Old School Superhero Loves a Good Wristwatch, poetry by Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow

COVER IN FINAL Old School Superhero Loves a Good Wristwatch

My debut poetry collection had just been published (The Day Judge Spencer Learned the Power of Metaphor, Salmon Poetry), and after all the jubilation settled down surrounding the book’s release, I was dragging like a sleepy two-year-old to have to work on the centerpiece poem for a second book that in my heart I knew I had to write. I would’ve had to put myself psychically out in the Atlantic Ocean for weeks in an upturned boat to tell this true story in poetry about real people who’d once lived near people I knew.

I couldn’t tackle that piece then.

What I could do, and did do, was pull out a bunch of loose-leaf notes stuffed in random cubbyholes in my study desk. I wondered what, if anything, I’d find in all the scribbles and snatches of paper. To my bemused surprise, I saw that I had periodically jotted down actual quotes “HE” said for one reason or another, at one time or another, that were pretty funny or insightful or goofy.

More surprisingly, some of these quotes stood up well over all that time and I thought, hmm, you know what?, I don’t even have to write a whole poem, I could just slap these on the page and write poems around ‘em. And that’s how Old School Superhero Loves a Good Wristwatch (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) got itself firmly ensconced in the world, word, world.

Selected Poems from Old School Superhero Loves a Good Wristwatch (dancing girl press):

Super Dan Comics Question Box Series # 30
(Skin Triptych, 20-Years-Wedded)

Super Dan: So, gal-pal, what is Victoria’s secret?

Me: You don’t know, Dan—really?
(Super Dan’s see-through eyes, swirly
as nautiluses.)

Me: All right. She has humongous perky breasts and a slim tight
treasure chest, and you want it.

Super Dan: So how is that a secret? With that high-lift
bra of hers. Huh. Better not tell Victoria a secret
if she thinks that’s something she’s keeping
to herself.

*

Me: Did you know researchers say sex,
if you’re lucky, lasts about 6 minutes, and foreplay
is designated to be 30 minutes, mandatory. They said so
on Good Morning America. 30 minutes
of kissing and caressing and nibbling on stuff.
That’s so women and men can be aroused
on the same stage in the same scene.

Super Dan: I’m washing my hot spots.
Start the foreplay without me.

*

Super Dan: Let me tell you about that 30-minute
shower you’re always taking.
One thing you need to know,
other than everyone in the world asks for their back
to be scrubbed, but you naturally ask I wash your front,
is that soap is there
to make water wetter.
It disallows the surface tension.
You’re rubbing yourself essentially
with ashes and beef fat.
Have a happy shower!

Super Dan Comics Question Box Series # 75

(Wedding Anniversary. With incident
of poorly handled physical proximity)

On our who-knows-what-number wedding anniversary
I wonder about marriage
when I write on the card
“Happy Weeding Anniversary,” notice it
and just let it stand.

Super Dan (hollering): Close the cold-makin’
machine!

I won’t close it. The refrigerator. Anniversary
dinner. Opening it over fifteen times
in less than fifteen minutes
to finish a food task for a superhero, not
my idea of party.

Which, trust this, is not the highlight
of the day’s unfolding:
contrary to comic book panel statistics,
even superheroes utilize, on occasion, a basic toilet.
He sat, like any Western mere male mortal, elbows
resting upon knees, tilting slightly forward.
There I stood at the Jacuzzi tub, all naked,
talking. My pendulous charming breasts, as I bent
at the waist, remarked on their own.
And then he rose.

Super Dan: You are my best friend
in the world. A-one. See, look, you are
such my best friend I can stand up
and not even get hard.

I know.
Then. After he’s concluded
his transaction with the bathroom…

Me: Let me see some of that skin.
Show me your fine superself. Don’t keep that
to just you. Let me see your backside.
Bend over a bit.

Super Dan: I just had a sit-down.
I evacuated my system.
Let a custodian’s bowels settle back
in place first.
I want to.
Give me a few minutes.

Me: Can you see me?

Super Dan: I can.

Me: You are a lost horizon. This moment is deported.
Put it on my tab. Is my tab
still good with you?

Super Dan: Your tab is good for infinity.

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