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"Sir Arthur Evans" by Matthew Rettino

All my paths have led to Knossos:

to this site, this stretch of soil.

With trowel and brush I sculpt

the palace, a labyrinth of toil,

the hybrid truth imprisoned at its centre.

The map of the palace expands into hills,

deep into Cretan strata

and beyond. Horizons fuse.

Every corridor is connected to every other,

labyrinth without end.

the palace is infinite

we stand within it even now

There is no centre to this maze,

though I search dead-end corridors:

no answers,

only questions

about the question to which

this palace was an answer.

How to contain a monster?

A question never asked,

save by me

as I reconstruct a palace that never was.

My notebooks gather dust,

become the history they purported

to clarify. Through discourse,

I have constructed an edifice

in which the next generation

of Athenian scholars

will wander.

My maps have become the labyrinth.

The very paths along which I sought truth

now imprison it.

And I have become what I sought to slay.

I have become Minotaur

trapped in my own rhizome.

Matthew Rettino has written poetry for Scrivener Creative Review, The Veg literary magazine, and Lantern Magazine. His urban fantasy short story “The Goddess in Him” (, 2020) is about a time-traveling Scythian refugee living in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. A graduate of McGill University and the Odyssey Writing Workshop (’16), he currently works as a pedagogical councillor at Dawson College and teaches occasionally at the Thomas More Institute in Montreal.

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