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The Agamemnon Rag

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Atlas, you’re Homer. I am so glad you’re Hera.   
Thera so many things to tell you. I went on that   
minotaur of the museum. The new display centaurs   
on how you can contract Sisyphus if you don’t use   
a Trojan on your Dictys. It was all Greek to me, see.
When I was Roman around,   
I rubbed Midas against someone. “Medea, you look like a Goddess,”   
he said. The Minerva him! I told him to   
Frigg off, oracle the cops. “Loki here,” I said.   
“In Odin times men had better manners.” It’s best to try   
and nymph that sort of thing in the bud. He said he knew   
Athena two about women like me, then tried to Bacchus   
into a corner. Dryads I could, he wouldn’t stop.   
“Don’t Troy with my affections,” he said.   
“I’m already going to Helen a hand basket.”   
I pretended to be completely Apollo by his behavior.   
If something like that Mars your day, it Styx with you   
forever. “I’m not Bragi,” he said. “But Idon better.”   
Some people will never Lerna. Juno what I did?   
Valhalla for help. I knew the police would   
Pegasus to the wall. The Sirens went off.   
Are you or Argonaut guilty, they asked.   
He told the cops he was Iliad bad clams.   
He said he accidentally Electra Cupid himself   
trying to adjust a lamp shade. This job has its   
pluses and Minos. The cops figured he was Fulla it.   
He nearly Runic for me. I’m telling you,   
it was quite an Odyssey, but I knew things would   
Pan out. And oh, by the way, here’s all his gold.   
I was able to Fleece him before the museum closed.

Source: Poetry (Poetry)

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This poem originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Agamemnon Rag

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  • Jack Conway is the author of nine nonfiction books, including King of Heists (2009), The Big Policeman (2010) and Bag of Bones (2011), a trilogy about New York City during the Gilded Age. He has also published two books of poetry: Life Sentences (2002) and My Picnic With Lolita (2004). His poems have appeared in Poetry, the Antioch Review, the Columbia Review, the James Dickey Review, the Pittsburgh Quarterly, and others; and in several anthologies, including The Norton Book of Light Verse and In A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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