Tuesday, September 17, 2013

poem of the day 09.17.13

king lear

i go into the comic book store
for my weekly fix of caped drama

it is the usual scene of dumpy, older men

like me

strolling the glossy books and fondling their stack of take-homes

the younger kids check out the toys and dvds
scan the candy bins for their sugar fix

nathan is at his usual perch behind the register
where they keep the rare books and the coveted action figures

he’s talking shop about batman with one of his groupies
and giving it good to his clerk, jonas, too
ragging him on his spider-man obsession

jonas is the store whipping boy

everyone makes fun of him when he’s there
and especially when he’s not there

he’s pretty die-hard about spidey
he wears a spider-man belt buckle all the time
and an amazing spider-man t-shirt
with all kinds of halal food stains on it

last october he was the first one in line for comic-con
to buy the new spider-man doll

116,000 people attended that
and i saw him with my own eyes in that line

jonas takes the ribbing good naturedly
although most of it goes over his head

after giving jonas the business
nathan turns back to his pal and says

i’ll bring the batman in next week
then you and your brother can come into the store
and i’ll let you guys flatter me
until i decide which one of you i want to sell it to

the guy says, that’s fair

it’s the basic plot of king lear, nathan says


king lear


dude, king lear

is d.c. doing that?

king lear


come on, king fucking lear, man


it’s only one of shakespeare’s most famous plays

i must have missed that one, the guy says, sweating

nathan shakes his head and hands the guy his stack of books
see, that’s what’s wrong with america, he says
a lack of education and stark, crystal ignorance

then jonas knocks over a display of bobblehead dolls
and dozens of classic characters come crashing to the ground

spider-man included

it’ll be at least an hour’s worth of work
getting them back on the shelf

but jonas goes at it right away, bending over
showing us his spider-man underwear in the process

and that, nathan says, pointing at him
that’s what’s wrong with america, too   

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