The best stories begin with a black swan. Leda laid a strange egg – and out came Castor & Pollux.
Writing is psychedelic comic series He Too Is Alexander
Art by Isalu Ishii
Riding The Skyway
Pines poked from a rusty band of light nearer to the earth, their zigzag heads dark against the stars which told the story of the royal bed (secretly, supposedly, the bed of Hephaistion.) Dense with stuffing, it was covered with an old quilt – a discordant mix of fabrics; sunny hues and twilight shades of blue. A simple canopy, sheer swag of saffron silk, hung over four posts, each one topped with a two-faced orb: smiling sun and fretful moon.
The headboard was carved with symbols and painted in wee hour hues: inky blue, midnight black, milky white & sparkly silver. Gems were set into gouges in the wood so the stars sparkled. (shining shards of golden citrine & broken bits of pink-green tourmaline.)
The best stories begin with a black swan. Zeus seduced Leda, not as a man but as a bird. Leda laid a strange egg – and out came Castor & Pollux.
The twins had different fathers. Castor – mere mortal – was the son of a Spartan king. Who knows why, but Pollux grew attached to his mortal half. Upon the death of Castor, the half-god suffered insurmountable grief. Pollux appealed to his father, begging to share his divine status with Castor. Only one thing mattered to Pollux: that Castor too could be immortal, so that they might be together for eternity. Zeus took pity on his son and conceded with a nod.
“In a constellation known as Gemini, the two are twined for the traveler’s infinite benefit.”
Up there, the pair was just a vague cluster of stars. Castor and Pollux as glowing pinpricks. On the headboard, they were more lovers than brothers,
Spirited steeds with comet-tails, jumping fish & ghostly sails.
“Tonight I am not Alexander but Morpheus: a maze of blue-light archways roll into scrolls which tie themselves in azure string, hurling themselves into the abyss. In the ocean, they bob like corked vases. The moon seizes the message and reads it aloud. The sun crawls deep into a rain cloud bed and won’t come loose. A horse gallops across a dusty plain. The man has glinting eyes, two rough cuts of golden beryl, and peppery fur pokes from his collar.”
About The Art
Isalu Ishii is a formally trained Italian linguist turned artist. Ishlii’s rt is a whimsical cacophony of lines and colors, described unanimously as camp and queer, Favourite anything Western, I’ve got to say, any Sergio Leone / Ennio Morricone combo and the spaghetti Western phenomenon!