He came looking for me, that king. He knew

                        what I could do. Later, his strength revealed

                        itself. He was tall. He was tired. I screamed

                        because a ghost arrived—they never do—

                        I call, but they’re just dead. I often dream

                        they come but—until that day—tombs stayed sealed.

                        The king’s poor head had no time to go gray

                        like mine. I killed a calf for him. He—stayed.

                        Don’t think I’m powerless. I’m not a fake.

                        But voices tickle air—that’s how I work

                        most nights. That time, a man I saw buried

                        stood right here. Forget it. Let me just bake

                        flatbread. That king’s dead now. Don’t get carried

                        away. Prophets—kings—they stay under earth.



It’s not as if I’m dead. OK, technically, I am dead,

but not dead dead like the shades that wander Elysium’s borders.


I’m as alive as you. I have thoughts. Beliefs. As in, I don’t believe

this is my end or yours. Nothing is fated.


A guy gave me a good offer for my rock. That’s a problem

with the delusional dead: thinking they have control.


He wandered off, looking for something more. Left me

a working knowledge of his smart phone. Cell


signals flow everywhere on my trek. But who to call?

What’s worth more than my rock? Freedom? Sunlight?


Nothing that he offered.  Recharging isn’t needed, though I sleep

a little longer each day. If this is a day. I repeat myself,


the rock grows broader, my arms shorter. I’ve many ideas

how to wriggle out of my fate.  If dead, I wouldn’t have


ideas, wouldn’t believe the Fates themselves can be bribed.

Nose, tooth, eye. They could clip Hades’ thread if they wanted.


By the time this riot was back in order, I’d be gone. Dead,

if I don’t exist elsewhere. Why stay where nothing’s gained?


You know, Fate isn’t three crones, just harbors the hatred of three.

I’m not using my appendix, bowels, don’t need all my digits.


Like old furniture, they take up space. She could have them.

So bloodthirsty, I suppose she’d throw them to Cerberus.


Wait.  I could do that myself. Hold that bargain, Fate.

He’s a boy, he’s a boor, he’s a bear, he is doomed and is not doomed

and is not dead

but living in a heaven of hell where

he must pick the berries, shake down the nuts,

tell stories around the fire, and


as we must imagine him

strong enough of spirit to reraise

any boulder, singing gladly

with wild honey

and like viscosities

dripping down his face.