turned and fixed his eyes on us,
barely lifting his face above his haunch,
and said: ‘Go on up then, you who are so spry.’
At that I realized who he was,
and the exertion that still kept me short of breath
now did not keep me from his side.
When I reached him he barely raised his head
to say: ‘Have you marked how the sun
drives his car past your left shoulder?’
His lazy movements and curt speech
slowly shaped my lips into a smile, and I began:
‘Belacqua, no longer need I grieve for you.
But tell me, what keeps you sitting here?
Are you waiting for an escort,
or have you gone back to your old lazy ways?’
And he: ‘Brother, what’s the good of going up?
The angel of God who sits in the gateway
would not let me pass into the torments.
I must wait outside as long as in my lifetime
the heavens wheeled around me
while I put off my sighs of penance to the end,
unless I’m helped by prayers that rise
from a heart that lives in grace.
What good are those that go unheard in Heaven?’


<= 2007.05.29

2007.06.27 =>

up (2007.06)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review