Ode to Cupid, Psyche, Herb

Cupid, lean, mean, boyish, but no brat, nor heavenly bun of baby fat, plunged wild-eyed into Psyche (lissome, fragrant, amber-thighed; like ripe, exotic fruit – denied).

Clever, subtle boy, at ease in darkness, wet with joy, his tongue danced dithyrambs the gods alone could hear, and some women in dreams, when youth was near. This long night, seasoned like years, this holiday from boredom, fear, was sliced like salmon-skin by ice-blue lights — flash! flash! — and screams of sexless sirens.  Shrill, metallic.

Punishment for pleasures pursued prior to Law’s blessing.

Psyche was seventeen and Cupid timeless, immortal, though, seemingly a boy at time of coitus (interuptus). Neither would submit to celibacy, not for yet another Spring. Flowers in bloom, potent weed, wine, music — oldies from Golden Times, sung by a lean electric Orpheus. Would they really bust Psyche for “corrupting” the young god? or vice versa, ad nauseum, infinitum, and a closed loop of etceteras?

Law, blunt of brain but sharp of ear, in order “to make things perfectly clear” presented Cupid Caught before his mother, Venus, and delivered Psyche unto her father, Herb. Though Men in Blue crashed Psyche’s night, must everyone denounce Delight (to responsible authorities, of course)?

Venus, great of girth, no longer Love’s bright star, spent seven minutes in the back-seat of Herb’s car. She would, of course, have gone on longer, but Law again proved crueler, stronger: Police of Fate, not Men, were now to blame that Herb, drunk, tired, prematurely … came.

To be fair, Herb had a story of his own. He was a man, a human being, mortal, American, possessed of a body past its prime. Nothing prepared him for the swift passings that brought him to this night of Psyche’s (and her mother’s) disappointment, in back of a car he himself had driven, with confidence, long before Psyche was a glimmer in Olympian eyes. This was not Herb’s story, nor his night.

He’d been at home, drinking beer, watching television, dwelling on the past.

He’d asked for none of this. He did not want it.

“You had no right to raise me from the dead,” Herb, unto the heavens, said.

“We can do anything we want — so long as it’s fun,” said Jive, god of gods. “Or humorous. Fun is better, but humorous is also nice.”

“Truly, the gods are unjust,” lamented Herb. “They snicker and make sport of tragedies that pelt our mortal heads.”

“We provide, and Law taketh away. We gave you your years.”

“And Law took them away. Give me more,” demanded Herb. “I want more years — good ones. A refund, if I may.”

But Jive showed Herb his broad back, wide and hard as Texas, and moved on to the next unhappy caller.

“Thank you for choosing Olympus as your Holy Site of choice. This is Jive, god of gods. It’s so good to hear from you. Please note that this conversation may be monitored for purposes of quality assurance, to help us serve you better. How can I help you today?”

“I want…I need…I crave…”

“Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line.”

And Jive pushed the red button marked, “Hold.”

“The ways of gods and Law are cruel, mysterious and cold,” sighed Herb.

“Tough titties!” barked Jive.

Boarding his chariot Jive soared the cosmic way in search of pizza and domestic beer — or maybe burgers and imported? What mortal knows the desires of deities so distant, powerful and queer?

Adam Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at adam@dissidentvoice.org Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.