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Brad Pitt in the movie Troy (2004)
Brad Pitt in the movie Troy (2004)

BooksFebruary 11, 2022

The Friday Poem: My Director’s Cut of Troy (2004), by Eamonn Tee

Brad Pitt in the movie Troy (2004)
Brad Pitt in the movie Troy (2004)

A new poem by Auckland poet Eamonn Tee

My Director’s Cut of Troy (2004)

Paris Hilton holds a chain around Achilles’ neck. Covered in diamonds, she says:

‘This is hot’.

Engraved in the chain are the words:

‘this story is a tragedy because it will end in tragedy, it will end in tragedy because this story is a tragedy’. Achilles has never learnt to read.

He only knows the story through mouths, through tongues, through teeth.

So, he doesn’t see the historians in the lines trying to hollow it out. Trying to make him mortal so he can sell shoes. The revulsion will not be televised. They try to hollow him out but,

He is so full of Patroclus.

So, no one can touch the mortal boy because Achilles is a god, his skin is saturated with the fear of death. They cannot break his golden skin.

So, Paris pulls on that chain, Achilles chokes but doggedly holds to Patroclus. He does not move, and so Paris pulls the chain, they hiss through their teeth:

‘Achilles, heel!’

The chain will not break, it only goes one way. Achilles will not break; it has always been this way.

So, Achilles strains, choking, and red-faced, and throwing spittle through bloodied teeth and gums. They try to turn him into a fighter.

He is not a monster.

He is so full of love.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.


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