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Below is a contribution to genetically modified literature in the form of a persona poem. This kind of poem is one of my favorite forms because of the way it allows me to think subjunctively about existing pieces of literature, and they often help to illuminate themes in those works. Each one simultaneously remixes of the culture pot and informs that which it remixes. Here I'll include two classically inspired poems and my most recent one based on A Christmas Carol. So, enjoy:

Based on The Odyssey by Homer:

Penelope squeezed her lids into a peer
directed down the dining hall,
over ragged silken tunics torn
and cast on the good mahogany table
reeking with the cologne and blood
of every Ithacan bachelor----
mostly, though, it was the cologne.
She peeped at her husband
stuffing his dinner into bearded O.
“I missed you.”
“What,” he said, flinging bits of
bone and marrow back on his plate.
Penelope sat and twirled hearts with
her fingers through the mucus
setting cooler and richer,
thinking, How could it have been,
and, It’s rude to answer with a question
a question.

Based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice:

Eurydice stood tapping her toes
in the asphodel and gray daffodils
when she saw her husband
the second time here
through the mist of ghosty pollen.
she said
he said and explained
he forgot the rules, directions
but he remembered
more than explained----
her henna dotted wrists,
the lips he quivered
and that last silver sliver
he saw between meeting
doorposts just before
he remembered he shouldn’t.

Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

To begin with: Scrooge
was dead, Tiny Tim
was dead, Christmas was over,
buried behind a day. And it is here
where we find at Hanover’s Hangover
ghosts, Past and Yet-to-come,
because Present never showed.
He was done a day ago, too.

The Dec. 26th whiskey is always so
ephemeral in its too-short shot glasses.

Not that Past and Yet- cared for the taste.
The bartender was tormented by the two----
forgetting the one, the one he couldn’t pin,
the one he saw his mother’s face translucent in
the rippling layered folds; and half-remembering
the other, who always drank with his right-hand
like deja-vu.

Past reminisced about the best 26ths----
the best malts, the best day, the best company----
but Past never really experienced any of that; his
hindsight 20/20 came from rose-colored spectacles.
Yet- behind his black velvet curtains dreamed speechless
about the perfect recipes, brews, schemes and destructions
personal and on the scale of empires. A pause----
Where do the ropes mimes pull end----
And back.

They made everyone uncomfortable, the way children
with polio and tuberculosis seemed to float catatonic
around their raggy heads. But from Past and Yet-,
each one spindling like loose ends on fraying sleeves,
They’re expendable; they’re allegorical;
as purposeful as a Scrooge, and very needed for their next try.

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