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script on screen life is but a dream a b c d e f g gee **** g-chord ******  geezz script on screen row row your boat h i j k ellemenoh *** oh please baby *** for me let me watch you stream merrily merrily merrily script on screen q arrest tee you vee double you x why zee

last night i watched a woman answering questions about ***** size she spoke about the toilet tissue roll test for years i’ve been thinking my ***** is rather undersized (compared to studs on **** sites) this morning i took the test undid the roll from wall and stuck my ******* in the hole at first i had trouble getting it in so i guess my thickness is healthy then i slowly managed to shove the entire head of my **** out the other end by that time clear pre-*** was dripping from my ***** hole pressure from my hand gripping tissue roll felt surprisingly arousing i began ******* the roll squeezing pushing in deeper jerking almost bringing myself to ****** i passed the test the toilet tissue roll appears kind of twisted indented

what will happen next hoping for heartbreaking story with happy ending man masturbates while woman urinates both watch each other intently what is so fascinating

Asheville is small yet monumental by luck or fate he hooks up with Tim Calaprese a gregarious loving soul Tim loves women and wine and dogs particularly Farina he owns a beat up old house on steep hill overlooking downtown Asheville Odysseus rents a room for $200. a month Tim is a wine salesman and gone much of the time Odysseus is critically destitute he goes to Salvation Army they provide bed-sheets towels he sells tent and camping equipment to hippies on Haywood Street for several weeks he and Farina live on convenience store hotdogs he gets job prepping house exterior to be painted his boss tells him he is a good worker after a hard day’s work the boss lays him off he gets hired as a waiter for the dinner shift in the restaurant of a resort hotel he is weary of waiting tables but needs cash in the mornings he takes Farina to ****** Lake to swim then they go back to house paint on the porch many mornings are overcast with fog around noon sun comes out warms afternoon Odysseus loves Blue Ridge Mountains he paints a series of mountain scapes while listening continuously to Palace Brothers Pearl Jam Pavement Sebadoh Steve Earle occasionally he works on story about the clone sometime in 90’s DNA has become a factor and he needs to incorporate detail into story

on stormy afternoon in July as thunder echoes through Blue Ridge Mountains phone rings Odysseus is suffering from severe attack of food poisoning it is difficult to reach receiver phone keeps ringing it is Penelope her voice sounds shaky she says doctors have diagnosed her with leukemia it is startling shock she is only 43 years old his stomach rips he needs to run back to toilet telephone cord is not long enough Penelope says it is urgent Odysseus return to Chicago to see if he can be bone marrow match for her he tells her he will drive up immediately after food poisoning passes Penelope becomes irritable he can feel himself leaking between his legs hangs up immediately runs to toilet spends most of night in bathroom brief naps in bed in the morning he hears someone knocking at door he does not know who it is he cannot leave toilet he hears footsteps enter house call his name Odysseus are you there where are you it is Penelope and Sean he flushes toilet comes out to greet them what a weird surprise why didn’t you think to give me some notice he questions as he lies down on bed Penelope and Sean want to take Odysseus to hospital he tells them they are overreacting food poisoning will soon work its way out of his system Penelope asks if there is anything she can do Odysseus answers Farina hasn’t been out for a good walk in days Please be an angel and take her up the street there’s a field there she likes Penelope calls come here Farina let’s go for a walk Farina follows they depart out door Sean sits down at foot of bed he forcefully speaks Odysseus i know you you like to skew the facts to fit your own purposes then hammer me for whatever make-believe you can cook up when are you going to finally start being a man live up to your responsibilities Odysseus questions what facts are you talking about i’m sick as a dog now is not the time to have this talk Sean challenges yes it is you listen to me your sister is sick and needs your help Odysseus replies i’m heading to Chicago as soon as i’m well enough to travel Sean insists that’s not soon enough we’re taking you to a hospital Odysseus stands from bed Sean stands up facing him they stare each other down Odysseus goes to slip on jeans Sean stands in the way Odysseus tries to step around Sean shoves Odysseus back unto bed Odysseus stands shoves back fistfight ensues mostly Odysseus throws wild punches Sean blocks as they violently jostle out door Sean trips on wet porch falls breaks rib Odysseus grabs his pants car keys flees Penelope and Farina watch puzzled as he drives off day after incident and departure of Penelope and Sean Mom calls insists Odysseus return without delay to Chicago he answers i’m on my way Odysseus packs car with Farina drives north he feels pressure of his family envisions himself as piece of living meat whose sole purpose is to supply Penelope with bone marrow momentarily imagines his family as predators Mom is the real killer she knows how to delegate ****** Dad had been a killer for Mom Penelope has learned from Mom how to contend Odysseus is weak link he taught himself to brave harshest conditions yet is no competitor he is worker bee stupid dreamer all alone in greedy predatory world more than anything he loves and wants to help Penelope he is annoyed by nervous tension of family
Euryclea now went upstairs laughing to tell her mistress that her
dear husband had come home. Her aged knees became young again and
her feet were nimble for joy as she went up to her mistress and bent
over her head to speak to her. “Wake up Penelope, my dear child,”
she exclaimed, “and see with your own eyes something that you have
been wanting this long time past. Ulysses has at last indeed come home
again, and has killed the suitors who were giving so much trouble in
his house, eating up his estate and ill-treating his son.”
  “My good nurse,” answered Penelope, “you must be mad. The gods
sometimes send some very sensible people out of their minds, and
make foolish people become sensible. This is what they must have
been doing to you; for you always used to be a reasonable person.
Why should you thus mock me when I have trouble enough already-
talking such nonsense, and waking me up out of a sweet sleep that
had taken possession of my eyes and closed them? I have never slept so
soundly from the day my poor husband went to that city with the
ill-omened name. Go back again into the women’s room; if it had been
any one else, who had woke me up to bring me such absurd news I should
have sent her away with a severe scolding. As it is, your age shall
protect you.”
  “My dear child,” answered Euryclea, “I am not mocking you. It is
quite true as I tell you that Ulysses is come home again. He was the
stranger whom they all kept on treating so badly in the cloister.
Telemachus knew all the time that he was come back, but kept his
father’s secret that he might have his revenge on all these wicked
people.
  Then Penelope sprang up from her couch, threw her arms round
Euryclea, and wept for joy. “But my dear nurse,” said she, “explain
this to me; if he has really come home as you say, how did he manage
to overcome the wicked suitors single handed, seeing what a number
of them there always were?”
  “I was not there,” answered Euryclea, “and do not know; I only heard
them groaning while they were being killed. We sat crouching and
huddled up in a corner of the women’s room with the doors closed, till
your son came to fetch me because his father sent him. Then I found
Ulysses standing over the corpses that were lying on the ground all
round him, one on top of the other. You would have enjoyed it if you
could have seen him standing there all bespattered with blood and
filth, and looking just like a lion. But the corpses are now all piled
up in the gatehouse that is in the outer court, and Ulysses has lit
a great fire to purify the house with sulphur. He has sent me to
call you, so come with me that you may both be happy together after
all; for now at last the desire of your heart has been fulfilled; your
husband is come home to find both wife and son alive and well, and
to take his revenge in his own house on the suitors who behaved so
badly to him.”
  “‘My dear nurse,” said Penelope, “do not exult too confidently
over all this. You know how delighted every one would be to see
Ulysses come home—more particularly myself, and the son who has
been born to both of us; but what you tell me cannot be really true.
It is some god who is angry with the suitors for their great
wickedness, and has made an end of them; for they respected no man
in the whole world, neither rich nor poor, who came near them, who
came near them, and they have come to a bad end in consequence of
their iniquity. Ulysses is dead far away from the Achaean land; he
will never return home again.”
  Then nurse Euryclea said, “My child, what are you talking about? but
you were all hard of belief and have made up your mind that your
husband is never coming, although he is in the house and by his own
fire side at this very moment. Besides I can give you another proof;
when I was washing him I perceived the scar which the wild boar gave
him, and I wanted to tell you about it, but in his wisdom he would not
let me, and clapped his hands over my mouth; so come with me and I
will make this bargain with you—if I am deceiving you, you may have
me killed by the most cruel death you can think of.”
  “My dear nurse,” said Penelope, “however wise you may be you can
hardly fathom the counsels of the gods. Nevertheless, we will go in
search of my son, that I may see the corpses of the suitors, and the
man who has killed them.”
  On this she came down from her upper room, and while doing so she
considered whether she should keep at a distance from her husband
and question him, or whether she should at once go up to him and
embrace him. When, however, she had crossed the stone floor of the
cloister, she sat down opposite Ulysses by the fire, against the
wall at right angles [to that by which she had entered], while Ulysses
sat near one of the bearing-posts, looking upon the ground, and
waiting to see what his wife would say to him when she saw him. For
a long time she sat silent and as one lost in amazement. At one moment
she looked him full in the face, but then again directly, she was
misled by his shabby clothes and failed to recognize him, till
Telemachus began to reproach her and said:
  “Mother—but you are so hard that I cannot call you by such a
name—why do you keep away from my father in this way? Why do you
not sit by his side and begin talking to him and asking him questions?
No other woman could bear to keep away from her husband when he had
come back to her after twenty years of absence, and after having
gone through so much; but your heart always was as hard as a stone.”
  Penelope answered, “My son, I am so lost in astonishment that I
can find no words in which either to ask questions or to answer
them. I cannot even look him straight in the face. Still, if he really
is Ulysses come back to his own home again, we shall get to understand
one another better by and by, for there are tokens with which we two
are alone acquainted, and which are hidden from all others.”
  Ulysses smiled at this, and said to Telemachus, “Let your mother put
me to any proof she likes; she will make up her mind about it
presently. She rejects me for the moment and believes me to be
somebody else, because I am covered with dirt and have such bad
clothes on; let us, however, consider what we had better do next. When
one man has killed another, even though he was not one who would leave
many friends to take up his quarrel, the man who has killed him must
still say good bye to his friends and fly the country; whereas we have
been killing the stay of a whole town, and all the picked youth of
Ithaca. I would have you consider this matter.”
  “Look to it yourself, father,” answered Telemachus, “for they say
you are the wisest counsellor in the world, and that there is no other
mortal man who can compare with you. We will follow you with right
good will, nor shall you find us fail you in so far as our strength
holds out.”
  “I will say what I think will be best,” answered Ulysses. “First
wash and put your shirts on; tell the maids also to go to their own
room and dress; Phemius shall then strike up a dance tune on his lyre,
so that if people outside hear, or any of the neighbours, or some
one going along the street happens to notice it, they may think
there is a wedding in the house, and no rumours about the death of the
suitors will get about in the town, before we can escape to the
woods upon my own land. Once there, we will settle which of the
courses heaven vouchsafes us shall seem wisest.”
  Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said. First they
washed and put their shirts on, while the women got ready. Then
Phemius took his lyre and set them all longing for sweet song and
stately dance. The house re-echoed with the sound of men and women
dancing, and the people outside said, “I suppose the queen has been
getting married at last. She ought to be ashamed of herself for not
continuing to protect her husband’s property until he comes home.”
  This was what they said, but they did not know what it was that
had been happening. The upper servant Eurynome washed and anointed
Ulysses in his own house and gave him a shirt and cloak, while Minerva
made him look taller and stronger than before; she also made the
hair grow thick on the top of his head, and flow down in curls like
hyacinth blossoms; she glorified him about the head and shoulders just
as a skilful workman who has studied art of all kinds under Vulcan
or Minerva—and his work is full of beauty—enriches a piece of silver
plate by gilding it. He came from the bath looking like one of the
immortals, and sat down opposite his wife on the seat he had left. “My
dear,” said he, “heaven has endowed you with a heart more unyielding
than woman ever yet had. No other woman could bear to keep away from
her husband when he had come back to her after twenty years of
absence, and after having gone through so much. But come, nurse, get a
bed ready for me; I will sleep alone, for this woman has a heart as
hard as iron.”
  “My dear,” answered Penelope, “I have no wish to set myself up,
nor to depreciate you; but I am not struck by your appearance, for I
very well remember what kind of a man you were when you set sail
from Ithaca. Nevertheless, Euryclea, take his bed outside the bed
chamber that he himself built. Bring the bed outside this room, and
put bedding upon it with fleeces, good coverlets, and blankets.”
  She said this to try him, but Ulysses was very angry and said,
“Wife, I am much displeased at what you have just been saying. Who has
been taking my bed from the place in which I left it? He must have
found it a hard task, no matter how skilled a workman he was, unless
some god came and helped him to shift it. There is no man living,
however strong and in his prime, who could move it from its place, for
it is a marvellous curiosity which I made with my very own hands.
There was a young olive growing within the precincts of the house,
in full vigour, and about as thick as a bearing-post. I built my
room round this with strong walls of stone and a roof to cover them,
and I made the doors strong and well-fitting. Then I cut off the top
boughs of the olive tree and left the stump standing. This I dressed
roughly from the root upwards and then worked with carpenter’s tools
well and skilfully, straightening my work by drawing a line on the
wood, and making it into a bed-prop. I then bored a hole down the
middle, and made it the centre-post of my bed, at which I worked
till I had finished it, inlaying it with gold and silver; after this I
stretched a hide of crimson leather from one side of it to the
other. So you see I know all about it, and I desire to learn whether
it is still there, or whether any one has been removing it by
cutting down the olive tree at its roots.”
  When she heard the sure proofs Ulysses now gave her, she fairly
broke down. She flew weeping to his side, flung her arms about his
neck, and kissed him. “Do not be angry with me Ulysses,” she cried,
“you, who are the wisest of mankind. We have suffered, both of us.
Heaven has denied us the happiness of spending our youth, and of
growing old, together; do not then be aggrieved or take it amiss
that I did not embrace you thus as soon as I saw you. I have been
shuddering all the time through fear that someone might come here
and deceive me with a lying story; for there are many very wicked
people going about. Jove’s daughter Helen would never have yielded
herself to a man from a foreign country, if she had known that the
sons of Achaeans would come after her and bring her back. Heaven put
it in her heart to do wrong, and she gave no thought to that sin,
which has been the source of all our sorrows. Now, however, that you
have convinced me by showing that you know all about our bed (which no
human being has ever seen but you and I and a single maid servant, the
daughter of Actor, who was given me by my father on my marriage, and
who keeps the doors of our room) hard of belief though I have been I
can mistrust no longer.”
  Then Ulysses in his turn melted, and wept as he clasped his dear and
faithful wife to his *****. As the sight of land is welcome to men who
are swimming towards the shore, when Neptune has wrecked their ship
with the fury of his winds and waves—a few alone reach the land,
and these, covered with brine, are thankful when they find
themselves on firm ground and out of danger—even so was her husband
welcome to her as she looked upon him, and she could not tear her
two fair arms from about his neck. Indeed they would have gone on
indulging their sorrow till rosy-fingered morn appeared, had not
Minerva determined otherwise, and held night back in the far west,
while she would not suffer Dawn to leave Oceanus, nor to yoke the
two steeds Lampus and Phaethon that bear her onward to break the day
upon mankind.
  At last, however, Ulysses said, “Wife, we have not yet reached the
end of our troubles. I have an unknown amount of toil still to
undergo. It is long and difficult, but I must go through with it,
for thus the shade of Teiresias prophesied concerning me, on the day
when I went down into Hades to ask about my return and that of my
companions. But now let us go to bed, that we may lie down and enjoy
the blessed boon of sleep.”
  “You shall go to bed as soon as you please,” replied Penelope,
“now that the gods have sent you home to your own good house and to
your country. But as heaven has put it in your mind to speak of it,
tell me about the task that lies before you. I shall have to hear
about it later, so it is better that I should be told at once.”
  “My dear,” answered Ulysses, “why should you press me to tell you?
Still, I will not conceal it from you, though you will not like BOOK
it. I do not like it myself, for Teiresias bade me travel far and
wide, carrying an oar, till I came to a country where the people
have never heard of the sea, and do not even mix salt with their food.
They know nothing about ships, nor oars that are as the wings of a
ship. He gave me this certain token which I will not hide from you. He
said that a wayfarer should meet me and ask me whether it was a
winnowing shovel that I had on my shoulder. On this, I was to fix my
oar in the ground and sacrifice a ram, a bull, and a boar to
Neptune; after which I was to go home and offer hecatombs to all the
gods in heaven, one after the other. As for myself, he said that death
should come to me from the sea, and that my life should ebb away
very gently when I was full of years and peace of mind, and my
people should bless me. All this, he said, should surely come to
pass.”
  And Penelope said, “If the gods are going to vouchsafe you a happier
time in your old age, you may hope then to have some respite from
misfortune.”
  Thus did they converse. Meanwhile Eurynome and the nurse took
torches and made the bed ready with soft coverlets; as soon as they
had laid them, the nurse went back into the house to go to her rest,
leaving the bed chamber woman Eurynome to show Ulysses and Penelope to
bed by torch light. When she had conducted them to their room she went
back, and they then came joyfully to the rites of their own old bed.
Telemachus, Philoetius, and the swineherd now left off dancing, and
made the women leave off also. They then laid themselves down to sleep
in the cloisters.
  When Ulysses and Penelope had had their fill of love they fell
talking with one another. She told him how much she had had to bear in
seeing the house filled with a crowd of wicked suitors who had
killed so many sheep and oxen on her account, and had drunk so many
casks of wine. Ulysses in his turn told her what he had suffered,
and how much trouble he had himself given to other people. He told her
everything, and she was so delighted to listen that she never went
to sleep till he had ended his whole story.
  He began with his victory over the Cicons, and how he thence reached
the fertile land of the Lotus-eaters. He told her all about the
Cyclops and how he had punished him for having so ruthlessly eaten his
brave comrades; how he then went on to ******, who received him
hospitably and furthered him on his way, but even so he
1967 san francisco is transformed into city of missing children haight ashbury brims with scraggly orphans thousands sit on street curbs live in cars hang out on floors of shops roam streets parks sleep on sidewalks unthinkable social cultural phenomenon Odysseus embraces madness walking through different neighborhoods going without food sleep in golden gate park floral smells so strong he can taste flowers kids openly pass joints acid doses trip dance make music laugh Odysseus is risk-taker but he is not street smart along with flocks of totally wasted kids street hustlers abound Odysseus sets down backpack beside eucalyptus tree rests when he wakes backpack is gone he is penniless disconnected hitchhikes across bay to berkeley less congested more manageable meets some runaways like him but not like him they squatter in abandoned house off telegraph avenue maybe 20 hippies crashing in house Odysseus adopts enormous closet hidden in back bedroom as his space has small window feels like sanctuary sometimes he comes home finds 5 or 6 kids sleeping in closet in a way people in house become his family tribe some of people are suspicious especially older secretive man with 2 tongue-tied underage girls whom he claims are his daughters Odysseus suspects veiled ****** exploitation girls are lovely yet behave frightened repressed life on street does not come easy telegraph avenue overflows with lost souls searching to hook-up fragrance of frankincense drifts amidst music drug deals rip-offs bullying brawls hierarchy from hell’s angels down Odysseus stays high dances sometimes panhandles “i live in commune with 2 pregnant girls” whatever cash he collects scores acid **** subsists on diet of gum candy sunflower pumpkin seeds sometimes ketchup with french fries his acne crescendos he learns if he drops acid daily by third or fourth day he cannot get off no matter how much he doses tries peyote cactus buttons after waiting nearly hour to get off he suffers stomachache dizziness projectile vomits finally flies into freaky hallucinations he swallows mescaline capsules feels sick to his stomach forgets about his nausea trips for 9 hours tries psilocybin mushrooms laughing straight through night experiments with stp trips for 3 days Bobby Stern and Martha Quigley come out from chicago to visit they are curious about the scene need to hook up Odysseus introduces them to his friends shows them telegraph avenue he turns and they have vanished he does not know where they have gone everybody is losing everybody new kids show up everyday oakland **** named red rat kidnaps Martha is heiress from distinguished chicago family their disappearance makes chicago papers after week Bobby and Martha manage to escape they never reveal to Odysseus what red rat did to them radio plays doors’ “light my fire” and jimi hendrix’s "purple haze" Odysseus has crush on beautiful blonde Patty she  ran off for summer from her parent’s home in sunset section of san francisco Odysseus and Patty hang out go see country joe and fish in provo park on sundays hitchhike into city watch Jefferson Airplane play for free in golden gate park hitchhike to marin see Grateful Dead jam at muir beach dude hands out free acid Odysseus is total acidhead acid reveals everything in new intensified light *** on acid is beyond *** wilder than *** more primal *** so intense it transcends limits of eroticism acid helps Odysseus realize his true self his pain sadness tears lies crazy-*** side first tingling tremors in stomach chest hands then initial flashes of sparkle traces of color echoes of giggling laughter lucid thoughts sometimes he swallows such large doses all he can do is stare out at white light what is it about massive hits of acid? measure of how fierce his spirit? self-punishment? escapism? he wonders why he so desperately needs to escape from what whom? himself? Mom’s numerous efforts to convince him he is mentally disturbed? Dad’s fists? escape from real world to where? Odysseus hangs with Pluto skinny 16 year old ****-addict golden wavy hair rotting teeth finesse with girls Pluto claims crystal **** enhances *** more than acid needles frighten Odysseus he lets one of Pluto’s girls hit him up with methamphetamine feels sudden overwhelming rush through head body forgets about needle before it ever leaves his arm having been initiated Odysseus begins scoring with Pluto’s girls Pluto knows tons of girls Odysseus loves feeling numb free being out of control not giving a **** getting ****** ****** by pretty girl if he could have his way he would go from ****** to ****** with pretty girl all day every day deep in drug induced state because drugs lower inhibitions allow them to explore some sick disgusting stuff that is paradise for Odysseus he is rapidly slipping into street life drug addiction wakes up with ants crawling in his hair witnesses numerous fights freak-outs 2 different kids o.d. while he is present lots of creepy stuff  by early august realizes he might wind up dead soon or rotting like Pluto Odysseus has spirit but troubled by what he sees troubled enough to return home go back to school he feels lost desperate alone not thinking plots drug deal swindle double-crosses some people guilt and shame for conning people haunts him for years he gives Pluto half the money tells him to share with Patty with his cut buys ticket back to chicago Penelope is first to greet him she gives him big hug comments “you need a shower and shave real bad!” his hair is wild scraggly beard Odysseus holds on to her he has missed his little sister glad to be near her feels panicky his parents will punish him Mom and Dad are relieved but agitated their worry and shame at his flight have turned to anger resentment they rationalize he selfishly ran off merrymaking for 3 months they sternly make plans for his next semester while Odysseus was away in california Penelope has ****** ******* for first time in back seat of Jed Zurbeck's black pontiac Penelope in secret goes to see doctor for pregnancy test doctor recognizes Penelope’s last name calls house Odysseus answers phone doctor asks to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Schwartzpilgrim Mom picks up phone doctor informs her Penelope is pregnant all hell breaks loose doctor makes house call with Mom and Dad present offers 2 options for Penelope “you can be picked up by limousine on state street and blindfolded you will be taken to an undisclosed location where abortion procedure is performed then re-blindfolded and returned by limousine to state street or you can report incident as **** and get signatures of three physicians then have abortion in a hospital” Mom and Dad choose to report it as a **** fabricate story about Penelope walking home from school and being grabbed pulled into alley by black man who rapes her Penelope is made to tell lie three times deeply disturbs her after abortion is done in hospital Dad makes Penelope swear not to admit abortion to anyone insists she tell Jed Zurbeck she made up stupid lie and she was never really pregnant Penelope obeys and tells no one
april 11 1952 Mom gives birth to beautiful blue-eyed girl Mom takes name Penelope from Great-Grandma Penny who died week after Odysseus was born Mom and Dad are not educated to know greek mythology and homer it is odd coincidence they picked Odysseus’s name out of book of names thought it sounded strong  anglo old money Odysseus is thrilled to have sister to share childhood with when Odysseus is 6 and Penelope is 4 Grandma Betty invites them to visit her house block away she serves them oatmeal cookies orange juice shows them her latest small painting of field brightly colored flowers birds in sky lower left corner is horse or dog painting is still wet she shows them magazine picture she copied from Odysseus realizes it is pony in lower left corner when they return home Mom yells at Odysseus “where were you? why didn’t you think to call or leave message with Teresa? do you have any idea what a nervous wreck you’ve made me!” she slaps hard Odysseus’s face reprimands “don’t i have enough to worry about without you pulling something like this? you only think about yourself it’s so typical of your selfishness wait until your father gets home he’ll deal with you now go to your room!" every time he gets caught in mistake he is punished the drill is Mom gets upset with Odysseus flies into rage yells slaps him around threatens him with Dad gets home has a few drinks Mom tells Dad explodes beats Odysseus Mom is judge jury Dad is executioner afterward Dad goes back into living room pours another drink sits in celadon green lounge chair Odysseus is trained to wipe tears put on pajamas go to Dad apologize admit fault promise to be good kisses Dad and Mom goodnight goes to bed that is the drill

Odysseus is barefaced curious exploring discovering tries to connect with Mom and Dad but they are unavailable they are his parents not his friends as far back as he can remember he lives in world of “it’s safe free here Mom and Dad can’t see us” children are smarter than parents think figure ways to self-protect something stirs inside Odysseus creature separate from Dad and Mom whatever psychological or emotional patterns are developing he does not understand obediently goes along

Mom and Granny Mattie take Odysseus and Penelope to browse shops on oak street at one store little statuette like kind Granny Mattie collects catches Odtsseus’s eye he slips it in pocket on drive home he takes statuette out to show Penelope she asks where he got it Mom Granny Mattie overhear ask Odysseus where he got statuette he confesses took it from store Mom gets livid steers car back to oak street Granny Mattie insists “it’s just a figurine let him keep it Odysseus meant no harm i don’t see why you want to make such a big fuss Jenny!” Mom replies “he’s got to learn right from wrong!” they all return to store mom explains to sales clerk what son has done Odysseus hands back figurine apologizes when Dad gets home he dishes out punishment years later Penelope remarks “that was the first time i realized Odys you needed to reach out for something beyond the family”

Odysseus wants to die he is 7 years old and wants to die he knows his life is critically messed up wants new different existence person he is becoming is too error prone ruined already he is way too ******* himself Dad’s temper Mom’s criticisms subsequent self-absorbed social demands drive him to ideas of suicide Dad and Mom are too busy to notice Mom always uses sleeping pills placidal nebutal seconal miltown whatever is the latest Mom says she does not dream Odysseus guesses she does not remember her dreams on account of those pills everyone dreams years later Mom remarks i need sleeping pills to forget about you Odys as Mom describes “i run a formal beautiful household” she delegates chores to weekly staff of brown skin ladies it is house of feminine décor matching pillows sheets pulled tight under elegant bedspreads everything put away in proper place furniture in precise order little dinner bell servant’s foot buzzer beneath Mom’s chair at dining room table maids in servitude once a week white woman with big shoulders foreign accent shows up to give Mom massage Mom is not to be disturbed during that hour Odysseus knows first names of each laundress cleaning lady doormen deskmen garage men janitors caterers at holidays tall black effeminate John comes twice a month on sunday to cook serve traditional american breakfast along with fried bananas apples afterward he cleans up shines silver first 13 years of Odysseus’s life are lived in buildings with elevators staff of residence employees

Mom’s closet is vast with colors textures ground level hundred or more neatly arranged clear plastic boxes containing pairs of expensive shoes walls of imported French and Italian designer label dresses skirts suits blouses top shelf fashionable purses hats other feminine accoutrements also two large dresser chests filled with drawers of sweaters scarves girdles lingerie hosiery more accessories Mom often wears joy by jean patou arpege by lanvin chanel # 5 Mom shops at saks bonwit teller occasionally marshall fields within several years most of her buying will be done at fantastico, exclusive import boutique on oak street clothes jewelry cosmetics are important to her but most important is hair she prefers bottle blonde color wears hair trimmed medium length fluffed up sprayed fixed as do many women of her generation social stature she visits beauty salon twice a week must enjoy letting her guard down with other women while being served by homosexual men her hair prevents her from driving in car with top down all other outdoor activities that might threaten hairdo Penelope mimics Mom though she keeps her things in less tidy fashion she is being groomed to be queen like mom maybe Mom is more sympathetic to Penelope because both innately share female experience Mom portrays herself as lady of elegance Penelope is different from Mom more earthy bumbling routinely scratches Odysseus’s records leaves her drawers messy Mom takes baths so her hair will not be disturbed Dad takes showers Odysseus and Penelope take baths together then apart as they grow bigger ****** is normal in Schwartzpilgrim household Dad hints reserve Odysseus follows takes showers Mom leaves bathroom door open while bathing she is constantly changing clothes traipsing around in robes slippers elegant silk lingerie
Prabhu Iyer Aug 2015
Oh Penelope, Penelope
in the winds blowing distant!

when storms gather at night
and lightning pierces the sea,
I see how Zeus has struck,
such is time, that
slices through the heart

Oh Penelope Penelope
Did I love you over honour?

Athene oh Athene,
were my prayers not enough?

In the small hours' brewing
pain, how I took valour granted,
oh to believe that destiny
is all but deed and dust,
that victory is about winning

Burying my knees in sand,
set on the horizon, here I mourn:
turning over the wheel of time,
too mortal my soul
for the love of a nymph

Oh Penelope, Penelope,
in the winds blowing distant!
Resurrecting this series: here, Odysseus mourns on Ogygia, prisoner to the nymph Calypso, longing for his lost love, Penelope, who he last saw before leaving for Troy.

In this re-imagining, I focus on Odysseus the man and his inner journey, rather than on the (external) Odyssey. Athene has conspired to stall Odysseus in his journeys, so that the pain makes him reflect on himself, leading to Her Self-revelation in him.

.
JB Claywell May 2016
Just fifteen minutes ago
Penelope and I had been
******* like a couple of
fire-breathing, rabid dragons.

I say dragons as opposed to
rabbits, jackalopes, or whatever
because we’d only been awake for
the past half hour or so.

It was 11am on Sunday;
neither of us had brushed
our teeth yet.

There was a party at Reilly’s
last night and the bourbon and
gin were flowing fine,
I have to say.

John Reilly’s oldest boy
had gotten out of Wabash
Friday afternoon after serving 7 years
so it was definitely time for some levity.

Penelope wandered the bar and made
over some of the regulars, sitting on laps
or patting bald heads.

Reilly wasn’t giving drinks away,
despite the joyous occasion.
Ol’ Johnny wasn’t about to pass up a buck,
but Penelope made sure she and I drank for
free.

So, we drank.


I found the bedroom to be sour,
smelling of *****-sweat and ****-fumes,
so I pulled my shorts on, making my way
to the kitchen.


I turned on the stove,
found a pan and went to the fridge
for the butter and eggs.
The coffee *** stared at me.

“Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you.”


After a brief pause to get
my first love percolating,
I grabbed what was left of a loaf
and my finest, read that as only,
cast iron skillet and wished I had a
sirloin or flank to fry in it, but I didn’t.

Instead, I grabbed three coffee cups,
and set to work, using one of the cups
to cut circles out of six slices of white bread;
luckily I had a half dozen eggs left.

Some people call them
hens in the nest
or
eggs in a basket,
but we always called ‘em
frog eyes when I was a kid.

I won’t bore you with the details,
but I had those little golden *******
looking pretty good by the time I heard
Penelope’s bare feet padding from the bedroom
to the can.

I listened carefully.

I heard the tiniest little **** echo into
the bowl of the toilet while she peed;
I found it endearing.

The shower ran,
the coffee dripped,
I grabbed the Tabasco, some maple syrup,
some marmalade.

Options, right?


I made myself a cup of coffee,
added sugar and some powdered
creamer I had.

I rarely bought milk.

Hell, I rarely slept here.

The frog eyes were done.
The shower stopped.
I heard Penelope padding back to
the bedroom and rustling around in my
chest of drawers.

She appeared in the doorway.
her shower-wet hair a deep, mossy
brown that would dry to a mousy color,
her large, deep, wet eyes the color of emeralds.

I could get lost in them.

Penelope was wearing one of my undershirts,
and, from what I could tell, nothing else.

“What’s for breakfast; it smells good.”
“Coffee too?”

“Indeed”, I said.
“Frog eyes”, I said.

Penelope made a face,
but sat across from me anyway.

Picking up a circle of fried white bread,
bursting a yolk; sipping her coffee,
she took a bite and
smiled at me.

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications; 2016
A poem about nothing.
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
Delicately, extremely delicately, Penelope Bloom wrapped her headscarf into place. The fragrance was staggering to inhale.
The heightening scent of Summer radiated from her countenance.
Beneath the scarf was a blossom of red roses, scarlet tulips, pansies, bluebells, daisies and every other flower a botanist would roll off the tip of their tongues.

Penelope had shaved her head the night before as part of a charity awareness for 'The shelter for broken hearted Skinheads Society'.

In her bedsit was a shared bathroom. The shampoo smelled divine and she had poured an abundance on to her naked scalp to calm it down. This potion was actually an elixir with restorative properties for botanical flora. It was a trial potion left there in error by a scientist two doors down.

Silently she walked out of her bedsit and holding down her panic took a stroll into the Botanical Gardens for guidance.
She could not work up the courage and decided to sit on a park bench and figure things out.

As she did, Henry Hammer & Tongs McVicar noticed her. He was the founding member of the 'Shelter for Broken hearted Skinheads Society' and he eagerly sat down beside her to thank her profusely for her support and kindness.

He was overwhelmed by the heady scent emanating from Penelopes scarf.

'Good God!'  he cried

'You smell divine! '

In defensive shock Penelope replied 'No Henry, you are smelling the gardens'

'Isn't it beautiful though?'

Just then an old lady walked by.

'Excuse me lovey'

'There are a bouquet of flowers streaming down your shoulders!'

The flowers on Penelopes head could not be contained and burst from the scarf.

Henry Hammer & Tongs looked on in bewilderment as Penelope ran off like a galloping garden of colour.

The old lady gasped in amazement.

Running back to her bedsit Penelope bumped into the scientist.

'Oh my God!' He cried

'Eureka! Eureka!'

Penelope was like a moving forest at this stage.

'You know about this!' She cried

'Well! Answer me!'

David Longfellow just looked though and for a long time stared and stared before he spoke another word.
Odysseus is angry without knowing what reason scared hopeless longing not a good student teachers raise suspicions Mom claims he is mentally not right in third grade parents send him to well-known psychiatrist conducts many tests finds Odysseus’s i.q. scores quite high doctor’s diagnosis is learning disabilities emotional anxiety recommends weekly appointments Odysseus continues to see various psychiatrists all the way through college in late 1950’s early '60’s psychiatric field is somewhat unreliable one downtown child’s psychiatrist chats about other patients then gives Odysseus baby ruth candy bar another psychiatrist with office in Wilmette tells him parents need therapy advises he will someday live independent of parents free of their influences

Odysseus Penelope Ryan Siciliano play in undeveloped land across from Schwartzpilgrim’s apartment building there is big tree they often climb near corner of commonwealth and surf streets Ryan is going on about his favorite actor errol flynn and movie “they died with their boots on” suddenly two bigger older boys approach bully them down from tree Odysseus does not recognize older boys from neighborhood bigger older boys push Penelope to ground then elbow trip Odysseus punch Ryan in stomach panic shoots through all three of them bigger older boys glare down with taunting eyes after terrifying moment Ryan then Odysseus jump up flee across street they hide beneath parked cars in underground garage of Odysseus’s building hearts pound in terror hearing footsteps on concrete grow louder they hold their breaths voice speaks out "they’re not here they’ve gone Odys where are you?" Odysseus and Ryan crawl out from under cars feel ashamed of their cowardice in front of Penelope and putting own self-preservation before her protection Ryan is particularly disturbed explains his family are sicilian code of conduct Ryan insists Odysseus swear never to divulge their weakness Odysseus promises later Penelope tells Mom

harper is broad-minded exceptional school housed in old english tudor building on second floor along hall is long glass cabinet displaying among other things 9 large jars each containing developing stages of fetus girls wear uniforms of navy blue skirts with knee socks white blouses blue sweaters which are school colors boys are allowed to wear blue jeans and shirts in good taste Miss Moss teaches fourth grade classroom is duplex with stairs leading up to balcony directly under stairs is secret meeting place and beneath balcony are classmate cubbyholes there is sunroom facing south overlooking entrance stairs to school where older students hang out Odysseus thinks Miss Moss is pretty wonders why she is not married she has deep blue eyes dark thick eyebrows premature graying hair she wears in bun he has crush on Miss Moss thinks she is best teacher he has ever known she teaches greek mythology assigns each member of class character in ancient greek mythology Odysseus is appointed Hermes son and messenger of Zeus Hermes has affair with Aphrodite resulting in child Hermaphroditus Hermes also fathers Pan rescues Dionysus saves Apollo’s son there is voice speaks inside Odysseus’s head no one can hear voice except Odysseus it is voice of smart-*** disobedient twisted child when Miss Moss says “where shall we begin today?” Odysseus automatically answers in his thoughts “how about up your sweet ***?” it is uncontrollable voice for his amusement only often he tries to ignore voice but sometimes it speaks out when voice speaks out Odysseus gets in trouble his friends think voice is funny adults get offended when he reflects on classmates at Harper and distinction of their privilege he wonders what went wrong they are troubled class in fifth grade they cause miss penteck to have nervous breakdown and retire other classes produce famous actors playwrights renowned restaurateurs prosperous investment bankers leading doctors Odysseus’s class produces delinquents gangsters social dropouts drug addicts suicides they take their privilege and run it straight to hell

creature inside Odysseus can be little monster teaches Penelope how to go berserk going berserk involves entering strange residential building in neighborhood elevator up getting off about middle floor pushing all elevator buttons scrambling down stairs knocking over umbrella stands spilling ashtrays ringing doorbells pounding doors running out lobby doors escaping uncaught Penelope is good warrior princess brother and sister can be little terrors

Ryan Siciliano and Odysseus go to see “the magnificent seven” at century theater they head south along broadway street college-age girl with large bouncing ******* appears walking north Ryan and Odysseus glance at approaching girl then nod to each other no plans uttered as college girl passes both Odysseus and Ryan reach up grab her ******* pet squeeze then run do not look back keep running laughing all the way to theater they watch movie with jaws hanging open mcqueen is brilliant all seven are so groovy movie inspires both Odysseus and Ryan.

in 1960 Mom and Dad send Odysseus and Penelope to sunday school at temple shalom teacher calls him aside "Schwartzpilgrim what do you want to be when you grow up?" Odysseus answers "architect or maybe an indian warrior" teacher says "do you know story of judas maccabi? he was a great warrior leader learn about the festival of lights and wield your sword wisely Odys Schwartzpilgrim" Odysseus replies "yes sir" two weeks later he gets kicked out of sunday school for pulling seat out from under girl during solemn religious service he never learns hebrew nor is he bar mitzvahed

Odysseus is hyper-sensitive about race and religion knows he comes from race of people who once were born into slavery nazis systematically exterminated millions of them at aushwitz-birkenaub belzek chelmno majdanek sobibor stutthof treblinka black and white photographs of faces emaciated children adults flicker before his thoughts knows jews are hated not considered caucasian in europe and russia not allowed to own land for many centuries what does it mean to be member of race of people who are despised and blamed? he sympathizes with all minorities particularly negroes who were forced from homeland collared into slavery and native americans who were cheated out of land and slaughtered by white people
Dad’s passing spans 18 months beginning with lung cancer surgeon removes left lung  for 6 weeks he receives radiation treatments Dad gains strength everyone gives thumbs up within several months doctors discover cancer spread to tumor in brain head shaved tumor removed skull resembles stitched baseball Dad lapses into twilight state body shrinks everyone knows his life is ending doctors and family wait for cancer to attack vital ***** only matter of time in january 1991 iraqi scud missiles launch at israel Odysseus in lobby of movie theater when he hears news calls Mom from telephone booth she asks if he is ok nothing could prepare him for horror he feels witnessing Dad slowly die Mom Penelope Odysseus quite vulnerable during this time dependent on trained intensive-care nurse to watch over Dad at home administer drugs monitor condition nurse able-bodied to guide or carry Dad to bathroom assist in his goings cleaning him Mom hires several nurses who each borrow money from her and Penelope Sean each nurse never repays loan and steals jewelry from Mom other belongings from house once a week Odysseus takes Dad out to lunch accompanied by nurse Odysseus places cap with bulls insignia on Dad’s bald stitched-up head Dad nods gives high-five Odysseus talks about feats michael jordan and entire team perform Dad avid fan Odysseus drives Dad nurse in toyota to favorite lunch spots Dad has no appetite no words but manages frail smile in august 1991 Odysseus has first one-man show at prestigious gallery run by Keith ******* Keith published Odysseus in college literary magazine decade earlier 17 large color field scapes hang on two long walls Dad too ill to attend opening never sees show in film documentary shot at gallery by Sean Odysseus explains “the work is about opening up possibilities clean slates for new worlds rawest moment of narrative very beginning of story all we are presented with is stage i’m scared of story right now suspicious of story don’t even want to deal with story once story starts then everything gets messed up all these things happen at this point in story it’s just this exciting stage full of possibilities full of potential the very beginning and you don’t know what is presented yet” near end of Dad’s struggle in late summer Odysseus asks Mom and Penelope to allow him to visit father alone in hospital they reluctantly consent Dad lying semiconscious in bed Odysseus holds back tears looks at withered father Dad breathes inconsistent occasional fluttering eyelids Odysseus begins to talk aloud about their lives together wonders if Dad reached his goals? does he feel fulfilled with life? is he prepared for death? Dad is 71 years old does he feel cheated of time? did Odysseus disgrace Dad or make him proud? Odysseus feels guilt suspects he may have embarrassed even shamed Dad wonders if Dad deep in his heart believes Odysseus is sad disappointment? he forces words out of his mouth “Dad can you hear me? Dad i love you Dad forgive me please for not becoming what you wanted me to be Dad” phone rings suddenly who could be calling at solemn moment? Odysseus lets it ring but ringing will not stop unwillingly he answers “hello?” “Odysseus don’t do it! Don’t hurt Dad!” it is Penelope calling worried he might commit some murderous act Odysseus and Penelope snap at each other for moment he hangs up thinks what a tragic breach of trust realizes no one not Penelope Mom Chris anyone in family honestly trusts him he wonders if Dad overheard angered remarks with Penelope what a sad way to die hearing your own children quarreling Dad dies august 31 1991 same date cousin Chris’s son Maynard celebrates 3rd birthday Mom’s brother Karl comes from california to help family discovers Dad took out undisclosed $15,000. loan to offset lack of earnings Dad typically overextended himself Karl pitches in to compensate for borrowed money after Dad dies Schwartzpilgrim house falls apart Mom weeps for many months they were married more than 50 years Odysseus feels sorry for Mom all alone in big house she invites family for dinner but it is never same Odysseus’s inheritance is old toyota with 80 thousand miles Dad said he wanted to buy Odysseus new volvo Odysseus is grateful for car which allows him to drive Farina to lake in dream Dad is sitting in back seat bandages wrap around his head same way doctors dressed him after brain tumor surgery Odysseus driving toyota looking for parking space there are none to be found they drive around block several times Dad suggests “try driving around the block one more time maybe parking space will open up” Odysseus answers “no i think we need to go few blocks further” Dad says “Odysseus you’re in drivers’ seat now but try my way one last time” they drive around block find parking space right in front of house Odysseus wakes up confused asks aloud “Dad is dead right?” it is not easy losing a father forgiving forgetting
Now there came a certain common ***** who used to go begging all
over the city of Ithaca, and was notorious as an incorrigible
glutton and drunkard. This man had no strength nor stay in him, but he
was a great hulking fellow to look at; his real name, the one his
mother gave him, was Arnaeus, but the young men of the place called
him Irus, because he used to run errands for any one who would send
him. As soon as he came he began to insult Ulysses, and to try and
drive him out of his own house.
  “Be off, old man,” he cried, “from the doorway, or you shall be
dragged out neck and heels. Do you not see that they are all giving me
the wink, and wanting me to turn you out by force, only I do not
like to do so? Get up then, and go of yourself, or we shall come to
blows.”
  Ulysses frowned on him and said, “My friend, I do you no manner of
harm; people give you a great deal, but I am not jealous. There is
room enough in this doorway for the pair of us, and you need not
grudge me things that are not yours to give. You seem to be just
such another ***** as myself, but perhaps the gods will give us better
luck by and by. Do not, however, talk too much about fighting or you
will incense me, and old though I am, I shall cover your mouth and
chest with blood. I shall have more peace to-morrow if I do, for you
will not come to the house of Ulysses any more.”
  Irus was very angry and answered, “You filthy glutton, you run on
trippingly like an old fish-***. I have a good mind to lay both
hands about you, and knock your teeth out of your head like so many
boar’s tusks. Get ready, therefore, and let these people here stand by
and look on. You will never be able to fight one who is so much
younger than yourself.”
  Thus roundly did they rate one another on the smooth pavement in
front of the doorway, and when Antinous saw what was going on he
laughed heartily and said to the others, “This is the finest sport
that you ever saw; heaven never yet sent anything like it into this
house. The stranger and Irus have quarreled and are going to fight,
let us set them on to do so at once.”
  The suitors all came up laughing, and gathered round the two
ragged tramps. “Listen to me,” said Antinous, “there are some goats’
paunches down at the fire, which we have filled with blood and fat,
and set aside for supper; he who is victorious and proves himself to
be the better man shall have his pick of the lot; he shall be free
of our table and we will not allow any other beggar about the house at
all.”
  The others all agreed, but Ulysses, to throw them off the scent,
said, “Sirs, an old man like myself, worn out with suffering, cannot
hold his own against a young one; but my irrepressible belly urges
me on, though I know it can only end in my getting a drubbing. You
must swear, however that none of you will give me a foul blow to
favour Irus and secure him the victory.”
  They swore as he told them, and when they had completed their oath
Telemachus put in a word and said, “Stranger, if you have a mind to
settle with this fellow, you need not be afraid of any one here.
Whoever strikes you will have to fight more than one. I am host, and
the other chiefs, Antinous and Eurymachus, both of them men of
understanding, are of the same mind as I am.”
  Every one assented, and Ulysses girded his old rags about his *****,
thus baring his stalwart thighs, his broad chest and shoulders, and
his mighty arms; but Minerva came up to him and made his limbs even
stronger still. The suitors were beyond measure astonished, and one
would turn towards his neighbour saying, “The stranger has brought
such a thigh out of his old rags that there will soon be nothing
left of Irus.”
  Irus began to be very uneasy as he heard them, but the servants
girded him by force, and brought him [into the open part of the court]
in such a fright that his limbs were all of a tremble. Antinous
scolded him and said, “You swaggering bully, you ought never to have
been born at all if you are afraid of such an old broken-down creature
as this ***** is. I say, therefore—and it shall surely be—if he
beats you and proves himself the better man, I shall pack you off on
board ship to the mainland and send you to king Echetus, who kills
every one that comes near him. He will cut off your nose and ears, and
draw out your entrails for the dogs to eat.”
  This frightened Irus still more, but they brought him into the
middle of the court, and the two men raised their hands to fight. Then
Ulysses considered whether he should let drive so hard at him as to
make an end of him then and there, or whether he should give him a
lighter blow that should only knock him down; in the end he deemed
it best to give the lighter blow for fear the Achaeans should begin to
suspect who he was. Then they began to fight, and Irus hit Ulysses
on the right shoulder; but Ulysses gave Irus a blow on the neck
under the ear that broke in the bones of his skull, and the blood came
gushing out of his mouth; he fell groaning in the dust, gnashing his
teeth and kicking on the ground, but the suitors threw up their
hands and nearly died of laughter, as Ulysses caught hold of him by
the foot and dragged him into the outer court as far as the
gate-house. There he propped him up against the wall and put his staff
in his hands. “Sit here,” said he, “and keep the dogs and pigs off;
you are a pitiful creature, and if you try to make yourself king of
the beggars any more you shall fare still worse.”
  Then he threw his ***** old wallet, all tattered and torn, over
his shoulder with the cord by which it hung, and went back to sit down
upon the threshold; but the suitors went within the cloisters,
laughing and saluting him, “May Jove, and all the other gods,” said
they, ‘grant you whatever you want for having put an end to the
importunity of this insatiable *****. We will take him over to the
mainland presently, to king Echetus, who kills every one that comes
near him.”
  Ulysses hailed this as of good omen, and Antinous set a great goat’s
paunch before him filled with blood and fat. Amphinomus took two
loaves out of the bread-basket and brought them to him, pledging him
as he did so in a golden goblet of wine. “Good luck to you,” he
said, “father stranger, you are very badly off at present, but I
hope you will have better times by and by.”
  To this Ulysses answered, “Amphinomus, you seem to be a man of
good understanding, as indeed you may well be, seeing whose son you
are. I have heard your father well spoken of; he is Nisus of
Dulichium, a man both brave and wealthy. They tell me you are his son,
and you appear to be a considerable person; listen, therefore, and
take heed to what I am saying. Man is the vainest of all creatures
that have their being upon earth. As long as heaven vouchsafes him
health and strength, he thinks that he shall come to no harm
hereafter, and even when the blessed gods bring sorrow upon him, he
bears it as he needs must, and makes the best of it; for God
Almighty gives men their daily minds day by day. I know all about
it, for I was a rich man once, and did much wrong in the
stubbornness of my pride, and in the confidence that my father and
my brothers would support me; therefore let a man fear God in all
things always, and take the good that heaven may see fit to send him
without vainglory. Consider the infamy of what these suitors are
doing; see how they are wasting the estate, and doing dishonour to the
wife, of one who is certain to return some day, and that, too, not
long hence. Nay, he will be here soon; may heaven send you home
quietly first that you may not meet with him in the day of his coming,
for once he is here the suitors and he will not part bloodlessly.”
  With these words he made a drink-offering, and when he had drunk
he put the gold cup again into the hands of Amphinomus, who walked
away serious and bowing his head, for he foreboded evil. But even so
he did not escape destruction, for Minerva had doomed him fall by
the hand of Telemachus. So he took his seat again at the place from
which he had come.
  Then Minerva put it into the mind of Penelope to show herself to the
suitors, that she might make them still more enamoured of her, and win
still further honour from her son and husband. So she feigned a
mocking laugh and said, “Eurynome, I have changed my and have a
fancy to show myself to the suitors although I detest them. I should
like also to give my son a hint that he had better not have anything
more to do with them. They speak fairly enough but they mean
mischief.”
  “My dear child,” answered Eurynome, “all that you have said is true,
go and tell your son about it, but first wash yourself and anoint your
face. Do not go about with your cheeks all covered with tears; it is
not right that you should grieve so incessantly; for Telemachus,
whom you always prayed that you might live to see with a beard, is
already grown up.”
  “I know, Eurynome,” replied Penelope, “that you mean well, but do
not try and persuade me to wash and to anoint myself, for heaven
robbed me of all my beauty on the day my husband sailed; nevertheless,
tell Autonoe and Hippodamia that I want them. They must be with me
when I am in the cloister; I am not going among the men alone; it
would not be proper for me to do so.”
  On this the old woman went out of the room to bid the maids go to
their mistress. In the meantime Minerva bethought her of another
matter, and sent Penelope off into a sweet slumber; so she lay down on
her couch and her limbs became heavy with sleep. Then the goddess shed
grace and beauty over her that all the Achaeans might admire her.
She washed her face with the ambrosial loveliness that Venus wears
when she goes dancing with the Graces; she made her taller and of a
more commanding figure, while as for her complexion it was whiter than
sawn ivory. When Minerva had done all this she went away, whereon
the maids came in from the women’s room and woke Penelope with the
sound of their talking.
  “What an exquisitely delicious sleep I have been having,” said
she, as she passed her hands over her face, “in spite of all my
misery. I wish Diana would let me die so sweetly now at this very
moment, that I might no longer waste in despair for the loss of my
dear husband, who possessed every kind of good quality and was the
most distinguished man among the Achaeans.”
  With these words she came down from her upper room, not alone but
attended by two of her maidens, and when she reached the suitors she
stood by one of the bearing-posts supporting the roof of the cloister,
holding a veil before her face, and with a staid maid servant on
either side of her. As they beheld her the suitors were so overpowered
and became so desperately enamoured of her, that each one prayed he
might win her for his own bed fellow.
  “Telemachus,” said she, addressing her son, “I fear you are no
longer so discreet and well conducted as you used to be. When you were
younger you had a greater sense of propriety; now, however, that you
are grown up, though a stranger to look at you would take you for
the son of a well-to-do father as far as size and good looks go,
your conduct is by no means what it should be. What is all this
disturbance that has been going on, and how came you to allow a
stranger to be so disgracefully ill-treated? What would have
happened if he had suffered serious injury while a suppliant in our
house? Surely this would have been very discreditable to you.”
  “I am not surprised, my dear mother, at your displeasure,” replied
Telemachus, “I understand all about it and know when things are not as
they should be, which I could not do when I was younger; I cannot,
however, behave with perfect propriety at all times. First one and
then another of these wicked people here keeps driving me out of my
mind, and I have no one to stand by me. After all, however, this fight
between Irus and the stranger did not turn out as the suitors meant it
to do, for the stranger got the best of it. I wish Father Jove,
Minerva, and Apollo would break the neck of every one of these
wooers of yours, some inside the house and some out; and I wish they
might all be as limp as Irus is over yonder in the gate of the outer
court. See how he nods his head like a drunken man; he has had such
a thrashing that he cannot stand on his feet nor get back to his home,
wherever that may be, for has no strength left in him.”
  Thus did they converse. Eurymachus then came up and said, “Queen
Penelope, daughter of Icarius, if all the Achaeans in Iasian Argos
could see you at this moment, you would have still more suitors in
your house by tomorrow morning, for you are the most admirable woman
in the whole world both as regards personal beauty and strength of
understanding.”
  To this Penelope replied, “Eurymachus, heaven robbed me of all my
beauty whether of face or figure when the Argives set sail for Troy
and my dear husband with them. If he were to return and look after
my affairs, I should both be more respected and show a better presence
to the world. As it is, I am oppressed with care, and with the
afflictions which heaven has seen fit to heap upon me. My husband
foresaw it all, and when he was leaving home he took my right wrist in
his hand—’Wife, ‘he said, ‘we shall not all of us come safe home
from Troy, for the Trojans fight well both with bow and spear. They
are excellent also at fighting from chariots, and nothing decides
the issue of a fight sooner than this. I know not, therefore,
whether heaven will send me back to you, or whether I may not fall
over there at Troy. In the meantime do you look after things here.
Take care of my father and mother as at present, and even more so
during my absence, but when you see our son growing a beard, then
marry whom you will, and leave this your present home. This is what he
said and now it is all coming true. A night will come when I shall
have to yield myself to a marriage which I detest, for Jove has
taken from me all hope of happiness. This further grief, moreover,
cuts me to the very heart. You suitors are not wooing me after the
custom of my country. When men are courting a woman who they think
will be a good wife to them and who is of noble birth, and when they
are each trying to win her for himself, they usually bring oxen and
sheep to feast the friends of the lady, and they make her
magnificent presents, instead of eating up other people’s property
without paying for it.”
  This was what she said, and Ulysses was glad when he heard her
trying to get presents out of the suitors, and flattering them with
fair words which he knew she did not mean.
  Then Antinous said, “Queen Penelope, daughter of Icarius, take as
many presents as you please from any one who will give them to you; it
is not well to refuse a present; but we will not go about our business
nor stir from where we are, till you have married the best man among
us whoever he may be.”
  The others applauded what Antinous had said, and each one sent his
servant to bring his present. Antinous’s man returned with a large and
lovely dress most exquisitely embroidered. It had twelve beautifully
made brooch pins of pure gold with which to fasten it. Eurymachus
immediately brought her a magnificent chain of gold and amber beads
that gleamed like sunlight. Eurydamas’s two men returned with some
earrings fashioned into three brilliant pendants which glistened
most beautifully; while king Pisander son of Polyctor gave her a
necklace of the rarest workmanship, and every one else brought her a
beautiful present of some kind.
  Then the queen went back to her room upstairs, and her maids brought
the presents after her. Meanwhile the suitors took to singing and
dancing, and stayed till evening came. They danced and sang till it
grew dark; they then brought in three braziers to give light, and
piled them up with chopped firewood very and dry, and they lit torches
from them, which the maids held up turn and turn about. Then Ulysses
said:
  “Maids, servants of Ulysses who has so long been absent, go to the
queen inside the house; sit
Minerva now put it in Penelope’s mind to make the suitors try
their skill with the bow and with the iron axes, in contest among
themselves, as a means of bringing about their destruction. She went
upstairs and got the store room key, which was made of bronze and
had a handle of ivory; she then went with her maidens into the store
room at the end of the house, where her husband’s treasures of gold,
bronze, and wrought iron were kept, and where was also his bow, and
the quiver full of deadly arrows that had been given him by a friend
whom he had met in Lacedaemon—Iphitus the son of Eurytus. The two
fell in with one another in Messene at the house of Ortilochus,
where Ulysses was staying in order to recover a debt that was owing
from the whole people; for the Messenians had carried off three
hundred sheep from Ithaca, and had sailed away with them and with
their shepherds. In quest of these Ulysses took a long journey while
still quite young, for his father and the other chieftains sent him on
a mission to recover them. Iphitus had gone there also to try and
get back twelve brood mares that he had lost, and the mule foals
that were running with them. These mares were the death of him in
the end, for when he went to the house of Jove’s son, mighty Hercules,
who performed such prodigies of valour, Hercules to his shame killed
him, though he was his guest, for he feared not heaven’s vengeance,
nor yet respected his own table which he had set before Iphitus, but
killed him in spite of everything, and kept the mares himself. It
was when claiming these that Iphitus met Ulysses, and gave him the bow
which mighty Eurytus had been used to carry, and which on his death
had been left by him to his son. Ulysses gave him in return a sword
and a spear, and this was the beginning of a fast friendship, although
they never visited at one another’s houses, for Jove’s son Hercules
killed Iphitus ere they could do so. This bow, then, given him by
Iphitus, had not been taken with him by Ulysses when he sailed for
Troy; he had used it so long as he had been at home, but had left it
behind as having been a keepsake from a valued friend.
  Penelope presently reached the oak threshold of the store room;
the carpenter had planed this duly, and had drawn a line on it so as
to get it quite straight; he had then set the door posts into it and
hung the doors. She loosed the strap from the handle of the door,
put in the key, and drove it straight home to shoot back the bolts
that held the doors; these flew open with a noise like a bull
bellowing in a meadow, and Penelope stepped upon the raised
platform, where the chests stood in which the fair linen and clothes
were laid by along with fragrant herbs: reaching thence, she took down
the bow with its bow case from the peg on which it hung. She sat
down with it on her knees, weeping bitterly as she took the bow out of
its case, and when her tears had relieved her, she went to the
cloister where the suitors were, carrying the bow and the quiver, with
the many deadly arrows that were inside it. Along with her came her
maidens, bearing a chest that contained much iron and bronze which her
husband had won as prizes. When she reached the suitors, she stood
by one of the bearing-posts supporting the roof of the cloister,
holding a veil before her face, and with a maid on either side of her.
Then she said:
  “Listen to me you suitors, who persist in abusing the hospitality of
this house because its owner has been long absent, and without other
pretext than that you want to marry me; this, then, being the prize
that you are contending for, I will bring out the mighty bow of
Ulysses, and whomsoever of you shall string it most easily and send
his arrow through each one of twelve axes, him will I follow and
quit this house of my lawful husband, so goodly, and so abounding in
wealth. But even so I doubt not that I shall remember it in my
dreams.”
  As she spoke, she told Eumaeus to set the bow and the pieces of iron
before the suitors, and Eumaeus wept as he took them to do as she
had bidden him. Hard by, the stockman wept also when he saw his
master’s bow, but Antinous scolded them. “You country louts,” said he,
“silly simpletons; why should you add to the sorrows of your
mistress by crying in this way? She has enough to grieve her in the
loss of her husband; sit still, therefore, and eat your dinners in
silence, or go outside if you want to cry, and leave the bow behind
you. We suitors shall have to contend for it with might and main,
for we shall find it no light matter to string such a bow as this
is. There is not a man of us all who is such another as Ulysses; for I
have seen him and remember him, though I was then only a child.”
  This was what he said, but all the time he was expecting to be
able to string the bow and shoot through the iron, whereas in fact
he was to be the first that should taste of the arrows from the
hands of Ulysses, whom he was dishonouring in his own house—egging
the others on to do so also.
  Then Telemachus spoke. “Great heavens!” he exclaimed, “Jove must
have robbed me of my senses. Here is my dear and excellent mother
saying she will quit this house and marry again, yet I am laughing and
enjoying myself as though there were nothing happening. But,
suitors, as the contest has been agreed upon, let it go forward. It is
for a woman whose peer is not to be found in Pylos, Argos, or
Mycene, nor yet in Ithaca nor on the mainland. You know this as well
as I do; what need have I to speak in praise of my mother? Come on,
then, make no excuses for delay, but let us see whether you can string
the bow or no. I too will make trial of it, for if I can string it and
shoot through the iron, I shall not suffer my mother to quit this
house with a stranger, not if I can win the prizes which my father won
before me.”
  As he spoke he sprang from his seat, threw his crimson cloak from
him, and took his sword from his shoulder. First he set the axes in
a row, in a long groove which he had dug for them, and had Wade
straight by line. Then he stamped the earth tight round them, and
everyone was surprised when they saw him set up so orderly, though
he had never seen anything of the kind before. This done, he went on
to the pavement to make trial of the bow; thrice did he tug at it,
trying with all his might to draw the string, and thrice he had to
leave off, though he had hoped to string the bow and shoot through the
iron. He was trying for the fourth time, and would have strung it
had not Ulysses made a sign to check him in spite of all his
eagerness. So he said:
  “Alas! I shall either be always feeble and of no prowess, or I am
too young, and have not yet reached my full strength so as to be
able to hold my own if any one attacks me. You others, therefore,
who are stronger than I, make trial of the bow and get this contest
settled.”
  On this he put the bow down, letting it lean against the door
[that led into the house] with the arrow standing against the top of
the bow. Then he sat down on the seat from which he had risen, and
Antinous said:
  “Come on each of you in his turn, going towards the right from the
place at which the. cupbearer begins when he is handing round the
wine.”
  The rest agreed, and Leiodes son of OEnops was the first to rise. He
was sacrificial priest to the suitors, and sat in the corner near
the mixing-bowl. He was the only man who hated their evil deeds and
was indignant with the others. He was now the first to take the bow
and arrow, so he went on to the pavement to make his trial, but he
could not string the bow, for his hands were weak and unused to hard
work, they therefore soon grew tired, and he said to the suitors,
“My friends, I cannot string it; let another have it; this bow shall
take the life and soul out of many a chief among us, for it is
better to die than to live after having missed the prize that we
have so long striven for, and which has brought us so long together.
Some one of us is even now hoping and praying that he may marry
Penelope, but when he has seen this bow and tried it, let him woo
and make bridal offerings to some other woman, and let Penelope
marry whoever makes her the best offer and whose lot it is to win
her.”
  On this he put the bow down, letting it lean against the door,
with the arrow standing against the tip of the bow. Then he took his
seat again on the seat from which he had risen; and Antinous rebuked
him saying:
  “Leiodes, what are you talking about? Your words are monstrous and
intolerable; it makes me angry to listen to you. Shall, then, this bow
take the life of many a chief among us, merely because you cannot bend
it yourself? True, you were not born to be an archer, but there are
others who will soon string it.”
  Then he said to Melanthius the goatherd, “Look sharp, light a fire
in the court, and set a seat hard by with a sheep skin on it; bring us
also a large ball of lard, from what they have in the house. Let us
warm the bow and grease it we will then make trial of it again, and
bring the contest to an end.”
  Melanthius lit the fire, and set a seat covered with sheep skins
beside it. He also brought a great ball of lard from what they had
in the house, and the suitors warmed the bow and again made trial of
it, but they were none of them nearly strong enough to string it.
Nevertheless there still remained Antinous and Eurymachus, who were
the ringleaders among the suitors and much the foremost among them
all.
  Then the swineherd and the stockman left the cloisters together, and
Ulysses followed them. When they had got outside the gates and the
outer yard, Ulysses said to them quietly:
  “Stockman, and you swineherd, I have something in my mind which I am
in doubt whether to say or no; but I think I will say it. What
manner of men would you be to stand by Ulysses, if some god should
bring him back here all of a sudden? Say which you are disposed to do-
to side with the suitors, or with Ulysses?”
  “Father Jove,” answered the stockman, “would indeed that you might
so ordain it. If some god were but to bring Ulysses back, you should
see with what might and main I would fight for him.”
  In like words Eumaeus prayed to all the gods that Ulysses might
return; when, therefore, he saw for certain what mind they were of,
Ulysses said, “It is I, Ulysses, who am here. I have suffered much,
but at last, in the twentieth year, I am come back to my own
country. I find that you two alone of all my servants are glad that
I should do so, for I have not heard any of the others praying for
my return. To you two, therefore, will I unfold the truth as it
shall be. If heaven shall deliver the suitors into my hands, I will
find wives for both of you, will give you house and holding close to
my own, and you shall be to me as though you were brothers and friends
of Telemachus. I will now give you convincing proofs that you may know
me and be assured. See, here is the scar from the boar’s tooth that
ripped me when I was out hunting on Mount Parnassus with the sons of
Autolycus.”
  As he spoke he drew his rags aside from the great scar, and when
they had examined it thoroughly, they both of them wept about Ulysses,
threw their arms round him and kissed his head and shoulders, while
Ulysses kissed their hands and faces in return. The sun would have
gone down upon their mourning if Ulysses had not checked them and
said:
  “Cease your weeping, lest some one should come outside and see us,
and tell those who a are within. When you go in, do so separately, not
both together; I will go first, and do you follow afterwards; Let this
moreover be the token between us; the suitors will all of them try
to prevent me from getting hold of the bow and quiver; do you,
therefore, Eumaeus, place it in my hands when you are carrying it
about, and tell the women to close the doors of their apartment. If
they hear any groaning or uproar as of men fighting about the house,
they must not come out; they must keep quiet, and stay where they
are at their work. And I charge you, Philoetius, to make fast the
doors of the outer court, and to bind them securely at once.”
  When he had thus spoken, he went back to the house and took the seat
that he had left. Presently, his two servants followed him inside.
  At this moment the bow was in the hands of Eurymachus, who was
warming it by the fire, but even so he could not string it, and he was
greatly grieved. He heaved a deep sigh and said, “I grieve for
myself and for us all; I grieve that I shall have to forgo the
marriage, but I do not care nearly so much about this, for there are
plenty of other women in Ithaca and elsewhere; what I feel most is the
fact of our being so inferior to Ulysses in strength that we cannot
string his bow. This will disgrace us in the eyes of those who are yet
unborn.”
  “It shall not be so, Eurymachus,” said Antinous, “and you know it
yourself. To-day is the feast of Apollo throughout all the land; who
can string a bow on such a day as this? Put it on one side—as for the
axes they can stay where they are, for no one is likely to come to the
house and take them away: let the cupbearer go round with his cups,
that we may make our drink-offerings and drop this matter of the
bow; we will tell Melanthius to bring us in some goats to-morrow-
the best he has; we can then offer thigh bones to Apollo the mighty
archer, and again make trial of the bow, so as to bring the contest to
an end.”
  The rest approved his words, and thereon men servants poured water
over the hands of the guests, while pages filled the mixing-bowls with
wine and water and handed it round after giving every man his
drink-offering. Then, when they had made their offerings and had drunk
each as much as he desired, Ulysses craftily said:
  “Suitors of the illustrious queen, listen that I may speak even as I
am minded. I appeal more especially to Eurymachus, and to Antinous who
has just spoken with so much reason. Cease shooting for the present
and leave the matter to the gods, but in the morning let heaven give
victory to whom it will. For the moment, however, give me the bow that
I may prove the power of my hands among you all, and see whether I
still have as much strength as I used to have, or whether travel and
neglect have made an end of it.”
  This made them all very angry, for they feared he might string the
bow; Antinous therefore rebuked him fiercely saying, “Wretched
creature, you have not so much as a grain of sense in your whole body;
you ought to think yourself lucky in being allowed to dine unharmed
among your betters, without having any smaller portion served you than
we others have had, and in being allowed to hear our conversation.
No other beggar or stranger has been allowed to hear what we say among
ourselves; the wine must have been doing you a mischief, as it does
with all those drink immoderately. It was wine that inflamed the
Centaur Eurytion when he was staying with Peirithous among the
Lapithae. When the wine had got into his head he went mad and did
ill deeds about the house of Peirithous; this angered the heroes who
were there assembled, so they rushed at him and cut off his ears and
nostrils; then they dragged him through the doorway out of the
house, so he went away crazed, and bore the burden of his crime,
bereft of understanding. Henceforth, therefore, there was war
between mankind and the centaurs, but he brought it upon himself
through his own drunkenness. In like manner I can tell you that it
will go hardly with you if you string the bow: you will find no
mercy from any one here, for we shall at once ship you off to king
Echetus, who kills every one that comes near him: you will never get
away alive, so drink and keep quiet without getting into a quarrel
with men younger than yourself.”
  Penelope then spoke to him. “Antinous,” said she, “it is not right
that you should ill-treat any guest of Telemachus who comes to this
house. If the stranger should prove strong enough to string the mighty
bow of Ulysses, can you suppose that he would take me home with him
and make me his wife? Even the man hi
JB Claywell May 2016
Penelope was angry with me,
earlier this week I had ripped up
a story that I’d been working on for
a long time.

The story was about an ex-con, with a heart of gold,
he wandered around Nevada and righted a few wrongs
along the way.  

The coolest thing about him was his name and the fact that
he was a little banged up.

In my head, he was kind of an older guy, a ***,
kind of greasy, you know, shifty, reckless, a guy
maybe you could relate to, and he walked with a cane.

Big deal, right?

Penelope didn’t think so; I mean she was smart enough
to know that this story wasn’t my ******* magnum-opus
or anything, but she got ****** because I flipped out, started yelling
about how I was a no good sonofabitch, couldn’t write for ****,
and should give it up and take up ******’ basket-weaving or something.

She tried to tell me that I was being a ******* and that I was a good writer;
pointing out that I’d made it into rags like “Clues”, “Dime Detective”, and that once
I’d even been published in “Web of Mystery”.

But I wouldn’t listen and I told her that she was full of ****, and a pain in the ***,
and that she could do better than a hack like me, and I told her to get the hell
away from me or I might lose my ******* mind and strangle her.

So, she did.  She packed a bag, got in my car, and took off for her cousin’s house upstate.

Now, here I was, without my car, without more than maybe twenty-five bucks to my name,
and without the girl of my dreams.

I was just about to throw my typewriter out the window when the phone rang…

“Penny?”
“Nope.”
“Who is this?”
“It’s me, ya dumb ****!”
“Who the **** is ‘me’ and what the **** does ‘me’ want?”
“It’s Dale, ya *******!”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah!”

Dale proceeded to tell me about how he’d just been picked
up by both “Amazing Stories” and “Tales From The Crypt” for a
six month run of short fiction in each and he then tells me that
they’ve seen fit to advance him two-hundred dollars each.

“Eat ****, Dale,” I say, and hang up the phone.

About thirty minutes later there’s a knock at my door.
It’s not Penelope, unfortunately.
It’s Dale.

“I don’t wanna eat ****, Chuckie-boy.
I wanna eat a steak.”

I tell Dale to go get a **** steak and that I’m not planning on going anywhere.
He won’t take no for an answer, so the next thing I know, we’re loaded into his jalopy and heading downtown.

The first place we go is Rico’s.  

Rico’s has pretty good food and they know what to do with a KC strip,
so Dale’s pretty jazzed.

“Chuck, you getting’ a steak?”
“Nah, I was thinkin’ about the club sandwich.”

While we ate, Dale told me about how he’d gone about the writing of the pilots
for his two series of short stories, about the correspondence between himself and the
editors, about sending in edits and revisions, and about finally getting his acceptance letters,
signing the contracts, and getting the checks in the mail.

I listened, sure, but mostly I let my thoughts wander to how Penelope and I had done, and been doing, much the same for the past several years.  
I would mail manila envelopes back and forth to “Mystery and Suspense” and she would do her monthly allotment of sentiment scribbling for The Renaissance Greeting Card Co.

Neither of us were hacks.  We got some checks in the mail, same as Dale, and more often.

What chaffed was that Dale had gotten a contract for a run of stories.

Dale had gotten what I wanted. And, I couldn’t handle it.
I had forgotten about all that I had done, all that I had achieved,
I had dismissed all of those manila envelopes, all of those little checks, I had forgotten how they’d added up, how they’d kept me alive, fed me, sheltered me, how they’d sustained me.

And in the dismissal of those envelopes and all the good they’d done me, I’d managed to dismiss the only other things that had done me any good at all.  I’d dismissed myself as a writer, and I’d done the very same to Penelope.  

What a fool I was.

When we’d finished, Dale paid the check and asked if I wanted to go to Auggie’s *******
and have a look.

I said that I didn’t.

I thanked him for the meal and asked if he’d mind dropping me off at home.

I told him that I had a lot of work to do on a rewrite,

and that I had a telephone call to make.

*

-JBClaywell

©P&ZPublications; 2016
Ulysses was left in the cloister, pondering on the means whereby
with Minerva’s help he might be able to **** the suitors. Presently he
said to Telemachus, “Telemachus, we must get the armour together and
take it down inside. Make some excuse when the suitors ask you why you
have removed it. Say that you have taken it to be out of the way of
the smoke, inasmuch as it is no longer what it was when Ulysses went
away, but has become soiled and begrimed with soot. Add to this more
particularly that you are afraid Jove may set them on to quarrel
over their wine, and that they may do each other some harm which may
disgrace both banquet and wooing, for the sight of arms sometimes
tempts people to use them.”
  Telemachus approved of what his father had said, so he called
nurse Euryclea and said, “Nurse, shut the women up in their room,
while I take the armour that my father left behind him down into the
store room. No one looks after it now my father is gone, and it has
got all smirched with soot during my own boyhood. I want to take it
down where the smoke cannot reach it.”
  “I wish, child,” answered Euryclea, “that you would take the
management of the house into your own hands altogether, and look after
all the property yourself. But who is to go with you and light you
to the store room? The maids would have so, but you would not let
them.
  “The stranger,” said Telemachus, “shall show me a light; when people
eat my bread they must earn it, no matter where they come from.”
  Euryclea did as she was told, and bolted the women inside their
room. Then Ulysses and his son made all haste to take the helmets,
shields, and spears inside; and Minerva went before them with a gold
lamp in her hand that shed a soft and brilliant radiance, whereon
Telemachus said, “Father, my eyes behold a great marvel: the walls,
with the rafters, crossbeams, and the supports on which they rest
are all aglow as with a flaming fire. Surely there is some god here
who has come down from heaven.”
  “Hush,” answered Ulysses, “hold your peace and ask no questions, for
this is the manner of the gods. Get you to your bed, and leave me here
to talk with your mother and the maids. Your mother in her grief
will ask me all sorts of questions.”
  On this Telemachus went by torch-light to the other side of the
inner court, to the room in which he always slept. There he lay in his
bed till morning, while Ulysses was left in the cloister pondering
on the means whereby with Minerva’s help he might be able to ****
the suitors.
  Then Penelope came down from her room looking like Venus or Diana,
and they set her a seat inlaid with scrolls of silver and ivory near
the fire in her accustomed place. It had been made by Icmalius and had
a footstool all in one piece with the seat itself; and it was
covered with a thick fleece: on this she now sat, and the maids came
from the women’s room to join her. They set about removing the
tables at which the wicked suitors had been dining, and took away
the bread that was left, with the cups from which they had drunk. They
emptied the embers out of the braziers, and heaped much wood upon them
to give both light and heat; but Melantho began to rail at Ulysses a
second time and said, “Stranger, do you mean to plague us by hanging
about the house all night and spying upon the women? Be off, you
wretch, outside, and eat your supper there, or you shall be driven out
with a firebrand.”
  Ulysses scowled at her and answered, “My good woman, why should
you be so angry with me? Is it because I am not clean, and my
clothes are all in rags, and because I am obliged to go begging
about after the manner of tramps and beggars generall? I too was a
rich man once, and had a fine house of my own; in those days I gave to
many a ***** such as I now am, no matter who he might be nor what he
wanted. I had any number of servants, and all the other things which
people have who live well and are accounted wealthy, but it pleased
Jove to take all away from me; therefore, woman, beware lest you too
come to lose that pride and place in which you now wanton above your
fellows; have a care lest you get out of favour with your mistress,
and lest Ulysses should come home, for there is still a chance that he
may do so. Moreover, though he be dead as you think he is, yet by
Apollo’s will he has left a son behind him, Telemachus, who will
note anything done amiss by the maids in the house, for he is now no
longer in his boyhood.”
  Penelope heard what he was saying and scolded the maid, “Impudent
baggage, said she, “I see how abominably you are behaving, and you
shall smart for it. You knew perfectly well, for I told you myself,
that I was going to see the stranger and ask him about my husband, for
whose sake I am in such continual sorrow.”
  Then she said to her head waiting woman Eurynome, “Bring a seat with
a fleece upon it, for the stranger to sit upon while he tells his
story, and listens to what I have to say. I wish to ask him some
questions.”
  Eurynome brought the seat at once and set a fleece upon it, and as
soon as Ulysses had sat down Penelope began by saying, “Stranger, I
shall first ask you who and whence are you? Tell me of your town and
parents.”
  “Madam;” answered Ulysses, “who on the face of the whole earth can
dare to chide with you? Your fame reaches the firmament of heaven
itself; you are like some blameless king, who upholds righteousness,
as the monarch over a great and valiant nation: the earth yields its
wheat and barley, the trees are loaded with fruit, the ewes bring
forth lambs, and the sea abounds with fish by reason of his virtues,
and his people do good deeds under him. Nevertheless, as I sit here in
your house, ask me some other question and do not seek to know my race
and family, or you will recall memories that will yet more increase my
sorrow. I am full of heaviness, but I ought not to sit weeping and
wailing in another person’s house, nor is it well to be thus
grieving continually. I shall have one of the servants or even
yourself complaining of me, and saying that my eyes swim with tears
because I am heavy with wine.”
  Then Penelope answered, “Stranger, heaven robbed me of all beauty,
whether of face or figure, when the Argives set sail for Troy and my
dear husband with them. If he were to return and look after my affairs
I should be both more respected and should show a better presence to
the world. As it is, I am oppressed with care, and with the
afflictions which heaven has seen fit to heap upon me. The chiefs from
all our islands—Dulichium, Same, and Zacynthus, as also from Ithaca
itself, are wooing me against my will and are wasting my estate. I can
therefore show no attention to strangers, nor suppliants, nor to
people who say that they are skilled artisans, but am all the time
brokenhearted about Ulysses. They want me to marry again at once,
and I have to invent stratagems in order to deceive them. In the first
place heaven put it in my mind to set up a great tambour-frame in my
room, and to begin working upon an enormous piece of fine
needlework. Then I said to them, ‘Sweethearts, Ulysses is indeed dead,
still, do not press me to marry again immediately; wait—for I would
not have my skill in needlework perish unrecorded—till I have
finished making a pall for the hero Laertes, to be ready against the
time when death shall take him. He is very rich, and the women of
the place will talk if he is laid out without a pall.’ This was what I
said, and they assented; whereon I used to keep working at my great
web all day long, but at night I would unpick the stitches again by
torch light. I fooled them in this way for three years without their
finding it out, but as time wore on and I was now in my fourth year,
in the waning of moons, and many days had been accomplished, those
good-for-nothing hussies my maids betrayed me to the suitors, who
broke in upon me and caught me; they were very angry with me, so I was
forced to finish my work whether I would or no. And now I do not see
how I can find any further shift for getting out of this marriage.
My parents are putting great pressure upon me, and my son chafes at
the ravages the suitors are making upon his estate, for he is now
old enough to understand all about it and is perfectly able to look
after his own affairs, for heaven has blessed him with an excellent
disposition. Still, notwithstanding all this, tell me who you are
and where you come from—for you must have had father and mother of
some sort; you cannot be the son of an oak or of a rock.”
  Then Ulysses answered, “madam, wife of Ulysses, since you persist in
asking me about my family, I will answer, no matter what it costs
me: people must expect to be pained when they have been exiles as long
as I have, and suffered as much among as many peoples. Nevertheless,
as regards your question I will tell you all you ask. There is a
fair and fruitful island in mid-ocean called Crete; it is thickly
peopled and there are nine cities in it: the people speak many
different languages which overlap one another, for there are Achaeans,
brave Eteocretans, Dorians of three-fold race, and noble Pelasgi.
There is a great town there, Cnossus, where Minos reigned who every
nine years had a conference with Jove himself. Minos was father to
Deucalion, whose son I am, for Deucalion had two sons Idomeneus and
myself. Idomeneus sailed for Troy, and I, who am the younger, am
called Aethon; my brother, however, was at once the older and the more
valiant of the two; hence it was in Crete that I saw Ulysses and
showed him hospitality, for the winds took him there as he was on
his way to Troy, carrying him out of his course from cape Malea and
leaving him in Amnisus off the cave of Ilithuia, where the harbours
are difficult to enter and he could hardly find shelter from the winds
that were then xaging. As soon as he got there he went into the town
and asked for Idomeneus, claiming to be his old and valued friend, but
Idomeneus had already set sail for Troy some ten or twelve days
earlier, so I took him to my own house and showed him every kind of
hospitality, for I had abundance of everything. Moreover, I fed the
men who were with him with barley meal from the public store, and
got subscriptions of wine and oxen for them to sacrifice to their
heart’s content. They stayed with me twelve days, for there was a gale
blowing from the North so strong that one could hardly keep one’s feet
on land. I suppose some unfriendly god had raised it for them, but
on the thirteenth day the wind dropped, and they got away.”
  Many a plausible tale did Ulysses further tell her, and Penelope
wept as she listened, for her heart was melted. As the snow wastes
upon the mountain tops when the winds from South East and West have
breathed upon it and thawed it till the rivers run bank full with
water, even so did her cheeks overflow with tears for the husband
who was all the time sitting by her side. Ulysses felt for her and was
for her, but he kept his eyes as hard as or iron without letting
them so much as quiver, so cunningly did he restrain his tears.
Then, when she had relieved herself by weeping, she turned to him
again and said: “Now, stranger, I shall put you to the test and see
whether or no you really did entertain my husband and his men, as
you say you did. Tell me, then, how he was dressed, what kind of a man
he was to look at, and so also with his companions.”
  “Madam,” answered Ulysses, “it is such a long time ago that I can
hardly say. Twenty years are come and gone since he left my home,
and went elsewhither; but I will tell you as well as I can
recollect. Ulysses wore a mantle of purple wool, double lined, and
it was fastened by a gold brooch with two catches for the pin. On
the face of this there was a device that showed a dog holding a
spotted fawn between his fore paws, and watching it as it lay
panting upon the ground. Every one marvelled at the way in which these
things had been done in gold, the dog looking at the fawn, and
strangling it, while the fawn was struggling convulsively to escape.
As for the shirt that he wore next his skin, it was so soft that it
fitted him like the skin of an onion, and glistened in the sunlight to
the admiration of all the women who beheld it. Furthermore I say,
and lay my saying to your heart, that I do not know whether Ulysses
wore these clothes when he left home, or whether one of his companions
had given them to him while he was on his voyage; or possibly some one
at whose house he was staying made him a present of them, for he was a
man of many friends and had few equals among the Achaeans. I myself
gave him a sword of bronze and a beautiful purple mantle, double
lined, with a shirt that went down to his feet, and I sent him on
board his ship with every mark of honour. He had a servant with him, a
little older than himself, and I can tell you what he was like; his
shoulders were hunched, he was dark, and he had thick curly hair.
His name was Eurybates, and Ulysses treated him with greater
familiarity than he did any of the others, as being the most
like-minded with himself.”
  Penelope was moved still more deeply as she heard the indisputable
proofs that Ulysses laid before her; and when she had again found
relief in tears she said to him, “Stranger, I was already disposed
to pity you, but henceforth you shall be honoured and made welcome
in my house. It was I who gave Ulysses the clothes you speak of. I
took them out of the store room and folded them up myself, and I
gave him also the gold brooch to wear as an ornament. Alas! I shall
never welcome him home again. It was by an ill fate that he ever set
out for that detested city whose very name I cannot bring myself
even to mention.”
  Then Ulysses answered, “Madam, wife of Ulysses, do not disfigure
yourself further by grieving thus bitterly for your loss, though I can
hardly blame you for doing so. A woman who has loved her husband and
borne him children, would naturally be grieved at losing him, even
though he were a worse man than Ulysses, who they say was like a
god. Still, cease your tears and listen to what I can tell I will hide
nothing from you, and can say with perfect truth that I have lately
heard of Ulysses as being alive and on his way home; he is among the
Thesprotians, and is bringing back much valuable treasure that he
has begged from one and another of them; but his ship and all his crew
were lost as they were leaving the Thrinacian island, for Jove and the
sun-god were angry with him because his men had slaughtered the
sun-god’s cattle, and they were all drowned to a man. But Ulysses
stuck to the keel of the ship and was drifted on to the land of the
Phaecians, who are near of kin to the immortals, and who treated him
as though he had been a god, giving him many presents, and wishing
to escort him home safe and sound. In fact Ulysses would have been
here long ago, had he not thought better to go from land to land
gathering wealth; for there is no man living who is so wily as he
is; there is no one can compare with him. Pheidon king of the
Thesprotians told me all this, and he swore to me—making
drink-offerings in his house as he did so—that the ship was by the
water side and the crew found who would take Ulysses to his own
country. He sent me off first, for there happened to be a
Thesprotian ship sailing for the wheat-growing island of Dulichium,
but he showed me all treasure Ulysses had got together, and he had
enough lying in the house of king Pheidon to keep his family for ten
generations; but the king said Ulysses had gone to Dodona that he
might learn Jove’s mind from the high oak tree, and know whether after
so long an absence he should return to Ithaca openly or in secret.
So you may know he is safe and will be here shortly; he is close at
hand and cannot remain away from home much longer; nevertheless I will
confirm my words with an oath, and call Jove who is the first and
mightiest of all gods to witness, as also that hearth of Ulysses to
which I have now come, that all I have spoken shall surely come to
pass. Ulysses will return in this self same year; with the end of this
moon and the beginning of the next he will b
JB Claywell May 2016
Penelope is sitting at the kitchen table.
She has a large manila envelope spilled
out across the red plastic surface.

There are about 50 blank greeting cards,
the fronts of these have pictures of butterflies,
palm trees, puppies, strawberry patches, assorted
flowers and birds, and artist’s renderings of quiet places
in nature.

Penelope is writing things down on a yellow legal pad
and contemplating the art on the fronts of the blank cards.
Penelope is working.

About once a month, the Renaissance Greeting Card Co.
sends one of these manila envelopes full of blank cards for her
to ponder.
Sometimes while she ponders,
she drinks wine.

Other pondering sessions require ginger ale
or coffee.

She tells me that the wine is the best lubricant for
the ponderings of wholesale sentiments and she writes
one down on her legal pad.

When she has turned each blank into, what she believes to be, a
suitable greeting card, we will sit together and number the blanks
with black marker, I will type up the sentiments and match them to their
corresponding blank, we will stuff these into the supplied return envelope
and mail the whole mess back to Renaissance Greeting Card Co.

A few weeks later, Penelope will receive a check in the mail.


I am in the bedroom.
I have a little corner desk set up in there.
On this desk, is a typewriter, an ashtray, and a tennis ball.

Sometimes, if I run out of ideas, I’ll chuck the tennis ball at the wall
and catch it on the return bounce for a while.  
Usually, I drink coffee while I do the chucking, sometimes it’s
whiskey.

I write stories about bank robberies, diamond heists, or other
tales of daring do.

Sometimes I write prose poems
about what Penelope and I do
on a Wednesday afternoon.

When I have enough of these to fill a manila envelope
or two, I send them off to various editors/publishers of
magazines/rags I have found that serve a particular
audience for these sorts of writings.

Sometimes I get a check in the mail,
sometimes I don’t.

But, there’s always another Wednesday afternoon.

*

-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications; 2016
The second poem about nothing.
Sherry Asbury Jul 2015
Love has many faces...many guises.
Nature has many hidden secrets and places.
Penelope rode the Swift Shadow
out of Chesapeake harbor, great sails
catching hands full of wind and pitching
them into the gleaming sheets - sending
the Shadow flying across the water.
She was not happy, even at the thunder
the voyage put in her heart.
At a far harbor awaited a man who had
petitioned her father for her hand in wedlock.
A painting of the proposed groom had been sent.
Penelope’s father was pleased, but she saw
in the muted colors, a pale, vapid appearing youth
with slightly crossed eyes - she wept in her room.

For three days the mighty sailing ship ate up miles
of sameness...blue water with no land in sight.
On the fourth day a fierce storm kicked up the waters.
The ship swayed and mightily fought to keep its keel.
But at last the sea won the battle and threw the ship
to its secret deeps, where bodies were held down
by watery hands.
Penelope found her heavy skirts pinning her
beneath the insistent waves - she knew she would drown.
Suddenly hands grabbed her, held her close and lips
closed on hers...giving her sweet breath to sustain.
When she opened her eyes she was in a cave where
a man...creature... stood before her.
He was not of the earth, but of the deepest sea.
A scream echoed from Penelope’s lips through
the cavernous space.
Touching her gently he told her his name was Sir Brine,
prince of his father Neptune’s kingdom...

And so, in the fullness of time, Penelope became a bride,
resplendent in sea foam and pearls...deeply in love with
the man who had rescued her from the sea - and her other fate.
Written to a picture I cannot share here, but can be found on
AllPoetry.com
When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared,
Telemachus bound on his sandals and took a strong spear that suited
his hands, for he wanted to go into the city. “Old friend,” said he to
the swineherd, “I will now go to the town and show myself to my
mother, for she will never leave off grieving till she has seen me. As
for this unfortunate stranger, take him to the town and let him beg
there of any one who will give him a drink and a piece of bread. I
have trouble enough of my own, and cannot be burdened with other
people. If this makes him angry so much the worse for him, but I
like to say what I mean.”
  Then Ulysses said, “Sir, I do not want to stay here; a beggar can
always do better in town than country, for any one who likes can
give him something. I am too old to care about remaining here at the
beck and call of a master. Therefore let this man do as you have
just told him, and take me to the town as soon as I have had a warm by
the fire, and the day has got a little heat in it. My clothes are
wretchedly thin, and this frosty morning I shall be perished with
cold, for you say the city is some way off.”
  On this Telemachus strode off through the yards, brooding his
revenge upon the When he reached home he stood his spear against a
bearing-post of the cloister, crossed the stone floor of the
cloister itself, and went inside.
  Nurse Euryclea saw him long before any one else did. She was putting
the fleeces on to the seats, and she burst out crying as she ran up to
him; all the other maids came up too, and covered his head and
shoulders with their kisses. Penelope came out of her room looking
like Diana or Venus, and wept as she flung her arms about her son. She
kissed his forehead and both his beautiful eyes, “Light of my eyes,”
she cried as she spoke fondly to him, “so you are come home again; I
made sure I was never going to see you any more. To think of your
having gone off to Pylos without saying anything about it or obtaining
my consent. But come, tell me what you saw.”
  “Do not scold me, mother,’ answered Telemachus, “nor vex me,
seeing what a narrow escape I have had, but wash your face, change
your dress, go upstairs with your maids, and promise full and
sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if Jove will only grant us our
revenge upon the suitors. I must now go to the place of assembly to
invite a stranger who has come back with me from Pylos. I sent him
on with my crew, and told Piraeus to take him home and look after
him till I could come for him myself.”
  She heeded her son’s words, washed her face, changed her dress,
and vowed full and sufficient hecatombs to all the gods if they
would only vouchsafe her revenge upon the suitors.
  Telemachus went through, and out of, the cloisters spear in hand-
not alone, for his two fleet dogs went with him. Minerva endowed him
with a presence of such divine comeliness that all marvelled at him as
he went by, and the suitors gathered round him with fair words in
their mouths and malice in their hearts; but he avoided them, and went
to sit with Mentor, Antiphus, and Halitherses, old friends of his
father’s house, and they made him tell them all that had happened to
him. Then Piraeus came up with Theoclymenus, whom he had escorted
through the town to the place of assembly, whereon Telemachus at
once joined them. Piraeus was first to speak: “Telemachus,” said he,
“I wish you would send some of your women to my house to take awa
the presents Menelaus gave you.”
  “We do not know, Piraeus,” answered Telemachus, “what may happen. If
the suitors **** me in my own house and divide my property among them,
I would rather you had the presents than that any of those people
should get hold of them. If on the other hand I manage to **** them, I
shall be much obliged if you will kindly bring me my presents.”
  With these words he took Theoclymenus to his own house. When they
got there they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats, went into
the baths, and washed themselves. When the maids had washed and
anointed them, and had given them cloaks and shirts, they took their
seats at table. A maid servant then brought them water in a
beautiful golden ewer, and poured it into a silver basin for them to
wash their hands; and she drew a clean table beside them. An upper
servant brought them bread and offered them many good things of what
there was in the house. Opposite them sat Penelope, reclining on a
couch by one of the bearing-posts of the cloister, and spinning.
Then they laid their hands on the good things that were before them,
and as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink Penelope said:
  “Telemachus, I shall go upstairs and lie down on that sad couch,
which I have not ceased to water with my tears, from the day Ulysses
set out for Troy with the sons of Atreus. You failed, however, to make
it clear to me before the suitors came back to the house, whether or
no you had been able to hear anything about the return of your
father.”
  “I will tell you then truth,” replied her son. “We went to Pylos and
saw Nestor, who took me to his house and treated me as hospitably as
though I were a son of his own who had just returned after a long
absence; so also did his sons; but he said he had not heard a word
from any human being about Ulysses, whether he was alive or dead. He
sent me, therefore, with a chariot and horses to Menelaus. There I saw
Helen, for whose sake so many, both Argives and Trojans, were in
heaven’s wisdom doomed to suffer. Menelaus asked me what it was that
had brought me to Lacedaemon, and I told him the whole truth,
whereon he said, ‘So, then, these cowards would usurp a brave man’s
bed? A hind might as well lay her new-born young in the lair of a
lion, and then go off to feed in the forest or in some grassy dell.
The lion, when he comes back to his lair, will make short work with
the pair of them, and so will Ulysses with these suitors. By father
Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, if Ulysses is still the man that he was
when he wrestled with Philomeleides in ******, and threw him so
heavily that all the Greeks cheered him—if he is still such, and were
to come near these suitors, they would have a short shrift and a sorry
wedding. As regards your question, however, I will not prevaricate nor
deceive you, but what the old man of the sea told me, so much will I
tell you in full. He said he could see Ulysses on an island
sorrowing bitterly in the house of the nymph Calypso, who was
keeping him prisoner, and he could not reach his home, for he had no
ships nor sailors to take him over the sea.’ This was what Menelaus
told me, and when I had heard his story I came away; the gods then
gave me a fair wind and soon brought me safe home again.”
  With these words he moved the heart of Penelope. Then Theoclymenus
said to her:
  “Madam, wife of Ulysses, Telemachus does not understand these
things; listen therefore to me, for I can divine them surely, and will
hide nothing from you. May Jove the king of heaven be my witness,
and the rites of hospitality, with that hearth of Ulysses to which I
now come, that Ulysses himself is even now in Ithaca, and, either
going about the country or staying in one place, is enquiring into all
these evil deeds and preparing a day of reckoning for the suitors. I
saw an omen when I was on the ship which meant this, and I told
Telemachus about it.”
  “May it be even so,” answered Penelope; “if your words come true,
you shall have such gifts and such good will from me that all who
see you shall congratulate you.”
  Thus did they converse. Meanwhile the suitors were throwing discs,
or aiming with spears at a mark on the levelled ground in front of the
house, and behaving with all their old insolence. But when it was
now time for dinner, and the flock of sheep and goats had come into
the town from all the country round, with their shepherds as usual,
then Medon, who was their favourite servant, and who waited upon
them at table, said, “Now then, my young masters, you have had
enough sport, so come inside that we may get dinner ready. Dinner is
not a bad thing, at dinner time.”
  They left their sports as he told them, and when they were within
the house, they laid their cloaks on the benches and seats inside, and
then sacrificed some sheep, goats, pigs, and a heifer, all of them fat
and well grown. Thus they made ready for their meal. In the meantime
Ulysses and the swineherd were about starting for the town, and the
swineherd said, “Stranger, I suppose you still want to go to town
to-day, as my master said you were to do; for my own part I should
have liked you to stay here as a station hand, but I must do as my
master tells me, or he will scold me later on, and a scolding from
one’s master is a very serious thing. Let us then be off, for it is
now broad day; it will be night again directly and then you will
find it colder.”
  “I know, and understand you,” replied Ulysses; “you need say no
more. Let us be going, but if you have a stick ready cut, let me
have it to walk with, for you say the road is a very rough one.”
  As he spoke he threw his shabby old tattered wallet over his
shoulders, by the cord from which it hung, and Eumaeus gave him a
stick to his liking. The two then started, leaving the station in
charge of the dogs and herdsmen who remained behind; the swineherd led
the way and his master followed after, looking like some broken-down
old ***** as he leaned upon his staff, and his clothes were all in
rags. When they had got over the rough steep ground and were nearing
the city, they reached the fountain from which the citizens drew their
water. This had been made by Ithacus, Neritus, and Polyctor. There was
a grove of water-loving poplars planted in a circle all round it,
and the clear cold water came down to it from a rock high up, while
above the fountain there was an altar to the nymphs, at which all
wayfarers used to sacrifice. Here Melanthius son of Dolius overtook
them as he was driving down some goats, the best in his flock, for the
suitors’ dinner, and there were two shepherds with him. When he saw
Eumaeus and Ulysses he reviled them with outrageous and unseemly
language, which made Ulysses very angry.
  “There you go,” cried he, “and a precious pair you are. See how
heaven brings birds of the same feather to one another. Where, pray,
master swineherd, are you taking this poor miserable object? It
would make any one sick to see such a creature at table. A fellow like
this never won a prize for anything in his life, but will go about
rubbing his shoulders against every man’s door post, and begging,
not for swords and cauldrons like a man, but only for a few scraps not
worth begging for. If you would give him to me for a hand on my
station, he might do to clean out the folds, or bring a bit of sweet
feed to the kids, and he could fatten his thighs as much as he pleased
on whey; but he has taken to bad ways and will not go about any kind
of work; he will do nothing but beg victuals all the town over, to
feed his insatiable belly. I say, therefore and it shall surely be—if
he goes near Ulysses’ house he will get his head broken by the
stools they will fling at him, till they turn him out.”
  On this, as he passed, he gave Ulysses a kick on the hip out of pure
wantonness, but Ulysses stood firm, and did not budge from the path.
For a moment he doubted whether or no to fly at Melanthius and ****
him with his staff, or fling him to the ground and beat his brains
out; he resolved, however, to endure it and keep himself in check, but
the swineherd looked straight at Melanthius and rebuked him, lifting
up his hands and praying to heaven as he did so.
  “Fountain nymphs,” he cried, “children of Jove, if ever Ulysses
burned you thigh bones covered with fat whether of lambs or kids,
grant my prayer that heaven may send him home. He would soon put an
end to the swaggering threats with which such men as you go about
insulting people-gadding all over the town while your flocks are going
to ruin through bad shepherding.”
  Then Melanthius the goatherd answered, “You ill-conditioned cur,
what are you talking about? Some day or other I will put you on
board ship and take you to a foreign country, where I can sell you and
pocket the money you will fetch. I wish I were as sure that Apollo
would strike Telemachus dead this very day, or that the suitors
would **** him, as I am that Ulysses will never come home again.”
  With this he left them to come on at their leisure, while he went
quickly forward and soon reached the house of his master. When he
got there he went in and took his seat among the suitors opposite
Eurymachus, who liked him better than any of the others. The
servants brought him a portion of meat, and an upper woman servant set
bread before him that he might eat. Presently Ulysses and the
swineherd came up to the house and stood by it, amid a sound of music,
for Phemius was just beginning to sing to the suitors. Then Ulysses
took hold of the swineherd’s hand, and said:
  “Eumaeus, this house of Ulysses is a very fine place. No matter
how far you go you will find few like it. One building keeps following
on after another. The outer court has a wall with battlements all
round it; the doors are double folding, and of good workmanship; it
would be a hard matter to take it by force of arms. I perceive, too,
that there are many people banqueting within it, for there is a
smell of roast meat, and I hear a sound of music, which the gods
have made to go along with feasting.”
  Then Eumaeus said, “You have perceived aright, as indeed you
generally do; but let us think what will be our best course. Will
you go inside first and join the suitors, leaving me here behind
you, or will you wait here and let me go in first? But do not wait
long, or some one may you loitering about outside, and throw something
at you. Consider this matter I pray you.”
  And Ulysses answered, “I understand and heed. Go in first and
leave me here where I am. I am quite used to being beaten and having
things thrown at me. I have been so much buffeted about in war and
by sea that I am case-hardened, and this too may go with the rest. But
a man cannot hide away the cravings of a hungry belly; this is an
enemy which gives much trouble to all men; it is because of this
that ships are fitted out to sail the seas, and to make war upon other
people.”
  As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised
his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Ulysses had
bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of
him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when
they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his
master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow
dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come
and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of
fleas. As soon as he saw Ulysses standing there, he dropped his ears
and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When
Ulysses saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear
from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:
  “Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap:
his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he
only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept
merely for show?”
  “This hound,” answered Eumaeus, “belonged to him who has died in a
far country. If he were what he was when Ulysses left for Troy, he
would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in
the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its
tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead
and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their
work when their master’s hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes
half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him.”
  As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the
suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.
  Telemachus saw
Paul Hardwick Apr 2012
Penelope sneeze.
Then again.
Her Nose ran.
She took out a handkerchief.
Her mother had brought her.
That Christmas before.
That almost covered her nose.
Blew, filled it.
And in disgust.
Looked for tissue.
For her nose she must empty.
Penelope blew.
This is my 200 poem, cool I did not know I would enjoy writing so much.
Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
Raihna's dreams were recycled from old copper plates stored in an Industrial Age stonewall Factory.
No one knew it existed except the sole occupant within it's cast iron emerald green gates; Penelope Playweather, an ancient dream maker.
Dressed in the garish blue uniform of a seamstress's ****** design, petite Penelope gazed into the dream cauldron.

Hisses, pops, well worn whistles, blistering bangs, silent jets of resigned air gurgled in the acrimonious sounds of a slurpy mixture of heady dreams.

Each night that Raihna placed her head upon a well worn pillow, she drifted into the realms of this slumber factory.

Penelope was bored with the dream men, beautiful dresses, castles, exotic location, incredible make up that Raihna had running around her thought train. It was wearing the copper plates out from misuse.
The mixture was getting weaker which meant that Raihna was coming perilously close to running out of dreams.

This night Raihna was particularly restless.She had come across her childhood photograph album in her attic. There in the pile of time gone by was a picture of a young girl of twelve. In that old black and white snap another hand held her hand. The hand of Helen Francis Finery. Her best friend in a past that had closed it's doors a long time ago. Raihna had saved Helen's life once and now she remembered the dog that brought them together.

It was such a long time ago the memories were covered in dust.
That night Raihna went to bed and placed the photo beneath her pillow. She knew if she thought hard enough that her dreams would bring her back one last time. Gently, softly, as easy as a light summer  breeze she drifted into a peaceful sleep.

Penelope stirred Raihna's thoughts and looked at the dream mixture.
It was running low and the copper plates were burnished from use.
Despite that, it had the making of possibly the very last magnificent dream.
A dream so lucid that Raihna would once again be twelve years of age. Penelope decided that this would be the Queen of all dreams and she would surpass herself in the manufacture of exquisiteness.

Helen would be waiting and this time the roles would be reversed.
Raihna's life would be saved by Helen and a beloved dog would once again fill their days with happiness. Another adventure was about to begin. One that might leave Raihna in the world of dreams if the copper plates finally wore out.

Penelope smiled to herself. If this was the last dream in the Dream Factory then it would be the greatest and most happiest of them all.
Slowly she stirred the mixture and in the haze of the cauldron a young face emerged. There in Raihna's dream stood a twelve year old girl. A smile traced her face and her hand reached out.

'I knew you would come back' said Helen.

Tears of deep happiness ran down Raihna's face as she clasped her friend's hand.

'I knew it too!' Raihna replied.

There at her feet was a beautiful dog and the sound of yapping and delighted barking rose up to her ears.

Penelope stirred and stirred and stirred. The last and greatest Dream in the Dream Factory was about to take place.
kali ma May 2010
Little Penelope Persnicketty was a girl that grew up down the lane.
Her Mother doted on her so much, you would think her insane.
She took such care of her prized daughter pet.
Father never mentioned in the picture, a World War II vet.

Penelope Persnicketty was rather peculiar.
Every single thing she owned was pink, even down to her school ruler.
Petticoats, lace and stockings all a flamingo hue.
The dresses seemed so old fashion, never saw anything new.

She always seemed like a damsel in distress
Mother Persnicketty hand sewed every dress.
When she wasn't sewing , she held Penelope tight.
We rarely saw her out of her mother's controlling sight.

There was one thing Mother Persnicketty couldn't control.
It was puberty ravaging Penelope's little soul.
Hair appeared places it shouldn't.
*******? Penelope wished for them but couldn't

Finally, the secrets began to unravel.
The Persnickettys packed up for some European travel.
In the fuss, we saw the forgery and what else her Pandora hemmed.
Made a daughter just by writing in the letter F instead of M.
They’d built too close to the cliffside edge
And the winters grew so cold,
The ocean seemed to be rising with
The waves, as in they rolled,
They tore away the base of the cliff
And swept it out to sea,
The house was poised on the cliffside edge
And would soon be history.

Two brothers lived in the fated house
That had once comprised of three,
For one of the brothers had a wife
Who was called Penelope,
But something funny was going on
The folks around there said,
For Penny was always seen with John
But had been the wife of Fred.

They both had courted the girl before
And each had bought a ring,
Then asked Penelope could she choose
Between them, there’s the thing,
She told the brothers she loved them both,
The choice was hard, she said,
‘A half of me would marry with John,
But I have to go with Fred.’

The rumours started around the town
That she had the best of two,
She’d sleep for half a week with Fred
And the rest, with you know who.
They’d say that voices were raised in there
It wasn’t going well,
What should have been a heaven on earth
Would seem some kind of hell.

For just on a year she went to town
And shopped just like the rest,
She smiled that bright Penelope smile
Was always nicely dressed,
But then she stopped, and she wasn’t seen
As the brothers did the shop,
Then they would glower at everything
And they wouldn’t talk, or stop.

But still the sound of their voices raised
Would echo from that house,
Til Fred stopped going around with John,
There was no sign of his spouse,
The storm that came at the midnight hour
Then washed away the cliff,
The house plunged into the water and
The rumours said, ‘What if?’

The house was shattered as in it plunged
Each piece was washed away,
And morning had seen the strangest sight,
A coffin, out in the bay,
The rescue boat had dragged it in
And dumped it up on the shore,
Along with a drenched Penelope
So they wondered, more and more.

They found a body, washed on the beach,
It was hard to recognise,
They asked Penelope could she view them
Once she’d dried her eyes,
They opened the coffin for her first
And in there lay her Fred,
His throat was ****** and torn apart
And Penelope bowed her head.

‘I got so sick of the arguments,
It was like being wed to two,
They raved and ranted most every day
I didn’t know what to do.’
‘You say John murdered his brother then?’
But the police were being kind,
Penelope shook her head, and said,
‘I suddenly changed my mind.’

David Lewis Paget
Penelope Cruz
Used to muse
On the use
Of oversized microwave ovens
In the covens
Of Barcelona.

Give them their due
They know how to imbue
Broomsticks with fresh belladonna!
Meanwhile Ulysses and the swineherd had lit a fire in the hut and
were were getting breakfast ready at daybreak for they had sent the
men out with the pigs. When Telemachus came up, the dogs did not bark,
but fawned upon him, so Ulysses, hearing the sound of feet and
noticing that the dogs did not bark, said to Eumaeus:
  “Eumaeus, I hear footsteps; I suppose one of your men or some one of
your acquaintance is coming here, for the dogs are fawning urn him and
not barking.”
  The words were hardly out of his mouth before his son stood at the
door. Eumaeus sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixing
wine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master. He kissed his
head and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy. A father could not
be more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his old
age, after ten years’ absence in a foreign country and after having
gone through much hardship. He embraced him, kissed him all over as
though he had come back from the dead, and spoke fondly to him saying:
  “So you are come, Telemachus, light of my eyes that you are. When
I heard you had gone to Pylos I made sure I was never going to see you
any more. Come in, my dear child, and sit down, that I may have a good
look at you now you are home again; it is not very often you come into
the country to see us herdsmen; you stick pretty close to the town
generally. I suppose you think it better to keep an eye on what the
suitors are doing.”
  “So be it, old friend,” answered Telemachus, “but I am come now
because I want to see you, and to learn whether my mother is still
at her old home or whether some one else has married her, so that
the bed of Ulysses is without bedding and covered with cobwebs.”
  “She is still at the house,” replied Eumaeus, “grieving and breaking
her heart, and doing nothing but weep, both night and day
continually.”
  As spoke he took Telemachus’ spear, whereon he crossed the stone
threshold and came inside. Ulysses rose from his seat to give him
place as he entered, but Telemachus checked him; “Sit down, stranger.”
said he, “I can easily find another seat, and there is one here who
will lay it for me.”
  Ulysses went back to his own place, and Eumaeus strewed some green
brushwood on the floor and threw a sheepskin on top of it for
Telemachus to sit upon. Then the swineherd brought them platters of
cold meat, the remains from what they had eaten the day before, and he
filled the bread baskets with bread as fast as he could. He mixed wine
also in bowls of ivy-wood, and took his seat facing Ulysses. Then they
laid their hands on the good things that were before them, and as soon
as they had had enough to eat and drink Telemachus said to Eumaeus,
“Old friend, where does this stranger come from? How did his crew
bring him to Ithaca, and who were they?-for assuredly he did not
come here by land”‘
  To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, “My son, I will tell
you the real truth. He says he is a Cretan, and that he has been a
great traveller. At this moment he is running away from a
Thesprotian ship, and has refuge at my station, so I will put him into
your hands. Do whatever you like with him, only remember that he is
your suppliant.”
  “I am very much distressed,” said Telemachus, “by what you have just
told me. How can I take this stranger into my house? I am as yet
young, and am not strong enough to hold my own if any man attacks
me. My mother cannot make up her mind whether to stay where she is and
look after the house out of respect for public opinion and the
memory of her husband, or whether the time is now come for her to take
the best man of those who are wooing her, and the one who will make
her the most advantageous offer; still, as the stranger has come to
your station I will find him a cloak and shirt of good wear, with a
sword and sandals, and will send him wherever he wants to go. Or if
you like you can keep him here at the station, and I will send him
clothes and food that he may be no burden on you and on your men;
but I will not have him go near the suitors, for they are very
insolent, and are sure to ill-treat him in a way that would greatly
grieve me; no matter how valiant a man may be he can do nothing
against numbers, for they will be too strong for him.”
  Then Ulysses said, “Sir, it is right that I should say something
myself. I am much shocked about what you have said about the
insolent way in which the suitors are behaving in despite of such a
man as you are. Tell me, do you submit to such treatment tamely, or
has some god set your people against you? May you not complain of your
brothers—for it is to these that a man may look for support,
however great his quarrel may be? I wish I were as young as you are
and in my present mind; if I were son to Ulysses, or, indeed,
Ulysses himself, I would rather some one came and cut my head off, but
I would go to the house and be the bane of every one of these men.
If they were too many for me—I being single-handed—I would rather
die fighting in my own house than see such disgraceful sights day
after day, strangers grossly maltreated, and men dragging the women
servants about the house in an unseemly way, wine drawn recklessly,
and bread wasted all to no purpose for an end that shall never be
accomplished.”
  And Telemachus answered, “I will tell you truly everything. There is
no emnity between me and my people, nor can I complain of brothers, to
whom a man may look for support however great his quarrel may be. Jove
has made us a race of only sons. Laertes was the only son of
Arceisius, and Ulysses only son of Laertes. I am myself the only son
of Ulysses who left me behind him when he went away, so that I have
never been of any use to him. Hence it comes that my house is in the
hands of numberless marauders; for the chiefs from all the
neighbouring islands, Dulichium, Same, Zacynthus, as also all the
principal men of Ithaca itself, are eating up my house under the
pretext of paying court to my mother, who will neither say point blank
that she will not marry, nor yet bring matters to an end, so they
are making havoc of my estate, and before long will do so with
myself into the bargain. The issue, however, rests with heaven. But do
you, old friend Eumaeus, go at once and tell Penelope that I am safe
and have returned from Pylos. Tell it to herself alone, and then
come back here without letting any one else know, for there are many
who are plotting mischief against me.”
  “I understand and heed you,” replied Eumaeus; “you need instruct
me no further, only I am going that way say whether I had not better
let poor Laertes know that you are returned. He used to superintend
the work on his farm in spite of his bitter sorrow about Ulysses,
and he would eat and drink at will along with his servants; but they
tell me that from the day on which you set out for Pylos he has
neither eaten nor drunk as he ought to do, nor does he look after
his farm, but sits weeping and wasting the flesh from off his bones.”
  “More’s the pity,” answered Telemachus, “I am sorry for him, but
we must leave him to himself just now. If people could have everything
their own way, the first thing I should choose would be the return
of my father; but go, and give your message; then make haste back
again, and do not turn out of your way to tell Laertes. Tell my mother
to send one of her women secretly with the news at once, and let him
hear it from her.”
  Thus did he urge the swineherd; Eumaeus, therefore, took his
sandals, bound them to his feet, and started for the town. Minerva
watched him well off the station, and then came up to it in the form
of a woman—fair, stately, and wise. She stood against the side of the
entry, and revealed herself to Ulysses, but Telemachus could not see
her, and knew not that she was there, for the gods do not let
themselves be seen by everybody. Ulysses saw her, and so did the dogs,
for they did not bark, but went scared and whining off to the other
side of the yards. She nodded her head and motioned to Ulysses with
her eyebrows; whereon he left the hut and stood before her outside the
main wall of the yards. Then she said to him:
  “Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, it is now time for you to tell
your son: do not keep him in the dark any longer, but lay your plans
for the destruction of the suitors, and then make for the town. I will
not be long in joining you, for I too am eager for the fray.”
  As she spoke she touched him with her golden wand. First she threw a
fair clean shirt and cloak about his shoulders; then she made him
younger and of more imposing presence; she gave him back his colour,
filled out his cheeks, and let his beard become dark again. Then she
went away and Ulysses came back inside the hut. His son was
astounded when he saw him, and turned his eyes away for fear he
might be looking upon a god.
  “Stranger,” said he, “how suddenly you have changed from what you
were a moment or two ago. You are dressed differently and your
colour is not the same. Are you some one or other of the gods that
live in heaven? If so, be propitious to me till I can make you due
sacrifice and offerings of wrought gold. Have mercy upon me.”
  And Ulysses said, “I am no god, why should you take me for one? I am
your father, on whose account you grieve and suffer so much at the
hands of lawless men.”
  As he spoke he kissed his son, and a tear fell from his cheek on
to the ground, for he had restrained all tears till now. but
Telemachus could not yet believe that it was his father, and said:
  “You are not my father, but some god is flattering me with vain
hopes that I may grieve the more hereafter; no mortal man could of
himself contrive to do as you have been doing, and make yourself old
and young at a moment’s notice, unless a god were with him. A second
ago you were old and all in rags, and now you are like some god come
down from heaven.”
  Ulysses answered, “Telemachus, you ought not to be so immeasurably
astonished at my being really here. There is no other Ulysses who will
come hereafter. Such as I am, it is I, who after long wandering and
much hardship have got home in the twentieth year to my own country.
What you wonder at is the work of the redoubtable goddess Minerva, who
does with me whatever she will, for she can do what she pleases. At
one moment she makes me like a beggar, and the next I am a young man
with good clothes on my back; it is an easy matter for the gods who
live in heaven to make any man look either rich or poor.”
  As he spoke he sat down, and Telemachus threw his arms about his
father and wept. They were both so much moved that they cried aloud
like eagles or vultures with crooked talons that have been robbed of
their half fledged young by peasants. Thus piteously did they weep,
and the sun would have gone down upon their mourning if Telemachus had
not suddenly said, “In what ship, my dear father, did your crew
bring you to Ithaca? Of what nation did they declare themselves to be-
for you cannot have come by land?”
  “I will tell you the truth, my son,” replied Ulysses. “It was the
Phaeacians who brought me here. They are great sailors, and are in the
habit of giving escorts to any one who reaches their coasts. They took
me over the sea while I was fast asleep, and landed me in Ithaca,
after giving me many presents in bronze, gold, and raiment. These
things by heaven’s mercy are lying concealed in a cave, and I am now
come here on the suggestion of Minerva that we may consult about
killing our enemies. First, therefore, give me a list of the
suitors, with their number, that I may learn who, and how many, they
are. I can then turn the matter over in my mind, and see whether we
two can fight the whole body of them ourselves, or whether we must
find others to help us.”
  To this Telemachus answered, “Father, I have always heard of your
renown both in the field and in council, but the task you talk of is a
very great one: I am awed at the mere thought of it; two men cannot
stand against many and brave ones. There are not ten suitors only, nor
twice ten, but ten many times over; you shall learn their number at
once. There are fifty-two chosen youths from Dulichium, and they
have six servants; from Same there are twenty-four; twenty young
Achaeans from Zacynthus, and twelve from Ithaca itself, all of them
well born. They have with them a servant Medon, a bard, and two men
who can carve at table. If we face such numbers as this, you may
have bitter cause to rue your coming, and your revenge. See whether
you cannot think of some one who would be willing to come and help
us.”
  “Listen to me,” replied Ulysses, “and think whether Minerva and
her father Jove may seem sufficient, or whether I am to try and find
some one else as well.”
  “Those whom you have named,” answered Telemachus, “are a couple of
good allies, for though they dwell high up among the clouds they
have power over both gods and men.”
  “These two,” continued Ulysses, “will not keep long out of the fray,
when the suitors and we join fight in my house. Now, therefore, return
home early to-morrow morning, and go about among the suitors as
before. Later on the swineherd will bring me to the city disguised
as a miserable old beggar. If you see them ill-treating me, steel your
heart against my sufferings; even though they drag me feet foremost
out of the house, or throw things at me, look on and do nothing beyond
gently trying to make them behave more reasonably; but they will not
listen to you, for the day of their reckoning is at hand.
Furthermore I say, and lay my saying to your heart, when Minerva shall
put it in my mind, I will nod my head to you, and on seeing me do this
you must collect all the armour that is in the house and hide it in
the strong store room. Make some excuse when the suitors ask you why
you are removing it; say that you have taken it to be out of the way
of the smoke, inasmuch as it is no longer what it was when Ulysses
went away, but has become soiled and begrimed with soot. Add to this
more particularly that you are afraid Jove may set them on to
quarrel over their wine, and that they may do each other some harm
which may disgrace both banquet and wooing, for the sight of arms
sometimes tempts people to use them. But leave a sword and a spear
apiece for yourself and me, and a couple oxhide shields so that we can
****** them up at any moment; Jove and Minerva will then soon quiet
these people. There is also another matter; if you are indeed my son
and my blood runs in your veins, let no one know that Ulysses is
within the house—neither Laertes, nor yet the swineherd, nor any of
the servants, nor even Penelope herself. Let you and me exploit the
women alone, and let us also make trial of some other of the men
servants, to see who is on our side and whose hand is against us.”
  “Father,” replied Telemachus, “you will come to know me by and by,
and when you do you will find that I can keep your counsel. I do not
think, however, the plan you propose will turn out well for either
of us. Think it over. It will take us a long time to go the round of
the farms and exploit the men, and all the time the suitors will be
wasting your estate with impunity and without compunction. Prove the
women by all means, to see who are disloyal and who guiltless, but I
am not in favour of going round and trying the men. We can attend to
that later on, if you really have some sign from Jove that he will
support you.”
  Thus did they converse, and meanwhile the ship which had brought
Telemachus and his crew from Pylos had reached the town of Ithaca.
When they had come inside the harbour they drew the ship on to the
land; their servants came and took their armour from them, and they
left all the presents at the house of Clytius. Then they sent a
servant to tell Penelope that Telemachus had gone into the country,
but had sent the ship to the town to prevent her from being alarmed
and made unhappy. This servant and Eumaeus happened to meet when
they were both on the same errand of going to tell Penelope. When they
reached the House
In the pathway of the sun,
  In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
  He shall ride the silver seas,
    He shall cut the glittering wave.
I shall sit at home, and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbor's knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.
    They will call him brave.
Craig Reynolds Jul 2010
previously
i would of said
love was the purpose
there was a heart to this universe
and it circulated
meaning
to every extremity

but now i wake
to toil
silver and gold pockets
finally a son to profit

my father was right
we're all just a number
and we cant add up to
lofty goals
or life plans
you're not a doctor.
i'm not a police man.

dream
no more my sweet
those are shores
we'll never meet

ithaca
is no more
and never was
and i'm not the kind of king to be waiting on
a prince, a pauper, a peon
i'm only a man in an argument with God
but its a problem
that is often
never solved

life is getting
what you dont want
and making the best of disappointment

oh penelope
it may be 10 years
or twenty
but i'll make it back!
i swear i'm coming back!

with money in bags
and cloudy eyes

'how're you?'

'oh, you know me
i'm making
it by
and by'

'but you're not you
you're not you anymore'

and we'll both get by
not really happy
but, hey, thats life

maybe one day
i'll wreck upon your shore
and your suitors will meet me
and my sword

i can string a bow
and keep my word

all at once

oh penelope
wont you wait for me?

wont you unweave
this burial shroud?

because
i am not
no no no
i am not
dead
yet.
Copyright 2009
Donna Jun 2018
Once upon a time
there was a winter jacket
called Penelope

she loved the winter
with it's icy breeze and soft
dull grey rainy days

When her human wore
her , she loved the feel of her
snuggly warm skin

especially when
her human put up her hood
just like a rainbow

she felt like she was
standing at the top of an
big awesome mountain

catching soft snowflakes
and splashes of raindrops that
twinkled just like stars

But she was angry
that her human had left her
hanging on a hook

One day she unhooked
herself and jumped out of a
small open window

she walked down the street
and was surprised to see so
many lovely trees

The sky was lovely
blue she couldn't help but feel joy
And flowers smiled too

so she picked one and
tied green stem around one of
her jacket buttons

She loved how summers
happy colours made her feel
making her pockets

turn into smiles
Even the stitching on her
hem turned into smiles

O she loved it so
much she even had humans
waiting  to shake her

sleeves , she'd strolled down the
road with the warm sun beating
down on her jacket

And a squirrel got
involved and pretended to
be the jackets head

which made the birds laugh
and dragonflies too , who sat
on a chopped up tree

giggling so much
that the squirrel threw some nuts
which then rebounded

back at the squirrel
leaving a bump on his head which
made him laugh out loud

Penelope laughed
to , she watched the sun go down
and stars twinkle bright

Maybe hanging on
a hook isn't so bad , so
she went back home , climbed

back through window and
hooked her self back up again
and felt contented

All through summer she
told her winter jacket friends
of her adventure

All her winter friends
sighed with a smile hoping one
day they can to go

outside in summer
and visit the pretty trees
and warm lovely sun

But for now there just
so happy to listen to
Penelope's great

day out in the sun
that they held sleeves and kept each
other company
Inspired on a summers day by lots of winter coats hanging on coat hook in living room :)))
I think it's kinda weird  though z
children should be seen and not heard Odysseus is not a complainer he keeps quiet he is taught to choke his voice swallow his hurt Mom and Dad are always arguing at one another raising their voices fighting he endures his parent’s criticism follows their orders he is trained to be obedient no negotiating his parents inhabit a surface world of strict protocol everyone laughs but it is a pretend way to dismiss what is actually occurring as long as they say i love you to each other then everything is accorded technically all right no matter how dysfunctional or painful the truth existence is a difficult challenge often overwhelming Mom and Dad push Odysseus in directions he does not want to go instead of surrendering to their wills he acts in response in fact a whole personality is being formed based on his reactions and having nothing to do with who he truly is how he actually feels he feels frightened by the world stressed by all the expectations put upon him in many ways he is way too sensitive crippled by his own sensitivity self-betrayed by his thin-skinned hypersensitivity he stays in his bedroom with the door closed he paints or plays with toy soldiers and watches TV he does not know where Penelope is maybe she is in her bedroom Penelope means everything they share secrets and conspiracies and a common enemy in Mom and Dad Penelope is the only one who recognizes his predicament sense of helplessness anxiety pain she is more nurturing than Mom Penelope and Odysseus have a special connection share a common or similar reference of perception Odysseus desperately needs to believe in his parents maybe Mom and Dad do not understand and assign unfitting advice maybe Mom and Dad do not support him in ways he needs but they are still his parents he values believes looks up to them they rooted that in him even if it is out of fear rather than respect he will always venerate Mom and Dad no matter what Odysseus wants to make his parents proud he loves and needs them Mom is an important person always on the go planning dinners dashing out the door gossiping on the phone buying and returning clothes getting them altered going to the hair salon meeting with the girls for lunch she is a busy lady and has a lot of friends Mom is more concerned about how things look than what is actually going on with her children parenting is a secondary concern to Mom’s hectic agenda of social popularity deep inside Odysseus believes Mom loves him he needs to believe that he paints a red heart on white sheet of paper and writes inside the heart in brown colored pencil MOM when he turns it upside down he reads WOW he reasons whether it is out of obligation or guilt or a mother’s tendency Mom loves him he does not understand but he is grateful secretly Odysseus is hurting bad his feelings are easily upset more and more he experiences a disturbed point of view he tries to ignore it  sometimes his thoughts run to morbid extremes he wonders why he cannot just accept and get along often he wants to be good and get better other times he wants to destroy himself things are chaotic and troubling at home he wishes he or his family would die his teachers complain he is a dreamer with behavioral problems he does not excel academically after eighth grade Mom and Dad are notified their son is not to return to Harper Mom cries to the school Principal in his office begging him to let her son stay the Principal refuses Dad lights a cigarette and exclaims to hell with Harper we’ll find Odys a better school Odysseus tells Mom he is going to be known someday not like celebrities on TV rather recognized for some great achievement Mom believes him and never stops believing in Odysseus
Tell me, o muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide
after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit,
and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was
acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save
his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he
could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer
folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god
prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all
these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may
know them.
  So now all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck had got
safely home except Ulysses, and he, though he was longing to return to
his wife and country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who had got
him into a large cave and wanted to marry him. But as years went by,
there came a time when the gods settled that he should go back to
Ithaca; even then, however, when he was among his own people, his
troubles were not yet over; nevertheless all the gods had now begun to
pity him except Neptune, who still persecuted him without ceasing
and would not let him get home.
  Now Neptune had gone off to the Ethiopians, who are at the world’s
end, and lie in two halves, the one looking West and the other East.
He had gone there to accept a hecatomb of sheep and oxen, and was
enjoying himself at his festival; but the other gods met in the
house of Olympian Jove, and the sire of gods and men spoke first. At
that moment he was thinking of Aegisthus, who had been killed by
Agamemnon’s son Orestes; so he said to the other gods:
  “See now, how men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all
nothing but their own folly. Look at Aegisthus; he must needs make
love to Agamemnon’s wife unrighteously and then **** Agamemnon, though
he knew it would be the death of him; for I sent Mercury to warn him
not to do either of these things, inasmuch as Orestes would be sure to
take his revenge when he grew up and wanted to return home. Mercury
told him this in all good will but he would not listen, and now he has
paid for everything in full.”
  Then Minerva said, “Father, son of Saturn, King of kings, it
served Aegisthus right, and so it would any one else who does as he
did; but Aegisthus is neither here nor there; it is for Ulysses that
my heart bleeds, when I think of his sufferings in that lonely
sea-girt island, far away, poor man, from all his friends. It is an
island covered with forest, in the very middle of the sea, and a
goddess lives there, daughter of the magician Atlas, who looks after
the bottom of the ocean, and carries the great columns that keep
heaven and earth asunder. This daughter of Atlas has got hold of
poor unhappy Ulysses, and keeps trying by every kind of blandishment
to make him forget his home, so that he is tired of life, and thinks
of nothing but how he may once more see the smoke of his own chimneys.
You, sir, take no heed of this, and yet when Ulysses was before Troy
did he not propitiate you with many a burnt sacrifice? Why then should
you keep on being so angry with him?”
  And Jove said, “My child, what are you talking about? How can I
forget Ulysses than whom there is no more capable man on earth, nor
more liberal in his offerings to the immortal gods that live in
heaven? Bear in mind, however, that Neptune is still furious with
Ulysses for having blinded an eye of Polyphemus king of the
Cyclopes. Polyphemus is son to Neptune by the nymph Thoosa, daughter
to the sea-king Phorcys; therefore though he will not **** Ulysses
outright, he torments him by preventing him from getting home.
Still, let us lay our heads together and see how we can help him to
return; Neptune will then be pacified, for if we are all of a mind
he can hardly stand out against us.”
  And Minerva said, “Father, son of Saturn, King of kings, if, then,
the gods now mean that Ulysses should get home, we should first send
Mercury to the Ogygian island to tell Calypso that we have made up our
minds and that he is to return. In the meantime I will go to Ithaca,
to put heart into Ulysses’ son Telemachus; I will embolden him to call
the Achaeans in assembly, and speak out to the suitors of his mother
Penelope, who persist in eating up any number of his sheep and oxen; I
will also conduct him to Sparta and to Pylos, to see if he can hear
anything about the return of his dear father—for this will make
people speak well of him.”
  So saying she bound on her glittering golden sandals,
imperishable, with which she can fly like the wind over land or sea;
she grasped the redoubtable bronze-shod spear, so stout and sturdy and
strong, wherewith she quells the ranks of heroes who have displeased
her, and down she darted from the topmost summits of Olympus,
whereon forthwith she was in Ithaca, at the gateway of Ulysses’ house,
disguised as a visitor, Mentes, chief of the Taphians, and she held
a bronze spear in her hand. There she found the lordly suitors
seated on hides of the oxen which they had killed and eaten, and
playing draughts in front of the house. Men-servants and pages were
bustling about to wait upon them, some mixing wine with water in the
mixing-bowls, some cleaning down the tables with wet sponges and
laying them out again, and some cutting up great quantities of meat.
  Telemachus saw her long before any one else did. He was sitting
moodily among the suitors thinking about his brave father, and how
he would send them flying out of the house, if he were to come to
his own again and be honoured as in days gone by. Thus brooding as
he sat among them, he caught sight of Minerva and went straight to the
gate, for he was vexed that a stranger should be kept waiting for
admittance. He took her right hand in his own, and bade her give him
her spear. “Welcome,” said he, “to our house, and when you have
partaken of food you shall tell us what you have come for.”
  He led the way as he spoke, and Minerva followed him. When they were
within he took her spear and set it in the spear—stand against a
strong bearing-post along with the many other spears of his unhappy
father, and he conducted her to a richly decorated seat under which he
threw a cloth of damask. There was a footstool also for her feet,
and he set another seat near her for himself, away from the suitors,
that she might not be annoyed while eating by their noise and
insolence, and that he might ask her more freely about his father.
  A maid servant then brought them water in a beautiful golden ewer
and poured it into a silver basin for them to wash their hands, and
she drew a clean table beside them. An upper servant brought them
bread, and offered them many good things of what there was in the
house, the carver fetched them plates of all manner of meats and set
cups of gold by their side, and a man-servant brought them wine and
poured it out for them.
  Then the suitors came in and took their places on the benches and
seats. Forthwith men servants poured water over their hands, maids
went round with the bread-baskets, pages filled the mixing-bowls
with wine and water, and they laid their hands upon the good things
that were before them. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink
they wanted music and dancing, which are the crowning embellishments
of a banquet, so a servant brought a lyre to Phemius, whom they
compelled perforce to sing to them. As soon as he touched his lyre and
began to sing Telemachus spoke low to Minerva, with his head close
to hers that no man might hear.
  “I hope, sir,” said he, “that you will not be offended with what I
am going to say. Singing comes cheap to those who do not pay for it,
and all this is done at the cost of one whose bones lie rotting in
some wilderness or grinding to powder in the surf. If these men were
to see my father come back to Ithaca they would pray for longer legs
rather than a longer purse, for money would not serve them; but he,
alas, has fallen on an ill fate, and even when people do sometimes say
that he is coming, we no longer heed them; we shall never see him
again. And now, sir, tell me and tell me true, who you are and where
you come from. Tell me of your town and parents, what manner of ship
you came in, how your crew brought you to Ithaca, and of what nation
they declared themselves to be—for you cannot have come by land. Tell
me also truly, for I want to know, are you a stranger to this house,
or have you been here in my father’s time? In the old days we had many
visitors for my father went about much himself.”
  And Minerva answered, “I will tell you truly and particularly all
about it. I am Mentes, son of Anchialus, and I am King of the
Taphians. I have come here with my ship and crew, on a voyage to men
of a foreign tongue being bound for Temesa with a cargo of iron, and I
shall bring back copper. As for my ship, it lies over yonder off the
open country away from the town, in the harbour Rheithron under the
wooded mountain Neritum. Our fathers were friends before us, as old
Laertes will tell you, if you will go and ask him. They say,
however, that he never comes to town now, and lives by himself in
the country, faring hardly, with an old woman to look after him and
get his dinner for him, when he comes in tired from pottering about
his vineyard. They told me your father was at home again, and that was
why I came, but it seems the gods are still keeping him back, for he
is not dead yet not on the mainland. It is more likely he is on some
sea-girt island in mid ocean, or a prisoner among savages who are
detaining him against his will I am no prophet, and know very little
about omens, but I speak as it is borne in upon me from heaven, and
assure you that he will not be away much longer; for he is a man of
such resource that even though he were in chains of iron he would find
some means of getting home again. But tell me, and tell me true, can
Ulysses really have such a fine looking fellow for a son? You are
indeed wonderfully like him about the head and eyes, for we were close
friends before he set sail for Troy where the flower of all the
Argives went also. Since that time we have never either of us seen the
other.”
  “My mother,” answered Telemachus, tells me I am son to Ulysses,
but it is a wise child that knows his own father. Would that I were
son to one who had grown old upon his own estates, for, since you
ask me, there is no more ill-starred man under heaven than he who they
tell me is my father.”
  And Minerva said, “There is no fear of your race dying out yet,
while Penelope has such a fine son as you are. But tell me, and tell
me true, what is the meaning of all this feasting, and who are these
people? What is it all about? Have you some banquet, or is there a
wedding in the family—for no one seems to be bringing any
provisions of his own? And the guests—how atrociously they are
behaving; what riot they make over the whole house; it is enough to
disgust any respectable person who comes near them.”
  “Sir,” said Telemachus, “as regards your question, so long as my
father was here it was well with us and with the house, but the gods
in their displeasure have willed it otherwise, and have hidden him
away more closely than mortal man was ever yet hidden. I could have
borne it better even though he were dead, if he had fallen with his
men before Troy, or had died with friends around him when the days
of his fighting were done; for then the Achaeans would have built a
mound over his ashes, and I should myself have been heir to his
renown; but now the storm-winds have spirited him away we know not
wither; he is gone without leaving so much as a trace behind him,
and I inherit nothing but dismay. Nor does the matter end simply
with grief for the loss of my father; heaven has laid sorrows upon
me of yet another kind; for the chiefs from all our islands,
Dulichium, Same, and the woodland island of Zacynthus, as also all the
principal men of Ithaca itself, are eating up my house under the
pretext of paying their court to my mother, who will neither point
blank say that she will not marry, nor yet bring matters to an end; so
they are making havoc of my estate, and before long will do so also
with myself.”
  “Is that so?” exclaimed Minerva, “then you do indeed want Ulysses
home again. Give him his helmet, shield, and a couple lances, and if
he is the man he was when I first knew him in our house, drinking
and making merry, he would soon lay his hands about these rascally
suitors, were he to stand once more upon his own threshold. He was
then coming from Ephyra, where he had been to beg poison for his
arrows from Ilus, son of Mermerus. Ilus feared the ever-living gods
and would not give him any, but my father let him have some, for he
was very fond of him. If Ulysses is the man he then was these
suitors will have a short shrift and a sorry wedding.
  “But there! It rests with heaven to determine whether he is to
return, and take his revenge in his own house or no; I would, however,
urge you to set about trying to get rid of these suitors at once. Take
my advice, call the Achaean heroes in assembly to-morrow -lay your
case before them, and call heaven to bear you witness. Bid the suitors
take themselves off, each to his own place, and if your mother’s
mind is set on marrying again, let her go back to her father, who will
find her a husband and provide her with all the marriage gifts that so
dear a daughter may expect. As for yourself, let me prevail upon you
to take the best ship you can get, with a crew of twenty men, and go
in quest of your father who has so long been missing. Some one may
tell you something, or (and people often hear things in this way) some
heaven-sent message may direct you. First go to Pylos and ask
Nestor; thence go on to Sparta and visit Menelaus, for he got home
last of all the Achaeans; if you hear that your father is alive and on
his way home, you can put up with the waste these suitors will make
for yet another twelve months. If on the other hand you hear of his
death, come home at once, celebrate his funeral rites with all due
pomp, build a barrow to his memory, and make your mother marry
again. Then, having done all this, think it well over in your mind
how, by fair means or foul, you may **** these suitors in your own
house. You are too old to plead infancy any longer; have you not heard
how people are singing Orestes’ praises for having killed his father’s
murderer Aegisthus? You are a fine, smart looking fellow; show your
mettle, then, and make yourself a name in story. Now, however, I
must go back to my ship and to my crew, who will be impatient if I
keep them waiting longer; think the matter over for yourself, and
remember what I have said to you.”
  “Sir,” answered Telemachus, “it has been very kind of you to talk to
me in this way, as though I were your own son, and I will do all you
tell me; I know you want to be getting on with your voyage, but stay a
little longer till you have taken a bath and refreshed yourself. I
will then give you a present, and you shall go on your way
rejoicing; I will give you one of great beauty and value—a keepsake
such as only dear friends give to one another.”
  Minerva answered, “Do not try to keep me, for I would be on my way
at once. As for any present you may be disposed to make me, keep it
till I come again, and I will take it home with me. You shall give
me a very good one, and I will give you one of no less value in
return.”
  With these words she flew away like a bird into the air, but she had
given Telemachus courage, and had made him think more than ever
about his father. He felt the change, wondered at it, and knew that
the stranger had been a god, so he went straight to where the
suitors were sitting.
  Phemius was still singing, and his hearers sat rapt in silence as he
told the sad tale of the return from Troy, and the ills Minerva had
laid upon the Achaeans. Penelope, daughter of Icarius, heard his
song from her room upstairs, and came down by the great staircase, not
alone, but attended by two of her handmaids. When she reached the
suitors she stood by one of the bearing posts that supp
Then Mercury of Cyllene summoned the ghosts of the suitors, and in
his hand he held the fair golden wand with which he seals men’s eyes
in sleep or wakes them just as he pleases; with this he roused the
ghosts and led them, while they followed whining and gibbering
behind him. As bats fly squealing in the hollow of some great cave,
when one of them has fallen out of the cluster in which they hang,
even so did the ghosts whine and squeal as Mercury the healer of
sorrow led them down into the dark abode of death. When they had
passed the waters of Oceanus and the rock Leucas, they came to the
gates of the sun and the land of dreams, whereon they reached the
meadow of asphodel where dwell the souls and shadows of them that
can labour no more.
  Here they found the ghost of Achilles son of Peleus, with those of
Patroclus, Antilochus, and Ajax, who was the finest and handsomest man
of all the Danaans after the son of Peleus himself.
  They gathered round the ghost of the son of Peleus, and the ghost of
Agamemnon joined them, sorrowing bitterly. Round him were gathered
also the ghosts of those who had perished with him in the house of
Aeisthus; and the ghost of Achilles spoke first.
  “Son of Atreus,” it said, “we used to say that Jove had loved you
better from first to last than any other hero, for you were captain
over many and brave men, when we were all fighting together before
Troy; yet the hand of death, which no mortal can escape, was laid upon
you all too early. Better for you had you fallen at Troy in the
hey-day of your renown, for the Achaeans would have built a mound over
your ashes, and your son would have been heir to your good name,
whereas it has now been your lot to come to a most miserable end.”
  “Happy son of Peleus,” answered the ghost of Agamemnon, “for
having died at Troy far from Argos, while the bravest of the Trojans
and the Achaeans fell round you fighting for your body. There you
lay in the whirling clouds of dust, all huge and hugely, heedless
now of your chivalry. We fought the whole of the livelong day, nor
should we ever have left off if Jove had not sent a hurricane to
stay us. Then, when we had borne you to the ships out of the fray,
we laid you on your bed and cleansed your fair skin with warm water
and with ointments. The Danaans tore their hair and wept bitterly
round about you. Your mother, when she heard, came with her immortal
nymphs from out of the sea, and the sound of a great wailing went
forth over the waters so that the Achaeans quaked for fear. They would
have fled panic-stricken to their ships had not wise old Nestor
whose counsel was ever truest checked them saying, ‘Hold, Argives, fly
not sons of the Achaeans, this is his mother coming from the sea
with her immortal nymphs to view the body of her son.’
  “Thus he spoke, and the Achaeans feared no more. The daughters of
the old man of the sea stood round you weeping bitterly, and clothed
you in immortal raiment. The nine muses also came and lifted up
their sweet voices in lament—calling and answering one another; there
was not an Argive but wept for pity of the dirge they chaunted. Days
and nights seven and ten we mourned you, mortals and immortals, but on
the eighteenth day we gave you to the flames, and many a fat sheep
with many an ox did we slay in sacrifice around you. You were burnt in
raiment of the gods, with rich resins and with honey, while heroes,
horse and foot, clashed their armour round the pile as you were
burning, with the ***** as of a great multitude. But when the flames
of heaven had done their work, we gathered your white bones at
daybreak and laid them in ointments and in pure wine. Your mother
brought us a golden vase to hold them—gift of Bacchus, and work of
Vulcan himself; in this we mingled your bleached bones with those of
Patroclus who had gone before you, and separate we enclosed also those
of Antilochus, who had been closer to you than any other of your
comrades now that Patroclus was no more.
  “Over these the host of the Argives built a noble tomb, on a point
jutting out over the open Hellespont, that it might be seen from far
out upon the sea by those now living and by them that shall be born
hereafter. Your mother begged prizes from the gods, and offered them
to be contended for by the noblest of the Achaeans. You must have been
present at the funeral of many a hero, when the young men gird
themselves and make ready to contend for prizes on the death of some
great chieftain, but you never saw such prizes as silver-footed Thetis
offered in your honour; for the gods loved you well. Thus even in
death your fame, Achilles, has not been lost, and your name lives
evermore among all mankind. But as for me, what solace had I when
the days of my fighting were done? For Jove willed my destruction on
my return, by the hands of Aegisthus and those of my wicked wife.”
  Thus did they converse, and presently Mercury came up to them with
the ghosts of the suitors who had been killed by Ulysses. The ghosts
of Agamemnon and Achilles were astonished at seeing them, and went
up to them at once. The ghost of Agamemnon recognized Amphimedon son
of Melaneus, who lived in Ithaca and had been his host, so it began to
talk to him.
  “Amphimedon,” it said, “what has happened to all you fine young men-
all of an age too—that you are come down here under the ground? One
could pick no finer body of men from any city. Did Neptune raise his
winds and waves against you when you were at sea, or did your
enemies make an end of you on the mainland when you were
cattle-lifting or sheep-stealing, or while fighting in defence of
their wives and city? Answer my question, for I have been your
guest. Do you not remember how I came to your house with Menelaus,
to persuade Ulysses to join us with his ships against Troy? It was a
whole month ere we could resume our voyage, for we had hard work to
persuade Ulysses to come with us.”
  And the ghost of Amphimedon answered, “Agamemnon, son of Atreus,
king of men, I remember everything that you have said, and will tell
you fully and accurately about the way in which our end was brought
about. Ulysses had been long gone, and we were courting his wife,
who did not say point blank that she would not marry, nor yet bring
matters to an end, for she meant to compass our destruction: this,
then, was the trick she played us. She set up a great tambour frame in
her room and began to work on an enormous piece of fine needlework.
‘Sweethearts,’ said she, ‘Ulysses is indeed dead, still, do not
press me to marry again immediately; wait—for I would not have my
skill in needlework perish unrecorded—till I have completed a pall
for the hero Laertes, against the time when death shall take him. He
is very rich, and the women of the place will talk if he is laid out
without a pall.’ This is what she said, and we assented; whereupon
we could see her working upon her great web all day long, but at night
she would unpick the stitches again by torchlight. She fooled us in
this way for three years without our finding it out, but as time
wore on and she was now in her fourth year, in the waning of moons and
many days had been accomplished, one of her maids who knew what she
was doing told us, and we caught her in the act of undoing her work,
so she had to finish it whether she would or no; and when she showed
us the robe she had made, after she had had it washed, its splendour
was as that of the sun or moon.
  “Then some malicious god conveyed Ulysses to the upland farm where
his swineherd lives. Thither presently came also his son, returning
from a voyage to Pylos, and the two came to the town when they had
hatched their plot for our destruction. Telemachus came first, and
then after him, accompanied by the swineherd, came Ulysses, clad in
rags and leaning on a staff as though he were some miserable old
beggar. He came so unexpectedly that none of us knew him, not even the
older ones among us, and we reviled him and threw things at him. He
endured both being struck and insulted without a word, though he was
in his own house; but when the will of Aegis-bearing Jove inspired
him, he and Telemachus took the armour and hid it in an inner chamber,
bolting the doors behind them. Then he cunningly made his wife offer
his bow and a quantity of iron to be contended for by us ill-fated
suitors; and this was the beginning of our end, for not one of us
could string the bow—nor nearly do so. When it was about to reach the
hands of Ulysses, we all of us shouted out that it should not be given
him, no matter what he might say, but Telemachus insisted on his
having it. When he had got it in his hands he strung it with ease
and sent his arrow through the iron. Then he stood on the floor of the
cloister and poured his arrows on the ground, glaring fiercely about
him. First he killed Antinous, and then, aiming straight before him,
he let fly his deadly darts and they fell thick on one another. It was
plain that some one of the gods was helping them, for they fell upon
us with might and main throughout the cloisters, and there was a
hideous sound of groaning as our brains were being battered in, and
the ground seethed with our blood. This, Agamemnon, is how we came
by our end, and our bodies are lying still un-cared for in the house
of Ulysses, for our friends at home do not yet know what has happened,
so that they cannot lay us out and wash the black blood from our
wounds, making moan over us according to the offices due to the
departed.”
  “Happy Ulysses, son of Laertes,” replied the ghost of Agamemnon,
“you are indeed blessed in the possession of a wife endowed with
such rare excellence of understanding, and so faithful to her wedded
lord as Penelope the daughter of Icarius. The fame, therefore, of
her virtue shall never die, and the immortals shall compose a song
that shall be welcome to all mankind in honour of the constancy of
Penelope. How far otherwise was the wickedness of the daughter of
Tyndareus who killed her lawful husband; her song shall be hateful
among men, for she has brought disgrace on all womankind even on the
good ones.”
  Thus did they converse in the house of Hades deep down within the
bowels of the earth. Meanwhile Ulysses and the others passed out of
the town and soon reached the fair and well-tilled farm of Laertes,
which he had reclaimed with infinite labour. Here was his house,
with a lean-to running all round it, where the slaves who worked for
him slept and sat and ate, while inside the house there was an old
Sicel woman, who looked after him in this his country-farm. When
Ulysses got there, he said to his son and to the other two:
  “Go to the house, and **** the best pig that you can find for
dinner. Meanwhile I want to see whether my father will know me, or
fail to recognize me after so long an absence.”
  He then took off his armour and gave it to Eumaeus and Philoetius,
who went straight on to the house, while he turned off into the
vineyard to make trial of his father. As he went down into the great
orchard, he did not see Dolius, nor any of his sons nor of the other
bondsmen, for they were all gathering thorns to make a fence for the
vineyard, at the place where the old man had told them; he therefore
found his father alone, hoeing a vine. He had on a ***** old shirt,
patched and very shabby; his legs were bound round with thongs of
oxhide to save him from the brambles, and he also wore sleeves of
leather; he had a goat skin cap on his head, and was looking very
woe-begone. When Ulysses saw him so worn, so old and full of sorrow,
he stood still under a tall pear tree and began to weep. He doubted
whether to embrace him, kiss him, and tell him all about his having
come home, or whether he should first question him and see what he
would say. In the end he deemed it best to be crafty with him, so in
this mind he went up to his father, who was bending down and digging
about a plant.
  “I see, sir,” said Ulysses, “that you are an excellent gardener-
what pains you take with it, to be sure. There is not a single
plant, not a fig tree, vine, olive, pear, nor flower bed, but bears
the trace of your attention. I trust, however, that you will not be
offended if I say that you take better care of your garden than of
yourself. You are old, unsavoury, and very meanly clad. It cannot be
because you are idle that your master takes such poor care of you,
indeed your face and figure have nothing of the slave about them,
and proclaim you of noble birth. I should have said that you were
one of those who should wash well, eat well, and lie soft at night
as old men have a right to do; but tell me, and tell me true, whose
bondman are you, and in whose garden are you working? Tell me also
about another matter. Is this place that I have come to really Ithaca?
I met a man just now who said so, but he was a dull fellow, and had
not the patience to hear my story out when I was asking him about an
old friend of mine, whether he was still living, or was already dead
and in the house of Hades. Believe me when I tell you that this man
came to my house once when I was in my own country and never yet did
any stranger come to me whom I liked better. He said that his family
came from Ithaca and that his father was Laertes, son of Arceisius.
I received him hospitably, making him welcome to all the abundance
of my house, and when he went away I gave him all customary
presents. I gave him seven talents of fine gold, and a cup of solid
silver with flowers chased upon it. I gave him twelve light cloaks,
and as many pieces of tapestry; I also gave him twelve cloaks of
single fold, twelve rugs, twelve fair mantles, and an equal number
of shirts. To all this I added four good looking women skilled in
all useful arts, and I let him take his choice.”
  His father shed tears and answered, “Sir, you have indeed come to
the country that you have named, but it is fallen into the hands of
wicked people. All this wealth of presents has been given to no
purpose. If you could have found your friend here alive in Ithaca,
he would have entertained you hospitably and would have required
your presents amply when you left him—as would have been only right
considering what you have already given him. But tell me, and tell
me true, how many years is it since you entertained this guest—my
unhappy son, as ever was? Alas! He has perished far from his own
country; the fishes of the sea have eaten him, or he has fallen a prey
to the birds and wild beasts of some continent. Neither his mother,
nor I his father, who were his parents, could throw our arms about him
and wrap him in his shroud, nor could his excellent and richly dowered
wife Penelope bewail her husband as was natural upon his death bed,
and close his eyes according to the offices due to the departed. But
now, tell me truly for I want to know. Who and whence are you—tell me
of your town and parents? Where is the ship lying that has brought you
and your men to Ithaca? Or were you a passenger on some other man’s
ship, and those who brought you here have gone on their way and left
you?”
  “I will tell you everything,” answered Ulysses, “quite truly. I come
from Alybas, where I have a fine house. I am son of king Apheidas, who
is the son of Polypemon. My own name is Eperitus; heaven drove me
off my course as I was leaving Sicania, and I have been carried here
against my will. As for my ship it is lying over yonder, off the
open country outside the town, and this is the fifth year since
Ulysses left my country. Poor fellow, yet the omens were good for
him when he left me. The birds all flew on our right hands, and both
he and I rejoiced to see them as we parted, for we had every hope that
we should have another friendly meeting and exchange presents.”
  A dark cloud of sorrow fell upon Laertes as he listened. He filled
both hands with the dust from off the ground and poured it over his
grey head, groaning heavily as he did so. The heart of Ulysses was
touched, and his nostrils quivered as he looked upon his father;
then he sprang towards him, flung his arms about him and kissed him,
saying, “I am he, father, about whom you are asking—I have returned
after having been away for twe
Big Virge Mar 2017
I ... REALLY LOVE ... *** ...
ESPECIALLY with ... My New girlfriend ... !!!

I Love ... women ...
but really can't be doing ....
with ... Arguments ... !!!

That's why ... My ... " Pen " ...
is my ... New girlfriend ...

We make ... " Love " ...
and Love the touch ...
of pen to page ....

When we ... Engage ...
It feels just like ...
A ... ****** High ...

NO ... NOT That Way ... !!!
You've got a ... SICK BRAIN ... !!!!!

There's Nothing ... quite like
**** ... Feminine Thighs ... !!!
but ... after *** ...
and ... Cigarettes ...

Some girls give ... STRESS ...
to their ... boyfriends ... !!! ...

That's why I like ...
to ... sit and write ...

Because ........

I Don't get stressed ...
by my ... New Girlfriend ...

Her name ... is ... " Pen " ...

NOT ... Penny ...
or ... Penelope ... !!!

Should I ...
say it again ... ?

My ... " Pen " ... is now
My New ... girlfriend ...
and YES ... we have ...
INCREDIBLE ... *** ... !!!!!!

The kind of ***
WITHOUT ... the stress ...
of ...... *** ......
or other types of ... STD's ... !!!!!

*** like this ...
is ... TRULY ... Bliss ... !!!

NO Condoms ...
and NO ... Colons ... !!!!!!!!!

Except ... for those ...
that fit in ... Prose ...

So ... NO ******* ...
and NO ... Mistakes ... !!!

Helping us to ... avoid ...
Long Term ... Headaches ... !!!

But ... EVEN If ...
by chance ... they do ...

Trust in this ... !!!

They're just ... " Removed " ...
Without ... tissues ... !!!

Or ... with trips ...
to ... " THOSE " ... Clinics ... !!!!!

If ... During ...
or ... because of ... *** ...
We make a ... Mistake ...

NO ... Pregnancy tests ... !!!
or ... Arguments ...

Our friend ... " Tipp-Ex " ...
is our ... " Best Mate " ...
Just like ... THAT ...
Mistake ... ERASED ... !!!!!!!!!!

I'm telling you ... Straight ...
Our *** is ... GREAT ... !!! ...

I think that ... Pen's ...
My New ... " Soulmate " ... !!!!!

She's ... " Tall and slim " ...
and at a ... " Whim " ...
Can change the colour ...
of her ... Skin ...

And ............... If I think ...
She's a bit .... " TOO BIG " ... !!!

She Doesn't ... fume ...
if she gets ... Ditched ...
for ... Another Pen ...
I choose to ... " Pick " ...

This simply is ...
The way of things ...
in our ... *** Relationship ...

" IT'S ... ONLY *** ! "

is what she says .........

but makes sure that ...
it's NEVER ... Bad ...
when she's attached ...
to my ... " Notepad " ... !!!!!!

She's ... QUALITY ... man ... !!!!!
and i'm ... SO GLAD ...
that she ... " Found Me " ...
Through ... " Poetry " ...

She told me ....

" Virge, I love your rap ... !!! "

but then ... Of course ...
I answered back ...

"Come on now Pen,
It's not just rap !
Don't get it confused
like certain crews !
This is something
Beautiful !
What we do,
leaves people moved,
just like you,
whenever you choose,
to *** it up,
in my front room !!!"

She simply said,

"Big Virge that's true !
How about this view ?
Your way with words
makes our love work !"

I'm ... Telling You ...... !!!

She's a ... SPECIAL ... girl ...
who makes me feel ...
On ... TOP OF THE WORLD ... !!!!!

She loves me with ...
Her heart ... FREELY ... !!!!!

and chooses to ....
Just .... let me be ........

Until it's time ...
to just ... recline ...
and let our souls ...
Make Love ... through scrolls ...

It's MORE THAN ... *** ...
when this .... Unfolds ......................

NO GIRL ... provides ...
Such ... " Loving " ... vibes ...
WITHOUT ... " Conditions " ...

That's ... THE CRIME ... !!!!!

Whenever I write ...
It's a ... JOYOUS ... Ride ... !!!

Even when ...
My Anger ... finds ...
A place within ....

" Poetic " ... lines ...

But ... EVEN ... then ...
" My Pen " ... Still Shines ... !!!!!

and let's me know ...

" Hey Virge it's fine
I'll Love You til',
the day you die !"

She is ..."  My LIGHT " ...
and my ... SUNSHINE ... !!!!!
and is ... " The Love " ...
that ... FILLS ... My Life ... !!!!!!

When I just .......... sit ...........
and HOLD ........ " My Pen " .......

She ALWAYS sends ...
My brain ... these scripts ...
that ... in the end ...
are ... Celestial Gifts ... !!!!!!!!!!

Negative ... or ... Positive
The balance reached ....

REJECTS ... needless
........... Vanity .........

but Welcomes ... MORE ...
.......... Humility ..........

That;s why ... The *** ...
is ... SO **** GOOD ... !!!!!

because ... My Pen ....
will NOT BE .... " Pulled " ...
Away from ... ME ...
for Cars ... Babies ...
or .... BIG MONEY .... !!!

She just ... " LOVES ME " ...
Through ... " Poetry " ...

Like My Mother ...
did ... DAILY ...

From ... UP ABOVE ...
These days ... My Mum's ...
STILL LOVING ... Me ...
Through ... " My Pen " ...

UNCONDITIONALLY ... !!!!!!

So ... NO WOMEN ...
NO ... Arguments ...

Just .....

Me and ... " My Pen " ...
as .... " ****** Friends " ...

Until ... I FIND ...
within ... " This World " ...

A Truly ... **** ...
SPECIAL Girl ...

Who ... in the end ...
when we're in ... Bed ...

Makes me ... " Feel " ...
just like ... " My Pen " ...

and makes these words ...
run through ... " My Head " ...

Because of her ... WOW ...

I Really ... Love *** ... !!!!!!!!!
As far from *** as you could imagine, but my love for this art is expressed in this piece
i dreamed a rattlesnake was loose in the closet i heard it rattling i was afraid to open the door



a man suffering a toothache goes to see his dentist the dentist administers laughing gas when the man comes to his numb tongue swooshes around his mouth he asks how long was i under the dentist answers hours i needed to pull them all out



he imagines when he grows old there will be a pencil grown into one hand and a paintbrush grown into the other they will look like extra fingers grown out from the palms extensions of his personal evolution little children will be horrified when they see mommy mommy look at that man’s hands!



what if we are each presented with a complete picture of a puzzle from the very start then as our lives proceed the pieces begin showing up out of context sometimes recognizable other times a mystery some people are smarter more intuitive than others and are able to piece together the bigger picture some people never figure it out



i wasn’t thinking i didn’t know to think nobody taught me to think maybe my teachers tried but i didn’t get it i wasn’t thinking i was running reacting doing whatever i needed to survive when you’re trying to survive you move fast by instinct you don’t think you just act



many children are relieved when their parents die then they no longer need to explain prove themselves live up to their parent’s expectations yet all children need parents to approve foster mentor teach love



she was missing especially when her children needed her most she was busy lunching with girlfriends dinner dates beauty shop manicure masseuse appointments shopping seamstress fittings constant telephone gossiping criticizing she was too busy to notice she was missing more than anything she wanted to party show off her beauty to be the adored one the hostess with the mostest



i dreamed i was condemned to die by guillotine the executioner wore black and wielded an axe just in case the device failed in the dream the guillotine sliced shallow then the executioner went to work but he kept chopping unsuccessfully severing my head this went on for a long time



1954 Max Schwartzpilgrim sits at table in coffee shop on 5th floor of Maller’s Building elevated train loudly passes as he glances out window it is typical gloomy gray Chicago day he worries how he will find the money to pay off all his mounting debts he is over his head in debit thinks about taking out a hefty life insurance policy then cleverly killing himself but he cherishes his lovely wife Jenny his young children and social life sitting across table Ernie Cohen cracks crass joke Max laughs politely yet is in no mood to encourage his fingers work nervously mutely drumming on Formica table then stubbing out cigarette in glass ashtray lighting another with gold Dunhill lighter bitter tastes of coffee and cigarettes turns his stomach sour he raises his hand calling over Millie the waitress he flirtatiously smiles orders bowl of matzo ball soup with extra matzo ball Ernie says you can’t have enough big ***** for this world Max thinks about his son Odysseus



when Odysseus is very young Dad occasionally brings him to Schwartzpilgrim’s Jewelers Store on Saturday mornings Dad shows off his firstborn son like a prize possession lifting Odysseus in the air Dad takes him to golf range golf is not an interest for Odysseus Dad pushes him to learn proper swing Odysseus fumbles golf club and ***** he loves going anyway because he appreciates spending time with Dad once Dad and Odysseus take shower together Dad is so life-size muscular hairy Odysseus is so little Dad reaches touches Odysseus’s ******* feeling lone ******* Dad says we’ll correct that make it right Odysseus does not understand what Dad is talking about at finish Dad turns up cold water and shields Odysseus with his body he watches Dad dressing in mornings Dad is persnickety to last details of French cuff links silk handkerchief in breast pocket even Dad’s fingernails toenails are manicured buffed shiny clear



Odysseus’s left ******* does not descend into his ******* the adults in extended family routinely want to inspect the abnormality Mom shows them sometimes Dad grows agitated and leaves room it is embarrassing for Odysseus Daddy Lou’s brother Uncle Maury wants to check it out too often like he thinks he is a doctor Uncle Maury is an optometrist the pediatrician theorizes the tangled ******* is possibly the result of a hormone fertility drug Mom took to get pregnant the doctor injects Odysseus with a hormone shot then prescribes several medications to induce the ****** to drop nothing works eventually an inguinal hernia is diagnosed around the age of 9 Odysseus is operated on for a hernia and the ******* surgically moved down into his ******* the doctor says ******* is dead warning of propensity to cancer later in life his left ball is smaller than his right but it is more sensitive and needy he does not understand what the doctor means by “dead” Odysseus fears he will be made fun of he is self-conscious in locker room he does not comprehend for the rest of his life he will carry a diminutive *****



spokin alloud by readar in caulkknee axescent ello we’re Biggie an Smally tha 2 testicles whoooh liv in tha ******* of this felloh Odys Biggie is the soyze of a elthy chicken aegg and Smally is the size of a modest Bing cheery



one breast ****** points northeast the other smaller breast ****** points southwest she is frightened to reveal them to any man frightened to be exposed in woman’s locker room she is the most beautiful girl/woman he will ever know



Bayli Moutray is French/Irish 5’8” lean elongated with bowed legs knobby knees runner’s calves slim hips boy’s shoulders sleepy blue eyes light brown hair a barely discernable freckled birthmark on back of neck and small unequal ******* with puffy ******* pointing in different directions Laura an ex-girlfriend of Odysseus’s describes Bayli’s appearance as “a gangly bird screeching to be fed” Laura can be mean Odysseus thinks Bayli is the coolest girl in the world he is genuinely in love with her they have been sleeping together for nearly a year it is March 11 1974 Bayli’s birthday she turns 22 today Bayli is away with her family in Southeast Asia Odysseus understands what a great opportunity this is for her to learn about another culture he knows Bayli plans to meet up again with him in late summer or autumn in Chicago Dad wants Odysseus to follow in his footsteps and become a successful jewelry salesman he offers Odysseus a well-paying job driving leased Camaro across the Midwest servicing Dad’s established costume jewelry accounts Odysseus reasons it is a chance to squirrel away some cash until Bayli returns it is lonely on the road and awkward adjustment to be back in Chicago Odysseus made other plans after graduating from Hartford Art School he is going to be an important painter after numerous months and many Midwestern cities he begins to feel depressed he questions how Bayli can stay away for so long when he needs her so bad the Moutray’s send Mom and Dad a gift of elegant pewter candleholders made in Indonesia Mom accustomed to silver and gold excludes pewter to be put on display she instructs Teresa to place the candleholders away in a cabinet Mom also neglects to write a thank you note which is quite out of character for Mom Bayli’s father is a Navy Captain in the Pacific he is summoned to Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia the Moutray’s flight has a stopover in Chicago Bayli writes her parents want to meet Odysseus and his family Odysseus asks Dad to arrange his traveling itinerary around the Moutray’s visit Dad schedules Odysseus to service the Detroit and Michigan territory against Odysseus’s pleas Odysseus is living with his sister Penelope on Briar Street it is the only address Bayli’s parents know Odysseus has no way to reach them when the Moutray’s arrive at the door Penelope does not know what to tell them Mom and Dad are not interested in meeting Bayli’s parents it is not the first sign of dissatisfaction or disinterest Mom and Dad convey regarding Bayli Odysseus does not understand why his parents do not like her is it because Bayli is not Jewish is that the sole reason Mom and Dad do not approve of her Odysseus believes he needs his parent’s support he knows he is not like them and will likely never adopt their standards yet he values their consent they are his parents and he honors Mom and Dad let’s take a step back for a moment to get a different perspective a more serious matter is Odysseus’s financial dependency on his parents does a commitment to Bayli threaten the sheltered world his parent’s provide him is it merely money binding him to them why else is he so powerless to his parent’s control outwardly he appears a wild child yet inwardly he is somewhat timid is he cowardly is he unsure of Bayli’s strength and sustainability is that why he let’s Bayli go whatever the reason Dad’s and Mom’s pressure and influence are strong enough to sway his judgment he goes along with their authority losing Bayli is the greatest mistake of Odysseus’s life



he dreams Bayli and he are at a Bob Dylan concert they are hidden in the back of the theater in a dark hall they can hear the band playing Dylan’s voice singing and the echoes of the mesmerized audience Odysseus is ******* Bayli’s body against a wall she is quietly moaning his hand is inside her jeans feeling her wetness rubbing fingers between her legs after the show they hang around an empty lot filled with broken bottles loose bricks they run into Dylan all 3 are laughing and dancing down the sidewalk Dylan is incredibly playful and engaging he says he needs to run an errand not wanting to leave his company Odysseus and Bayli follow along they arrive at an old hospital building it is dark and dingy inside there is a large room filled with medical beds and water tanks housing unspeakably disfigured people swarming intravenous tubes attach the patients to oxygen equipment feed bags and monitoring machines Dylan moves between each victim like a compassionate ambassador Odysseus is freaking out the infirmary is too horrible to imagine he shields his eyes wanders away losing Bayli searching running frantically for a way out he wakes shivering and sweating the pillow is wet sheets twisted he gets up from the bed stares out window into the dark night he wonders where he lost Bayli



these winds of change let them come sailor home from sea hunter home from hill he who can create the worst terror is the greatest warrior
on Valentine’s Day he is working on black painting hears knocking at door with rag brushes in hand he asks “who is it?” “it’s Reiko! come on mr. birdfishdog open up” he has grown afraid of her nervously shuffles brushes rag in hand guardedly opens door there stands Reiko Lee Furshe shoulders pulled back arms akimbo black leather jacket black tight jeans black pointed toe boots hair cut extremely short looks like handsome young boy grinning “hi aren’t you going to invite me in? want to **** and ****?” Reiko’s altered appearance suddenness alarm Odysseus "why did you cut your hair Reiko Lee?" she says "it’s my hair and I can do what I want with it i shaved my legs armpits and ***** too want to have a look?" he replies "no no way why? why did you cut your hair?" she says "because i felt like it and because i know how much you love my hairiness Odys i wanted to displease you i’m female again!" she defiantly glares at him he looks away slowly closes door hears her holler “*******!” listens as footsteps race down stairs out building he drops paintbrushes rag rushes to front window looks out watches her saunter away down street until she is gone writes Reiko Valentine poem he will never send

love listens when you speak understands what you think love watches while you sleep love holds back as you leap love lounges while you run frantic love picks your pocket puts you in checkmate love builds nest hatches egg love rips open your chest plucks heart away love is racehorse love is rattlesnake love pretends not to notice while you ******* love swings on gate love visits your grave love impersonates a poet love slits your throat love devours everything leaves crumbs for hate

he receives Valentine card in mail from Mom wonders if ultimately his fate is somehow sorely connected to her what if Mom stands in way of every woman? what if stars lead away from recognition as painter instead steer straight back to Mom? what if each is trial to other as if their souls are entangled in insolvable riddle ancient curse? he drinks himself to sleep

Laius and Jocasta are king and queen of Thebes in ancient Greece they have baby boy oracle prophesies boy will grow up **** father marry mother to nullify prophecy Laius Jocasta decide to **** their son back then it is common to abandon unwanted or damaged baby on mountain for vultures child survives grows to be man he travels gets into fight on road kills stranger who unaware to him is his father King Laius traveler Oedipus goes to Thebes solves Riddle of Sphinx saves city he is made king unknowingly marries his own mother King Laius's widow Queen Jocasta Oedipus rules wisely he and Jocasta have four children eventually Oedipus and Jocasta realize what ******* Oedipus is Jocasta commits suicide Oedipus pokes out his own eyes becomes wandering beggar assisted by daughter Antigone at time of their marriage Oedipus is young naive but Jocasta is middle-aged woman maybe deep down Jocasta knows she is marrying her handsome son it is thrill to sleep with him maybe it is only after Oedipus realizes truth in disgust confronts Jocasta that she is driven to suicide Jocasta cannot live with herself because she has known truth all along and now she is found out Oedipus can live with himself yet he plucks out eyes because he never wants to see truth again

Odysseus continues to work on black painting many weeks pass slowly snowdrifts begin to melt on occasion sun appears in sky Penelope calls to catch up with him says she is in hurry has met really cool guy is falling in love again their conversation is brief he hangs up receiver considers how resilient Penelope’s heart is she seems so much more capable of getting over heartbreaks

— The End —