Monday, June 25, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Limerick Odyssey

Copyright 2007, Joe Green

Book One


[Loomings, When Homer Smote His Bloomin’ Lyre, Odysseus -- His

questionable character, Following Homer much is revealed anent the Oxen

of the Sun allowing us to skip this later, Athena to Telemachus, Who’s

Your Daddy?, Gallants doomed, A Son Upbraids His Mother ]

It all begins with Calypso

Who is bit of a witch so

Odysseus stays

In Media Res

Hence it follows facto ipso

That there is no invocation to the Muse

Who is not treated as she is used.

Homer scoffs

And laughs it off

Which makes many very confused.

Now one of us is a bit of a souse

And the other a bit of a louse

But it's been decided

And we're quite excited

We will use the translation of W.H.D. Rouse.

Who was a man who was very British

Though his translation is somewhat middish

He pursued "strange love"

Which was enough

To makes the parsons and dons very skittish.

And he seemed to be on a mission

And he had made a strange decision

The servants talk

Like Irish sots

And the gods like British patricians.

Though it seems wrong and somewhat ridiculous

To claim that Odysseus was somewhat TravisBickleous

We make that claim

In the Muse's name

Who knows everything is quite fickleous.

The Iliad Odysseus is a bore

This has been suggested before

A bit of a lout

And an evil scout

Back in the Trojan war.

Take a look at the after action report-o

If presented at the Nuremberg court-o

It would follow

That the gallows

Would be what Odysseus was lying athwart-o.

But he lies in the arms of Calypso

Who is a nympho and dipso

And a goddess

Who fills her bodice

And her lovely hair has a cunning flip-o.

Ah, but you can see what the diff is:

He's not the same Odysseus:

In the Iliad -- a piss ant

In the Odysssey a soi-disant

Hero who misses his missus.

And her name isn't Calypso

Who doesn't seem to give a rip-o.

About the wife over the sea

Patient Penelope:

"Brave Odysseus just have another sip-o!

For why go down to your ship?

Come dear, let me taste of your lips."

And who really knows

Just how it goes?

I heard a rumor of leather and whips.

Odysseus -- lost all companions

Underneath the magnolias and banyans

Of the Isle of the Sun

What had they done?

Their shades cry out from the canyons

Of Hades and the constant topic

Of the gods who are quite heliotropic

Is "Poor brave Odysseus

What a pity tis is

That Poseidon can't be more philanthropic."

After all he said "This won't do

The oxen of the sun ain't for you."

But they were starving

And acted like Lee Marvin

Would have done in the flick "Cat Ballou."

They roasted those big boys on a spit

And naturally those cowpokes got hit.

They were dry-gulched:

How will not be divulged

Until later -- when we'll get to it.

Now Poseidon was among the Ethiopians

Who liked him a lot and were helitropian.

He was eating bulls and rams

Country sausage, country hams

In that land across the sea Fallopian.

You must remember Agamemnon

Remembered by many penmen:

He was murdered most foully

By a vile Svengali

Who up and stole Agamemnon's woman.

Zeus spake and said "Little gods, oh, please.

We told Aegisthus he would be killed by Orestes

But the fellow went his way

As if we had no say

Though the messages was delivered by our own Hermes."

But Athena interrupted Father Zeus

Said "Sometimes I think it is no use.

But what about Odysseus

Faithful and fastidious

Can't we help him and declare a truce?"

Zeus sighed, “How the times do beteem us

But, as gods, I think t’would beseem us

To forget and forgive

And let Odysseus live

Despite what he did to Polyphemus.

Besides, the fellow’s quite horrid

One’s sensibilities often feel jarred

He lives in a cave

And is an ill-mannered knave

And has one eye in the middle of his forehead.

And now that one eye is blind.

True, Odysseus was quite unkind

Since after he blinded him

He then reminded him

That he had the superior mind

But the gods always like a fine jest-o

And Odysseus should be forgiven all lest-o

We want the rumor

That we have no sense of humor

To spread. I think that is best-o.

And, frankly to Hell with my brother.

Ganymede! I’ll have another!

Yes, the Cyclop’s the son

Of poor Poseidon

But if we can’t take a joke, then why bother?”

Athena said “Send Hermes Argeiphontes

With some Special Forces and Mounties

To Tell Calypso

To let Odysseus go

He’s not just one of her dandies!

And since we don't want the mortals to mock us

Let me go down to see Telemachus!"

Zeus nodded consent

And Athena went.

Zeus looked around and hollered for Bacchus.

Then clapped his hands and all became smoke

And he was in Tokyo and had a few tokes.

He loved karaoke

And though he sang off key

Sang an ironic version of "I Started a Joke."

Athena put on her ruby red slippers

Then flew down past both of the Dippers.

A goddess, she went as

And old fellow named Mentes

Who had just arrived on a fine Yankee clipper.

The goddess stood at the gate

And, impertinently was made to wait

By those balloxing boozers

Penelope's suitors

Who roared out foul limericks as they ate

Barrels of eels from the larder

Fine buffalo steaks tartare

And when they did dine

They had six hundred flagons of wine.

And would not behave as they oughta.

And there was Odysseus's son

Who hated them everyone

Who greeted him as politely

As Holly Golightly

But wasn't having any fun.

He told Mentes the suitors were phonies

As they dined on fresh abalones.

Asked "Say, do you know

Just where the ducks go?"

In a rather listless monotoni.

"I see you're sensitive kid.

And you keep your true feelings well hid.

What would you say

If I told you one day

You're Dad's gonna squash them like squids?"

At this Telemachus was more cheerful

And Mentes gave him and earful

Said, "Your Dad is detained

And has likely remained

Thinking of you and most tearful.

He has recently descended to Hades

On behalf of all gallants and ladies

And he'll be right home

He has freed Persephone

And is somewhere in the Southern Cyclades!"

Then up jumped Telemachus with glee

Said "Now I am going to sea!"

And ran up the stairs

A man of affairs

Scorning the petite bourgeoisie.

Then the night began to lower:

The time known as "The Children's Hour"

Between dark and daylight

Athena took flight

And flew to the Martello Tower.

She stopped to try to cheer up Rilke

Then got some clothes from the Fiddler of Dee

While Dedalus waited

And micturated

Into the snot-green sea.

At the last I think the scene is

T's mom and the singer Phemius.

He is singing the blues

Or am I confused?

What I seem to want to mean is

He's singing many sad verses

About husbands gone way in black hearses

And sailors that drown

The whole world around

And die spewing many vile curses.

And Penelope says "Oh desist!

And Telemachus seizes her wrist

And cries out "Play On!"

And quotes Francois Villion

Then takes the lyre and plays some Franz Liszt.

He plays the Mazurka brillante.

Then plays it again andante.

Sends his Mom to her room.

Then we may assume

Breaks into an obscene Greek cante.

Book Two

Telemachus Prepares for His Voyage

[Telemachus summons all the Achaeans to an assembly, Homer’s Obsessions,

Joyce even stranger, The thonging and bonging of a likely lad, The

suitors mock Telemachus, The Queen of the Fairies tells Telemachus to

find the ONE RING]

Dawn came with "fingers of rose."

That's a mistake I suppose.

But Homer is dead

And like James Joyce said

About "The Dead" -- well, nobody knows.

Telemachus get ups and dresses.

What did he wear? Homer's best guesses

Are a Harry Potter tee shirt

And a sharp sword that he girt

O'er his shoulders, then Homer obsesses

Over the appearance of the young fellow's feet

Which he describes as "shining.” You'll meet

By my guesses

No greater foot fetishist

In literature. Homer's damn hard to beat.

But James Joyce had a fetish more rare:

He would take his wife Nora's underwear

And in a Parisian cafe

With them would dally and play.

It was shocking but he just didn't care.

For as he played he looked through Time's portal

And what he saw would cause him to chortle

"I see I surpass

Poor Homer, alas,

Back asswards insures I'm immortal."

There are problems in poor Homer's text

For Homer goes on to what's next

And we must assume

That the young man left his room

With no pants -- and remain somewhat vexed.

And this is undoubtedly wrong.

Let's assume he is wearing a thong

To prevent his young testicles

From becoming a spectacle,

And over all he casts a sarong.

And then he puts on his glasses.

Don't give me your historical whereases

For I find

That he was nearly blind

And, damn it, he needed those glasses.

Then he took a last look at his room.

This Homer neglects but I assume

Since he's will be a Man

We may understand

The poor old toys he has left behind loom.

He rushes out but I think he would care

If he knew that his old Teddy Bear

With the one glass eye

Sobbed and asked why

Telemachus was leaving him there.

And goodbye pornographic papyruses

And the hot priestesses he used to admire. It is

A fact

That Balling the Jack

All alone is a teenage requireusus.

One thing he was determined to bring:

His Little Orphan Annie Decoder ring!

Who know what Fate bodes

And what sorts of strange codes

He would need to decipher? "Ping! Ping!"

It was R2D2 and old C3PO!

Indicating that they'd like to go.

But he left them behind.

I think he will find

That there will be a time he will need them you know!

Into a sea bag he thrust Daddy's old photo

And left his mother a note on his desk. Oh,

Will he be unkind

And leave his best friend behind?

No! Into the bag jumped dear Toto!

Telemachus said "Don't make a sound."

Picked up the bag and then looked around

For a few books to take

To keep him awake

When he was Cyclades bound.

"I think I'll take Harry Potter

To read while crossing the water."

The other books he brings

Are "The Lord of the Rings"

And "The Young Gentleman's Guide to Slaughter."

He left behind his record collection

Which was quite good -- there was a whole section

Devoted to Emo

But now he was Primo

And was heading in a different direction.

Then he went to a secret drawer

And pulled out a Colt .44.

It was anachronistic

But he was realistic

Why else was he his father's son for?

He put the gun and ammo 'neath his sarong

And fastened them to him with a strong thong.

Then left his boyhood behind

His father to find

And he hummed an old nautical bong song.

He stepped into the hall with great pep.

He looked just like a young Johnny Depp

And he busted out singing

Because he was beginning

At last to establish his rep.

He called airily to some damn old servant

Said "Listen now at your master's urging.

Call all the long-haired Achaeans

And the short-haired Fakeyones

To assemble at once. Yes, it's urgent!"

This is Homer and so you know soon

We're gonna meet some slippered pantaloon.

Homer won't gyp us.

His name is Aegyptius

He comes in humming a familiar tune.

His son had been eaten by the Cyclops

And he had been a member of "The Four Tops"

And his Daddy was down

With the best of Motown

And sang "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" with re-bops.

So they all patiently waited.

They all understood it was fated.

He sang "Are You Man Enough?

Calling his bluff.

A tune the boy always hated.

Then Telemachus sang of his Papa

First Country then Soft Rock then Rappa

And everyone sighed

"Oh, my Daddy died

And my Mom's suitors are eating my supper."

Then Telemachus was given the sceptre

All of a sudden it was as if the spectre

Of his Pater Familias

Pissed off and bilious

Was back in the Ithaca sector.

He denounces all the suitors as parasites

Vile usurpers who have taken his rights

And he promises soon

Neath the bad rising moon

They will have some terrible nights.

And most of those bastards were cowed

Only Antinous spoke up from the crowd

Said "Telemachus you boaster

I see your face on a poster

Of sons who are weakly endowed.

Do you think you, little fellow, can scare us?

Your father would be quite embarrased.

And you know your Mom

Has been putting us on.

So why do you strut and dare us?

She responds to our billet doux:

"Dear young man, I am thinking of you!

But now you must wait

Hang about at the gate

For I have something to do!"

And then she goes up to her room

And works for a bit on her loom

Making a shroud

And singing out loud

Of Laertes and his doom.

She said to each one of us, "Please

I must weave a shroud for Laertes!

And when we are done

We will have such fun!"

She's acting like a bitch and a tease!

For every damn night we are told

She betrays the promise she sold

She unravels the thread

And then goes to bed

Betraying we suitors so bold!

There's only one thing that you now can do

And you're lucky that I'm telling you

Send you Mom to her father

Who will tell he she oughta

Do what he tells her to do.

And marry one of us and tout de suite

That we may caress her fair feet

And fondle her delicates footsies

And all her tootsies.

Tell her to stop this deceit!"

Homer may need some sexual healing.

Am I alone in that feeling?

This obsession with feet

I have to repeat

Is not so very appealing.

“I’m a man so, of course, I’m her boss

But do you think for a minute I’d toss

Out my dear mater?

To marry one of you later?"

Telemachus replied giving his head a toss.

And then -- nobody knows why

Two great eagles appeared in the sky.

They dive bombed the crowd

And squawked really loud

Then disappeared in the sweet bye and bye.

And how the crowd was impressed

And augur stood up. Said he guessed

First there would be an eclipse

Then an apocalypse

Then a flood and they all would regret

All of the names that they called him

And all of the times that they stalled him

When he asked for a dime

To buy Thunderbird wine

Then the crowd grew impatient and mauled him.

Then Zeus sent a California condor

On its back was a Princess of Gondor

And she was totally nude

Imbued with intense pulchritude

Although her hair might have been a tad blonder.

A great silence came over the swarm

And they began to feel uncomfortably warm

And they ran to the sea

And behaved exceedingly free

But the suitors slunk back to the dorm.

For the poor fellows had been made to swear

To Aphrodite and how they regretted it there

To abstain from all lust

Until one of them must

Win sweet Penelope the Fair.

And, of course, this explains their frustration

And the poor fellows' incessant masturbation

It was an odd oath

And, by my troth,

A disgrace to the whole Grecian nation.

Aphrodite herself was a maniac

And, of course, didn’t need an aphrodisiac

But she thought it exciting

To keep on inciting

These fellows to increasingly zany acts.

Then suddenly the day went all darkling

And poor little Toto was barkling.

T. went down to the sea

To ponder and pee

When he saw an auspicious sparkling.

It was enough to unman ya.

"Hello, my name's Titania

And the main thing have the One Ring!"

T. said, "I don't quite understand ya.

The One Ring should make me invisible!"

Titania replied "That is quite risible

And is simply a sign

You have read too much Tolkien.

The One Ring makes you feel miserable."

T. said "Then I guess you are right.

But I can't get it off. It's too goddman tight."

"This isn't a test

You must go on a quest,"

Said the fairy. And she was quite forthright.

T. almost broke down right there.

Said "Goddammit I guess you're aware..."

But she had a system

And bent down and kissed him

Then murmured and stroked his dark hair.

Then suddenly he was so far!

He gave a shout! He was crossing the bar

In a brave brigadoon

Beneath the mysterious moon

And following a westering star.

Book Three

Telemachus Visits Nestor in Pylos

[Into the mysterious Omphalus, Telemachus, depressed, dreams, Muscle

Beach, An episode Homer neglects to mention, George Burns seeking Gracie


"Ho!" he cried. "Westward to Pylos.

Into the mysterious Omphalus"

He was ahead of himself: he

Knew the Omphalus is at Delphi.

He was only heading to old Nestor's palace.

But he felt he was in great danger

And surrounded by mysterious strangers

An elven crew

What would he do

If out from the hold strode the Ranger?

Yes, Aragorn -- known to many as Striderl

He also felt pursued by a mysterious rider.

But this is the Odyssey:

Cyclops and wine-dark sea

It's not the book of a paperback writer.

Besides, the poor fellow had little choice.

Homer based everything on James Joyce.

And something faded away

At the dawn of the day

When he heard a familiar voice.

On the deck...why it was just Mentor

And he stood on the deck in the center

Surrounded by Greeks,

No elvish freaks.

"There isn't even a centaur."

And Telemachus was, at once, depressed

Went down to the cabin, undressed

Put away his things

Started reading "Lord of the Rings"

As the brigantine kept heading west.

And he dreamt of another career

In the sorta Middle-Earth sphere

He thought "After all

Our gods are so dull."

He felt he might not persevere.

And Athena was proving this true.

After all what did that goddess do?

She was disguised as Mentor

She was of that bent, her

Jejune notions never under review.

I wonder if there was a time when

Someone said to Homer "Again?"

And walked out of the room

And dreamt of Barsoom

But to get back to out story, then

The ship arrived and there on the sand

Was Nestor with a samba band

And the usual crew

To do what they do:

Killing bulls for Poseidon the Grand.

Telemachus was snoozing with Toto

When Mentor suggested he go to

The deck.

T. said "What the heck"

And tried to recover his mojo.

There were 900 times 5 on the beach

And all calling each each to each

And dining on tripe

And bullocks and snipe

And no one was eating a peach.

Yes, there were nine groups of 500 on the beach

And everyone calling each to each

They were devouring entrails

And guzzling wine served in pails

Conveniently placed within reach.

There was a chapel to scrapple

And there the Pylosites would dapple

Their lips with the entrails

Of bullocks and whales

And with huge thigh bones would grapple.

The young man's heart was a-rending

Because at this time he was tending

To be a contrarian

And a strict vegetarian

And, besides, he was bullockbefriending.

But Mentor just shouted "Let's go!

This is the kingdom of Nestor you know

And he will be glad

Because he liked your Dad."

But Telemachus closed his eyes and said "No."

Then tried to think of excuses.

And said to Mentor "The truth is

I'm shy

And Nestor's such a tough guy

I don't really know what the use is."

For he had spied the King on the sand

And he was doing pushups -- with only one hand

Up and down went his weenie

Poking from his bikini

Which couldn't contain his huge kingly gland.

For deep within old Nestor's palace

Was the most potent sort of Cialis

Given to Nestor

By a satyr named Lester

In a topless bar down in West Dallas.

"Ah, Mentor tell guess is

Those nude fellows doing bench presses

In a sort of a ring

Almost surrounding the King

Are the princes (a thought which depresses)."

And Mentor said "You're damn right-o!

Look at their pecs -- and they can fight-o!

But Telemachus sighed

And he almost cried.

Damn it -- something just wasn't right-o.

Was he really the son of Odysseus?

His build was closer to the Genus Sissyus.

He thought himself "imperially slim"

But the joke was on him.

This engendered an adolescent crisius.

He shivered there in the sea breeze.

Athena could sense his unease.

But he grew bolder

When she touched his shoulder.

He appeared like a young Hercules!

And, of course she thought it'd be way cool

Though some might think it quite cruel:

She transformed Toto

Into a proto

Two headed six-balled Pit Bull.

"My name is Rambo Telemachuspous

And I have strength of a Cantabrigian catapultapous

I roam strange lands

And I've come to these sands

Sent by the the Sanctimonious Octopus.

My hound's name is Chrysanthropus Chrysalis.

We come bearing the sign of the phallus.

Greetings great King.

Of thee we sing

In the suburbs of Far Western Dallas."

The speech seems a tad bit inflated

But Athena patiently waited.

There was a pause.

Then several rounds of applause.

T's rhetoric seemed highly rated.

"I come to you seeking my Papa

And, so sorry, this is just a brief stop

A word of Odysseus

(This bull's thigh's delicious)

And I'm off to seek my dear Papa."

King Priam bounded over the sand

And took Telemachus by the hand.

"You? You're the one?

You're that dear man's son?

Come here sweet boy! This is grand."

Priam's face was bewrinkled. His hair grizzled.

But the rest of him was perfectly chiseled.

And all those Cilaises

Had given him four pectoralisis

And what looked like a giant bull's pizzle.

And he called out to his lieges and vassals

To drink up and cry out many wassails

There was a great vox humana

As they went to the cabana

He explained it was his summer castle.

He lounged there on a fine throne

Looking quite like Sylvester Stallone

And said "Oh, my boy.

I will tell you of Troy."

Then he wept and gave a low moan.

“Your Daddy has been in my prayers

Last time I saw him he was bareassed

He had a dose

From the Priestess of Kos

Ah, we were a fine bunch of slayers.

Did you know that after old Troy was sacked-o

Your daddy said he’d turn back-o

We were already at sea

Some of the guys and me

Oh, so many got whacked-o.

You Dad said he’d rejoin the King

Which was, I’m afraid, the wrong thing

For the King was at Troy

And that seemed to annoy

Poseidon who promised he’d bring

All sorts of troubles and woes

You Dad said “Well that’s the way that it goes.”

And he turned back

With a complete lack of tact

With a boatful of varlets and ho’s.

Your father seemed -- can I say-- strangely changed

And more than a little deranged

And a strange entertainment

Showed his derangement

At nights on the boat he arranged

Something he called “Vaudeville.”

I don’t understand it and I never will

He stood on the stage

A man of his age…

With a Phrygian trollop named :Lil.

He wore a strange hat. Had a cane.

And what he did next seemed insane

He danced and he burbled

About a lost love named “Myrtle”

While the trollop was shakin’ her thang.

He stopped and told terrible jokes

Referred to his warriors as “mokes”

Then did a lewd dance

While that trollop did prance

Until and enchanted pig said “That’s all folks!”

Then the heaven's began to thunder

And the pig admitted his blunder

And Odysseus came back

With another strange act:

Baby Alice the Midget Wonder!

This went on for nine nights

And during each night there appeared a strange light

A ray from star

That moved here and thare

As they danced and sang in delight.

On the ninth night we were sipping sauternes--

On the deck. I expressed my concerns

Then down from a star

Came a strange god with a cigar.

Odysseus said. "By the gods that's George Burns!"

He said "You think I'm God -- prima facie

But I think God is Count Basie.

Here have a cigar.

I got to get back to that star.

I'm still looking for Gracie."

Then your father --if you'd seen his face--

Said "That's it I must go find Grace!"

The jumped over the bow

And climbed up the prow

Of his ship -- and left with no a trace.

My guess is that your Dad is at sea

Suffering from PTSD.

Perhaps there's more to find out.

Go ask Menelaus.

And now let's talk about me!"

Which he did until Dawn's rosy fingers

Suggested that they should not linger.

Then they hopped on a freight

That stopped at Track 8

To pick up some Singapore slingers.

Book Four

Telemachus Visits Menelaus in Sparta

[The giraffe offered as a token of what is to come, “A” Train to Sparta,

Helen in the Twilight Zone, How Troy Fell]

They arrived at the House of Menelaus-o.

And I remember Picasso

Said with a laugh

That besides the giraffe

God seriously fucked up so.

But this is back when the old world was young:

Back before even Homer had sung:

There was an innocent glisteria

On the lilacs and wisteria

And gods walked mortals among.

And one could get away with that sentence

And really feel no repentance.

But poetic style

Decayed all the while

Poets lost their compos mentis.

And now it's devolved to the blog

And the croakings of floggers and flogged

Be still my heart.

We need to make a new start:

Where the Southern crosses the Yellow Dog.

They jumped off the train at Sparta

I really feel that I lack the art-a

To be very specific

That would be terrific

But I find I do not give a fart-a.

For instance I lack the divine afflatus

To mention Priam's son Peisistratus

He hung with with T.

And he went with he

To the palace wherever that is.

They were having a wedding feast.

Menelaus's brother was already deceased

Helen was back

In Menelaus's rack

Since the Trojan war had ceased.

She said the whole time she was sad

And drugged and possibly mad

And had only one love

And was thoroughly sick of

The rumors that alleged she was bad.

Of course, she ain't the real Helen

Although she had magnificent melons.

She came from Macys, New York

Was designed by a fellow named Bjork

And her real name was Ellen.

Ok. I guess you want to know more-o

It begins on Macy's ninth floor-o

To buy a gold thimble

She had gone to Gimbels

But they didn't have any more-o.

Ah, it is such a strange interlude:

The saleslady is rather rude

She complains of all this

And, well, the upshot tis is

That she is forced to conclude

That she is in the Twilight Zone

And she feels so terribly alone

And can't keep her panic in!

She finds out she's a mannequin

And that her cover is blown.

And, of course, the episode ends

And Rod Serling says "Goodnight friends"

And I went to bed

A ten year old sleepy head

Not guessing what it all portends.

Because at that moment and out of the sky

Came Paris and Marty McFly.

She felt euphorian

In the back of the DeLorean

As they told her the what where and why.

They dropped her off as Troy was falling

And Menelaus was desperately calling

For his dear Helen

And her magnificent melons

And she rushed to his arms and began bawling.

And she seemed so loving and possessive

Though sometimes she seemed quite obsessive

A demanding neurotic

But strangely erotic

And often mannequin depressive.

Now, just as the confab was starting,

(This is an epic and you might find this disheartening)

Because of the meat

He had been forced to eat

Telemachus couldn't stop farting.

Menelaus said "I have just one suggestion."

T. moaned "Sorry, I have indigestion."

But Menelaus faced him

And then he embraced him.

"You are Odysseus's son without any question!

"I suggest that we walk in the park."

And they did and talked until dark.

And T remained gaseous

And alas and alack he is

The death of many a linnet and lark.

But Menelaus was nothing but kind.

Said, "You see I don't really mind.

Your ghastly gaseousness

Is noble nor crasseous

And the reason that Troy is gone with the wind.

You've heard of the Trojan Horse-o?"

T. replied "Of course-o

My father and others

Of the Grecian brothers

Hid inside and then with o'er whelming force-o..."

Menelaus said, "There were no others inside

Only your father inside did slide

And there passing gas

From his noble ass

Did he for nine days abide!

The Trojans took the horse in the city

And he keep on farting with no pity

Then on the tenth day

During Priam's soiree

The trapdoor was found by a Trojan committee.

And that unleased a deadly miasma

That turned many Trojans to plasma.

And all that were left

Were a few Trojans bereft

And suffering from severe cases of asthma.

But my dear Helen seemed immune

And we embraced beneath a glowing Spring moon

We were inured to the scent

Because of our noble descent

But my sweet breath caused her to swoon.

She strangely seemed somewhat rigid

But she explained she was frigid

As a clever ruse

That she did use

To keep Paris away from her widget."

I think it would be quite odious

To describe Menelaus's fight with Proteus

As Homer does

Simply because

He wishes to be quite commodious.

So this is the end of Book Four

Which seems like an awful damn bore:

Mostly prolusion

And very confusin'

As I've mentioned before.

Book Five

Odysseus Leaves Calypso's Island and Reaches Phaeacia

[Go tell it on the mountain, to let Odysseus go, Calypso frees her man,

The First Internal Combustion Engine, Reaches Phaeacia]

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hill and everywhere.

Go tell it on the mountain, to let Odysseus go.

Who's that yonder dressed in red? Let my Odysseus go.

Must be Calypso like I already said.

Let my Odysseus go!

Go tell it on Olympus

Here there and everywhere.

Tell them that the gods do pimp us.

Unless they let my Odysseus go!

On Olympus they had a Gospel Choir-o

And they sang as the banged on their lyres oh

As they sang they grooved

Sang "We will not be moved!"

They were from Second Abyssinian Baptist Church down in Cairo.

Zeus just sneered. Said, "Maybe later."

Even when the sang about John the Revelator

But he began to get down

When out came James Brown.

"Who's that magnificent satyr?"

And that's how it all got done

Cause of Soul Brother Number One

Zeus stopped being a drag.

Poppa's got a brand new bag

And he said to Hermes "Go, run!"

Zeus steps down from his Tower of Power

And does the Funky Chicken for an hour

Shouts out for Jolene

Sings "I'm a Sex Machine!"

As the goddesses cower in their bower.

Calypso has no choice but to obey

Though she calls Zeus one messed up ofay.

She tells Odysseus fast

Go build a raft

And clear out by the end of the day.

Odysseus bangs his raft together

While humming, I think, Stormy Weather

Calypso just turns

And ask him when he returns

To being her Spanish boots of Spanish Leather.

Odysseus treats her quite nice

Then stokes up on red beans and rice

Says "I gave you my heart

But you wanted my soul

But don't think twice, it's all right."

Then he drags the raft the ocean.

Then begins to put it in motion.

With one's ass in the water

An accomplished farter

Can cause a forward commotion.

He passes gas faster and faster.

He is an accomplished master.

Red beans and rice

Will always suffice

To avoid a nautical disaster!

Athena looks down and says "Boss,

He's a real man -- never at a loss."

But Zeus didn't care

Because he wasn't there

He was a concubinin' with the Priestess of Kos.

But, of course, Poseidon tries to drown him

His favorite hobby is to hound him

But Odysseus is saved

And on a quite splendid wave:

Washes up just where Nausicaa found him.

And it's important to note he is nude

And, apparently completely screwed

In a strange land

Under the command

Of a King who might be quite rude.

Book Six

Odysseus and Nausicaa

[ Nausicaa Nauseous]

Nausicaa was the daughter of Alcinous

Who was the King so that makes her a princess

She was sweet and demure

But that was before

She dabbled with herbal hair rinses.

She had hair as black as a Kalamata-o

And she had been a sweet little daughter-o

But one day she reached

For a rinse and got bleach

And it wouldn't come out in the water-o.

Suddenly she was a bleached blonde

And seemed transformed as if with a wand

Instead of a sweet little la la

She became something like Zsa Zsa

And longed to join the Beau Monde.

But she was stuck in the Kingdom of Scheria,

Mostly prairie and definitely nary a

High end boutique

Or Valentino like sheik

With whom to dabble and make merry-a.

All of the Scheria bon ton

Consisted of her family and a certain swan

Whose, rumor had it,

Patootie had been patted

By Zeus in days far long gone.

So, she lay reading Teen Glamour

And dreaming of a high society amour

And thought it was right

When she heard that night

That Paris Hilton was getting out of the slammer.

And here Homer simply repeats

That she went to to the river to wash sheets

Led by a dream-a

Sent by Athena

A rumor repeated by Keats.

And there she met the big guy

Naked. And she seemed so shy

And sweetly did blush

As he came out of the bush

And quite innocently did sigh.

But that's not the way it went down.

She was thinking I gotta get out of this town

When Athena suggested

When she felt quite rested

She put on her best Gucci gown.

"For near the beach and nude you will see

The flower of the aristocracy

Brave Odysseus

Whose both Damon and Pythias

The height of all myth he is

Just in from the isle of Capri!"

So she runs as fast as she can

Expecting a dashing fellow out of Rodin

When he comes out of the bush

She doesn't blush

But cries "Oh, who is this farting old man???"

And Nausicaa is so damn shocked

That significant passions are unlocked

She ends up with Sappho

Sharing a laugh-o

As the strange ways of men are mocked.

She sends her servant for a mule.

"Go ahead, take that old fool

Away to the palace

I'm off to see Alice

Toklas. I think she is cool."

Book Seven

Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous in Phaeacia

[Odysseus invents the Banjo, Attacked by the Klan, His ass saved by the

International Brotherhood of Railway Porters, to the Spouter Inn, Ahab

not an Arab]

But Odysseus maintains savoir-faire

Everything solid melts in the air.

But he ain't feeling too well

So he takes two Di-Gel

Says "Go ahead I'll follow you there."

Thinks "Passing gas at will is a plus

(That's how Vaudeville came down to us.)

But I need something new.”

So what did he do?

(Three paragraphs at least. Discuss).

Well, back in the bush he did go.

A dead cat was there don't you know.

And he took out his sword

And hollowed out a gourd

And invented the five string banjo.

The strings were made of catgut

And he stretched them till they did abut

One end of a board

Fastened to the hollowed out gourd

And they were attached by cut monkey nuts.

Everything began to fall into place-o

As he bent down with no little grace-o

And rubbed his face in the mud

Like a Tennessee stud

And walked down the road in blackface-o.

He began to play Cotton-Eyed Joe

And then another melody we know

And he heard an echo

And turned his neck-o

Somebody else was playing "Dueling Banjos."

There on the Chattahoocieapolis Bridge it

Looked like a malevolent midget.

As Odysseus played

He felt made in the shade

He could play like an Appalacianoupolis idjit!

But was it all a plot to distract him?

He was feeling so fine when they attacked him.

He wasn't the first blackface man

To be attacked by the Klan

And the yellow dogs of both parties backed them!

He turns and cries out to the gods

Buy what happened next may seem odd:

The Black Abyssinian Church

Made from Olympus a lurch

And laid those bastards under the sod.

At least a hundred went down

Under the diamond head cane of James Brown

And at least a quarter

Were done in by railroad porters

With whatever was laying around.

And there was a legion of gay Unitarians

Led by a transsexual Rasatfarian

They laid them all low

Then said they had to go

To a performance of "Rent" up in Darien.

And they meant Darien, Connecticut

For they insisted on a certain etiquette

They would all take their places

With clean clothes and bright faces

Just as in "Socrates is a man" "is a man" is the predicate.

And here comes the stage disciplinarian

About to speak in tones fey yet authoritarian

About to intone

"Please turn off your cellphones"

Silent, about to speak, in Darien.

So they missed the soft shoe by Bojangles

And how Odysseus was shown all the angles

Of fair minstrelsy

Near the Aegean sea

As the bridge at midnight dangles.

So he arrives at the palace's gate

In the know but really quite late.

But he had the nerve

And thought "They also serve

Who have a banjo and stand and wait."

So he stood outside played "Natchez Under the Hill"

Then "Pretty Little Miss Jump in the Well"

Then he went back

In a claw hammer attack

Played "I Had an Old Dog Named Bill."

Then he moved down to in front of the Marriot

But only the guy parking the chariots

Gave him a drachma

Following the dogma

That only the proletariat helps the proletariat.

Homer says Odysseus sees the King.

But he didn't: he didn't have any bling

And a man in blackface

Don't get to that place

No matter how cool he's shakin' his thing.

So he went down to the Spouter Inn

And a sailor bought him a gin

Said "My name is Queequeg

You look like you need a new gig.

What was your name again?"

Odysseus looked at him said "Hell,

You can go ahead and call me Ishmael

I'm a stranger here

And I fear

I ain't doing too well."

Book Eight

Odysseus is Entertained in Phaeacia

[Book Eight by Homer is a lie]

Book Eight by Homer is a lie.

Obviously you now know why.

Odysseus never talked to the King

He did no such thing.

It was at the Spouter Inn he did sigh

Getting drunk with a headhunting sailor

Who was getting ready to get aboard a whaler.

Yes, the Pequod.

Which seems quite odd

And like something from Norman Mailer.

So just go on and read the next book

Please appreciate the trouble we took

To bring you at last

To all the adventures that passed

Independent of the usual gobbledygook.

Book Nine

Ismarus, the Lotus Eaters, and the Cyclops

[The Cicones, Seaman Schliemann , The Cyclops.]

And just as he was about to begin

A man named Ahab came in.

Yes, he was Ahab

But not Ahab the Arab

Cause he ordered twelve rounds of gin.

“Tomorrow,” he cried, "We set sail

To find Moby Dick the white whale

So, let’s all have some drinks

Before we go after the Sphinx

And listen to the tale of this man Ishmael!”

And the rest of the crew came into the bar-o

If you’re a reader, you know who they are-o

There was Biily Budd

And old Captain Blood

And some ghosts from the Second World War-o.

Odysseus took a great slug of gin

Said, “Gentlemen, I’m about to begin

But let’s first have a song

So we don’t go wrong."

And they all sang “The Mighty Quinn.”

Then the door flew open! What rough beast!

They sensed the supernatural at the least.

But it was the final three

Of the Beau Jeste’s company:

A minister, a rabbi and a priest.

"There once was a wench from Connecticut

Who had Old Glory under her petticut

When she was asked why

She said I don't know but I

Believe in following Connecticut ettiquette."

If Odysseus expected a laugh,

He had committed a gaff.

These fellows looked intensely

Like they cared immensely

For the Tale Proper and to hell with the chaff!

So he began. And for what it's worth

He began absent all mirth

And started out quite Boss-o

"This," he said "also

Has been one of the dark places of the earth.

My name is Odysseus Laertiades

I’ve been all around even to Hades

Been to Hell and Back

That’s simply a fact.

But that don’t help me with the ladies.

I fought in the old Trojan war

Heaps of nothing, heaps of gore.

When I left

I felt quite bereft.

I wondered “Why” and What For”

I thought “Man, there’s got to be something more.”

I been down to the killing floor.

I felt bad till

I invented “Vaudeville.”

No, it weren’t invented by Al Gore.

But I’m gonna tell the tale straight.

Why me? Why was this my Fate?

It’s a tale of wonders

And many blunders

And it begins at Troy Gate.

Troy destroyed. I just wanted to head home.

I felt like the hero of some epic poem:

Doomed to wander

Because of an unspecified blunder,

Doomed ever more just to roam.

I had twelve ships to begin

We sacked another city and then

The people we sacked

Went and done got us back

And we were to sea once again.

We had attacked the Cicones.

When we left there were only low moans.

Took their twisted horn cattle

Cause they lost the battle

"Let’s head for less dangerous zones.

Let’s run the ships. Hey, let’s go!"

But my men got drunk and said "No,

We have enough time

And captives and wine

We don’t have to hurry no mo."

But the Cicones who had run away

Came back and they came to stay

With some of their friends

And the untimely ends

Of my sailors were timely that day.

Some of us made it back to the ships.

On board I offered some tips.

"To avoid you own killing

Try not to keep chillin’

Until the enemy comes back with his whips

Driving his damn armored division

Over you cause you made the decision

To not listen to me.

That is the key.

Men, this is your mission.

Now get your sad asses on board."

Then we embarked and a libation poured

And prayers quietly said

For all of our dead

Then the winds howled and screamed and roared.

Darkness fell through the air-o.

Day after day we didn’t know where-o

The Hell we was

The reason’s because

There was never a here only a there-o.

Then at last the weather did clear

And we saw an island quite near.

How far did we go?

Man, that looks like snow!

And we didn’t have no cold weather gear.

"Anybody know where our boat is?"

Somebody shouted “The Land of the Lotus!”

It was Heinrich Schliemann

A common seaman

Who was always blabbing about Herodotus.

Then it began to rain.

The weather seemed quite insane.

I was transfixed

Rain and snow mixed?

“The snow is powdered cocaine!”

Said Seaman Schliemann taking a breath

“And the rain is pure crystal meth

And the surrounding sea

Is sweet LSD

And the name of the city is Death!

Sail away! Sail away! O, my Captain!"

But I didn’t know just what was happenin’

We seemed already on land

And you understand

I just smiled, said “ Hey, what’s happenin?”

Then I felt really quite mellow.

Saw a Lotus Eater. He seemed a fine fellow

I had a strange need

And smoked some fine weed.

Pretty soon we we’re singing “Mellow Yellow!”

It seemed like a great place to stay.

What’s up with going away?

And anyhow

I was Being There Now

Sitting on the dock of the bay!

I saw my men laying on the sand

Listening to some damn fine band

I think they said

It was “The Grateful Dead”

A name I can’t understand.

I see it through some purple haze:

Schliemann is next to me, prays

Then the Unmoved Mover

Sends the god J. Edgar Hooved

Who deplores our dope taking ways.

Next thing we know we’re at Guantanamo

Which is a place you don’t wanna go

We get waterboarded

And then are escorted

To the place called “Next Thing You Know!”

Next thing I knew we were at sea.

I thought “Man, what happened to me?

I was styling

Now I’m at Skull Island

Near the Isle of Innisfree!"

Now, don’t you go and get me wrong

I got nothing against poor old King Kong

And I’ll take Faye Ray

Almost any day

If Kong don’t come along.

But we were on the Cyclopes side

Where wheat and barley and rich grape abide

But where a simple stranger

Is in mortal danger

Cause that’s where the Cyclopes hide.

They are giant one-eyed hillbillies

Living up in them hillies

Hairy and gross

They are almost

Enough to give Achilles the willies.

The clouds were hiding the moon

And we sang a nautical tune

About a mystic isle

Where we'd abide awhile

And then get outta there soon.

We had to land. We were damn famished.

Our food had suddenly vanished

And we had..damn!

We’re a few cans of Spam

Which was all the government could manage.

So we sailed in and then beached our boats

And were suddenly surrounded by goats.

So we dined on goat meat

Goat horns and goat feet

And from the skins made some goat coats.

We feasted. Man, how we styled.

We had flagons of Laffite Rothschild

We sat on the sand

A merry old band

And what happened next was wild.

Came Dawn, all of us were still drinking

And somebody got to thinking

“You know those One Eyes?

Maybe they’re cool guys.

So we walked form the beach drunk and singing.

I made sure to take some mo wine.

Felt It would probably be fine:

“We’ll just say Hello

Look around some and go

And the gods will give us a sign!”

We saw a big cave covered with ivy-o

With little sheep and sweet lambs a divie-o

And Marcy Dotes

And Maizy Oats

Though, on the whole quite jivie-o.

There was a great stone for a door

And all the sleepy sheep grazed right before

So we went right in

Swilling Coq de Vin

And layed around on the floor.

Layed around on the floor eating cheese

In a pleasantly warm summer breeze

My men said, “Let go.”

But I replied “No.”

Done in by the Drunkard’s disease.

I said, Man, I want see this

And gobbled some more cheese whiz.

When suddenly there loomed

The doomlist doomed

Crazy giant that there ever is.

He was at least sixty feet tall

Had one eye and just one ball.

And a succession

Of malevolent expressions

That I found, over all, very dull.

I felt, can I say, disappointed.

Here I was -- a fellow anointed

By the gods for a Fate

Designed to be great.

I felt like saying “Aroint it!

This is the best you can do?

Can’t I meet a Famous Monster or two?

Can’t I even aspire

To meet a vampire

Or a werewolf with a didgeridoo?

Those fellows are, at least, intellectual

Though, spiritually somewhat objectionable

But at least one could chat

And feel, somewhat, that

There’s a higher meaning somewhat contextual.

I mean one senses a sign or a symbol

And one is not repelled by the pimple

On the monster’s dumb face

When there is a curious grace

And not everything’s so damn simple.”

Here Odysseus was interrupted in his tale.

By Ahab who said “I know a white whale

Who is both symbol and sign

Of the demonic divine

Perhaps, you would like to sail…"

But Ahab never got to finish.

“Overall I felt quite diminished

By that old reliant

The One-Eyed Giant…

And old Ahab knew he was finished.

As I was saying it all felt very jejune-o

Give me a vampire and a scary old moon-o

And a spooky castle

And a passle

Of Abbeys gloomy and ruined-o.

So, Polyphemus (That’s what he was called).

Seized two men, dashed their brains out and bawled

About how he don’t care about Zeus

And uttered other obtuse

Remarks -- banal and quite dull.

He asks me “Hey, where are your ships?

And me --I’m good at these quips

Said, “We were washed ashore

Why’d you do that for?”

As he raised old Demetrious to his lips.

I keep doing what I can-o

Tell him my name is No-Man-o

He grabs two more Greeks

To stuff in his cheeks

And I come up with a plan-o.

Sadly we just can’t elude

This monster so crass and rude

He rolls a great stone

As he sucks on a bone

And closes the entrance. We’re screwed.

So I say, “Hey, do want some fine wine?

And gave him all of mine

And with a little persuasion


Soon he’s done on the floor and lying.

So then we had to work quick

And we got a great big old stick

Sharpened the end

So it would tend

To do what we wanted and quick.

So as soon as the monster is out

I stick the stick in the eye of that lout

Until he was blinded

And then I reminded

My crew what it all was about.

And did so as we ran from that fool

“My name is No-Man” I said quite cool

So when the other Cyclops

Came down from the treetops

Everything followed this rule.

“Oh, is some man hurting you,friend?”

“No man is hurting me!" The end.

So they all go away.

Shout “Have a nice day!”

Thinking “Polyphemus is just drinkin’ again.”

Book Ten

Aeolus, the Laestrygonians, and Circe

[Aeolia, Melancholia, Echolia]

Next we landed in Aeolia:

Which induced a certain melancholia

When your only solace

Is a guy like Aeolus

It also induces Echolia.

Is that me or is that just the wind?

You look around and you fell chagrined:

You ain't nothin' but dust

But you know that you must

Keep on going to the bitter bitter end.

Aeolus has six stalwart sons.

And guess what he's gone and done:

Married off each to a sister

Each Mrs. and Mr.

Told them to go and have fun.

There on that isle it seems a tenet

That no one is thought tormented

A windy old cluster

Of blustering blusterers

Just like the United States Senate.

So the bros marry the sisses

And nobody ever disses:

They're too busy blabbing

And too busy grabbin'

A variety of succulent dishes.

Their mouths full, they stand up to debate

In rhetoric baroque and ornate

Whether it's been as cool

As some other old fool

Asserts it has been of late.

Of course, I’m never at a loss

I grinned and called Aeolus the Boss

Told him where I’d been

Said I hoped to inherit the wind

Hoped that he’s help us all get across.

So he gave me a bag full of breezes

For he was the Jesus of Breezes

Said, “Now you know

You can control where you go!”

Which seemed an excellent thesis.

So he summoned the wind from the west

To blow us home so ending our quest

And I gripped the sail rope

So full of hope

But, of course, this was only a test.

We sailed on for nine days and nights

Then saw the most lovely of sights

My own island home

No more would I roam.

And I’d soon be asserting my rights.

I was awake that whole damn time

But fell asleep in my own home clime

And my idiot crew…

What did they do

Again, committed a crime.

They said look what he is holdin’

I bet it’s filled with things silver and golden

But it was the bag of the winds

And now it begins

Disaster -- just like I told them.

Seaman Schliemann replied with disdain

“It’s probably full of powdered cocaine.”

So they opened the sack

And it’s a natural fact

Heigh ho the wind and the rain.

The winds howly howled as they did attack-o

Swept us to Aeolia back-o

I covered my ass

Thought “This too shall pass!”

Sang “It’s All For Me Grog and Tobacco!”..:

Went and told Aeolus how we sinned

Asked him if he could help us again

"Hell no. The end.

The answer my friend,

The answer is blowing in the wind."

Looked like we had to go.

The answer was a big NO.

So we set out to sea

Poor, poor pitiful me.

Heigh ho the carrion crow.

For seven days and nights we all rowed

Till we came to the evil abode

Of Gigantiswhipassess

Lords of the passes

To reap just what we had sowed.

There were giants on the earth in those days

Beware of their sick evil ways:

Those Laestrygonians

Are pandemonium.

Those weren't the good old days.

All but my ship pulled into the bay

I steered my stout ship a little away

And climbed up a cliff

To try to see if

There was some place we could stay.

I had sent three men on before

Saying "Tell them were from the Trojan war.

And blessed by Zeus

And we come bearing news...

Just try to establish rapport."

There they were now running back!

Screaming that we were attacked.

I found out anon

That one man was gone

Antiphates had turned him into a snack.

And there just over the bay-o

Giants coming our way-o

My own black ship

Might give them the slip

But...oh my poor men! No way-o

And I watched as the giants devoured them

While spewing forth vile apothegms.

And we, cunning dastards

Rowed like whipped bastards

There was no way we were going to follow them.

Farewell my companions! We'll see ya!

We're rowing to the isle of Aeaea

We felt quite sad

Yet quite relieved. Quite glad.

As I broke out the sailor's panacea.

There were sixty bottles of rum-o

And we drank everyone-o

Thanking Fate

That we wouldn't be, of late,

Emerging from a giant's bung-o

By then it was 2 AM.

He was thinking of himself -- not thinking of them.

He looked about.

They all had passed out

Except for Ahab who was saying "Ahem...

Thar she blows! A hump like a snow-hill!”

(This gave Odysseus a cheap thrill).

Then Ahab did beg

“Pull my wooden leg

Oh, whale! thou glidest on! Kill! Kill! Kill!”

Perhaps, it’s a tender mercy.

Odysseus forgot all about Circe.

If you really care

It’s all still there

In The Odyssey, “Curse ye!

Furl the top gallant-sails, oh

And close the reef top sails, oh

Break out the main hold

Are ye harpooners bold?

Up! Keep a good eye upon the whale.oh!”

With that old Ahab crumbled.

And Odysseus felt somewhat humbled

By a mad man true

Red, white, and blue.

Outside the thunder did rumble.

Queequeg woke up “Um Um Um

Plenty too much thunder. Not enough rum.

Then like a mad fiend

He beat his green tambourine.

“We don't want thunder; we want rum!”

Ah, there seemed no reason nor rhyme

Odysseus bolted back his gin and lime

And the barkeep

Who had been asleep

Said, “Hurry up, please. It’s time!”

Book Eleven

Odysseus Meets the Shades of the Dead

[Henry James, To Hell and Back]

Odysseus didn't dig his lingo

And was thinking of the Distinguished Thing-o.

Started to play.

What could he say?

All he could do was sing-o.

"I’m just as guy with a banjo

And I ain’t doing too well

But what you got to understand, oh

Is that I recently came back from Hell.

And there I saw my old mother

And many of my so long lost pals

Yes, I’m drinking and I’ll have another

Ah, these dear guys and gals.

Tirisias said “Oh, Jesus

What are you doing here.?”

“I wanta go home. I’’m all alone.”

Tiresias said. I wish I could buy a beer.

“I think I’ll never see my old home

Sometimes it seems just so hard

Like I’m stuck in a damn epic poem

By a bullockbefriending bard.”

You will lose all your companions

But at least find your weary way home

And linger under the banyans

And have your own designer cologne!

I saw poor old Achilles

And here’s what the poor boy said

"Being here gives you the willies

Nobody is better off dead

I’d give all my fame and my glory

And be a sad ghost with name

If I could be in another story

Just another guy out in the rain.

Sometimes I dream of Manhattan

The one that there never was

And nights of sadness and satin

And you know the reasons because

I’m made in the shade – got no reason

But eternal unreality

In Hell season after season

Poor, poor pitiful me."

Oh, you can call me Ishmael

Or you can call my Odysseus

All I can say. I ain’t doing too well.

My name’s Ernesto Bognino O’Sisyphus.

Now, I don’t mean to alarm us

So, here’s just what I’ll do.

Put on my Ungrateful Dead pajamas

And learn to play the didgeridoo.

I’m just as guy with a banjo

And I ain’t doing too well

But what you got to understand, oh

Is that I recently came back from Hell.

I’m just a poor man with a banjo

How can I find my wife and my son?

What I hope you understand, oh

One day everything’s done."

Then they all awoke from their dreams

Into the world of "It Seems"

Judging by how much they drank

Their dreams were all blank.

A Love Supreme! A Love Supreme!

Then they all ordered some schwarma.

Odysseus sang "Nessun Dorma."

Ahab looked out

Said "With out any doubt

Were in for a goddamn big storm-a."

Guardi le stelle

Che tremano d'amore e di speranza...

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me,

Il nome mio nessun saprà!

Book Twelve

The Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, the Cattle of the Sun

[The Crystal fretting of the Multiverse Impends, The Thunderwords, Ahab

keeps on keeping on, The Gong-Tormented Sea]

If you're like me, you've been wondering

What's up with this incessant thundering.

Like Alice said:

Go feed your head.

You know there must have been a hundred

Cracks in the crystal fretting.

You won't lose if you're betting.

And if you're in the habit

Of following the white rabbit

You know there is no forgetting

Not really of the warp and the woof.

There's no holding yourself aloof:

You open the latch

And there's a bandersnatch

And things as they are go poof.

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Or just in case you kinda forgot a


Of an alternate reality

A kind of extended fermata.

They all felt the lonely absurds

As they heard these thunderwords

Ahab looked out

Then shouted out

"Words! Words! Words!











And I thought I saw Leopold Bloom

There in an upper room

Of the Spouter Inn

With Finnegan.

Or how can I presume?

And Ahab leads each man-o

To Rick's Cafe Americain-o

Always seafaring

The awful daring

And besides he really liked Sam-o.

Ahab said, "Ok, play it again."

Odysseus said, I remember when

I was in a poem

And couldn't get home

We sailed back to Circe and then

She gave us some sort of advice.

"Don't look back. Don't think twice.

And remember what Byron

Said about the Sirens

Nothing else will ever suffice

But to put wax in your sailor's ears

As near the sirens they steer.

But if you want to hear them,

As you draw near them

Take all that nautical gear

The ropes and the chains and the padlocks

And fasten them to the oarlocks

And before the mast

Make yourself fast

You got all of that, Sherlock?

And then, perhaps, you can listen

As they sing of that one and this one

In immortal love

Sent from above

And how their dear bones glisten

In a cave beneath the sea

They are calling, they are calling to thee

And your sweet wife is drowned

And all around

Is strange beauty of the highest degree.

It will be the Deep Blue Goodbye

You'll want to live there and so you will die

Any pleasure you took...

The Long Lavender Look..."

She looked sweetly at me. Did sigh.

So ho! for the Empty Copper Sea.

My stout crewmen and me.

A Tan and Sandy Silence

Without ideals, without violence

And, oh! The difference to me.

We sailed through The Lonely Silver Rain.

Rain then sun again:

One Fearful Yellow Eye

In the Dreadful Lemon Sky

Then again The Lonely Silver Rain.

The wind was a Turquoise Lament

Darker Than Amber the evenings that sent

The meteor's Free Fall in Crimson

And the inexpressible frisson

Of leaning against the mast and smoking a Kent.

We sailed into the Horse Latitudes

As I strove to correct their attitudes

A knowing ennui

Is just the thing for the sea

And a knowledge of the sailor's beatitudes.

But my men lacked the bel esprit

For which I had the master's degree

They brought out the rope

But I had little hope

"I do not think they will sing to me."

But they sang to me like no other

And they sang to me of my dear brother

Travis McGee

On the wine-dark sea

But I'm Odysseus, so why did they bother?

"Come, they sang, "It's not far

To slip F-18 at Bahia Del Mar

And that's not all

Chookie McCall

Waits for thee at the built-in bar.

And Meyer is on the John Maynard Keynes

See how sweetly he leans

With the lovelychildren

And Puss Gillian

Nobody knows what it means.

Hear the seas sounds, the rush

Of the waters past the Busted Flush

In Time and In Space

A new and wonderful case

And the melancholy, expected hush

Of all beauty when you then arise!

What strange stars and strange skies

As the plot begins

With Boodles gin

And a solo by Sonny Rollins dies!"

I cried out. But I was ignored

They had wax in their ears heretofore.

I wanted to be

Travis McGee

And Odyssey here no more no more!

But we rowed past -- all the lovely songs

As the Sirens shimmied in sexy sarongs

I was released

Then it was on to the beast.

The sea was tormented by gongs.

Oh, the gong-tormented sea-o

Dolphin torn like it's supposed to be-o

Whatever that means

It made for wonderful scenes

And damn fine poetry-o.

I had forgotten to tell my men

That it looked like six of them

We're gonna be dead

That's what Circe said

But I was only looking out for them:

For Charybdis it seemed quite certain

Would mean, for all of us, curtains

If we chose Scylla

That beastly Godzilla

Only six would be hurtin'.

She had six hungry heads-o

And never ever took her meds-o

And 18 sets of teeth

And breath that did seethe

With the mangled corpses of the dead-o.

So we went and rowed on past her

"Boys, I said, You better row faster."

But it was no use

She sank each ugly tooth

Into the hides of six poor sad bastards.

When she took them they cried out to me!

But that's death on the dark copper sea.

And we wept

Drank and then slept

And came to Thrinacia by 3.”

Of, course, Odysseus continued his story

But Homer got it all down before he

Got to this part.

The fellow lacked art.

So we won't get into it anymore he

Had as early as the first damn book

Told how the poor sailors cooked

The Oxen of the Sun

And when they were done

Were wriggling on Poseidon's hook.

And all about Odysseus and Calypso.

He did it facto ipso.

So we will conclude

This strange interlude

And take a few lingering sips-o

Of Boodles the Gin that’s preferred

By Travis McGee. Have you heard?

John MacDonald is dead

That’s what they said.

And I find it all very absurd.

Books Thirteen through Twenty-Four

[’Hark! ’tis an elfin-storm from faery land,

“Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:

“Arise—arise! the morning is at hand;—]

Odysseus looked up. It was day.

The free French were singing La Marseilles

Sam was asleep

And dark dreams did keep

Rick awake in the American café.

Outside the warp and woof trembled.

Overall you might say it resembled

What’s going on

In the Gospel of John

And beings sentient and nonsentient assembled

In the sky above the Time and Space Port

Where possibilities of every sort

Reclaim transcendence

In a way that’s quite splendid

Revoking the claims of La Morte.

Away!, Ahab cried “The Pequod

Waits for us -- nor other men nor gods

I’ll continue my quest

But I think it is best

For you to go home. Damn it’s odd.

And I think it’s worth asking just why

You will live and I’ll have to die

Because I rage against IS

The Nothingness Biz

While you long for your dear wife and sigh

And you are considered the wanderer

Though exposed as a poor blunderer

While my mission

Ends in Nuclear fission

Thundered Ahab the Asunderer.

And the Band played “The Leaving of Liverpool”

And Odysseus played “The Flop Eared Mule”

And there was Grace

All over the place

Which is something you never learn in school.

Odysseus went aboard, fell asleep

And the Pequod made it over the deep,

And he still was snoozing

As they went cruising

Ahab said, “I have promises to keep.”

Odysseus snoozed. They made land!

Ahab left him there on the strand

Beneath the Steel Pier

And he thought it quite queer

To awake to the strains of a Dixieland band.

And there in the air -- A Flying Horse!

It wasn’t Pegasus, of course

But a horse named Jose

Owned by Dennis O’Day

Who jumped with negligent force

From a Diving Platform right there

Then plunging through the salt air

Into a pool.

Nothing so cool

Had been in Ithaca avant La Guerre.

Now the plot is beginning to thicken:

On the boardwalk there is a chicken

That, well, you know,

Can play Tic Tac Toe.

On a bench Mr. Pickwick from Dickens

Looks out at the glowing salt sea-o

And who’s passing by? Hey, it’s me-o!

With my dear old Dad

And I feel rather sad

There’s something I want for me-o--

Another box of saltwater taffy

And a number of comics about Daffy

The Duck

But I’m having no luck.

For my father’s had too much black cafee.

And it’s father and son on a quest.

My father thinks it is best

At this late date

To micturate

At our hotel and then rest

In our rooms on Baltic Avenue

Yes, right there. What can you do

If you are the son

Of a son of a gun

Who’s had too much caffe? You’re through.

But you saw the old diving horse

And the Monster of the Sea, of course,

Will be on display

For just one more day

And your Dad with irresistible force

Is dragging you through 1958-o

And, seeing that now I say Wait-0!

All that is gone

Keeps going on

The white rabbit tells you “You’re late-o.”

Ah, you still don’t get the idea?

Well, Odysseus now begins his career.

But Vaudeville is dead

So George Burns said

“We better get outta here.”

And Odysseus says “Where’s my son?

And Telemachus came on the run

And then who did they see

But Penelope

Singing “Ain’t We Got Fun.”

They glide, they glide like ghosts

Past all readers with their broken remotes

Yes, they fled away

Just on that day.

They’re gone. Didn’t leave any notes.