“Odysseus” published at MasticadoresIndia

I’m delighted to announce that my poem “Odysseus” has been published at MasticadoresIndia. I’m so grateful to Terveen Gill and her team for their support and kindness in publishing my poem. Terveen is a writer’s greatest ally and her steadfast encouragement is a bottomless font of inspiration. I’m both honored and humbled to have my poetry included at MasticadoresIndia. Many thanks, Terveen!

“Odysseus”

“I saw Odysseus sprawled on the sidewalk between
The squalid little deli and the boarded-up
All-night video place whose weather-stained
Posters advertised GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS
Amid obtuse indecipherable graffiti and
A fallen constellation of multi-hued shards of
Broken glass that crunched underfoot like
Bone fragments
The patina of snow about him
Pristine in its absence of footprints from
Passers-by…”

I’d be grateful if you would check out the rest of my poem by clicking this link. Also, be sure to follow and subscribe to MasticadoresIndia—it’s a wonderful place for those who love writing.

42 thoughts on ““Odysseus” published at MasticadoresIndia

    1. Thank you, Friedrich. Yes, I suppose old St. Nick has done his job for me this year! This never gets old, the excitement of having a piece published… I’m so grateful to Terveen Gill at MasticadoresIndia and to everyone who takes the time to stop by and visit. Blessed, indeed. 🙂

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  1. Bravo this is a brilliant write and so wonderful to see you again on MasticadoresIndia. I left my detailed comment over there. Congratulations on a most creative piece. Terveen has been very supportive and kind to me as well, she has a kind heart. Big hugs, and blessings, Joni 🦋🤗

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    1. Thanks a bunch, Joni, for your wonderful comments both here and at MasticadoresIndia. I so appreciate your kindness and your thoughtful comments. And yes, Terveen is the best! 🙂 Hugs back to you, my friend! 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Cindy. Actually, this is an older piece I wrote in 2013, but had never submitted anywhere until recently. I published it on my blog in September 2021 back when I first began posting my poetry here, but it, and all those other old poems, are sort of buried and go unnoticed. The majority of my poetry (and writing in general) is very dark, so this is par for the course as far as my poetry is concerned. Lots of sadness, despair, loneliness, loss, etc. I never believed it would be authentic for me to try to write happy poetry because my life experiences haven’t filled my coffers with much happiness. “Write what you know,” you know? So, yeah, if anyone delved into my older poetry here, they’d see a definite trend of melancholy, and that still comes out in what I write now. Writing is therapy for me. Lancing old wounds. It’s painful much of the time, and folks who enjoy fluff poetry won’t like anything I write, but that’s okay. My goal is just to write and create as honestly as I can. Hopefully it resonates with others, because we all share the human condition. 🙂

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      1. It goes well. I shall be posting soon (winter solstice) and it’s ready to go in 7 days’ time. Otherwise, it is about -4c (feels like -6 or -7c) and haven’t been outside for a couple of days on account of the fog and black ice. It is supposed to be better tomorrow 🤞

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  2. Wow Mike! Such detail, such imagery… congratulations on this poem! It’s rather different to haiku! :-). Being the myth-dunce that I am, I haven’t clued in as to why you chose Odysseus so I’ll have to do some googling. I think my favourite section was Odysseus the motorcyclist. I found the imagery in those stanzas particularly striking and evocative. My very tentative reading is that maybe we are all all these forms, and we all find strangers in ourselves that even our loved ones get surprised by.

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    1. Thanks so much for such a thoughtful comment. In a nutshell, in Greek mythology, Odysseus was a Greek king who fought in the Trojan War. He’s perhaps most noted for his trip back home to Ithaca after the war, which took ten years and included many hardships. I wanted to draw a parallel between this long, hard journey Odysseus made with the lost people of society who are on their own personal journeys as they try to find their way through life. Some of the examples I used are based on real-life experiences I’ve witnessed . The young man asking for food at the shopping mall had a wife and a young child, and his eyes were tired and hollow as he stood there in the summer swelter with his sign (I gave him money for food and I hope it helped). I came across the scene with the dead motorcyclist late one night near a desert town in New Mexico and it was so surreal and disquieting and tragic. My own mother was referenced–the hospital patient stitched with tubes (“a human loom”). I’ve seen quite a few of these folks over the years and there’s a sad desperation about them, a resignation, the knowledge that they’ve lost everything and they have nowhere left to go. It’s heart-breaking. Also, homelessness is a huge fear of mine, and one that’s very real. So, this poem is for the lost people, the invisible people who have been left behind. They still matter; they still have value as humans, and they deserve to find their way home as much as anyone else. Incidentally, this poem was written in 2013 and I posted it here on my blog in September 2021, but never submitted it anywhere until just recently.

      Anyway, thanks again for your kind words. I know it’s a difficult piece for some folks to read, but it has some deep meaning for me. 🙂

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  3. I loved this piece of writing, Mike. You’re amazing. Odysseus was the perfect hero for the poem, and as I was reading I thought about the wasted potential of the invisible people, the people who could have been heroes under different circumstances, if given a chance, if not overlooked. Any one of us could be one of them. I read through the comments for your thoughts about the poem and those were touching and stark. Congrats on the publication, my friend. Stunning.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. You’re much too kind! I agree with you: those people in this poem have the potential to be heroes, yet somehow they became lost and left behind. There’s so much debate nowadays regarding “hand-up” vs. “hand-out,” and what comes to mind is why dehumanize someone who is struggling and barely hanging on? Why not just offer a hand, period? Why is there so much hatred for the downtrodden? I live in a small town that sits near two major Native American Indian reservations (Navajo, Ute). There’s plenty of abject poverty in this area, plenty of racism, and too many people who vote for politicians who demonize marginalized groups, indigenous people, Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, immigrants, etc. (Boebert is my 3rd district “representative,” unfortunately…) It makes no sense. Instead of doing what they can to help, they turn their backs in disgust. What if we just stopped everything and took the time to look these invisible people in the eyes and acknowledge their existence, their humanity? As you said, “Anyone of us could be one of them.” And it could happen in a heartbeat.

      You can probably tell this issue means an awfully lot to me. Hence, this poem. I just want a better world for everyone. It seems like such a basic desire, yet also so far away. Anyway, thanks so much, Diana, for your kind words. It truly means a lot to me. 🙂

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      1. I don’t understand the racism and distain of marginalized people either, Mike. It’s all so mean-spirited and ugly. And it hurts everyone, including children and families. It wastes potential that would benefit us all. Your poem was exceptional and your message came through. If you have a second, here’s a poem I wrote in 2019. It’s not nearly as beautiful as yours, but it shares your passion and dismay. We are on the same page. https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/30/dianas-march-story-you-left-me-behind/

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    2. Goodness, Diana…I was deeply moved by your poetry. I wasn’t able to comment on your site as the comments section had been closed, but I wanted to let you know your words resonated so powerfully with me. We are on the same page, indeed. Your poem is so sorrowful, yet beautifully crafted. I could picture each scene so clearly. Children left behind is the ultimate disgrace of humanity. We all deserve a chance to live and grow and blossom into our true selves. So much potential lost, as you said. So much humanity abandoned. I’m in awe of your talents, my friend. This leaves an impact in my heart that will stay with me. Thanks so much for sharing this piece with me. 🙂

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      1. You’re way too kind, Mike, but I thought it resonated, and we’re indeed on the same page. Such terrible loss for the whole world. More than anything else, this makes me sad. I think that’s why your poem was so moving for me. Keep spreading kindness and compassion. The world needs it. ❤

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