Some Cruel Epigrams in the Roman Style

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I wrote these poems inspired by Catullus and Martial as a freshman at Harvard. Their wit is mean-spirited but sharp, like the Roman originals, and the collection as a whole is meant to be taken light-heartedly. I apologize if anyone finds these vulgar or offensive; the poems are juvenile, but there’s something about them which makes me smile.

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Dear Neighbors

This school being Harvard, why do you still need this warning?

Turn your fucking music off at night and in the morning!

We’ve begged and we have pleaded, but our efforts are discarded.

You’re either quite forgetful or you’re either quite retarded.

***

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On Jason

Jason is a sportsman boasting muscles taut with power

and recently has taken up cavorting in the shower.

I couldn’t help but notice that you recently smell clean,

But humping girls in common baths is dirty, low and mean.

We do not want, oh Hercules, to bathe ourselves in sperm,

So find another puddle when your pants begin to squirm.

With any luck you’ll meet a partner worthy of your class,

An inchworm longer than your dick who’ll crawl right up your ass.

***

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On Jonathan

You creep in rooms, dear Jonathan, and vanish into air,

but tragically, you lanky sneak, your stench proves that you’re there.

They say that you are part giraffe, but I say that it’s foolish,

for while they only sport black tongues, the whole of you is ghoulish.

***

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On Trisha

I hear that you sport hairy legs, just one of many fibs.

Your legs are smooth, but not the slime that clings against your ribs.

***

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On Patrick

Patrick hasn’t got a chin, but when it comes to farts

that fellow’s stench has all the power of a pygmy’s darts.

His new girlfriend, Evangeline, is always where he goes,

for while he hasn’t got a chin, she hasn’t got a nose.

***

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On Erica

Erica is fetching as she paints her luscious lips,

fetching as a dog with hairy jowls and giant hips.

Why spend so much time applying makeup to your face?

It’s all to no avail, since your buck teeth smell of mace.

***

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On Robert

You’re always late to section and your questions waste our time.

In my eyes you’re nothing more than pock marks greased with slime.

***

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To the Dancing Woman at the Club

Dancing to the rhythm of the music is an art,

but not when you’re a floozy over fifty and a tart

whose partner is a pumpkin who can only move his back.

Your dancing isn’t dancing, but a rhythmic heart attack.

 

 

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Superface (Kiss My Hairy Face, a Hipster Rap)

Here’s my second stab at a music video. Special thanks to my friends Joanna Zheng and Gary Gao for helping me to film this on location in Bushwick, and to Chris Tokita for helping me edit the sound. I shot it on my camera and edited it using Lightworks. The lyrics are below.

***

You might think that you know me,
But at last I’ve turned the tables!
This gold ring in my nostril proves
That I defy your labels.
I’m rocking this wool cap
And a beard that looks like crap
And in case you missed the news
I look fierce in canvass shoes.
Take a look, but not too close,
I don’t wear socks, so they smell gross.

The rims of my glasses are thick and absurd.
I basically look like I’m one giant nerd.
My pea-coat is vintage, my pants super tight,
The shape of my testicles lies in plain sight.
These Civil War mutton chops both look like hell,
This sweater is right out of Saved By the Bell.
Sipping a fro-yo, I play with my yo-yo,
Passing chain restaurants, I tell my friends “hell, no.”
That meal once had feet, be it fish, fowl, or meat.
And gluten free wheat germ is all that I’ll eat.

Unwashed and contentious,
I’m very annoying and pretentious.
But all of you can kiss my hairy face.
I can’t stand your fucking mainstream taste.

I love to use phrases like badass and dude,
I’m grungy and lazy and stuck up and rude.
I live in a basement. I have no emotion.
My love life involves a computer and lotion.
Get off of my case.
We artists need our space.

Listen to pop and I’ll call you a fool.
I only like music before it is cool.
Your shade bounces off me just like an elastic.
Bombastic, sarcastic, and unenthusiastic,
I’m not too gymnastic or very scholastic,
MTV’s classic. I’m being sarcastic.
If you are rich and your parents tote plastic,
Life here in Bushwick is fucking fantastic.
I party and drink and I vomit all night,
Then sipping my latte at Starbucks I write
Pompous haikus about guilt being white.
My mind’s a chariot for the proletariat.
So my scarf is sewn from fur of yak,
Weaved by orphans from Iraq.
And doing my part to promote social war,
I only buy weed from my brothers, the poor.

Clever and sardonic,
My tattoo of Pikachu is ironic.
But all of you can all kiss my hairy face.
I can’t stand your fucking mainstream taste.

When I make my daily calls
To the thrift store at the malls
I read Mao’s Little Red Book in the stalls,
So capitalism can suck on my balls!
Get off of my case.
We artists need our space.

And if you dare to mock me as you pass,
Then I’ll occupy your bourgeois ass.
Down with the man! You better get off me
Before I scald your face with fair trade coffee.

You are just a cliché.
So who really cares what you have to say?
You are just a cliché.
So who really cares what you have to say?

I’m a spoiled brat with artistic pretensions,
I deserve to be the world’s center of attention.
But haters can all kiss my hairy face.
I can’t stand your fucking mainstream taste.

I’ll never conform.
I refuse to reform.
Each day of the week
I’m completely unique.
You’ll never define me.
So give me no lip, sir,
Oh shit. Now I realize
I’m just a hipster.

Better hitch my saddle,
Head off to Seattle…or Portland.