Home > New Classics > Pay Asclepius a Cock

Pay Asclepius a Cock

June 9, 2010

by Eric Burke

My father wasn’t really sick. He was only pretending. (Though his need to pretend might be a sickness. At least, that’s what he liked to think.) He was very tired.

My mother was melodramatic. She said my father was melodramatic. I never really believed her.

My sister left home early to marry a man who looked like he knew what he wanted.

I never left home. I make my own bed. I lie in it, as comfortable as anyone ever really is.


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Eric Burke works as a computer programmer in Columbus, Ohio. Recent work can be found in elimae, Pank, Right Hand Pointing, decomP, Otoliths, and Heron. Work is forthcoming in A cappella Zoo. He blogs at Anomalocrinus Incurvus.

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  1. Karen Stromberg
    June 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Poignant simplicity and great title

    • June 11, 2010 at 12:03 am

      Thanks, Karen.

  2. mary
    June 10, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Terrific poem. Strong, lyrical, straigth forward, and the flat tone is perfect. This one will stay with me.

    • June 11, 2010 at 12:04 am

      Thanks, Mary.

  3. JJS
    June 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I love the intelligent craft, apparent simplicity, and dark humor in this piece. The body of the poem/flash hits the classic theme in so many ways – all of which are then broadened by the suggestions of the title. It raises Greek tragedy, dysfunctional family memoir (Greek tragedy), Post Secret (Greek tragedy), voice of the ‘deadbeat’ son (Greek tragedy), ha! It’s playful and fierce. Glad you sent it.

  1. June 10, 2010 at 9:03 am
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