Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ross Sutherland: The Last Batman Poet

I am the last Batman poet
I see Gotham through a black rubber cowl.
In my fists, I hold the last chance of salvation.
And so I uncap the pen, 
let it all out.

I am the last Batman poet.
I am reciting a satirical poem about corporate greed,
my colossal shadow slapped against the coffeehouse wall.
“Big bankers,” I say. “Big balls, but big wankers.”
I punctuate the end of the piece with a smoke bomb.

“Hey,” says a young man in a bookshop,
“I saw you read last week. You were good.”
“Thanks,” I say, and detonate another smoke bomb.

I am the last Batman poet.
I destroy my enemies from the inside-out.
I am influenced by Justice, Physical Prowess and Gadgets.
I also like 
George Oppen.  

I am the last Batman poet.
The Joker is on the news again.
Five train guards have been slit ear-to-ear.
I make a note in my moleskin:
“Five train guards slit ear-to-ear,”
A week later, I add beneath,
“like macabre, blood-filled Zippys.”
Another poem is beginning to take its shape.

A crime is an image. I arrange them on the page:
The Blood On The Streets,
the Shrapnel, the Creep.
The Shattered Skylight, the Arkham High-Five.

I write poems with such intense political urgency:
Gotham Stop Filling Those Coffins,
10 Reasons Why Commissioner Gordon is Stupid.

I am self-publishing my next pamphlet in September,
The launch is going to be on the roof of the Von Gruenwald Tower.
There’s a free glass of wine if you get there early.

Gotham, I promise 
to sign every copy that I’ve got.
And if you live in fear
of the ruthless
and the bullet:
You’re gonna like this book a lot.

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