A Dumb Exercise in Misery

         After months of arduously refining my poetics, there are still many subtle fields of necessary detail I’m yet to cover. The major — and hardest — is that is which most revered across our Art. The production of epics, akin to those of Dante’s Divine Comedy, or Homer’s Iliad, requires a level of poetic awareness that transcends mere foreshadowing. To tell an anchoring and complex story through verse, metered or not, is a huge challenge on its own. But I, your Johníssimo, have an innate hunger for my own chaos and misery, so I will try to craft myself an impish epic. Nothing the likes of those aforementioned. If I could write like Dante, I would be the first in living History to do so.

         My respect for these authors is abound, they are much like guides — maybe even parents — to the way I inspect the elements of my reality, but it only grew once I started writing in their forms. Yikes, it is truly so hard, but also, so incredibly fun. Every bit of it is challenging, and awesome. I feel a bit like a young child when I start things like these.

Even though I’m not good at it, nor close to good, I hope to improve and ease-out my struggles with it as I create it. If nothing else, at least, I can feel a bit less lonely while I do it.

The story, as far as I’ve etched it, follows Luriam, a Soldier who ventures into Cocytus in a quest to discover the Tablet of Paximus, a Hermetic Artefact that erases ones selected memories if that soul lays itself against the surface of marble.

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1st Pre-Canto

So far, the production of the Cantos has been the most streamline process of all, as they are sung by characters; and I have some ease with lyrical compositions.

The Pre-Cantos, scenario settings and outer-story elements are harder to manipulate in verse, and that’s where I have most difficulty. So far, I haven’t been able to maintain a structural verse identity without sacrificing some information. Simultaneously, I don’t want pre-cantos to be overly expositive and lack emotional approaches to the story.

I’ve found some options to counter this: shifting narration from Cocytus to Narya (Luriam’s consort), and allow emotional draws into the expositive verses; or give agency to Cocytus himself, melding with how the shades behave towards Luriam.

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A small example of Canto I, The Wail of a Solitary Shade

Despite heavily inspired by Greek Mythos, this little project has given me the chance for some original world building, something I haven’t truly done before, but always had an ache for. Places the Hymeron (The First Gate of Cocytus), don’t exist within the actual mythos, and serve as stages for the various Cantos.

Dante himself was also fond of introducing prose into some of his versed works, which is something appealing, as it does give you a glimpse of freedom in story-telling.

These poetic narratives; they feel very autonomous, like they write themselves, and you exist only to find the words. It is odd, but again, so much fun.

I plan of posting the Pre-Cantos and Cantos once they are finished individually, this beginning is specially hard, because it lays the path for everything else, but it should pick-up in pace soon enough.

Tell me what you think!, is this just another dumb exercise in misery?



Thebian Dark (english poetry)

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(I work as a carpenter) — today, I was installing a smooth-stone tabletop and noticed that the colour and design of that stone was named “Thebes Black“. It is interesting what the mind can create when it takes a vision by the hand and sprints with it. Shortly after, during my lunchtime, I wrote this composition based on the name of that stone.

It wasn’t made with full-fledge, hence why it is much shorter that I would ideally make it, but I hope you enjoy it, even if just a bit. (perhaps just the smile of reading how it was inspired by such a mundane thing)


An Absolute Religion

Yesterday, along with spawning lousy takes on literary development, I also spent some decent amount of time sitting placidly at the Hospital’s chapel pew. I got to wonder—as we often do—what relationship do I have with the Absolute?

To understand how to even begin unlocking the path to an answer, I must venture back into my childhood. Born in a small Portuguese village, the presence and power of Catholicism was palpable. There was a silent yet immense belief for the Christian God, and an unparalleled dedication to whatever that could possibly mean. As such, I spent a good amount of my young days going to services, bible studies and processions of various kinds, dedicated to various Saints. That isolated perspective gave me that sentiment of generality and unity. God was to be considered a “none can, all must”, it didn’t require explanation because it was like eating, like surviving, so encompassing of being human that it begged no further explore.
But I never got that.
Already adolescent, I belonged to a plethora of religious groups for charity. Spent a good portion of my weeks taking care of elderly or preparing food for the homeless, always with Godship in the background, and prayers paving ways to a deep, raw understanding that any void is reasonable, because it is God.
I walked 150 kilometres from my home to Fátima, in a pilgrimage that took every atom of my being to complete. When I arrived, I cried. Not because my spirit was augmented, or overwhelmed, or God was awaiting with a bouquet of sun-cosmos. But because there was nothing there. I cried because I voyaged to discover God, and instead, I found myself. And not the myself you like to find and even claim to search for, no. It was a myself that was too inadequate and insufficient to even relate to something as magnanimous as religion.
A true and virtuous need to belong, and a cruel inability to do so.

At my twenties, where I stand, I’ve since resigned the search for spirituality. It seems to be outside my reach, outside my touch. The Spirit, wherever it lays, has battled me my entire life, and I believe we both gave up to fatigue.

Here, in WordPress, I often come across a lot of people with reinforced faith. In fact, many authors I’ve adored were also deeply immersed in spirituality, Dante, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevski, all enormous influences on how I fostered my being, all spiritual and religious. But I do not understand them on those grounds, nor can I connect with worship here on WordPress.
I look at it, but cannot feel it, nor reason with it. And I try, I’ve tried so hard, but it simply isn’t there. I’ve met many Atheists who refused religion for specs of rationality and scientific facts, but I haven’t met any that genuinely had their relationship with spirit torn by inadequacy. None that couldn’t simply experience it, perhaps with or without will to do so.

As I love talking to all of you, tell me, have you felt this? What do you feel?