The Cyclops' Reefs emerge from the
at the harbor entrance. These are
supposed to be
the rocks hurled by the Cyclops
– Michelin Guide (Sicily)
So these are the mountain chunks the Cyclops shied
to bring Ulysses back. Ulysses cried
the truth across the sucking waves: his name—
"Raider of Cities! That's who you can claim
you had to deal with—not the Nobody
you cursed to your grotesque and wheel-eyed friends."
And eyeless Polyphemus, taking aim
with lava crags and hills, let fly at him
and missed; and since the monoliths went wide,
flying as untrue as they were immense,
they failed to dim the voice that could deride
not only Polyphemus—also me:
He's only fiction, like his pseudonym.
The canny familiar I've been travelling with,
always just a stone's throw from my side—
he's like these "missiles"—nothing but a myth.
Ulysses! We could say that Homer lied;
but if you never lived, you never died.
Like lava-hardened into history—
you'll outlive me; and who is nobody?
Aci Trezza, Sicily
(c) 2000; originally printed in
the Cumberland Poetry
Review. Reprinted by permission of the
background by Raspberry Creek
Outer table background by Shana Leah