Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Absence of the Wednesday Quiz as Explained in the Mythic Tradition

Night-dark Caliban the HouseCat knew that man-Michael was gone.  He saw Sue, fair-haired book-crafting Sue without Michael, and watched her meet her friends who had other lifestyles, who had different priorities and different values than those of the house of Caliban, and Michael, and Sue.   He knew too that there were many places in the city, places like pool halls and wine bars and all manner of gathering places, that would welcome Sue’s custom in Michael’s absence.  But Sue seemed untempted by these other possibilities, and returned every night to her studio to pursue her craft.

Caliban the HouseCat, loud-yowling, looked where he could for far-roaming Michael, but did not find him in the back garden, nor in the neighbor’s (in back and diagonal) yard through the gap in the fence, nor in front of the house by the great glossy-green rhododendron.  Therefore went he to ever-patient Sue to ask her where he might find the absent wayfarer of the macadam.  “Mrao?” he asked.  “Good boy,” said Sue.

Michael, road-weary, white-truck-driving, wandered through the lands of the east in strange patterns.  He had gone to make contest with the swift-limbed people of Idaho on racing fields, but after that, pursued himself by odd fancies, had found it difficult to return.  For many hours he wandered through the Saw-Toothed Mountains of Idaho, on roads that seemed direct on maps but in fact proved indirect and meandering, a maze for the sun-weary traveler.  Weary and hungry from travel, he was told by the woman at the inn that there was no room for him there, that there had been “overbooking,” but that she could arrange other lodgings for him.  In calculating spirit, innkeeper, she made to send him to inns of great price, in locations yet farther from his home, but crafty Michael, road-cunning, eluded her trickeries and found a cheap place by the freeway.

Auguries and strange adventures continually lured home-faring Michael from his true course.  In the county of Malheur, a man of Denmark blocked his way through the hills.  In the county of Grant three old women, eyes hidden behind smoke-dark glass, bade him render a picture of them.  In the county of Crook, he was startled by the deer and the owl and a strange maiden of the deep forest, dog-walking.  Truth: One night he was drawn from his inn by a strange desire, and found himself in a silent, ink-black forest, utterly alone.  On the day following, his journey home was blocked by a strange but powerful river across the desert, which to swim or ford would be certain peril.  In a strange land roamed Michael of many roads.

Yet after seven days of wandering, the Goddess of Wisdom guided Michael home to his house and lands in the county of Multnomah, in Portland, in Oregon, the City of Roses, where he was master of the heart and hearth, or at least wise co-signatee to the mortgage thereto.  And there he met, with surging heart, ebon Caliban, faithful feline, and picked him up, and told him he was a Good Boy.  And there too he saw Sue, working at her studio, and they embraced, and Michael said to her “Is not our lifestyle a good one?  Better, for us, than those of your friends?  Better than those available, at a price, from the merchants of the city?”  And far-walking, plan-drafting Sue, artisan of books, agreed that it was a lifestyle of much merit, and she welcomed the homecoming of road-dusty Michael, enthusiast of exploration.


Elaine said...

Hee hee!

Why did not Caliban await The Return of Michael by resting upon Setebos, the Cushion? For methinks a cat 'will sprawl, now that the heat of day is best, / Flat on his belly.'

Glad that thou art returned, O Michael, from thy Quest!

Rebel said...

Yay! This blog needs more mythic adventures... and much more CALIBAN! =)

Elizabeth said...

A Villainous Villanelle For M5K

Return, O wanderer, from pathways far.
The cat is sad, your garden droops,
You put too many miles on your car.

What tempts you out - what high bright star?
What leads you on meandering loops?
Return, O wanderer, from pathways far.

Roadkill you left upon the tar
The ants investigate in troupes;
You put too many miles on your car.

Like soldiers coming home from war
Or chickens back to their safe coops,
Return, O wanderer, from pathways far.

Dust and dirt the windshield mar,
The engine fills with gunks and goops.
You put too many miles on your car.

The message of the plaintive "mwrar"
From cat who paces on the stoops:
"Return, O wanderer, from pathways far -
You put too many miles on your car."

mrs.5000 said...

I'm quite impressed with the villanelle!

Michael5000 said...

The villanelle is really quite awesome! I am honored to be addressed in such a form!

But you know, those highway miles are real easy on a car. It's the city miles that get ya.

Elizabeth said...

Glad you liked the versification. I tried to work in something about "poops" (you know how road food can be) but couldn't get it to scan right.

G said...

This might be my favorite post of yours. There is a lovely essence of Pythonesque Tolkien about it.

Jenners said...

Me lovest this post though I canst not replicate its style in a comment.

gl. said...

i love this post, but to inspire a villanelle! well!

also, i'm surprised you left out the part about hiding treasure.