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Aphrodite on the Beach

Venus put down her bowl of spaghetti. Pretty good stuff. These Romans weren't all bad. 
When you stretch orzo beyond all recognition, it does great things with any garlicky sauce.
But why did they have to conquer Greece? And by what right did they change her name?
Athena’s had to go, of course. Once the goddess of wisdom honored and was honored by Greece’s capital. 
But if your name is the capital city, it can’t survive conquest.
Still, the centurions changing that name to Minerva, which wasn’t a city anywhere, told Venus – damn it, Aphrodite! – everything she needed to know about Rome’s affinity for wisdom. 

Bunch of puffed-up dunderheads. Her eyes still rolling, she remembered she was due at the beach in 15 minutes. 
Time for the daily step-out-of-a-shell show. Her dad was waiting for her. Poor old Zeus didn’t like his new gig either.
“I don’t care how good their cheese-and-tomato sauce pitas are. What kind of stupid-like-stones-in-desert can’t figure out you’re not born out of my head every day?”
“People who don’t eat normal portions so they have to invent a vomitarium?” she suggested.
Zeus sighed. “Poseidon, position that big scallop near the beach, but throw up a curtain of mist first.”
“Aphrodite, get in position.”
They went through the whole song and dance. The beachgoers clapped & oohed & aahed. They also left a prodigious amount of litter behind. Aphrodite whistled for the nymphs. 
Being able to fob off garbage duty on them was one sweet perk about goddessing.

Aphrodite opened up her saltwater taffy stand & posed for pictures with couples in front of the wine-dark sea.
Love, schmove. Gave her a headache. She looked forward to a future where her role shrunk to that of a kind of glorified kindergarten monitor for Cupid. Thinks he’s a god called Eros now, but he looks like a baby who really needs to play with something less dangerous than that stupid bow and arrow set. 

Apparently in a future time, people would only focus on love once a year, in February. And there’d be chocolate! Much better than ambrosia or manna. Heavenly food was just sweet. No contrapuntal flavors like you got with chocolate.

She snuck a little baklava. She wanted to sell that and gyros, but when in Rome…
How she loathed that expression. 

Oy! She nearly forgot! She was supposed to go pose for a statue. The guy was very particular about getting her arms just right. So important for folks in Milo. Oh well, another day, another denarius.

For April 5, write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature.

Author/Artist’s note: I drew this picture in response to a challenge put on the Seattle Artist’s League. The goal was to “complete” the Venus de Milo sculpture, which was created of Aphrodite but named, later, after Venus. A little Greek nationalism seemed in order. After giving her two artificial limbs, I thought she could use some tattoos. Venus’s “tats” are homages to Hokusai’s The Great Wave, Bottecelli’s Birth of Venus, and Aphrodite’s role in fertility. The cat’s position is a homage to Cecilia Beaux’s Jeune Fille au Chat. The cat’s name is Rosa Bonne-Chatte in homage to Rosa Bonheur.


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