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There beneath the palace walls the monster rages, foams, bawls, calling out again and again, Mother! Mother!
No other sound but the scrape of horn on stone, the grinding cranch of human bone under callused human foot.
Am I right or am I right? That bum Minos deserved what he got. I mean, I may be a god, but I’m not Unreasonable, and when I am, so What?
Like I said, I’m a god. Reason’s got nuthin’ To do with it.
But let’s get back to where it all started: Minos comes to me, Mewling like a baby, Frowny-faced, heavy-hearted. He’s got a hunger, he says, A hankering, a jones, a thing. But not for a woman! This jerk wants to be king! Of CRETE! An island so dazzling It could cure the friggin’ Blind. But it’s not the friggin’ Scenery this friggin’ Minos has in mind.
Not the harbors or the shores, The god-possessed waters. Not the sheep, the trusty shepherds, Their warlike sons, their lusty daughters. Not the olives or the figs, The sacred, long-lived trees. Not the amber honey Or the honey-making bees. Not the thyme-drunk lovers Who sigh among its flowers.
No, All this clown wants Is a little power. He’s got an appetite for obedience, But no imagination. And he doesn’t ask for much Just his own private nation.
So he wonders If I’d give the people An omen, A sign, Something impressive, He says, something divine. Anything to prove He’s the man For the royal job.
So what the fuck, I think. I’m gonna help this slob.Why not? I got plenty o’ nifty tricks Up this metaphorical sleeve. And you mortals? You’re ready to believe Anything to prove A god’s on your side. Besides, I got no dog in this fight. No skin off my hide. So, I wave my trusty trident; Ain’t nuthin’ for me. And abra-cadabra!
A milk-white bull Comes walking Out of the wine-dark sea.
The oldest trick in the book! A piece o’ cake. But it doesn’t take Much to bring you Mortals to your knees.
Yeah, you’re hard to respect But easy to please.
So Minos gets it all The palace, the power. Big Man on Knossos. Man of the Hour.
But all of a sudden, He won’t play nice.
Look, He was supposed to sacrifice That bull To me! Poseidon, baby! King of the Sea! Tamer of Horses! Old Earth-Shaker! And one helluva troublemaker When some jerk shirks His responsibility and Won’t keep his word.
So this Minos, This “king,” This two-faced Turd, Hid my bull and Sacrificed another. Like I’m some kind of mark! A pigeon! His younger brother! A harebrain! An idiot! A jamook! A snot-nosed kid!
The guy’s all ego.
BUT I’M ALL ID.
I could have turned his eyes Into a nest for seething wasps. I could have turned his face Into a snapping clam. I could have given him hooves Or studded the roof Of his mouth with thorns. Could have fitted him with horns. Flippers. Feathers. Fits. Made him smell like an outhouse. Covered him with zits. Turned his arms into eels. His teeth into snails. Bleat like a sea cow. Blow like a whale. Boils! Scabs! Gills! A snout! Turned his Ding-dong Inside Out! I could have. But I didn’t.
Parlor games. A touch too mild. Child’s play. And Poseidon’s no child.
He needed something He’d remember His whole stinkin’ life. That’s why I bypassed him . . .
And went after his wife.
When you play with the gods, You’re playing fast and loose. Enough small talk I’ve got a sea nymph to seduce.