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Eight Obscene Poems from The Greek Anthology

adapted by Brooke Clark

 

A Tough Choice

 

Meredith, Tara and Jessica all presented their asses to me

demanding which I liked best of the three.

I couldn’t choose, so one by one I gave each girl the prize;

I’d hate to stir up petty jealousies.

 

(After Rufinus)

 

 

Unintended Consequences

 

Marcus married a rich old woman, who thought she could look ahead

to years of pleasure with him in her bed,

but all he wanted was joint accounts: his love was just pretense

to set his boyfriend up at her expense.

Now he ignores his wife in favour of his younger lover:

the boy gets fucked, the wife just gets fucked over.

 

(After Anonymous)

 

 

Left Out 

 

Jessica called so I came over. I buzzed up – no reply.

I’m sure she’s up there with some other guy

while I’m stuck out here in the rain. Why don’t I ever learn?

And now what? Go back home, or wait my turn?

 

(After Asclepiades) 

 

 

Consequences Can Wait 

 

We’re here tonight – let’s fuck until we see dawn stain the sky.

Tomorrow’s just one more uncertainty.

 

(After Palladas)

 

 

La Ronde 

 

Kissing Chloe, I suddenly think of Jane;

my cock in Jane’s mouth, Tara’s in my mind;

then Jessica, unbidden, enters my thoughts

just as I enter Tara from behind;

and then, just so the carousel’s maintained,

while fucking Jess, I think of Chloe again.

 

(After Paulus Silentiarius)

 

 

Unheeded Warnings 

 

I should dump Jessica—by now I know her well enough

to see that she’s incapable of love.

Why can’t I break it off, although she tells me she cheats on me?

She always tells me while she’s fucking me.

 

(After Meleager)

 

 

Footnote to ‘A Tough Choice’ 

 

I want to tell the truth, which I evaded telling before:

Tara’s was best – that ass could start a second Trojan War.

 

(After Rufinus)

 

 

Tempus tacendi, tempus loquendi 

 

Meredith, no more fucking in the dark. I know it’s night,

but science granted us the gift of light

so I could see your expression change with everything I do

and monitor the effect I have on you:

I want to watch my cock get swallowed in your unkempt bush,

see your orgasm take you in a rush,

then when you sigh and smile, thinking I’m done, I’ll turn you over

and start – but no, let modest silence cover

the rest of what we’ll do. No one can stand those boasting boors,

those poets versifying their amours.

 

(After Paulus Silentiarius)

 

 

Brooke Clark edits the epigrams website The Asses of Parnassus. His work has appeared in print and online journals including ArionLiterary ImaginationAble MuseThe Rotary DialThe Tangerine and Partisan. Twitter: @thatbrookeclark

 

 

Image credit: srslyguys

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