HomeArchivesSubmissionsCorpse MallOur GangHot Sites
Ezquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
All Poetry & Nothing ButClash of CivilizationsEC ChairFeatured PoetsForeign DeskGalleryStage
Hedonism: Theory & PracticeLetters & GlossolaliaArt of MarriageMoney TalkPets & BeastsZounds
Hedonism: Theory & Practice
From When the Gods Come Home to Roost (a novel)
by Marc Estrin
Author's Links

Max, a classics professer, realizes he is getting
old, and watch out.


He (reading aloud):
          ...those in whose very soul
          the seed of Chastity toward all things alike
          nature has deeply rooted,
          his penis semi-slack, but stiff enough to sing...

     She (extempore):
          "Unh, ooo, mon Bete, mon Bete...."
          they alone
          may gather flowers in Diana's inviolate meadow!

his penis from the Latin meaning "tail", his penis from pendere, "to hang down" (when not distended), his penis loose in her vagina lubricious, vagina meaning scabbard or sheath, such as might be used to contain a gladius, or sword, another Roman nickname for his you-know-what.
          "Mmmmnf, uuu, mmmm... "
     Caressing they lay, caressed themselves by Swedish scientists' visco-elastic foam, molding to their contours, approved by NASA, on a high-tech Sleep System® with six different zones, not counting the erogenous.
     Gladius, yes, or clava (club), or radix (root), or vomer (plow -- hence vomitus from the earth being thrown up by a plowshare). The Romans loved numerous names for... His mind began to wander from Euripides, from the chaste protestations of Hippolytus to Phedre, and thus released, his kundalini collapsed from fifth to first chakra, and he felt the old come coming. No, no, too soon, she wants more, she needs more, I want to give her more.
     She, in her cloud of unknowing:
     Into the Greek on the left-hand page. Better than thinking of mutilating car wrecks, that mental stress (for one primarily a latinist) deflecting the natrium tyrany of the nerves, tamping down, by lifting up the serpent.
          ...åll' œ filh d•spoina xrus•aw k˜mhw
          ånadhna d•jai xeirÚw eÁsebo?w çpo....
     Ah, there, there, good. The ejaculatory slide evaded. The cumgods driven down. Back into the great and ambling river. He began his reading where he had left off, once again in English.
          Loved mistress, here I offer you this coronal;
          it is a true worshipper's hand that gives it you
          to crown the golden glory of your hair.
          With no man else I share this privilege

     Some may judge this kinky -- reading Greek tragedy, bilingually, to a swooning lover in the act -- "kinky", from the Greek ???????? disorder, confusion. But he saw it as the height of refined carnality, combining the lust of Aphrodite with the rational parsing of Apollo, female and male, with a touch of gladiating Mars -- what could be more deeply cosmic -- as in kosmow?
     At scene changes, he would wander from the texts to the wonders of her body, as he curled around her back: "Oh, oh longissimus thoracis, oh serratus posterior superior, oh gluteus maximus especially for me, Max Horkheimer II!" His left arm, lightly trapped under her thorax, would shift his free hand from breast to the serrated wonder of her rectus abdominus, her "six pack", as his more vulgar students might call it, still tight and sexy at thirty-five, a primiparous abdomen yet without a flaw. Six zones of her belly, each erogenous.
     "Mmmmmm...yes," she said, and squirmed.
     His right hand held the book, most often a volume from his complete Loeb Classical Library. The book, his hand, his twisted wrist, sinewed forearm, the wrinkles over his antecubital fossa...The what??
Look at that! Why haven't I noticed that? My skin is all...I'm dehydrated. My father's arm looked like that when... Yikes. I have to drink more, a lot more water.
     Back to Hippolytus and Phedre, to the absolute and destructive power of passion. I'm only sixty-four. I shouldn't have...
     "Shit!" cried Demeter Papamouskou, as -- oh no! --the book dropped on her face, its corner bruising her lovely Greek zygoma.
     Demeter Papamouskou, his thirty-five year old trophy love, tearing herself from Max's arms, and from the embrace of Inuus, the Goer-In, the God of Sexual Intercourse.
Demeter Papamouskou, violinist, Greek dancer, able to put away a large glass of ouzo in a single bound. Demeter Papamouskou, his love, she whose parents had escaped the generals, and fled to Warsaw and raised a tri-lingual, late-born child. She, that child, enticed to America by a touring musician, now gone down the opiate path. She, mom of Zoe, that exquisite fifteen year old going on forty. She, his. Amazing.
     "Shit!" cried Demi Papamouskou, jumping out of bed.
     From outside the bedroom door: "You finished with your seminar yet?"
     It was Zoe, once called Creemee, not, as she thought, because she loved creemees, but because she screamed so much as a child. Zoe, back -- by 9:00 as commanded -- from Lydia's. It was still light out, but the grownups were already in bed doing "seminar", an activity both academic and etymologically other.
     "Mom, you shouldn't use bad words."
     "Were you listening at the door?"
     "Can I come in?"
     "No," Max yelled.
     "Why not, if it's only a seminar?"
     "It's an adult seminar. PhDs only."
     "Mom doesn't have a PhD."
     "I meant advanced degrees. MFAs from the New England Conservatory count."
     "I bet you're doing naughty things."
     "Zoe, strive spango! Scram!" called her mom. "Max and I have things to discuss."
     "I'll bet."
     Off she stalked, and there was silence. Demi climbed back into bed, rolled over -- and out.
     "I'm going to sleep."
     "Mad? It was just an accident."
     "Third time," she said.
     "I promise I..."
     "And three orgasms, too."
     "Oh. Well, good night then, ghliko mou," he said.

He lay on his back, the book on his belly, as the sun said goodbye and all color disappeared into the Pacific. Pacific he was not.

All Poetry & Nothing ButClash of CivilizationsEC ChairFeatured PoetsForeign DeskGalleryStage
Hedonism: Theory & PracticeLetters & GlossolaliaArt of MarriageMoney TalkPets & BeastsZounds

©1999-2004 Exquisite Corpse.