Superhero Poem

by Gregory Sherl

Look at me, so worried about the fireflies we caught last night
            in a mason jar. I wrote that sentence wrong & now
all of last night is caught in a mason jar. It’s cool though,
            I punctured extra holes in the lid. Now, we all breathe
like leftover redwoods. Is California still on fire?
            Was it ever? I am convinced it is bad to live
forever, so I’m going as a poet for Halloween. I’m broke as fuck.
            I’m selling this poem to a car commercial.
                        & as the Lexus rounds the bend in say New Hampshire,
            in say the parts of Memphis that weren’t pregnant last week,
                        in say my coffee swirling tornadoes whistling heavy
            train tracks, the narrator will say Sometimes giants
only smell like giants. The couple in the Lexus smile
            like old mistletoe. Their blood feels lazy. Sometimes it only
takes a stone to kill a giant. Matte pages are never for lease,
            but the strings holding up tomorrow are.
The way today has stretched me out, how do I still have eyes?
            I am sick of trying to buy things with contributor copies.
I was always born old.
            Every bridge I build goes straight up.


Gregory Sherl just wants to be okay. He is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Monogamy Songs (Future Tense Books, 2012). His poetry has appeared in The Rumpus, Columbia Poetry Review, Redactions Poetry & Poetics, The Los Angeles Review, and, among others. He is Poetry Editor of The Good Men Project, and currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi.


Editor’s note (Dillon): It’s no surprise why I chose Sherl’s “Superhero Poem.” Gregory has fine-tuned the art of the line break, setting a distinct tone with almost immediate indecision: “I wrote that sentence wrong & now / all of last night is caught in a mason jar.” What I love most about Sherl’s writing is his seemingly effortless attempts at blending the ordinary, the everyday heartbreaks, with pop culture & its endless influences. Whether it’s a Lexus cruising down a road in New Hampshire (my home state!), or a dip into today’s realities as a writer as he mentions buying things with contributor copies, Sherl knows how to get right to the heart—or the barcode—of his audience.

Copyright © 2012 Swarm