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Bryan Beck



The Odyssey is basically a story about a guy running around meeting monsters and believing, for the most part, that he is not a monster himself. Anne Carson, a great scholar of all things Greek, says it’s cliché to claim we’re all monsters, but I think we each have a part of us that’s at least a bit monstrous. Maybe that part of you likes poems.






Hollywood, California, the early 1940s. That was a good time to be a monster. A monster could walk into the Brown Derby any time and—Of course, a table just opened up, Mr. Wolf Man. You could pull up a stool next to Devil Bat and pay a nickel for a Coke and a footlong, then discuss Esther Williams or the famous hitting streak of Joe DiMaggio. Because what was there to worry about? The war was all the way over in Europe and all the monsters were enjoying their milkshakes and not maiming anyone.






Monster went to a costume party. The theme was robot/princess, and everyone except Monster understood the slash to be indicative of either/or. Monster went as a robot-princess. He had some knobs on his chest and an antenna. Plus a tiara. Everyone got a kick out of this. It was like, Hey, look at me. It’s like I’m wearing two costumes but they’re kind of the same costume, plus I’m different already. We agreed that Monster’s costume was the best costume. We drank Cosmopolitans and played Cranium. Everyone wanted to be on Monster’s team. He was impeccable with 1970s pop culture trivia. Then Darryl showed up and said, Yeti-robot-princess costumes are so 1997. That’s when heads started to fly.






A shadow dancing with a palm tree.

The window was open when I got here.






Monster goes on a blind date. A profound step, considering the previous attempt. (The under-the-breath comments of the maitre-d; the subsequent flying heads.) You must be Jessica, he says, approaching a corner table. Yes, she says. Dinner proceeds in a swell manner, with ample discussion of their shared interests in Gothic architecture and European cinema of the mid-century. Leaving the restaurant, she tells him about her childhood, how she remained a loyal Backstreet Boys fan when *NSYNC was by far the more popular band. I know what it’s like to be different, she says. Monster’s heart is aflutter. He thinks, Maybe we should go down to the esplanade. Maybe she would like to see the water.






The Million Monster March was an important event in the Monster Rights Movement.


It was the largest organized gathering of Monster Rights advocates in the history of the United States.


The Million Monster March was chosen as one of the Top Ten Stories of 1995 by U.S. News and World Report.






The Kodak Theatre, February 29th, 2004, that was a good time to be Monster star Charlize Theron, who took home the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Aileen Wournos, the first female serial killer. The date of the ceremony would have marked Ms. Wournos’ 48th birthday, a leap-year birth date shared by 0.068 percent of the population. Ms. Theron faced commendable competition in the powerful performances of such actresses as Samantha Morton and Keisha Castle-Hughes.






Every day it’s the same.

I ease myself back into the crawlspace.

I remember how you belong to nobody.


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