My Vision of Hell – Level 4

Chapter XLVIII

(from The Pastime Machine, a novel in sonnets)

“And now the air took on a barnyard odor;
our raft passed through a realm peopled by scarabs
with human faces—whites, blacks, Asians, Arabs—
each one rolling his own ball of ordure.

“Tiresias told me, ‘These are souls of bankers,
drug lords, pimps, arms dealers, and their ilk,
who for the love of diamonds, gold, and silk,
poorly spent their lives. Each one hankered
to own the most, as if life were a game
that they could win. Their punishment seems fit.’

“I watched them play, each shouting, ‘I’m the shit!’
Many had been souls of worldly fame;
now each trumpeted a crappy ball.
Though I’ll confess, one guy Trumped them all.”

—Lester Smith

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