Tag Archives: dante

No Nostalgia Sundays: All Allusions Go To Ante-Purgatory

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No Nostalgia Sundays: All Allusions Go To Ante-Purgatory

Oh, what a clever little git I was at the tender age of nineteen.

Here’s the deal: Circa 2004, I was attending community college and taking lots of Honors English courses. I was devouring volumes of literature and poetry, both for and outside of class curriculums. I had just begun composing poetry seriously, which in this instance means that I would dedicate a few hours each night to scribble drunkenly in those ridiculous little Moleskine journals.* Ninety-nine percent of the time, I couldn’t decipher what I had written the next morning and I certainly couldn’t remember what I had been trying to get across. I thought I was smarter than all of the other students (a debatable claim) and, furthermore, totally set apart from them, both by choice and by default.

I wanted to be just like all of those writers and artists and musicians I dug so much, and I thought this required a certain level of exile (self-imposed and otherwise). My peers didn’t understand me, but all these dead cats that I studied did: Dante, Poe, Shakespeare, et al were my pals, and I spent more time with them than my real-life friends. In fact, I developed a juvenile sense of jealousy about all those guys. Whenever somebody else would talk about one of them (as is likely to happen in, say, an English class), I would often grow indignant and offended: “How could you say that about Will Shakes?! You’re wrong! YOU’RE FUCKING OUT OF LINE, PROF!”

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Dear Dionysus XI

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Dear Dionysus XI

Dear Dionysus,

This is going to sound hella pretentious, but I’ve been pondering art and my relationship to the artistic process.

I was always deathly afraid that if I left you, I wouldn’t be capable of creating anymore, that every artistic bone in my body would wither away into nothingness and that I’d be just another burnt out square. You were everything to me: muse, model, collaborator, co-conspirator. Hell, you were the process itself, mate.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, Dionysus. I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I didn’t want to be a firefighter or an astronaut or a police officer (imagine that). I always wanted to be a writer or a painter or a composer or a poet or, preferably, all of the above. The way I figured it, I was already usually off in my own little world, so I may as well make a living of it.

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