Wednesday, February 20, 2008


[The project for the urchins, upper and middle schools: 4 Superhero poems, riffing very loosely off Lucile Clifton's "notes" to superman poems. I took a "What Superhero are you?" quiz a few months ago and tested out as Elektra, the ninja assassin. That probably explains the earlier Saddam connection.

I hereby tag the SA posse and Her Nefarious-ness in Santa Fe, and anyone else who's feeling their Superhero-ishness. That certainly includes the Anonymous Wonder Woman. As Anonymous WW can attest, y'all don't need a quiz to know who you iz. Check out who's on your lunch box.]

Dared and Keened

medicinal dreams,
methane fog of brother ninja—
sacred Christ, algorhythmic
Hugo was, Hugo
wasn’t, after the nethercrimes
of the Dark Lords.
Hand seals my fate, a tutelage
ash-fallen, incorporeal,
resurrected. Love
was in the knives
of desire, was dared
by blind devils, was
keened by adamantium-fueled

Blood Stain Deeper

Brother Matthew, ivy
leagued: the sais of blood
stain deeper than
the skins of desire.
We were lost in the sar-
cophagus that bloomed
the first time; we were
detonated by the final
blast, valences doomed
by demonic interference.
The holocaust was you, the
holocaust was me.

Will Rise, the Darker

born on the clinic floor,
Christina’s blood the baptismal
font, dark visions
of no known source,
blending the unblendable,
in the choir of feral
night. Bullseye takes her
down to the gates of hell,
keening for the Kingpin’s
assassin. D– could not save
life’s rent: curtain slashed,
identities shattered.
Erynys will rise, the darker,
still doomed to full moon’s
valiant eclipse.

Little Amber

Throw your mind,
little one, past
the auguries of Christina’s
doom, past the whimpering
Atreidae, the sensei
of brothers covert,
the violence of
evil committed,
fractals of evil,
derivations of evil,
simperings of evil,
evil played but
not trumped. Your cry
the Aegean: nether
birth, nether worth,
ever lethal,
never blind.

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Blogger Lee said...

Nice visuals in all of these poems, Paschal. Are there going to be more?

When I think of me and a super hero I don't find one that's a good fit although there are ones I like for just being cool. The image I get when I dig deep is not really a super hero and is very dark. It's more of a rock bottom image. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I'll keep looking.


5:59 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thanks, Lee. I can never predict where the writing may lead, but I'm leaning towards an extended look at Super Hero comic books (archetypes and some pretty sophisticated backstories on these folks: my eyes were opened by my research on Elektra) with some of my students: that may yield further poems.

"The image I get when I dig deep is not really a super hero and is very dark. It's more of a rock bottom image." I'd say you just described where a lot of Super Heroes start: to quote a Bonnie Raitt song: Tangled and Dark.

Funny, I was just wondering if there is an Episcopalian Super Hero (maybe a lapsed - read: reformed - Anglican). One of my eighth graders was lamenting there not being any Jewish (she is Jewish) Super Heroes. We googled away, to no avail. I mentioned this the next day to a senior who is acknowledged as the Lord of Super Hero knowledge: he was aghast, and started reeling off a ton of them, following up with a 5 page spreadsheet list for our perusal.

The Lord of Lore also straightened me out on an important point: it's Super Hero, not Superhero. I was duly chastened.

7:55 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Shoulda known:

Now, I haven't checked this out for veracity, and of course, the first one on the page is entirely bogus, but there may be some interesting reading nonetheless.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Paschal, maybe you and Luis Royo have it right. Perhaps Super Heroes do come from rock bottom. At least that's the way it looks when you think about his "Seeds of Nothing" piece which is the image I was thinking of. The girl in that picture sure did overcome a lot to get to the top of that pile of nothing.


5:19 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lee: My home computer's being ornery about posting visitor comments, so I'll post your latest comment from school.

I was not familiar with Luis Royo's work (I'm a complete novice in these fantastical worlds), but from what I saw of his wonderful googled images, RoyoMundo is a veritable spawning ground for Super-osity.

Good luck searching for your alter egos.

1:10 PM  
Blogger San said...

So, Paschal, if I may be so obtuse as to inquire as to the particulars of this tag: I'm to decide what superhero I be, then write FOUR poems riffing off Clifton's notes to superman?

Don't get me wrong. I'm up to the challenge--after all I've just gotta be super and heroic in some way, somehow. I just don't want to get points taken off for not following directions.

Like your riffs, by the way, sharp as the knives of desire, deeper than the skins. Throwing your mind, little one, past Bullseye.

6:10 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lady Nefarious:

Oh, I know you're up to the challenge. Nothing obtuse in that Alabama noggin. I suppose the tag is this. Find the hero that calls to you, a little research if need be to flesh out the backstories, and then fire at will. 4 voicings; they needn't riff of Lucile: that's just what got me started.

Welcome back to the playground. I sense the return from paradiso has been a little rough, the rhythm of those waves still calling. After I rode in my first Mardi Gras parade years ago, days went by where whenever I closed my eyes, I'd see rivers of people streaming by, arms raised in glory for the treasures in my trove.

You don't come back from such things easily.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Super hero post is done, Paschal! That was fun!


6:55 AM  

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