Saturday, December 3, 2011

Poetics: Birth pains of a Still born superhero


The last panel of Uncanny Xmen issue #132 was the gospel
i needed growing up, the promise that i might
have a time or turn to look up from the sewer & smile
in ways that sent shivers down the spines of my enemies

&

At night I dreamed obsidian dreams, of finding them
in the parking lot behind the local motel where they hung
their shingle, sheets in the wind on Friday nights, & i strolling
between the cars, hoods still warm from cruising, confidently
into their circle letting them beat the hell out of me

again
again
again

And when they spent their last slug to my temple,
laying in broken puddles amid the asphalt, look up
with that smile and say, "that the best you got..."
letting it sit pregnant for a moment as my healing factor
knit me back together, then pop the claws with a SNIKT

The rest of it would probably turn your stomach,
like the sucking sound of wet sledge hammers and knock
on the cutting block when you slice the last bit of tomatoes,
but by the end i was warm and sticky, their entrails
etched with my initials in trails and for once, i felt
like a man, then awoke still a mutant yet powerless,
Peter Parker without being bitten by the spider, lacky,
lacking luck to Flash Thompson and his cronies

I'd spend saturdays, halfway down Williamson
at the little white house named B&D---i still smell
the memories of getting lost in the stories, among
racks and racks of comic books, they were hope for me,
the unlikely imbued with the power, forget responsibility
i wanted my pound of flesh & to be something greater
than me, and for the first time, blurred the lines between
hero and villain

Along the razor's edge we walk daily, so if you ask how
i understand, it is because i too sat the bar for communion
& threw back a shot glass of the darkness that dwells
in the cardiac corners of man, questioned heroes extinction
or existence, felt the worm turn round my spine
on its way to my mind &

became
became
became



Today at dVerse Poets, Claudia will be leading us on a grand adventure, but I swear I will no wear tights or a cape or leap tall building, but I can write poetry. Any way, for a super Poetics poetry prompt, stop in the pub after 3 pm EST.

Comic characters mentioned are property of Marvel Comics. Comic books were a big fixture in my early life as I struggled through slow development. Much appreciation given.

67 comments:

Me said...

Wow, loved this, Brian. Your words paint such a vivid picture...

manicddaily said...

Really enjoyed this , Brian--the cardiac corners, and all the sounds I wouldn't want to hear, swept up in your vision and glad you became. K.

Pat Hatt said...

I'd like to have the claws and healing bit
But carving out endtrails would give me a fit
That's just ewww
But I guess more for you..haha
Weaving in Spiderman as well
Rang arguably two of the best ones bell

kaykuala said...

They pulverized and made mincemeat of the guy. Poor thing, never had a chance, a stillborn. Should be interesting to see how this story develops. Great verse Brian!

Hank

Mary said...

Well, Xmen was a different generation comic. I grew up with Superman, Batman, and Mighty Mouse. I think Xmen would have made mincemeat of all of them. I don't regret those Superhero days. We all need them, I think, at a time of our lives when we want to believe in good always triumphs over evil; and it will be possible for us to triumph over all our enemies in life as we became, became, became. Thoughtful poem, Brian.

Steve E said...

Sure could have used 'obsidian' in my quickie this morning--grin.

You know I love analogies (which I formed) of 'coming up out of the sewer' to acquire and display that strength, and settle all accounts-grin!

My hero: Superman. When he fought the Nazis (age 8, pronounced NAYZEES), I knew victory in WWII (in 1941) was a "given".

Thanks again for a technicolor remembrance of yesteryear, Brian!
PEACE!

the walking man said...

If you could just get to the super part then the description would be apt for you.

izzy said...

I like:" cardiac corners".They leak out into spirit and soul- too. You know that. along the way...( worming around to your mind)
Maybe you could only register it as image back then.I certainly can identify with 'front and center'- lines and form, colors and words
landing all linked up together! When I was young even scents and hearing intruded as well. When traumas began to pile up, some things had to be pushed back.I think that has to do with a few PTSD symptoms still showing up on occasion...Thanks for sharing this.

DJan said...

I used to read comics, too, but my tastes were more towards Archie & Veronica than superheroes. But then again, the only one they had when I was a kid was Superman. Yours are way more cool.

oceangirl said...

What a way to tell a story. Both you and Claudia. Amazing.

oceangirl said...

I want to add, poetry of a superhero.

Lisa said...

Now that is some writing. Wow.

I loved many lines in this, but blurred the lines between
hero and villain
jumped out at me. Thanks to Braja for recommending I read you.

Daniel said...

Just because he heals up, doesn't mean that he doesn't feel every blow just as deeply as you or me.

The Silver Fox said...

You KNEW I'd comment here!

Thanks for the unofficial Comical Wednesday post.

I was an X-Men fan when nobody else seemed to care. Took me a while to warm up to the "new" X-Men, but Wolverine was my favorite long before he was everyone else's! (Always wondered where you got the name for Logan, btw...) By the time #132 rolled around, Claremont, Byrne and Austin had this book's sales and back-issue prices skyrocketing!

All of that should mean next to nothing to your regulars, but not to you, eh? Thanks for a terrific -- as in Mr. Terrific -- post, bub!

Brian Miller said...

nice daniel, and so true...think there were plenty of times i was just looking to be numb...

Fireblossom said...

Bam! Pow! Zowie!

tera said...

Cool.
I still love comic books. I was big into superheros when I was a kid. I found a handful of comics in various garage sales and junk stores that were Superman, Iron Man and that bunch, all when they were teenagers.
My mom got mad at me once for reading my comics too much and took them away and said I could have then back when I grew up and could see how dumb they were.
However, she gave them away to some neighbor kid way before then. I'm sure they were worth some money and I've never been able to find them again.
Like many things, I still mourn their loss...

Claudia said...

this is an awesome write brian and i so can relate to getting lost in other worlds as kids...for me it weren't comics but adventure books and sometimes it's a thin line from hero to villain...glad that worm didn't manage to crack your spine..and..oh...i've always suspected that you fell into the magic potion kettle as a child..smiles

Heaven said...

I feel the pains of the hero's still birth...we long to be superheroes when we were younger, and to be indifferent to the blows of life..but getting older, we find that it was all a dream, maybe even a figment of our imagination. But still we strive to become better than we can ~

Pat said...

"That the best you got?" Love that paragraph! I think inside all of us is a part that wants to be a superhero! How great to just morph into one!

Anyes said...

A super powered hero? I already think you are :-)
Feeding our thoughts with your words...
I enjoyed the closeness of heroes and villains and your very graphic description of what you would do to them...

Colleen said...

I think that comics like you write about can stretch the imagination, take us out of the realm of the ordinary into something wonderfully uncommon. :) Sorry I haven't been around lately, took a bit of an unplanned blogging break.:)

Laurie Kolp said...

Haha... I wonder if a bird's little tweet inspired this?

I love the play on words throughout, and some of the images... would 'gruesomely beautiful' work?

ladyfi said...

Great storytelling!

Susie Clevenger said...

I remember the days of digging through the comic books at the drugstore in the the late 50's and 60's..damn I am ancient..lol Loved your poem...along the razor's edge we walk today..questioning heroes extinction or existence..so many great lines in this piece!

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

The way you write, I wish I could :)

Sue said...

"I swear I will no wear tights or a cape or leap tall building, but I can write poetry."

Boy, you sure can!

=)

PS. I can still feel the worm turning round my spine...

hedgewitch said...

Initials on entrails--nice touch. I used to get lost in the newstand comic racks back in the day--who doesn't want to believe there's someone out there who cares for right nd wrong, and the helpless in trouble they will never even know? Your poetry is entering a whole new stage, my friend.I think you leveled up sometime this fall when I wasn't watching. ;_)

adeeyoyo said...

Everyone needs to go through this wonderful daydream... Love your descriptions, Brian.

Mama Zen said...

This is good stuff, Brian. I think that we've all felt that way.

Birdie said...

sometimes it feels like i live in a country of comics here ... the only one i ever read was some parts of tintin though ... :-) hope you have a wonderful weekend too!!

zongrik said...

thank you for sharing your deepest fantasies of your childhood (or did you ever grow out of them?)

Magpie said...

I think we all want a piece of the bullies of the world.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

You've encapsulated just what the super-hero comics give to children. Even without the presence of bullies, most children feel - and to a large extent are - powerless. Comic books are the modern fairytales (which fulfill the same function).

Glenn Buttkus said...

Love your "following", Dude;
one hour in and three dozen
comments already scorching
the cyber ozone across this
vast land of lost poets and zealot
writers. Your poem was yet another
winner from the House of Brian,
and it took me back to the apple
box full of very old 30's and 40's
comics we bought in 1957 at
a Salvation Army store next to
Lake Union in Seattle. We read
all those golden age tales, not
appreciating what we had, and
threw them all away.

Yeah, Wolverine was/is cool,
but in my dreamers I was the
Silver Surfer, racing through
galaxies silver naked on my
chrome board. I did the Mad
Magazine/Classic Comics version
of David & Goliath for my piece
today; hope you dig it.

Nara Malone said...

Poetry is your super power. And these lines:
"i still smell
the memories of getting lost in the stories, among
racks and racks of comic books, they were hope for me," are why I think we all keep writing. At least I know it's why I do.

Fred said...

Great job Brian. Wolverine was my favorite character, well if I had to pick just one. You really brought this panel to life, in a multitude of directions. Great job. Thanks

Christine said...

grew up with a neighbor who at the age of eight could draw perfectly the comic book "The Thing", he had useless parents except for the fact that they enrolled him art classes at the city art gallery, comic books were an escape for him

TALON said...

No tights? No leaping of buildings in a single bound? What kind of super hero are you, Brian? ;) It's okay - you're a super writer and that's much much better.

Betsy said...

you might not wear the tights, but I think you're a superhero! :)

JANU said...

Nice poem...the imagery is beautiful.

myheartslovesongs said...

and you became a kind man, husband, father and poet extraordinaire! too bad you won't don the tights though. {smile}

Dave King said...

This bowled me over, not least because I had fantasies not very different to these - so why didn't I think of them just now when writing my contribution? Top write. I really like it.

Valerie said...

I was never a fan of comics, that's probably why I don't have a vivid imagination...grins.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

I also grew up on Marvel comics so it took me back

Tabor said...

The last paragraph was so full of visual emotion and original turns of phrase. Nice job.

Lorraine said...

Hell you're such a guy, thank God you're a writer ;)

ayala said...

Amazing write, Brian.
Happy Sunday :)

sharmishtha said...

fabulously written brian, cant deny i too adore some of the xmen characters and would have loved to become one of them- honestly.

:) storm and rage are my favourites.

SueAnn said...

Oh my! What vivid images you have created in my mind. My son enjoyed all the super hero comic books and I must admit that I enjoyed reading them too.
Just the thought of becoming more than yourself wads intriguing.
Hugs
SueAnn

Other Mary said...

Great Brian...I really wanted to see you in those tights and cape though. lol, thanks for visiting and commenting on mine (blog, not tights) again! What can I say, I'm a slacker! Cheers.

Daydreamertoo said...

You write so well of it Brian because you truly have 'been there' When you have been where you've been, seen what you've seen and still go where you can to help those who can't help themselves because, you yourself were once one of those needing help, then you can write from having felt it all first hand. That's why your writing has such great depth of rawness and emotion.
Oh and... real everyday hero's never wear their underwear outside their pants ~Smiles.
Another great write from you ;)

Fritz O'Skennick said...

Cool... A very vivid & compelling read... :) Keep up the great work...

CiCi said...

The comic heroes of past are desperately needed for some children today. I was a tried and true Superman fan. Still am.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Brian, I don't get by here every day because sometimes I am in a hurry and I like to take the time savor all your stories. There is always so much depth to the words you write, and they always make me think. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent.

Zuzana said...

Wonderful piece dear Brian, a true tribute to those wonderful images and words that were your friends when you were a child.;) I had my own comics that gave rise to my imagination and brought me knowledge of a new, foreign language to a higher level.;)
Hope you had a great weekend, mine is almost over,
xoxo

Baino said...

Heh such a boy. I have to dress up as a Superhero for Christmas, any tips?

zumpoems.com said...

Nice reference without actually mentioning Wolverine. Very well written poem! Comice books are an important category of children literature/art.

Lolamouse said...

Fantastic, Brian! Go Poetry Man!!!

Caty said...

great write! I used books to get lost and become someone else...heck, I still get lost in books-just for different reasons now :)

sharplittlepencil said...

Brian, this is FANTASTIC. For one thing, I love comics and superheroes; for another, we once wrote to a prompt about what our super power would be, and I wrote "Volume Control Grrrrl," where I could flick my wrist and some kid's rap music would turn waaaaaay down!

The final stanzas of this are dark, solely human, and incredible. hulk. (Oops, couldn't resist!) Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/the-day-i-saw-an-angel-fly-lyrics/

Margaret said...

I highlighted a number of favorite phrases, but really connected myself with this"

i still smell
the memories of getting lost in the stories

...sounds like you had a bit rougher childhood than I did! :)

Margaret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

let me try again...

If you like adult comics, you might like my link that I didn't post in time...

A Fable Twist

Syd said...

I used to like going to the drug store to read comics until I was chased out by the man behind the counter. But I kept going back. I still have a box of old comics somewhere. They bring back a lot of memories that video games can't replace.

R said...

Marveling at your story.
...I know (hiccup)..
I am still trying to figure out this blogging thinghy...please be patient.

Myrna R. said...

This one left me thinking about good and evil. Are we all the villains as well as the super heroes? As always, your writing pierces through to hidden places in my mind.