Copyright 2007, Joe Green
[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
In Media Res
Hence it follows facto ipso
That there is no invocation to the Muse
Who is not treated as she is used.
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
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
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
Is...you 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.
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
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
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 me...my 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.
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
He wishes to be quite commodious.
So this is the end of Book Four
Which seems like an awful damn bore:
And very confusin'
As I've mentioned before.
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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?
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.”
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
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 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
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!”
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!
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
Or how can I presume?
And Ahab leads each man-o
To Rick's Cafe Americain-o
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.