Monday, November 9, 2015

John Grey


I've lost my taste for superheroes.
Sorry Superman or Kal-El or whatever your name is.
Faster than the speed of light,
stronger than a billion Arnold Schwarzeneggers
doesn't cut it in my isolated little world
where anything beyond the supermarket and the office
may as well be in another galaxy,
and I can unscrew the Coke bottle,
at least by the third attempt.
You have your Fortress of Solitude.
I've got this neighborhood, a marriage,
where I can join in or separate out
as I please.

And what need have I of your utility belt, Batman.
I own a set of screwdrivers and an Allen wrench.
And the plumber's phone number
is on a refrigerator magnet.
As for the costume—I get by
on what everybody else is wearing.
It's good that you fight crime
but I just go about saying, "This is a crime,"
"That is a crime," and I'm content to do nothing about it.

I'm not even in love with Wonder Woman anymore.
Sure, she can stop bullets with her wristbands
but when I'm out with my wife,
no one's taking potshots.
As for all the gang at Marvel,
it's great that you can overcome your human weaknesses
and still do good work.
But, as a teenager, I was more Peter Parker than Peter Parker is.
I didn't need to unleash my inner arachnid
to get over it.

Super powers, secret identities—
that's for those with no power, no identity.
Ok, so I'm ordinary man.
And just as ordinary is my alias.

John reads "Not So Super":

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John confesses: "'Not So Super' is my poetic response to the inundation of the media by superheroes especially in the motion picture industry. The fact is that we live on a planet in which there are no X-Men, Spider-Men, Wonder Women, etc. It's a paean to the ordinary Joes and Jills who have to respond when a crisis occurs."

JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, U.S. resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions, and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review, and Louisiana Literature.

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