True poets should be chaste, I know,
but wherefore should their lines be so?
—Catullus (Gaius Valerius, of course…)
Of course he loved Lesbia! Sheesh. Get over it. Hopefully he ultimately got over it, IF he wasn’t 30 when he died, but allowed to carry on: a social drop-out with descendants, crops, mind-soothing views. Maybe his (timeless, self-imposed) romantic hell compelled him to focus on healing his soul. Maybe he had children and realized he wanted to heal his soul. Maybe he realized he’d better heal, or else (gulp). Maybe that’s what most drop-outs (chaste, not chaste, or—otherwise) focus on—healing. And becoming wiser little beings. Especially when perusing the frozen foods aisle of Whole Foods. Maybe Catullus died at 30, or maybe he stayed right where he was, mired in an inherited oasis that pleased him, quietly writing the life out of himself, hoping we’d know, even though we don’t, or not hoping at all, just writing. I mean, living.
No, no. He must have died. He could never disappear unless he was dead. He was Catullus! He knew everyone. He fed Ceasar. He—maybe he sailed away. To Tahiti. Like Sappho (at least in my unwritten novel). Or to The Straits of Candid. Which might also be Hades. Or Target, or CVS, or Big Lots, where the checkers are spare…
Yours in the F word,