‘If we tell her the truth she’ll split us clean in two
if she catches us with our lying faces on—best not
to think of it. Instead let’s tell her a story:
he lives reigns conquers fucks whatever’
Where history fails, myth grows ragged as weeds. Here are two pieces of not-quite history: the death of Alexander the Great and Odysseus’ adventures during the Trojan war. Two men for whom the truth is as fluid as water, and they are trapped inside the stories told about them. Here, they are placed in the limelight again, where Alexander is “odd-eyed like David Bowie, maybe / he’s Napoleon or Meryl Streep, any bourgeois thing” and Odysseus is busy having his Tarot read at a drunken party. These experimental, shifting sequences explore grief and fate with a wink towards the audience, poised at the threshold between tall tales, truth and imagination. After all, ‘all stories are wet clay, all of us are bodies snapping to attention at the sound of our names.’
‘In which Alexander is shown to be less than great, and Odysseus not to be trusted with the tarot cards. Kym Deyn’s playful playets give these age-old myths enough topspin to make them thrum with a witty, inventive energy.’ – Rishi Dastidar
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kym Deyn is a writer and fortune teller. They have a micro chapbook with Broken Sleep Books, and were selected for Nine Arches’ Primers Vol. 6. They have been widely published in anthologies and journals and are one of the winners of the 2020 Outspoken Prize for Poetry. They recently received an Arts Council DYCP grant for their queer audio drama work.