The Philiad

by Eel C. Jesus


Part I

O How Phillip wrenches out his heart as
his beloved betrayed thee; she went off
and married another at thirty-three.
A promise once set in stone is now washed
away by tears wrought with anguish and groans.

April – March – June – the seasons crawl by and
he’s locked deep inside the darkest parts
of his soul; living on stale air and weeks
old sweat while his beloved wrestles and
caresses her lover in his old bed.

His thoughts, they cripple every ounce, every
shred of dignity that he possesses. So
now, he’s cemented THIS in his head:
get a gun, shoot both of them, dead. Perhaps,
just him. He’s lost; no reason to live.

Now, Phillip, twisted and seriously
committed, rolls himself off of deaths’ bed;
goes down to the gun store and buys – a chrome
forty-five, pearl inlaid handle, with
an extension clip, plus some hollow tips.

Life is now his to take – his to give. So,
Phillip contemplates until he is fed,
then sleeps restless – quietly with the sweet
smell of sulfur and lead; whispering, “Til
death do us part my lovely, lovely heart.”

To start, he writes his Will along with a
note chronicling the hurt that he feels.
Finished, he wraps his lips around the bitch,
strains to pull the trigger – realizes –
that cowards are doomed to watch their wishes.

Again, Phillip decides, he’ll sit and
write a letter, a confession, or to
ask, why? All of which, he softly addressed:
Dear My Beloved – followed with each and
every word he’s ever left unsaid.


Part II

Satisfied with what he writes, Phillip sends
his letter out that night. Three days later,
A husband receives – an envelope with
no return address – just bold print that reads:
TO: MY BELOVED – “Wait, is this, for me?”

With pains, the husband reads a detailed list
of how someone else confesses to love
HIS one and only, HIS most cherished. Oh,
what a wicked game his love plays, and HIM,
a doting, faithless pawn, who shares her shame.

Twelve hours pass, twelve, on a Wednesday and
a wife is not yet home, neither is she
answering her phone. Her husband’s in
the kitchen; cold soup on the table – warmth –
gone since four. Yells, “O’ where is that damn whore!”

A quarter after ten. The wife walks in,
she sees her husband, seething, standing in –
the kitchen with knife in hand, pleading, “O’
my love, where have you been? Please, don’t say
work. I’ve been there – you – haven’t been in.”

The wife, too tired to fight, tries to walk
away, but her husband stands in her face.
“I want answers,” he says. She pushes him;
she wants space. Slighted, he grabs her, holds her
tight, but the knife is pointed out and it –

Slides nicely between her ribs which ends her
life, but he still stabs her: three more times. When
he realizes what he’s done, he
stumbles, fumbles, scrambles, for his gun. “Oh,
my wife,” he signs with regret, and then … Death.


Part III

Poor ole Phillip – whom – hasn’t left his house;
He’s a recluse – life is doubt. Maybe,
one day, he’ll find purpose, but right now,
nothing is within sight; his life’s a
constant struggle, yet it is his to fight.

He’s sick of the silence and turns on
the TV – Breaking News: Husband and Wife
Both Dead, Murder-Suicide. Phillips’ heart
stops beating in his chest. HIS beloved –
dead – along with her maybes; his, what ifs.

Now, it’s said that Phillip throws a note
onto the floor – Squeezes – and just as the
Light exits his head, he remembers that,
yes, he’d left one thing, just one, unsaid.
And that, was reason enough to have lived.

Eel C. Jesus lives and writes in Northern Calfornia.

4 thoughts on “The Philiad”

  1. Wow. Who would have known that this epic is about one persons’ struggle with identity? The Philliad is darkly rich, Alfred Hitchcock kissing Ralph Emerson, and an accurate account of the the inner struggles the LBGTQ community endure under social pressure. It’s a tragedy that after all these years, individuals wanting to express their true selves in society, are still forced to remain in their shells, “locked in his house” for fear of what may happen. I was fortunate to meet Eel at APSC’s fundraiser last month on Oct. 26th. It’s uplifting to see the level of love, compassion, and support that incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men have for other oppressed communities. “Building safer communities where people can be people” is the driving force behind Eel’s writing. I love that about him. I’m interested in reading other works of his. I missed him at a Slam recently and remembered that he mentioned he may be in prison renaissance. Thanks

    1. Thanks so much for reading, Faye. More of Eel’s work is coming up soon, and we’re so excited to share it. Wishing you all the best, and we’ll see you here again soon.

  2. The Philliad! Philo or love plus The Illiad, a triangle. So well put together and all in a pentameter too. I listened to Eel perform two pieces he calls spoken sonnets at an immigration reform event APSC attended. A spoken sonnet, as he describes it, is confining something that is meant to be free or in other words, the human expression incarcerated, as he was. The first is called”Child”, it’s about how he understands his parents’ struggles, through them surviving the Vietnam War and their Refugee story. It was really powerful. The second is called “Mama Said”, and it’s composed from words his mother said to him after his father passed to give him the strength to move pass his guilt and shame of not being there for his father. I was wondering if you all have more of his work? I regret leaving the event early because Eel performed a piece call “The President’s Black!” that is about how we as a nation have taken a step backwards in civil rights even though the President’s black. Obviously, he wrote this piece awhile back and I was wondering if you all have it? My girlfriend Faye and I love Eel’s writing and him too. He mentioned at the APSC fundraiser that he writes thank you all for the work you do.

  3. I met Eel recently at the APSC office during their Holiday Card signing community immersion. He read a part of his short story “Understanding: An Odyssey”. I thought how he wrote it was very nice. After I Left the card signing, I realized that I should have asked him for a copy. I remembered that he said we could find other great prison artist here. Would you have a copy of Eel’s “Understanding: An Odyssey”?

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