The Gospel according to Batman

In the Batcave I was born again

over and over twice a week—

 

the colored lights and constant hum,

the music of cold, dark stone,

 

it was a catacomb of fighting all the wrong.

 

With a bath towel safety-pinned around my neck,

I ran into the world that was the world

I could become in all those dreams,

 

the activation that the stone

revealed, the BIFF! the ZAM! the POW!

 

At night I looked up, learning the stars.

Bruce Wayne knew their many names.

 

Blessed are those deadpan lines….

 

“Of what use is a dream if not a blueprint for courageous action.”

 

“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

 

Don’t hide your lights, the hum.

 

They were an OOF-KAPOWIE pair

running deep in that device

that was the world clutching the roots that clenched.

 

Originally published in Boulevard.

History and Sun

Splitting sunlight with its angled head,

slowly twisting in the angled light,

a crystal angel sways, suspended by a thread.

 

The light fades down the walls, an indigo streak

forming a hieroglyph, or something in Greek,

 

about an underworld where shadows

arrange themselves in shifting formation.

 

Who could rest easy, being dead?

Like the living, they seek new motivation.

 

Ten minutes after the hour, the hours chime.

These things are not my obsession,

but give them time.

 

Approaching the age my father died,

I’m learning again to orient the world

as I did when I was a child:

Face the river.  West lies to my right.

Fields stretch behind me.  Sun rises in the east.

 

From the shade of cedar trees, my father approaches

with all the petty grandeur of the recently deceased.

 

Head down, his unzipped jacket flailing in the breeze,

he points to the river, but does not speak.

 

Originally published in Pleiades.

The Unnamed Possible

Furthermore, any advantage today

goes through the storm drain tonight.

Oh, and a lot more. I’m burning up.

I swerve all over town.

 

Calls and caws up and down the street

and time. Liberal democracy, goodbye and,

man, traipsing through the streets, I slid,

skidded downhill into traffic. Humani nihil

 

a me… Isn’t it better he’s not in the world?

the policeman said. Going down,

the sun turned the city hepatitis yellow.

I don’t know what to do with vision.

 

Be the change jangling in your pocket.

It was the father’s smoky breath I clung to

that night, dark circles in dark circles.

It was all the brother I had, waking

 

me up to say the news. I didn’t

say anything back. Okay, this

one-way hallway leads I don’t know where.

I need a great band and lots of vegetables.


Driving

Can’t tell how all this works.

Wheels turn, and fires burn. What else?

I’m driving all over town

like zither music in my head

 

keeps me safe, and there you are

showing up, one craftwork

fair after another, glitter-covered,

glued together—cut-out figures

 

from construction paper. If only

I could remember you now the way

it was before everything came down,

settling on the TV sets

 

like snowstorms catching fire.

Where is that thing chased me all

the years, chasing years, that glitter-eyed

and flaming nothing, my friend?