“Epic Poem”
Jonathan A. Treitel

Sing to me, Muse, of the heroes of our Society
Mr. Ansalbay of the outstretched arm, Mr. Reiteltay of the firm grip and sharp eye
Ms. Eldmanfay of the running feet, Mr. Rrrgay of the quick wit and
Finally, of the twin masters of deception: Mr. Esshay and Mr. Angway
Those heroes of our Society who avenged the theft of our banner
Like a wild Sunburst leaping over the horizon, its light seeing all
Fire to the world, as a Promethean Titan.

So did these heroes, this Secret Committee, bring light to the darkened Hall
Of its enemies, the Hilomatheanspay, and captured their banner in retaliation.
This is the story of the Hilolexianpay’s Secret Committee
Those heroes who distracted our enemies and
Descended like angels from the heavens;
With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,
They stole the Enemy Banner.
This is their story. So help me Muse, and I shall sing:

It was long ago when a drunk Hilomatheanpay
Stumbling into Ernerlay Allhay
Saw our Banner on the Ernerlay Ramps
Cut it off and stole it like a thief in the night.
He brought our Banner back to his Philadelphian Halls
Like a Paris with our Helen, the crude, barbarian twit
Bewitched with our Beauteous Banner.
He brought it back to his bountiful, buxom, big blustery Halls, and
The erribletay Hilomatheanspay walked on it, spat on it
And spoke derisively of our Society.
Who knows what foul horrors they wrought under the cover of darkness?
Julian Himes knows!

But to our heroes:
Our Heroes had arrived in Philadelphia.
Before the enemy’s gates, they stood, six strong:
Mr. Ansalbay, Mr. Reiteltay, Rrrgay, Angway, Esshay, and Eldmanfay
Our diverse heroes ventured inside the enemy’s stronghold
And they despaired, for the inner gates stood barred.

Mr. Ansalbay and Mr. Angway lifted their prayers to Great Zeus
They sacrificed a cigarette and some curses
And the thunder God answered.
He sent them a female Hilomatheanpay, a sad fool to lead the way.

With kind words of entreaty, like Bugs Bunny luring Elmer Fudd
Ansalbay and Angway led her on.
She believed they were prospective freshmen, interested in their Society
With wide eyes and with kind words
Our heroes persuaded her to let them In.

And so our Trojan horse rolled forward
Plans like Greeks stored in their heads.
Once inside, it was Mr. Angway, the thief
The master of deception, who propped a door
That Mr. Reiteltay taped open

Our heroes spirited away and planned their next move
But not unlike Odysseus and Diomedes, they knew not what to do
For the female Hilomatheanpay was still inside the Chamber.

It was then that Mr. Esshay of the blond hair and deceptive smile
Walked into the enemy gates
Like a fearless, blonde William Shatner
With the same speech patterns but without the brown hair.
He spoke with the Hilomatheanpay, he got her phone number
And later invited her out to coffee.

Our heroes waited around
Biding their time, they ate cheesesteaks
Their tension building.
The fire in their bellies did not abate
They stood poised, like a cow about to tip over, in wait.

Soon the Hilomatheanpay called.
She said she was leaving their throne-hall
Their emblazoned stronghold of evil.
She would meet them at a Starbucks, she said.
And our heroes sprang forward.

Mr. Esshay, of the blonde hair and the deceptive smile
And Mr. Angway of the quick fingers
Met the girl at Starbucks.
They let such words escape their teeth’s barrier
As to convince her they were prospective freshmen.

It was 6:30 in the evening, and the rest of our heroes now struck.
Mr. Ansalbay went first, opening the way fearlessly
Behavior that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere.
Our heroes fought, and they held the line
Into the enemy Gates they strode
Through the doors they had taped open
They went full of pride, and disaster struck.

The Enemy had closed the gates to the inner sanctum.
Our heroes milled in a corridor of the fourth floor
College Hall, University of Pennsylvania
Stymied, like a clown with no circus.

Only one door was open to them
To high chamber above, in the heavens
With hard clouds, impossible to pass through.
Mr. Ansalbay and Mr. Reiteltay went and they explored this enormous room
While Ms. Eldmanfay and Mr. Rrrgay worked on the inner gates
Mr. Rrrgay of the quick wit with his tools, and Ms. Edlmanfay with her swift direction
Communicating from above and below

In Heaven, some might call it the attic,
Mr. Ansalbay and Mr. Reiteltay had an idea
At the end of the room, between the wall of the building
And the wall of the enemy chamber
A slight gap shivered
Like a candle in the wind.
It beckoned them.

Down into the Gap these heroes leapt
Like Dante and his Geryon, except
They had asbestos and lead paint in their nostrils.
Like a rushing river relentless
They cleared the way, streaming from Heaven.

In front of them, a wooden support stood
Beyond, the clouds above the Enemy Chamber.
Ms. Eldmanfay visited Mr. Ansalbay and Mr. Reiteltay
To check on their progress. With excited cries
Like Richard Simmons on a Stairmaster
They begged her for a weapon.

Ms. Eldmanfay, scrambling and searching in the dusty bin of Heaven
Found the Hammer of God (which God usually used to sweep the floor.)
With trembling fingersl, she passed it down to Mr. Reiteltay
Who gave it to Mr. Ansalbay, and then held him fast.

Like a snapping waiter at Tom’s Restaurant
Mr. Ansalbay snapped at the barrier, and it opened.
Like an avenging angel, he and Mr. Reiteltay leaned down through the clouds
And they stole the enemy banner.

Our heroes now spirited away, Triumphant, Victorious.
Mr. Angbay and Mr. Esshay, the masters of deception,
Joined them at their nearby chariot.
Our heroes sped away into the night.

And now they await word from their enemy.
Will they bargain, parlay for truce?
Will they return the property they stole with appropriate recompense, and
Will their property then be returned in turn as the seasons turn turn turn?
And can we all get a drink afterwards?
Only time will tell…

Photographs of the Auspicious Occasion