The Birth of Aphrodite | Cash Myron Toklas | The Piltdown Review

The Birth of Aphrodite

The Birth of Aphrodite
François Boucher, The Birth of Venus (c. 1732-5), from Wikimedia Commons.

Beauty, we know your story:

Time’s violent scythe

Brought you into the world

On a spray of jism (pronounced: sea-foam).

Would it be indelicate to inquire

Why this strange origin of Beauty

This dependency on horror?

Honoré de Balzac said of every great fortune, it begins with a crime.

Balzac was no great beauty.

True: in Rodin’s hands he had an air about him.

No offense, Daughter of Sky

As you emerge, nymphs trailing, from the Sea

Newborn full-length pristine stretched naked over wanton canvas in every artist’s loft

Impress your womanly form into the stony cold

Of marble blocks & my own dreams

& yet still pure although

Flecked with those small blood-speckled bits of that truly ginormous

Balzac (& I’m talking huge)

That swung through the air

In the invisible night

And landed in your Botticelli.  



More Remarkable Finds
The Birth of Athena

The Birth of Athena

Happy Mother’s Day, dear Metis, Titan trickster, though you hate this day. Happy Mother’s Day, dear Metis, wherever you may be.
The Hutch

The Hutch

Bold white spray-painted letters drip until they pool like blood—sinister in regard but their meaning lost on me.
Welcome to the Fatherland

Welcome to the Fatherland

No one knows the son except the father, and no one knows the father except the son. But good luck convincing the son of that.



  • Calanques
    a poem by Jose Oseguera
  • Elegy for Easy Seasons (or, Internal Seasons in Disarray)
    a poem by Bree Devones Hsieh
  • Permanent Guest
    a story by John Lauricella
  • Mothership
    a poem by Ken Farrell
  • A Strong Premonition of Death Struck Me This Morning
    a story by William Shunn
Track your submissions at Duotrope