Thinking of Dante While Getting Old

Shoe, I have not loved you with my whole heart;
Truss, I fear you’re coming…

Emergence of old age.

Dante: “we call shaggy all words that are ornamental.”
Ornaments of this aging vulgar tongue…
Pray the noblest words alone remain in the sieve….

For Dante, language was new—his language, the juicy vernacular. English ain’t so new anymore. “Make it new, make it new,” he cries, waving his stick. That “he” is me.

Spoon me some glottal stops, shout me some noble ballate.
Had me a literary education. Learned about recitations charmingly delivered. But by night I kicked frozen turds on the icy street. In those days I talked to anyone. Fable fable.

Gettin’ old. Just want to rest my head on the bosom of moral philosophy. Ain’t that the way of it? Start and end with moldy books.

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