Flash: The Amores

Arms, warfare, violence – I was winding up to produce a

                Regular epic, with verse-form to match –

Hexameter, naturally. But Cupid (they say) with a snicker

                Lopped off one foot from each alternate line.

“Nasty young brat,” I told him, “whom made you Inspector of Metres?

                We poets come under the Muses, …. – Ovid (translated by Peter Green)


“we’re not your mob …” The young beatnik continued urgently, never grokking when The Amores switched  from high poetry to erotic love imagery.

Theodore looked at Nika. The young-looking brunette had put her hand over her mouth when the pretender had stepped up to the mike. A regular like themselves, they knew the boy never wrote his own poetry, and barely understood anyone else’s.  Nika’s hand was now sideways so she could bite the fleshy part to keep from laughing. Or moaning in pain.

It would be rude to laugh. Moaning in pain would be worse.

“you can’t keep your arrows idle – They’re so hot.” Emotive angry rage shot the lines into the crowd.

Coffee snorted out of Theo’s nose. Wiping his greying beard with a napkin, he hid his moving lips behind the cloth. “Can it get any worse?”

Nika left off from gnawing her hand. “I’m waiting for ‘I’m no sexual circus rider’.”

“Zeus and Mercury, that is part of the first poem, isn’t it?”

A giggle-moan of confirmation escaped Nika as she went back to biting her olive-skinned hand.

Eventually the torture, or comedy routine, depending on one’s love of poetry and toleration of youth, came to an end.

Theodore had gone earlier in the evening with one of his limericks. The earnest creative writing crew from the local college never knew how to deal with them. The short poems were always clever, requiring a deeper understanding of English which the children treasured. But the rhymes, however good they were, were still limericks, an affront to their lofty art. Since he was a best-selling author who often spoke on campus, they silently drank their coffee and clapped politely when their professor nodded permission.

The two stayed through last call at the coffee house and the final poem. Two poets continued to show promise, one from the college who somehow was not being stifled by the esteemed professor, and a high schooler who was out way too late on a school night.

Poetry readings were Tuesday. The coffee house had various musicians come in over the weekend. The guitarist on Sunday was the best of that mediocre lot. Nika didn’t have a vested interest in them, so they rarely attended the performances.

Tossing a fifty onto the table to cover drinks and an inflated tip for the hard working waitress who would get nothing from the students, the two left.

“I think I should underwrite a book for Sindee and one for Hampus too.” Theodore commented as they walked hand-in-hand through the quiet parking lot to their truck.

Nika considered, her wide hips swaying to brush Theodore’s long legs. They had the money to spare. “Hampus, definitely, needs to be removed from the cutting machine before his creativity is crushed. … Sindee, hmmm, she’s local. I may be able to inspire her directly.”

Startled, Theo pointed out. “She is still a little young for that in this culture.”

“It’s no always about sex. … Although the child is a dark desire to drink.”

Theo leaned against his truck. He ran a finger across his lover’s lips.

Nika opened her mouth to let the finger enter. Closing her plump lips, she swirled her tongue around the finger. Theo slowly slipped the finger out, hissing as Nika lightly closed her teeth around the end just before he pulled out completely.

Groaning, Theo slipped his hands into the back pockets of Nika’s jeans and grounded his arousal into his personal inspiration. “But it is about sex between us at least, my love.”

“Always, my favorite wordshaper.”

Theodore drowned Nika in a kiss, before the female pulled away to whisper the closing lines of The Amores, Book 1 properly. Theodore knew it was coming. The Muse had to heal the affront to the poem she had nurtured in Ovid.

ergo etiam cum me supremus adederit ignis, vivam, parsque mei multa superstes erig.” The words steamed between them, promising Theo an immortality unique among the mortals the Muses chose.

“So when the final flames have devoured my body, I shall survive, and my better part live on.”  

(words 742 – originally appearing at Breathless Press 9/17/2013 for the 4/15/12 Sunday Fun – See the picture that inspired the story! – As I do not know the copyright permissions, I have not copied it here)

Passages of The Amores, Book 1 come from Ovid, the Erotic Poems: The Amores, The Art of Love, Cures for Love, On Facial Treatment for Ladies, translated with an introduction and notes by Peter Green. Published by Penguin Books in 1982. A copy can be purchased at Amazon, but clicking on book description.

Latin version from http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ovid/ovid.amor1.shtml.