Fractured Verse
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}


The Odyssey As fractured by Robert Schechter

A warrier known as Ulysses
went off, disappointing his Mrs.,
         for twenty long years,
         and she, through her tears,
refused all the suitors her kisses.

Or did she? Some gossipers claim
Penelope, being a dame,
         lacking men’s armor
         let one or two charm her,
besmirching her husband’s good name.

But no, she consumed the years sitting.
And waiting. And knitting and knitting.
         Her suitors unwitting,
         her nightly unknitting
unravelled their suits, as was fitting.


The Iliad As fractured by Robert Schechter

Achilles and Hector would grumble,
“Why, gods, won’t the city walls tumble?”
         Imagine their joy
         when the morons of Troy
were deaf to the horse belly’s rumble.

Or was it they thought, “indigestion,”
dismissing Cassandra’s suggestion
         that maybe they should
         put their ears to the wood,
if only to settle the question?