Four-Colour World

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
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CONTEXT: April, 2011

Obviously by that date this poem is not new – but it is ‘newly released into the wild’.

I wrote this simply because I like comics and I let the poem itself dicate the way it was going to go. It ended up being up self-perception and the idea of persona.

I debuted in (reading) at my Urban Legends feature in September. The audience gave good feedback (espacially PrufRock). I slammed it (memorized) for the first thime this weekend, Friday in Perth and Saturday at CapSlam. The judges were less kind.

In fact, it is my third worst performing poem at slams of all time, ahead of only A Van Full of Poets and Air.

    Four-Colour World

I used to live in a four-colour world.
Capes and spandex,
Newsprint and plastic
Bags to protect them from
The more insidious threats
Than Baron Zemo and Doctor Doom.
Comic books which were
As escapist as Harry Potter,
Harlequin Romance or the New Testament,
Tantamount to finding a
New life Through the Looking Glass,
Over the Rainbow or in a
Bustling Urban Metropolis.
It was all ‘Excuse me miss,
Did you drop this?’ or
‘Watch out for that falling
Piano!’
In a desperate desire
To be a hero
Instead of a zero
Because in the fantasy world,
Just like ours,
There is no middle ground.
You are the leading man
Or just part of the scenery,
Fading into the greenery
If you are lucky.
Victimized object lesson
If you aren’t.
But it isn’t the spotlights
Or coloured tights.
I wasn’t looking to
Outrace locomotives
Or benchpress buicks
Or stun the world with
The UNBRIDLED POWER OF
MY MIND –
As impressive as it is.

No, where comics really
Appealed to me
Was the power of the secret id.
A whole identity you can pull on
And shrug off with no one
None the wiser.
Pull on personalities like
Old trousers,
Play marginal personality
Roulette
To decide which of your
Quirks gets to
Come out and play.
It is a Post Secret for the
Post-traumatic generation.
Over-share as outerwear
And roleplay therapy
That’s consequence free,
Mask firmly in place
So you can’t tell it’s me
And I can let you know
How I really feel…
But how can I even know
That it’s real?
If that Spider-Mask
Covers the public me
That is only a mask too, you see
Made from emotional Kevlar
Pretending to be invulnerable
Though paper thin,
Hiding the next me
That only few see,
A layer of lowered
Tangibility
To brush off what penetrates
Before it reaches level three…
Or is that four?
I’m not sure I remember any more
As this walking inception
Is always one layer deeper
And pulling off a costumed
Hood and mask
Only reveals another.
So, do you want to know me?
I am what you see,
As long as you have X-ray specs
Or a third eye on overdrive,
Searching for level five
Or is it six, or maybe more –
What are you so intent
On looking for?
Tearing the so-called hero down
Until mild and mannered
Become equivalent to
Faceless and nameless,
Protected and blameless,
Outwardly almost famous,
But mask firmly in place,
Spider-senses tingling,
And it is time to go
Save the world,
And maybe, if I am feeling really brave,
Or maybe cocky,
I will pull up the mask
And give you a little peek
At all the scars hidden underneath
And together we can
Redefine the word hero.

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