Ulysses

By Lizzie Arroyo, TIWP Student

So, I’m supposed to be writing a poem inspired by the poem “Ulysses” about finishing high school and facing new adventures in my life ahead. Each stanza has to start with the first line in that stanza in “Ulysses.” And I’m going to spend most of the next hour babbling on this paper because that prompt is exactly as cheesy as it sounds and I just want to get some ideas written.

Side note: I hate poetry, in case it wasn’t obvious.

The first stanza is supposed to start with: “It little profits that…” Okay, this one is easy. “It little profits that I get an A in Calculus when I’m busy just trying to survive.” That’s a little dark, so I’ll tone it down later. What I mean is, grades don’t seem all that important to me when the Cult tried to sick a feral peacock on my class last week. Turns out one of my classmates is an animal trainer though; who knew? I know it’s important to have an education, but some classes I just wonder “What is this all ​for?​ Why am I learning this? Is it really going to make me more successful if I memorize that the derivative of arc sin ​u​ is ​u​-prime over the square root of one plus u-squared?” See, just writing all that out made me feel pedantic. I wish I had the option to take my self-defense classes all day. ​That​ would be useful, and I could get a leg up on the Cult if they try attacking my school again.

Okay, second stanza has to start with: “I cannot rest from… , I will…” I’ll say “I cannot rest from sarcasm, I will continue harassing the Cult on their website.” Sarcasm is my life’s blood. If I didn’t have the option to snark at and belittle the self-righteous assholes who are constantly trying to sacrifice my friends and I, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The hope of ruthlessly mocking their bad spelling online is what gets me out of bed in the morning. My group (that’s the Support Group for Potential Human Sacrifices, just to clarify) tells me that’s a little unhealthy. I tell them the Cult shouldn’t dish out death threats if they can’t handle the retaliation.

I’m skipping to the last stanza line because I like it the best: “Come, my friends, ‘tis not too late to seek…” I might actually take this one seriously. The thing we have to seek is Heaven on earth. I mean it, I think it exists. The Cult doesn’t want us to know that. They want us to think the only way into heaven is to let them stab us to death while smiling sweetly, like little lambs, because it’s for the greater good. Because if anyone knows what the greater good is, it’s a bunch of middle-aged losers painting with goats blood and mailing dead cats to teenagers. But I think it’s the opposite. I think the way to Heaven is to live. To fight and claw and spit for life until we’re badass grandmas and grandpas telling our stories to everyone, because we ​made it​. If we can survive long enough to see the last member of the Cult die of old age, that will be our own Heaven, right here. We can find it without walking off the face of the earth the way ​she ​did. There are small moments where I really feel like life is beautiful. And eventually, if we Sacrifices keep seeking whatever it is we’re seeking, I think we can feel like life is beautiful forever.

Wow, I am completely deleting all of that, because it is way too soul-searchy to turn in for a stupid English assignment. I’ll probably just talk about how it’s not too late to seek adventure or success or whatever. All this writing about Heaven is making me think about ​her​, and I don’t like to think about ​her​ unless I actually need to indulge in melancholy.

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