miracle

March 13, 2007

No one told me what powers I possess.
I know strength is not among them: I tore
my knee trying to throw a truck
at Doc Octopus. Spiderman swore
and stuck me to a lamp-post.

Nor are my senses particularly sharp, though
I am developing a keen awareness
of when I am being ridiculed. Perhaps I am
an empath? I cannot fly

either, though Superman tells me
this is a knack, not a power. I think
he is a smug one: he is rarely challenged
these days, villains preferring to concentrate
on those of us with magic rings

that can be mislaid, or weaknesses
that do not involve elements available
only on destroyed planets. Wolverine

says I should just throw myself
at every problem till my aptitudes
become clear. He snarls a grin at me,
bites off the top of a beer bottle.
The lacerations to his lips mend in seconds.

I call myself Miracle, because
life is quite astounding enough for me.
I avoid lycra and spend my time counseling
the victims of crime. Superman just
drops them in a field somewhere,
shaking.

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2 Responses to “miracle”

  1. i read this one awhile back…but it stayed and i told a friend about it, we must have been talking about super heroes. i like that, when poems stay and linger and surface again. i think i like the dry, wry, self-effacing humor. also its cool to have references that come from popular culture, my kids would dig that.

  2. Thanks dreamlistener, I’m trying to vary the topics I use as material, make them more quirky, more original. I suppose the problem with using pop culture in poems is that you never know how long those references are going to stick around, but I think superheroes are here to stay. Theseus and Herakles are some classical prototypes, apparently (and Herakles has now come full circle and has his own tv show).

    I was also trying to celebrate empathy as a ‘superpower’ – the narrator’s limitations make him a keener observer of people and perhaps a better counselor. Also, there’s something a bit dark about Superman especially, in all the films, the rest of us are pretty helpless without him. At least Christopher Reeve gave us a character who was vulnerable in his own way, his frailties exposed in the trouble he had adapting to being simply human. The latest Superman film is horrible for a multitude of reasons.

    endlessly

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