Ancient Cinema

—thoughts on finishing Emily Wilson’s new translation of the Odyssey

Odtyssey Suitors

Book 22 of The Odyssey
reads like the story line of The Punisher 

so we know that men have been bloodthirsty
at least since the Greeks sacked Troy

and that Homer rivals Hensleigh in imagery of hacked limbs 

and scarlet springs
………………….. almost 3000 years have not dulled our thirst 

for an aesthetic of pain. We can imagine Homer
yakking with Tarantino
of techniques depicting death
and cruel dispatch over cups of wine-dark blood

imagining clueless suitors mocking an 800 bc ISIS
collapsed into the form
of one Odysseus
disguised by god Athena as a mendicant, an old beggar
imagining his tormentor’s imminent 
amputations, punctures, skewers, unconcerned of R ratings,
happily scripting till bloody-fingered dawn rolls in
with crime scene cleaners 
to make the place habitable
for almost-civilized folk who’ve slapped
good money down
for admission to sanitized
screen brutality and spent
small fortunes on popcorn and coke

Jim Culleny