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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Poem: 292 words
By Michael Estabrook


Asterion minotaurus
I’m the victim do you hear me! 
I’m the fucking victim here! 
My mother Pasiphaë satisfying her unquenchable lust 
(damn Aphrodite) by copulating with a bull—a damn BULL! 
Who does that, seriously WHO! 
My mother the great WHORE that’s who 
and what am I supposed to do with that image 
where am I supposed to put it? 
How do I deal with it psychologically? Well HOW? 

So of course I’m born a hideous monster 
a slaveringly insane ferocious half-man half-beast 
with horns and all, scared the bejesus outta everybody 
I can tell you that, was kinda funny, the look on their faces. 
So King Minos my sensitive and selfless stepdad 
brings in Daedalus the Crafty 
who constructs a vast maze 
beneath Knossos Palace as my prison 
to ensure that my life remained forever a living hell. 

Well of course I ate people 
it was an age of human sacrifice for crying out loud! 
I loved those succulent virgin girls and boys 
sacrificed to me every few years. 
What else would you have me do stuck alone 
in that damnable endless labyrinth 
until Ariadne with her stupid ball of twine 
lead the great hero Theseus ooohhh aaahhh 
to the heart of the matter where he... 

Yes and then there was Theseus 
Theseus the Great, the King, the Conqueror, the Coward! 
The perfidious little prick snuck up on me in the dark 
speared me in the face. The Bastard! 
How was I supposed to know he was there 
no one was ever there NO ONE! EVER! BUT! HA! 
I get the final laugh because I live on yes I do 
I live on immortal as the beast within you within Everyman 
and shall so remain until the end of days. 


—Semi-finalist in MacQ’s Magician Ekphrastic Writing Challenge

Michael Estabrook
Issue 3, May 2020

Educated first in the sciences, and graduating into comparative literature and languages, Michael Estabrook is a retired, baby boomer, child-of-the-Sixties poet freed finally after working 40 years for “The Man” (and sometimes “The Woman”). No more useless meetings under fluorescent lights in stuffy stale windowless rooms. Now, he can concentrate on making better poems and on pursuing other interests, including art, music, theatre, opera, history, genealogy, philosophy, and his wife, who has always been the most beautiful woman he has ever known.

Since the late 1980s, more than 20 of Michael’s collections have been published, including most recently: The Poet’s Curse: A Miscellany (The Poetry Box, 2019); It Is What It Is, with Phil Weidman and drawings by Wayne Hogan (little books press, 2018); Two Sides of the Same Coin, with drawings by Wayne Hogan (little books press, 2016); and Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Grand Illusion, a poem by Michael Estabrook in Rattle (8 August 2018)

Three Poems in SubtleTea (October 2015–January 2016): “Philosophy,” “Temptation,” and “Beautiful Woman”

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