Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meeting the Bar - Heroes (&Villains)

57 channels (and nothin' on),
the Boss sang --- now i have hundreds
at the click of a button, and still got nothin'
this is how we measure our progress,
more but no substance

In this season of superheroes,
at the movies, everyone wears spandex
or muscles plasticized in some unattainable
                 place,

we set them on pedestals
                we can no longer reach.
                Our heroes

are mass produced and paraded through
and when one actor gets old, we find another
younger, start over, rewrite their origin,
begin again---the last Superman had an
illegitimate kid, perhaps that makes him
more believable, i guess

he has kryptonite to bring him down
but---as a kid i waited for my mutant powers to man-
ifest because i knew they were coming, b'cause this
              could not be it---flipped
pages back and forth measuring the angles
of john romita jr, shadows of jack kirby,
designed costumes,
       picked names
            & practiced

when the time came,
i was more villain than anything,

nursing a stiletto chest wound & spinning webs
to trap & take as many with me as i could, mis-
understood & ready to write a last issue,
                      end-ing circulation, or at least
dilute the ache with a drink, a drug, a late night escape,
                       billowing hospital gown as my cape

(breathe)

Heroes don't always make the movies or
after school specials, much less the comic books,
sometimes they wear jeans and their power
is limited to seeing---
       this is where she found me---
             & she loved me

anyway--

so do i know heroes, yes
i have kissed their lips & will again
when i get home---and if there is nothin' on
(the tv tonight),
                   well then...

Today @ dVerse Poets, Victoria has a wonderful post on celebrating our modern heroes. She will be opening the doors around 3 pm, so if you are feeling poetic, do join in. Smiles.

78 comments:

Tom said...

real heroes don't know they are

AmyLK said...

sweet!

Cloudia said...

Excellent disquisition on the true nature of our heroes - sometimes ourselves-


Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >
><}}(°>

Claudia said...

smiles..yes..the real heroes wear jeans or worker's overalls and see...and love us just as we are.. great piece brian

ds said...

What Claudia said. Wonderful--thank you.

Laurie Kolp said...

Sometimes putting people up to hero status can be disheartening, for we are all fallible... but it's always nice to recognize heroic deeds.

Pat Hatt said...

Ugg all those remakes and the same tweaked origin story over and over and over again drives me up the wall
Oh yeah it is sooo much better than before because now he/she can bounce like a ball
Or fought it the mall
Added one word to their call,, pfffft
All a bunch of crap
The real heroes are those who don't flap
And keep at it day in day out
Who don't wear spandex and let umm things show about...haha
End my rant
The cat will go eat a plant
Maybe turn a super green
And years later will be played by a cry baby teen

Myrna R. said...

Smiles and more smiles. Lucky woman, she and her hero. Two heroes loving.

It's so true there's a hero in each of us, if we let it develop. And there are many simple heroes in our lives.

Enjoyed reading this.

Tara Miller said...

You made me teary with this. I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on you and those gorgeous eyes of yours....19 years ago next week. You're my hero and a hero to many, many others.

If we truly open our eyes - we'll see that there are heroes all around us.

I hope you always know how much I love you....

Fred Rutherford said...

nice spin on the prompt Brian, I used to be all comic'd up for so many years, and have to admit, although I am rational as one can be, I still dream of waking up one day and find I have some amazing powers. The powers change all the time, but the passing childhood thought, somehow has stayed. Those who help others, especially those who right the errant tracks, well those people are certainly heroes. Great write. Thanks

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Everyone's idea of a hero is slightly different.

Okie said...

this is great...very true. love it. :)

JeannetteLS said...

I'm thinking there's one comment in the bunch here that, well...

So here's hoping tv sucks tonight!

May your adventures never end, and live on for and with your next generation.

It's good to know that for some, the heroes find one another and stay.

Josh Hoyt said...

Cool I like the real hero's better than those with spandex :)

happygirl said...

Wouldn't it be great if all hero's wore a cape. Then we would recognize them and stand beside them and hold them up on our shoulders. Yeah, liked this. :)

The Silver Fox said...

It's a rough time for a lot of us when we have to redefine what a hero is, as we learn to differentiate between fantasy and reality. People raised on comic books probably have a slightly harder time of it. I know I did.

wolfsrosebud said...

aw... did you forget valentines day? LOL, precious write.

hedgewitch said...

Yep, imo a very overused word, hero--but I like your take on the way they're mass manufactured and discarded, sold and sold out. This would be cynical(and why not) except for the warm ending that balances the whole.

Daniel said...

I used to have super powers once upon a time. Then my daughter grew up and they went away. I kind of liked taking the role of the hero, larger than life and all that. Oh well.

Suz said...

..this is where she found me...oh your timing is so wonderful...
your lines breaks..how they speed up the poem..slow them down..just perfect
and thank that good lady for me

Chris Wood said...

Brian, in my life experience real heroes and heroines are few and far apart and most certainly rarely recognized! But I think I know one when I see one... thank God! You hooked me good on this one! Nice!

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

I suspect you are one of those jean wearing heroes to a couple of precious sons and a special woman that loves you very much.

Li said...

"More but no substance". That really sums things up as far as I'm concerned.

Mystic_Mom said...

The thing about heroes is that they never think they are heroes...great poem!

Tabor said...

Such a nice surprising ending during the Valentine's season. Precious.

Beachanny said...

Yes Brian - hero to many, rescuer to many, friend to many, many more. If you count your riches in friends you are a wealthy, wealthy man! Thanks for being mine.

Marbles in My Pocket said...

Brian: I could have written this one. You and I think a lot alike, and I also have a wonderful wife who is my hero, and I'm pretty sure I am hers! Nice one, my man!

But, I gotta go with Bunk for the top honor: http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/one-hell-of-a-ride-3/

Anne said...

I don't own a television, and the first few stanzas are part of the reason I don't. There are some things you just can't allow yourself to get sucked into. I like what you say here, the real flesh and blood heroes, within easy reach and not on the pages of a book or trapped within a screen make a measurable impact on our lives.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Good write again Sir Brian...

JJRod'z

Ps. Sorry for your last comment on my last post. My finger is too big for my iphone key. I accidentally keyed delete instead of post... Thank you anyways... :-)

FrankandMary said...

The cheerleaders & inspirers in my life never made it to film or print, but they've saved me.
~Mary

Daydreamertoo said...

I liked Whitney Houston, she was a fabulous singer and she died tragically too young but, I am so against her being given a hero's funeral, by that, I mean flying the American Flags at half mast in New Jersey. She was a fabulous singer, but, she wasn't by any means a hero. Most parents would never wish their children to follow her lead and live her lifestyle of drink and drugs so, why all the rush to treat her as if she were a super hero. I'm sad she died, so young still too but, she made her choices.
Brian, you are so right, we all make mistakes, and if we're lucky, we live long enough to learn from them and, we grow. You are one such, who lived a bad life, but, you lived to get through to the other side and now, you pay it forward in kind. That my friend, makes YOU a hero in my eyes. An every day hero, (I just hope for your wife and kids sakes you don't wear tights) hahaha....(Sorry, couldn't resist, and had to lighten it up) Life is so full of ordinary every day heros. It's time People started living in the real world again.
But, this is yet another post which speaks your truths and, is that much more powerful for it....Smiles.

Glenn Buttkus said...

this one really cooks, dude.
Tara's comment made me tear-
up, mr. beautiful eyes, and lucky
man. I collected comics in the
early 70's, and used to draw
my own superheroes too; great
fun, another creative outlet.
Like to see your early drawings.

zongrik said...

i like how everyone wears spandex, and that elicits an emotional response...like wait a minute, i went into argue mode, but then you clarified it by saying that some wear jeans. i really like that effect. good emotional manipulation.

angelique said...

Strong poem. It really makes me smile. Especially (Breathe).

Steve E said...

Some heroes are not human.
Most ARE.
Sometimes we and they are friends
Often, we know them not....

Do you talk like you write? (I do!) No, I don't talk like YOU write--grin!

Brian you do not have imagination. rather, 'imagination' IS YOU!

More breathtaking observation, thank you!

tracy said...

Very nice, Brian. As Bowie said "We can be heroes". Hope you and Mrs. Brian have a good evening.

stu mcp (hate & hope) said...

it all about defining the term 'hero'. I totally agree- they aren't on the TV (most of them) or in films, or plasticized in dolls. They're the real people- living and dying. The ordinary people just surviving- trying to live- to make ends meet. Its the people who conquer lifes adversities. This write said it all.

Charles Miller said...

Another great poem, Brian. Those heroes we had as children don't measure up to reality, you're right. And we have to remember that because if we lose ourselves in fantasy, then we lose ourselves. The last real live hero I actually thought was worthy of the name was Rulon Gardner, the Olympic wrestler. It seems he's fallen on hard times, much like another childhood idol of mine, Jim Thorpe. But that makes them more human, and maybe that's what we need in real heroes, humanity. Your poem explores these themes, I think, and I am always gladdened when I hear your voice affirm the basic truths of being human.

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Loved your take on heroes and how they are perceived by others... especially soulmates! My heroes are all around town. They are getting through the winter, homeless and in need of medication. Feisty, fearless and fun when we all sit down to a "round" of coffee. I buy, they warm their feet. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/bobbis-mom-sunday-whirl/

pandamoniumcat said...

Agree,totally...we miss the real heroes of our time and they're all around us everyday of our lives.

ayala said...

Love these lines...so do i know heroes, yes
i have kissed their lips & will again
when i get home---and if there is nothin' on
(the tv tonight),
well then...

Excellent!

Reena Walkling said...

Great how you see the real heroes!

Heaven said...

There are heroes everyday around us, but we don't see them nor sing their praises. But it is they who make our day a little brighter, and it is they who bring hope in our hearts.

The ending reads a love poem to me...so lovely are your words... ~

Manicddaily said...

Your wife is a lucky woman! (And it sounds, of course, like you too are lucky.)

Amazing how we cherish our secret powers when young--soon to manifest. K.

Sheila said...

Nice. I have a hero of that sort as well. We are blessed aren't we? (smiles)

Mary said...

Very nice, Brian.
Most heroes today are understated, I think. At least they are the kind I notice!!

PattiKen said...

To illustrate Tom's point, let me just mention that your hero will get to kiss a hero tonight too.

But this? "...everyone wears spandex
or muscles plasticized in some unattainable place" - the female side of the house has been plagued with that right from the get go. Except it was the muscles that were plasticized.

Geraldine said...

well then...indeed! Heroes come in all shapes and guises, so true.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and Night!

My 3 other blogs are listed on my sidebars. I have 2 with Blogger and 2 with WP, including a poetry and writing blog: My Poetic Path.

Just finished the last crumbs of the carrot cake and icing today, yummm...

Happy Thursday, G

Geraldine said...

well then...indeed! Heroes come in all shapes and guises, so true.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and Night!

My 3 other blogs are listed on my sidebars. I have 2 with Blogger and 2 with WP, including a poetry and writing blog: My Poetic Path.

Just finished the last crumbs of the carrot cake and icing today, yummm...

Happy Thursday, G

TALON said...

Heroes are so often humble...not so the villains.

Victoria said...

When your wife sneaks into your poetry, Brian, something special happens. I'm in awe of the esteem and love you show her. Those of us who have spouses like that are so blessed. Bravo.

Stephanie said...

An ode to real heroes....love

Sue said...

Ahhhh, the love of a good woman is a good thing.

;)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Oh my-- That was fabulous....
And then I read T's comment.
Big sigh.
You two are very lucky.
jj

poetjanstie said...

It has to be special, Brian, when your own lady is moved to say what she said there. You have encapsulated real heroes. They're not plastic coated with chiselled jaws, or saving the world in one dramatic moment (although there is the occasional one that does at least save a small part of our world), they are constant, mostly unsung heroes, appreciated by those who care.

myheartslovesongs said...

i much prefer real-life every-day heroes and heroines. {smile}

farmlady said...

Wonderful poem. We are all heroes to someone. We don't have to fly. We just have to be faithful, moral and kind.
Thank you...

janaki nagaraj said...

There you burst my perception of superheroes..well, they are for kids. We find real heroes everywhere in everyday lives.

Birdie said...

real heroes don't need to get famous & known, there are many true real heroes and we would not recognize them walking down the street, yet they are ... :-) i love love that post Brian!

Dave King said...

so many heroes have feet of clay, it's true. This is a poem with the breadth and depth of approaching that of a dissertation. Remarkable!

Eve Redwater said...

Fantastic write, Brian!

Natasha Head said...

Brian...I think its about time you showed off YOUR cape and spandex...This is awesome! Many of us could have written our piece for you...You don't just bring poets together...you show 'em how it's done.

glittertheair said...

I love how you have used different sorts of hero's. When I looked at this prompt I forgot about those people who think they are "hero's" because of their young, erratic behaviour.

Lolamouse said...

Yeah, sometimes heroes save us from ourselves.

Linda said...

Just out catching up on my blog visitations and came by to read more of your poems/prose..... it's introspective and well worth the time. Thanks for sharing, Brian. =D

drybottomgirl said...

I love your unabashed wisdom. I tell my children,"real heros often go unseen". Have a warm and cozy weekend!

SueAnn said...

Well then there is that!!
The superman of my generation shot himself and died. So much for man of steel!
Hugs
SueAnn

California Girl said...

Niiiicce

Katherine Krige said...

we are all heroes to someone. if you can share those moments with that person, you earn your own cape. :)

Have a lovely weekend Brian

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite part:

billowing hospital gown as my cape

(breathe)

I know Tara loved this one. :)

And I have a feeling there are some kids who will put you on their "hero list," if not right now, then someday. Those you counsel and those you raise.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Susie Clevenger said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your hero..so do i know heroes, yes
i have kissed their lips & will again..

Rebecca S. said...

Poets are heroes, too. I mean it!

Yousei Hime said...

I am 100% with you. My favorite heroes are those who accept us and welcome us as the person we are. Really enjoyed this one, especially having a similar comic book hero perspective myself.

repressedsoul said...

Haven't we all got a dichotomy? I think we have, you played out very mafia sinatra esque here Brina, very smooth!

Syd said...

I think that a night without TV is good. That's us on most nights after the news which more than likely is depressing.

Goofball said...

would all boys would want to become a hero? I never did...I think being a princess was much more attractive, or a singer or actress.

william said...

we all have heroes mate you painted a lavish picture here, bravo..