Poem in the Old Style
At the beginning of the play Hecuba was mourning her great losses. She made lists, blamed the Gods: they could always find someone to wound. Finally she had to blind somebody: that somebody was me. At least I spent many years in the dark trying to figure out what I’d done. I could rummage through the episodes, how I was embroiled in them. Even after years, I had only these warring voices: deranged and diffident.
After all I’d been blinded: that would muzzle anybody’s myth-making. It doesn’t matter if every man has his Hecuba, that every Hecuba has an Odysseus. No one wants to be a minor character, left backstage holding a bouquet long after the lights go out. In fact, after she left the stage she lit a cigarette, recited a few lines to the doorman in the lobby, took a hot shower and dreamt of another city where she could use some of the same words and move them around differently. It takes practice to be a goddess: practice and someone to receive her great gifts.