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Nov 2017
latin poet catullus was often called too personal by contemporaries,
he didn’t write about gods and monsters or heroes or epics,
he wrote about himself and that was terrifying.

catullus wore his heart on his sleeve
and his heart was ugly sometimes, this beating, ****** thing
that would never shut up,
chattering between the line breaks and skirting around the meter.

the opening line to his poem carminae XVI was
“pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo”
which translates pretty literally to
“i will ******* you and face-*******”  
my latin teacher called him “incredibly ******”
i call him “the realest ******* to ever live”  
catullus was the first person to ever write
an open letter to his senatores,
julius caesar burned at the stake of carminae LIV and LVII.
catullus wrote about his boyfriends and his married girlfriend lesbia,
who incidentally was not his beard
or one of sappho’s lovers.
catullus buried his brother in the shrine of carminae CI,
left offerings of wine and bread and coins over his closed eyes.
catullus always made the ugly sound beautiful, eloquent.
you could taste the blood in his mouth,
the pearls and gravel between his teeth.
when i translate his work, he’s the only classic poet
who feels like he’s still alive, laughing at me from his grave
and writing invective epigrams about my grammatical errors.  

catullus was a little bit of an *******, but maybe so i am sometimes,
and catullus was a honest *******.
that’s more than i can say, some days.
he never shied away from himself, not even
from all the ****** parts that are hard to make quiet.
he always wrote about himself because
he understood what ovid and vergil and horace were still learning:
you can’t write about anything if you can’t write about yourself,
if you can’t look at yourself in the mirror
and call your demons by their names.
catullus XVI is the world's ultimate diss track, if you don't know now you know
Written by
daniela  sunflower state
(sunflower state)   
325
   jack of spades
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