“Odysseus”

I have just discovered this wonderful poem from Mike U. It’s a long one, but well worth the read (and a re-read!). Enjoy! :

Silent Pariah

“Odysseus”
© 2013 by Michael L. Utley

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 as if the stench of his
Existence had formed an unseen barrier
A half-moon DMZ buffering
His world from ours
And ours from his
And seemed to accelerate those who passed
As if sling-shotting them along their snowy
Midnight trajectories by means of his own
Anomalous gravity
And he was invisible
This shivering, coughing Odysseus
This Odysseus of ancient rheumy eyes and
Filth-caked garb of indeterminate color and
Dirty twitching fingers destroyed by age and arthritis
That latched onto
Nothingness in the inhuman chill

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