A Day at the Art Museum

Hey Pete, look at this statue over here, Zeus and Ganymede the caption reads. Old man Zeus was a rowdy one ya know. Played both ways – AC-DC. Bet he got a lotta laughs from the lower gods but not from his old lady. A jealous one she was always turning Zeus’ conquests into animals even the little babes weren’t safe from her ire. The crazy bitch sent two serpents to do in babe Hercules, but that kid strangled both of them in his cradle. No questioning whom his old man was.  Wonder what Hera would have turned pretty boy Ganymede into? Maybe a snail – always in hiding, like us in the old days that aren’t so old and are really not over and may never be. Snaking around to meet guys then when you want to hook up or pretending to be roommates. Do you think anyone believed that line? Yeah, your mom did but mine would’ve shivered you to dust if she could. That Hera had the power all women wish for but had it ass backwards taking her vengeance out on Zeus’ loves and their begotten not on her philandering hubby. Ah, those sweethearts were victims twice over something like auto insurance today. 

Even the gods were sparked by pretty boys no dif from now.  Zeus always the clown in disguises turned himself into an eagle and absconded with poor Gany. Took him to Mount Olympus to be cupbearer and plaything. Cup my ass; doubt that it was water he was bearing to his holy one, mighty is he. 

But that boy, he sure is a pretty one and Zeus he’s not half bad himself for an old dude but then again Gany will long be out of favor and Zeus won’t have aged a millisecond.  What do you think, Pete? Want the great god man or the sweetbuns? But ya know what happened to pretty boy, Zeus gave him immortality by turning him into a constellation, now what good, pray tell, is that? A bunch of stars light years from each other and no fun at all as far as I can see which admittedly is not at far as the stars. Well, we’ve better get a move on and stop monopolizing space in front of big Z and Gany. Hey, I glimpsed some cool mosaics in the next room from some sort of communal bath. Reminds me of days before AIDS.

Eve Rifkah  was co-founder of Poetry Oasis, Inc. (1998-2012), a non-profit poetry association dedicated to education and promoting local poets. Founder, and editor DINER, a literary magazine with a 7-year run. She is the 2021 recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Medal.

She has run an ongoing writing workshop for 15 years and teaches workshops and classes at WISE (Worcester Institute for Senior Education).  She lives in Worcester, MA with her husband, musician, artist, writer Michael Milligan and their cat. 

Eve is author of One Kid, a Telling (2021) Luchador Press; Dear Suzanne (WordTech Communications, 2010); Outcasts, the Penikese Leper Hospital 1905-1921 (Little Pear Press, 2010);
Lost in Sight (Silver Bow Publishing, 2021); chapbooks Scar Tissue, (Finishing Line Press, 2017); and At the Leprosarium, 2003 winner of the Revelever Chapbook Contest.

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