Mar 30, 2010


Written by Jacques J. Rancourt

Read by Will Schutt

A helix of gull squall all drove & dip
                        plucks Odysseus like a harp.

            Fastened to a mast on a ship 
riding shelves, he meditates on Penelope

dressed in doves. Through the mad flutter
            & oar spiral the thick-necked sirens sing 

naked on the pocked shore. In this variation
the sirens are men,

their bodies spread open like oysters, opal 
            sheen revealing the gray flesh 

of what he never knew he wanted, 
                        his chest a swarm of Pollock. 

They reach for Odysseus who reaches, his wrists
                              bruising against cords. 

Now the sea is prodded by seals,
                        now his boys wheel paddles 

overhead, brine splattering their shirtlessness, 
Odysseus’s feet curling 

into questions. Clutched mast, drywood 
            splinters, his blood flowing freely now.

                        He loosens an unheard song
left swelling in his chest, a music box 

                                          the wind tips open —