but then there's also this

Odysseus wants to set out again, but there's something still keeping him here, and he wants it to be like that forever.  This is not Kalypso's place, this is not her sister's place, this is not even the place he was just a few months ago.  In fact, it is the very realm of the dead, the island where the dead are disguised as the living, and it's impossible to find on purpose, and those who stumble upon it accidentally fall in love with the place even though they know it's trying to kill them. 

He landed here without knowing it, and he was being courted by nine muses without even knowing it, and he thought they were the Muses when they are anything but those Muses, because these muses have been sent by someone else entirely, and when he thinks he knows who it is, this someone else sends out another flock of birds to distract him, so that he won't pursue it any further.  This is where he is supposed to be right now, is what he tells himself, when in fact that's anything but the truth, and so far from the truth that it just feels right.

But it is not. 

He mulls and mulls and mulls, and eventually everything mulled will turn into wine, and if he drinks the wine he will forget everything, and for a very long time, and it's a very good chance that he will stay crossed over, stay crossed in the land of the dead, and never come back.  These are his pomegranate seeds, and the underworld is open 12 months of the year, and is even open on weekends and holidays.  While he mulls, he is also writing, and he has decided to write a letter, and the letter comes out something sort of a little bit like this:

Dear K--
Oh my god you have got to be out of your fucking mind.  This, this, this, I can't do anything with this.  This is the only card I haven't played:  I am still in love with you.  Please don't take it personally.  Or come and find me.  I can't find you.  You call me close and then you run away.  I can't find you.  It's like chasing a cat that turns into a bird that flies away.  Find me.  We could sleep together, or just have coffee.  I am not particularly attached to anything.  But open to whatever, you know.  Especially the sleeping together part.  But I wouldn't push it.  I mean, I'm cool about everything.  Or whatever you want.  You tell me.  I won't keep pushing.  Or even waiting.  I'm done.  But I'm here.  You know.  If that's what you want.  Find me.  I'm wearing the same scent from when you left.

And here O was short for "Oh, fuck, what the hell am I doing?" because in truth no one should play their cards for a lover that they cannot trust, and it's even worse when you do that in the land of the dead, but how could he know that.

(He could have opened his fucking eyes, supposedly, but even then, he wouldn't have been tall enough to see things from any height.  He is tall but not that tall.  No, what he needs, what we need, is to become birds, to see things from a higher perspective, and on some days it's more metaphorical than others, but this day is turning out to be less and less of a metaphor, and it would be epic if the year ahead were filled with things that seemed like metaphors but were really not at all, exactly themselves.

The androgynous bisexual goddess that lives on the floor of the ocean is the floor of the ocean, and she represents herself, the beginning of life in the world, and more mysterious than anyone will ever know, and nothing more, and nothing less, and metaphor of nothing except for herself.  The head that is cleaned with feathers dreams of being a bird in flight not because the head wants to become like a bird, but because it is becoming bird.  And the land of the dead is not a place where the skin goes to get shed, but it is the land of the dead, and no one in the realm of the living should be walking in the land of the dead, and there's no metaphor that's better than birth or death for anything, but here the death is a metaphor for death, and the face in the mirror is the face in the mirror. 

He, this Odysseus on another adventure, about to start another journey, is ready to fly, and he takes one look at the ocean, long enough to get dreamy, and blinks his eyes once twice three times he blinks and his head goes forward and the muscles on his shoulder blades tighten and he falls fast into a narcotic sleep and off the cliffs at the Ocean Beach of the dead, and when he falls, the nine sirens come screaming, trying to catch him, about to lose their jobs their cushy siren jobs, and the indecisive lovers of the last decade come to testify in heaven, asked to give an answer, yes or no, but they don't understand the question, or don't want to commit to anything just yet, it's been a year or two years or three years or maybe it's been a lifetime since they had this chance to meet, but that's not long enough to know for sure, and there's lunchtime coming and who knows what the choices will be it's so very hard to get out of bed when the world is this complicated, yes or no, it's a simple question, but it's too early to reply, this is too soon too sudden, is this the same question from three months ago?  yes or no? really?  this is too sudden, it was sudden then and it's still sudden now, and he falls, and he is so deep asleep he looks dead almost, and he falls, and if there ever was a time to come forward and say this, yes or no, just yes or just no, she answers, Please remind me of the question, please just remind me of the question, and she aches for him and her loins burn for him and her heart needs him and she just doesn't know what her time will be like next week to commit to anything so sudden, and while she is still deciding, the rocks on the sea open up like a sweet and vicious hole, and suck him in, and he is not dead but gone so very very gone, his chest fills with the wistfulness of all the squeaky dog toys of all the squeaky dog toy shops in the world of the southern hemisphere, and in English and Spanish and Portuguese and Esperanto, his chest beats squeaks tears open and bleeds for her he wants her he wants her he wants her he was waiting for her for so very long and he doesn't even know that the muses are dying, and his sucking ears sing sucking sounds he is being sucked into a song he doesn't recognize because somewhere at the bottom of the sea there was a mermaid who was intent on saving his life, and this is exactly what she did and the happy part of a vicious hole is the whole hole and the sad part is obvious and the next part is goddam fucking epic.


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