Saturday, August 6, 2016

Arlene Corwin writes

Olympic Games Nineteen Ninety Sex

           (a reminder for 2016 Olympics too)

Forgive me God, forgive me folk,

I’ve got to make this little joke.

I’m not a girl who’s often vulgar-

After all, I practice Yoga,

Keeping mind and body pure:

Mostly mind.  But I have eyes,

And one Olympic year the sure-

Fire fashion for the thighs

And loins were shorts exposing all.

When I say all, I mean the ball,

The bell, the jock-. 

God, how they knocked!

And while the race was being clocked

The racers showed what Adam hid;

And while I tried to watch the race

My eyes kept dropping to that place.

I couldn’t help myself.  They slid

To dingling, dangling, banging things-–

Some small, some large, and all these kings

Of sport diminished in my eyes.

I didn’t wish to see their size,

For I was there to see the sprinters

And the long jump and the discus,

Knowing that they’d spent long winters

Practicing like titans.  Now the viscous

Summer days, all damp and sweaty,

While the world with its confetti

Waited to exalt its heroes,

It was long, short dicks that hit my eyes.

May athletes, trainers, sponsors wise,

Fashion moguls on the rise

Remember, modesty is also prize.

1 comment:

  1. The original Olympic Games were held every four years from 776 BCE to 394 CE, dedicated to Zeus. The athletes filed into the temple and, over a bloody slice of boar’s flesh, gave their oath before a thunderbolt-wielding statue of the god Zeus that they would not use any unfair means to win, including illicit performance enhancing potions (such as lizard’s flesh) or placing a curse on their opponents. Other athletic games were held throughout Greece, but due to the eminence of Zeus and the location of the games (Mt. Olympus, the home of the gods), the Olympics (which were primarily a religious event) were the most revered and became an event where new works of art were introduced (Herodotus, for example, debuted his history there). The first game consisted of a single foot race, won by the cook Koroibos, but the festival quickly grew in size and spectacle. The athletes were nude. According to one story, the practice began when a runner tripped on a loincloth when it fell off. But, actually, same-sex nudity was an acceptable part of Greek life; only the barbarians were afraid to exhibit their bodies, and poets wrote many poor odes to the physiques of the athletes. Beyond athletics, it was common for Greek men to mentor and monitor prepubescent boys, and pederasty was inherent to the gymnasium culture. Married women were not allowed into the stands [“stadium” comes from the Greek “stadion,” which means "a place to stand"], though young women were often taken by their fathers in search of suitable mates. Prostitution was rampant; whores from all over the Mediterranean world were recruited, and they could make a year’s income in the five days of the event. However, women's games dedicated to Hera, the consort of Zeus, were also held at Olympia; the competitor’s wore short tunics with their right breast exposed as an homage to the Amazons, who cauterized one breast so it would not impede their javelin throwing. Finally, the paganism, the nudity, and the immorality of the games led the Christian emperor Theodosius I to ban the spectacle once and for all.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?