Notes by Menelaus on Helen’s Abduction
Part 1 of The Trojan Chronicles: Menelaus’ perspective on Helen and Paris; part of a series exploring the theme of Troy and the Trojan War
I was in Sainsbury’s,
the one opposite Brent Cross,
a cherished food hall for my Greek neighbours,
between aisles seven and eight –
Chilled Foods and Newspapers and Magazines –
stocking up on feta and tiramisu
for the speed dating party
when you called – “number unknown”
flashed up on my phone – saying you wanted
to hear my voice, was missing me,
though you’d only been gone a week,
but I could hear him behind you,
his hands travelling the slopes
so familiar to mine.
I do not care which god has his back;
does he think he can steal you away,
this bastard birth who should have died,
but now struts a purpled Trojan prince
at the wheel of a pimped BMW?
Pass my words onto him;
I swear I will fuck him up,
him and his in distant Hisarlik,
their bones left bleaching on the beach
for the white crows to divine the paths
the gods have scripted us into already.
Tell him he will not know love for long.
Interesting to see how it fares on here.
I like the poem, up to your excellent standards as ever, but being ignorant of such Greek things (Nic will kill me) I would not have made the connection without the preface.
G, I was testing the waters on the other place and it seemed to go down well. The inferences to the Trojan saga are dotted throughout the poem, and the preface, as Allen has noted, together with the title, was to allow the connection to be made.
I’m with Guaj on this. But I suspect the very reason you’ve given the preface was to allow comprehension from a wider audience. I’m sure you know already what an accomplished piece this is. Well done. (Ahem… I was going to comment on a place that gives cerise globes, but saved it for here.)
Thanks, Allen. I’m glad you saved your comments for this site!
Wow! I mean, brave, or what? It did blind side me at first, then I got into it: Menalaus in Sainsbury’s!
D, the man has to eat! And even if he was a king he still liked to go and wander through his dominions and especially his food halls. A bit of contemporising to add to the story’s spice.
a well-written piece about a lover’s wrath
Thank you, IYP. I had a picture of a man shopping and getting a call from his estranged partner and as he walked up and down the aisles getting more and more irate until steam is literally coming from his ears. Tined that picture down a bit for this poem, but in essence, as you put it so succintly this is about “a lover’s wrath.”