Distant Reaches - BONUS SECRETS: Three Batullus Epigrams

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BONUS SECRETS: Three Batullus Epigrams

BONUS SECRETS: Three Batullus Epigrams

A collection of the satirist’s famous jibes.

Rickon Ricardo Batullus (434-484 AE, often referred to simply as Batullus) was a poet whose freeform, impromptu epigrams made him a celebrity within the Amalcross social circuit post-Mardian War. Batullus’s epigrams often scandalized and affronted their audience; he lost his tongue per Imperial decree during an audience with Empress Radha ‘ja Faison (the offending epigram was struck from the Imperial records). His surviving works are still read widely and continue to influence Amal poetry today.

I: Batullus on a public figure’s supposed sexual prowess

Friends, it is said that Martin ‘ja Bramble
is one of the best lovers the city has known.
He credits his dozen exes for his skill at his
comings and goings, his going and coming.
But I did not believe this. So, I asked those
who would know best: His seven ex-wives
and two ex-husbands. What did they say? Only that,
if you add it all up, Martin is no better at loving than he is at summing.

II: Batullus on the authority of the Empress

No man wields his own spear
as our great Empress wields her Diamond Scepter.
She swings it as often with one hand as with both,
bludgeoning Rilk’gar, impaling traitors,
and even slapping her advisors,
those courtly cock-birds that perch on her shoulder,
coo in her ear, and shit on her shirt.
She wields it so well and so widely that,
for every enemy she falls,
we are inclined to forgive her
for our own limbs caught in her reach,
lest she claim our balls as well.

III: Batullus on being spurned by a lover

I wined and dined you, Reginald,
with vintage firewines and meat spiced with rarest dyfwrych,
and held your flowers and your trinkets
as we strolled across the Longbridge to your place
and then strolled across it again back to mine
and yet again to yours when you thrice changed your mind.
And then, inviting me up, you compelled me to play dice
before compelling me to your bed. Despite this,
you laid flat and still, lazy as a kite in stifling summer,
while I sweated to raise you with my breath. After all that,
I woke up this morning to overhear you telling friends
Batullus was cheap! Batullus was lazy! Batullus was a bad lay!
Let me tell you, Reginald: If you think I am so cheap and lazy,
watch me spare neither expense nor strain to fuck everyone you love
starting with your mother.

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