Antinous for Everybody

It’s a feast day and a snow day

So I wrote another poem:

For the Treiskouroi and the Trophimoi

There’s a bunch of teenaged boys running around in my religion–
how did they get here? But this is their gym, so how did I get there,
middle-aged lady with bad knees and a bad back. Favorinus
of Arles, the Stephen Fry of his age, passes me a beer and says,
“Don’t worry about it: Just admire all this naked beauty.” There’s a God,
and a Hero, and a Sanctus; there’s a bunch of adopted kids–put down
that spear before you put someone’s eye out! It’s all fun and games
till someone gets turned into a tragic flower. Why do their parents
let them out to run around like this, there’s Antinous making eyes
at an older man, Memnon always has a bunch of bloody carcases
at hand, Lucius keeps meeting some odd-looking god with
an animal face and sticky-uppy ears. And the girls bounce around
with the boys and nobody seems to care–isn’t that anachronistic?
Does their mother know they’re out? Favorinus just laughs
at my consternation. “Here, have some chocolate. Have some
apples. Have some grapes. Go have a bath, get yourself
a massage, a good rub-down with olive oil.” Favorinus
never takes his clothes off, but he’s down to a loincloth,
and I’m a fat lady wrapped in towels. Polydeukion comes over
to give me a handful of flowers and a long speech about–
something, delivered so fast and with such mounting excitement
all I can do is shake my head. But the flowers are beautiful,
and they smell of spring. Of youth, and vitality, and a love
that can bloom for eternity.

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4 thoughts on “It’s a feast day and a snow day

  1. Pingback: Praises Around The World… | Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous

  2. I love this for a thousand reasons…I suspect Stephen Fry would be both flattered to be compared to one of the most infamous and fabulous rhetors and sophists of the ancient world, and also horrified to be compared to a Helleno-Gaulish eunuch! šŸ˜‰

    I also love the allusion to one of my favorite songs when I was four, i.e. Abba’s “Does Your Mother Know?”! Unfortunately, mine didn’t at that age, and not for many ages after. šŸ˜‰

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    • Ahaha, I think I had that Abba tune in the back of my mind without realizing it!

      I would like to be at a party with Favorinus for about an hour, and then go home and lie down for two hours. *g*

      Also: Has it ever occurred to you that Herodes Attikos’ household was something like… the Brady Bunch?

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      • I’ve written before that it was somewhat like Diff’rent Strokes plus Sesame Street, but I think The Brady Bunch also conveys something of it…

        Imagine it at its height, with probably 4 of his own kids, plus then 24 others. Crikey!

        I suspect I’d be able to handle Favorinus for a lot longer than most people, due to various things, but nonetheless, it might get tiring after a while.

        I think Lucius Marius Vitalis, whatever else he was, was also a kind of proto-geek, in a way. Far geekier than Antinous or even Polydeukion, in certain respects, but not as lucky nor as favored as either of them for various other reasons.

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