Jeff Harrison

A torrent

I am their Actaeon, and they are a torrent upon me — they are a torrent to me, I, who have been nothing but Actaeon toward them. Even — oh, this duration — even now, do I strike them? Lash, torrent; your Actaeon will not so much as strike at you.

A swineherd

A swineherd, I am a hart. Why not one of my charges, the beasts I walked about? What hasn't happened is a longer story; it is enough that I walk about a beast. Why not Actaeon more longevous than the most longevous hart, with a fountainside story long enough to outlast the moon?

Hylactor and Agriodos

HYLACTOR: Actaeon, the word the hart spoke, the first word ever a hart spoke, the first, desperate word
                         — in despair of his life — Actaeon, the first, desperate —

AGRIODOS: And deceitful, the hart a show, a Chaldean's idleness.

HYLACTOR: Who is the Chaldean?

AGRIODOS: Name the Chaldean Actaeon, as Actaeon is your word for the hart. Your word, and a hart's.
                         Your word, from a hart.

HYLACTOR: Actaeon, Actaeon!

AGRIODOS: As was Actaeon the hart's each word. A hound taught by a hart! Shame should be your each
                         word, your each thought —

HYLACTOR: Actaeon, Actaeon!

AGRIODOS: — your each breath, your each, your each...

Jeff Harrison has poems in all the issues of Otoliths except the second issue. He has publications from Writers Forum, Persistencia Press, and Furniture Press. He has e-books from BlazeVOX and Argotist Ebooks. His poetry has appeared in An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions), The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II (Meritage Press), The Chained Hay(na)ku Project (Meritage Press), Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics, Moria, Calibanonline, unarmed, Big Bridge, Word For Word, and elsewhere.
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