Looking for the Palladium


It’s here somewhere.
You just have to know what to look for.
A stick with a face that fell out of the sky.
Faceless pillars of rare Earth,
Or the beguiling smile of a departed one.
A stake keeping her high in mind.

Where do you suppose they put it?
The Trojans’ luck and protection.
I’m searching gone nightclub basements.
It’s an old story on a long loop .
Wisdom’s not dead, she just went for a ride.
Maybe to Rome, perchance to phone home.

Ilus was a wrestler
Won fifty youths and virgins as a prize.
Them and a cow, I don’t know how.
Follow the tits, the oracle said .
When it lies down, that’s your turf.
A city will rise, even if its dead .

The heavyweight prayed for a sign,
Like Fork in the Road or Yield Right of Way
but then the Palladium came down.
Whoosh, a bolt ablaze from Olympus,
Followed by a town.
Air to surface, special delivery.

Just one look, it was a yardbird stick and
Snatching it from fire the guy went blind,
Two goddesses in one,
Drove him into and out of mind.
Troy had the keys to the seas.
But then watch out, here comes Achilles.

The Palladium was a job for pros.
Diomedes and Odysseus undercover
Ithaca’s king scoped the scene
In bum drag. Helen pinned him
And for old times sake she spilled the spot
Where the Palladium was stashed.

Ithaca’s king gave Big D a leg up
And D left him lurching at Troy’s fence,
Thinking to make it his exclusive story.
He would’ve offed the Odyssey for his own glory
But got caught in the act of giving his partner
the whack. They both made it back with the goods.

Cassandra, pro virgin, nodded on the job.
She turned Apollo on and it was his temple pad.
Her promised her prophesy if he had his way,
She took the truth but turned him down anyway.
A bad bet. He could have made her a tree.
Instead she got perfect prophesy

And sent to a place where no one would listen.
She saw it coming down and tore at Helen’s hair
Tried to torch the horse and its troupe.
But was dragged off to Argos to die,
As only she knew to be true.
Good luck had flown the coop.

So where now brown cow?
Show me the way to go home.
The Arcanum can be temporarily housed,
In the Burpee’s Seed Catalog or
the Criterion film collection.
It is elusive, ephemeral, shape shifting.

Troy burned, Greece in ruins, nobody done good.
Man is shrunken. A shard of his old bad self.
Once he was the sum of all knowledge
Now at best he’s a book on a shelf at a college.
How many oars does it take to row a galley?
We’re just bytes in a hive in silicon valley.

It’s a remote controlled race.
Face on same face, spread like sand on a beach.
But I’m way against the grains.
Athena is in my earbuds talking trash in ones & zeroes
Directions to get the Palladium back
In the hands of a band of heroes.

Every ritual begins in a dream
And gets carried away in the dark.
A shot across the bow of celebrity.
All aces and kings on this team
Just mad hopes high on life, a gleam, a spark.
If not us, who? If not here, where?
If not now then when, huh men?


for the ladies of Minerva


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