A note about “Sisyphus Walks”

/ Thursday, April 28th, 2011 / No Comments »

About six years ago my buddy Charlie Saplak and I collaborated on a short story that re-imagines the Greek myth of Sisyphus, condemned to push a boulder uphill in Hell until it grows too heavy and rolls over top of him — after which he has to start all over again. Squish; repeat. In our version he has to reassemble the bodies of titans who have been torn apart by some cataclysm, but his work is always undone before he can finish.

During the composing process, Charlie asked me to consider writing a poem that would flesh out some of the details of this new Sisyphus’ world, and “Sisyphus Walks” is the result. The short story, which has yet to find a home, ended up quite different from the all-out surreal approach I went for in the poem, which borrows much of its imagery from a strange dream I had of a desolate landscape with pipes protruding up from the red, barren ground, through which can be heard voices carried from unseen caverns fathoms below the surface.

This happened to be the poem I had handy when Jessica Wick of Goblin Fruit invited me to submit to their first issue. Her co-editor, Amal El-Mohtar, who I hadn’t yet gotten to know, improved the piece considerably with a handful of edits.

To think that half a decade has passed since then; Goblin Fruit just celebrated its 5th anniversary with a terrific new issue. How time flies …

(Read and hear the poem here.)

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