How do you permit yourself to be pierced?
Why do you ask, Alex? Curious?
Not achingly. Forsooth, ‘tis fear of aching
What guards me from such a queer inquiry!
Once, in my boyhood, was a wineseller;
A man by the name of Arkamedes.
To Lysicles my love and I he spoke
Of many marvels over many moons
That never this young list’ner dared forget.
Though his storefront was small, unassuming,
Such ruby philosophies of the flesh
He fermented there – ‘neath a twin’d-phallus
Mosaic whose craftsmanship you would praise.
He spoke of kingdoms; kingdoms of manhood.
Vast realms into which life’s warriors ride,
Seeking each one to conquer – or survive.
Territories of the mind.
What were they?
Too numerous now to name,
Save for one that speaks here to thy question:
‘Tis the kingdom of willful surrender.
Aye. Wanted and actively sought.
‘Tis a land that takes anguish for baptism,
And resurrects the soul to vast pleasures.
Surrender, thus, becomes the quiet gate
Through which a seeking man conquers heaven.
Yet how by surrender does one conquer?
No, Antinous – you spit paradox:
By splat nature, surrender conquers thee!
Aye! Indeed, lover, you must allow it!
You must be taken by it – completely! –
As like the young deer – still downy and damp –
Too young to know of antlers or anguish –
Who finds a sudden and strange attraction
To the proud social order of lions
And wanders innocent into their den!
Let it devour you! Let it render down!
Let it harvest you, sweet Alex, for gruel.
Let it pierce thy soul like a serpent’s claw.
As tho’ Ladon the hundred-eyed dragon
Who guards the apples of Hesperides
Is not yet killed by Herakles eleven.
Then, Sir, upon thy boyish, manly death,
It enters you; races through the rat-holes
Of thine astonished, unprepared soul
Until – as every noble kingdom must –
It resurrects you to a fresh morning:
A sunrise of blazing, crimson pleasure;
Nectar’d dewdrops sweating from thy viscera,
Leaking into the gorges of thy limbs,
Flooding them each with surging, white-water’d
Ambrosia that thirsty, lion-skinned gods
Kneel down ‘pon hands and knees to lap from thy flesh!
This, Alex, is by far the most abstract
Of the great kingdoms of Arkamedes,
And thus the most bleak and terrifying
To all souls yet uninitiated.
To all holes yet uninitiated.
To all roles – soldier, cynic, prostitute,
Slave, baker, senator, banker or spy:
None are immune from its pale or power –
Yet which it shall be remains optional.
Hadrian? Has he it also conquered?
He has, tho’ I have little detail of’t.
He is a patron of Athens, Alex!
Do you think he loves of its history
Only the letters, labourers and laws?
Wherefore think you this Athens came of age?
From the loins of what god to what youth’s loins
Shot the inspiration of civic schools?
‘Twas they and only they who were conquered.
They and only they who let lovers in.
Is it not ‘twixt their thighs that boys receive?
Some, but they are woefully neglected,
And shall grow themselves to fear aught else,
Becoming anon but hasty, nervous
Men that squirt thoughtless pleasure twixt young thighs
For no reason but to flatter themselves
Of Patrocles come for the night to their tent.
But they are not fit to play Achilles,
For even Achilles had his heel,
And soon enough discovered himself pierced.
This onslaught of image argues against sense,
Yet never have I so wished to believe.
How deep I regret the cartography,
Mapping thy school to my life incognita,
That ne’er such milestones I’d live to study,
And ne’er such borders I’d breach to explore.
Already this night, Sir, thou hast studied.
What foreign borders yet you choose to breach
Remain constant upon our evening’s map
Of discoverable, possible pleasures.
There is nothing prevents you, Alex, from
Reaching that kingdom of Arkamedes
I fear I am for it unprepared.
This finger doth file conflicting report,
That sends from thy kingdom reconnaissance.
On a high hilltop near to its border
I gaze upon its shim’ring horizon,
And swoon at the pleasure my view affords.
Shall you be by me further schooled, Alex?
Shall you surrender to it, and be pierced?
Aye, Antinous. Teach me what you will.
By sweet convulsing, thus, be thou anguished,
And die with they of the willfully vanquished.
They make love again, with Antinous the entering lover.
Antinous soon climaxes and the energy cools again.
Alex lies awake, yet adrift again.
Shall I call him from his conquered kingdom?
Who, by Olympus, is Arkamedes?
He is me, friend, that newly now dispenseth
What wisdom thine eager flesh hath absorbed.
And he is you, Alex, of a stretching
Horizon, hungry for more adventure.
This wonder now shall onward lead you to
Discover how such benefit may bless
More pleasure ‘pon all thy future lovers.
Be they slave, trade, beloved youth, or wife –
They all shall be nourished by thy long ride to
Surrender: for now dost thou know them.
Now know ye what they must know to survive,
And knowing, shall die to see them prosper.
For this great joy and bodily treatise,
‘Tis Eros thanked, and prized Arkamedes.