The Riddle and The Sphinx

Movies, the Faust legend, the goddess, demonology, Lilith, Jewish Midrash, mysticism, American History, Jewish culture, Shtetlthe Roma or “Gypsies,” World War II, Identity, Free Will, Fate, Theodicy, Scripture, Epistemology, Addiction, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Intertextuality ~ Decorated with puns, and illustrated with musical, visual and informational links ~ (152,000 words or s

A Novel In Verse
With Prose Interspersed

~ Mythic, Historic, Romantic and Cinematic ~
~ Personal, Cultural, and Spiritual ~
A Story of
Passionate, Compassionate


~ Becca Menon Paperbacks & Kindle on Amazon ~
~ Becca Menon @ Smashwords: e-books for most devices ~

“A poem which plays with meanings lost perhaps in translation. {It includes one element that} tells a moving war-time love story which ends with an understated and memorably chilling conclusion.” – Maggie Butt: United Kingdom, Associate Director at Middlesex University, London, author Sancti Clandestini, Ally Pally Prison Camp and others

Mystical Chain

The Search

The Best

The guy in the recording called “The Best” is an amateur. You gotta meet JUMBO. He is an elephant. He is the best.

Nixon and Plumbing

More Joy

The American Way

The American Male


Who is More Wicked?


The Plan


Just A Guy

Someone’s Laughing

An Overview

“This is how the woman becomes the goddess,” the prosy gossip writer sums up as the end of the story approaches. It’s a journey that also has drawn a goddess into her womanhood.

The Riddle and The Sphinx tells of a “daughter of Eve” as a Hollywood Faust escorted by a mentor, muse, friend, suspected demon, Lilith.

Prometheus S. Sàndor, formerly Prince von Altgratis. The Luciferian head of The Enterprise, at war with death, may or may not be as Faustina tries to sum him: “Mike used to say you were a misanthrope, which is why you’re great at business.  All true – still, nope.  ’Cause I accuse you of being the dooziest, world’s most romantic person.”  To this his reply is, “Must one choose?”

Faustina, celebrity actress, transforms in comic confusion, waxing distress and partial enlightenment, under the ambivalent influence of Lilith, who comes as intimate friend.  She is also the muse as challenger, the servant, the healer as threat, and a playful, nourishing, reassuring, disturbing presence, a Kali – a mother.

“Lily Thayne” and “Pro,” guiding the entire work, let it become, in part, a theodicy of demons.

What does Faustina seek? Youth, beauty, knowledge, fame, power? No: the descendant of Eve believes if only she could be someone else, be other than she is and get The Man to love her, her “me” will feel real. From one “self” image to another, she’s caught in the perpetual paradox of identity.

So, Lilith leading willy-nilly, the star sets out to become “The Girl Next-Door,” through marriage to a baseball hero.  This failing, she attempts to become a Bohemian Faustina through a liaison with a married, alcoholic painter. Next she fancies a Faustina “highbrow,” and weds a writer. After that, she gets trapped in the Caribbean, victim of domestic violence. Her several other “self” seeking adventures spin with ever increasing instability towards the inevitable.

And at every turn, the book offers tales of comedic, dramatic, musical, suspenseful, epic, or hybrid movies as Faustina, in tandem with Lilith, rides life’s tragic hilarities.

Lilith’s own romance, a mystical, sexy story, creates a trajectory that crosses the star’s, whose falling course she cannot help but guide. The dark woman’s dark history included the sacrifice of a child during the War. Her path moves towards a present that consoles the past and redeems the future. Her journey must reconcile suffering with love and – her struggle the reverse of Faustina’s – love with freedom.

Faustina’s life leaves apparent a foundation in Marilyn Monroe’s. “The goddess’s” grip on both the sexes opens the Pandora’s jar of myth. The touchstone of the famous icon as a point of departure also allows this fiction, in which historical figures enter with minimal mask or none, to chronicle the America of the middle of the American century.

The distinct rhythms and apocopated rhymes of The Riddle and The Sphinx give each character voice and enable multiple plots to unfold with the combined fatality of history, fiction, poetry and myth.

Click this to unriddle the composition

Open the Filmography to feast on Faustina’s movies:
plot premises, colleagues, dates, and more.

Click here for The Faustina Filmography

Excepts first appeared Stone’s Throw Magazine, Kritya, and Thanal Online

Actors with Becca in audio excerpts:   Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, and Gabriel Rollinson

Recorded Excerpts:  “Fate” contains a mild excremental expletive.