Monday, January 03, 2005


The New Year is here and there is much happening. The world is recovering from the greatest natural disaster it has ever seen and Shirley Chisholm (black woman running for president in 1980) has passed. January is cruising along at temperatures that average 50 degrees or so. What does it all mean? I'm not sure if it means anything at all; but i am having a hard time wrapping my mind around a disaster that (when the final numbers come in) will have killed upwards of 200, 000 people. These numbers make hurricane Floyd look like a walk in the park; nothing more than a kind of off day for a city. In this atmosphere and with help of a writing exercise from Marty, i've embarked on a new series that looks at super heroes' obsessions with normal human life. Even as i'm still writing them, i understand them as a sort of... critique? i think of an entire world of folk who would like to go back to the business of being human for just once; but whether natural disaster or folks killing their wives and cutting the unborn out of their bellies, haven't we been heading here ever since the Industrial Revolution? Haven't we, ever since the birth of virulent capitalism created the circumstances that create cults of personality in such unhealthy ways that every situation, even when money isn't involved can only be seen in terms of its potential for profit?

I'm not saying that capitalism created the tsunami in Asia, but we do have to examine very closely our environmental policies amongst other things in the face of the planet's throwing up in the way it just has. A fellow-poet, Patricia Spears-Jones points out today that Shirley Chisholm's motto when she ran for the presidency in 1980 was "Unbought and Unbossed". She asks if any candidate to run today will be willing to claim that slogan; can without reservation, wear it. This is an interesting question; one which one will have to ask oneself as we go through the world if we are to achieve anything within the scope of our own personal revolutions; and therefore affect the world in some larger way. Anyhoo, here's my next poem in that series:

Superman abandons Clark Kent

“… and that’s how Superman sees us;
weak, ineffectual. Clark Kent is Superman’s
critique of all humanity…”
Bill (Kill Bill Vol.2)

I hated the subterfuge
feigning vulnerability
to make the humans comfortable

so when I strode
into the Rain Lounge truth is
I was looking for a fight
a good old-fashioned bar-fight

I’d be careful no laser vision
be certain not to hurt anyone
but I’d make sure to win

cuss bray pound my chest
afterward toss a last drink back
and go home feeling
like a man
maybe with a girl
one who seemed impressed
by such things

but the bar felled me
before I could pick a fight
the bass was thumping
and a woman
bigger and more real
than Lois would ever be

was laughing
calling me “Sugar”
and that’s how I ended
the whole Clark Kent business
because they were all dancing

I ordered that drink
and when the DJ came
back in on the break beat
I joined in
and had to remove my glasses
to shake my ass

Have a good night folks...


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