SCYTHON

Ovid isn’t particularly squeamish about
gender fluidity; there’s Tiresias
the soothsayer, who becomes a woman
having struck with his staff two copulating snakes.
Then there’s Hermaphroditus, that’s a well known
story, the nymph Salamicis melting into him
like wax; and Caenis, the dead name of
Caeneus the Lapith, who wanted to be a boy
and fight in wars, caught Poseidon’s eye
who made the transformation, granting
impenetrable skin, so when he battled the centaurs
they had to bury him in pine trunks, but
of all of these, Scython remains an enigma,
mentioned in just a single line: “Neither shall I
tell you of Scython, sometimes a man, sometimes
a woman” – that’s all, and yet so intriguing.

One likes to imagine they were founding hero
of the Scythians and kept the peace
as envoy to Amazon and Gargarean, dancing between
the poles of male and female, proudly, on a whim.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MAGICAL THINKING: THE OCCULT AND THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF FIONA PARDINGTON

WHY PETER GILDERDALE CAN GET STUFFED

THINKING ABOUT LUKE WILLIS THOMPSON