Superman In Recovery by Claire Natirbov

Image by Jill Hotchkiss Ink on Paper

WordSmiths Featured Artist: Jill Hotchkiss- ink on paper, 2009

Superman kind of wanders around

like a burnt animal in our rental house.

We let him check the doors and sometimes use the grill.

He has softened without prey.

Today he polishes these dead-mould-copper fish that

stain the walls of the shop.

Their rust is running down in streaks and oxidizing.

The whole point of keeping him around, I thought,

was to help him become a captain. But for now he sells

fish-rot dead-replicas of the sea.

Once he fell off a polishing stool and those

who weren’t annoyed saw his arm split right in half.

It was all damp wood and the ants piled out to save themselves.

We didn’t know how best to help him, so we took

the arm outside to sun. In an hour it had shrunk, but he cherished

the memory enough to put it back on.

Superman is on the top rung of the ladder—

bored with all the light fixtures already.

This time, Baby wants his help to take her bears

and seashell cups outside for tea. His bruised smile

is amusement enough for her when no one else is fooled.

I keep a special lookout—

them on the lawn-green scaly-pasture.

The burnished sun making everything difficult.


WordSmiths featured Artist: Giordanne Salley, Night Kiss in the Woods, Woodcut Print

WordSmiths featured Artist: Giordanne Salley, Night Kiss in the Woods, Woodcut Print



Alone is ok, if not preferred for it’s freedom, but I’m reluctant to go down that road as a poet. Being attached to the constant clamor of uniqueness and excessive self-appraisement is dragging around a closed-pallet. That’s deadweight in culturing honest words.

Is elegance too close to excessive individuation? I can’t see elegance in the refined pallet of forced uniqueness because it exists also in fractals and in snails. It is chaotic as it eats at so many cherished beauties.

The seahorse’s elegance (those creatures really define the word) ignores its own lattice of complicated and unrefined buzz. There is nothing but elegance of unconscious words when they grow naturally. Unconscious stories tell many necessary truths that are too ugly for the fleeting bourgeois definitions of elegance in the past.

California born and raised, Claire Natirbov is currently transitioning to a faster walking speed as a New Yorker. She recently graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied everything your conservative relatives would deem useless. She’s mad about jazz and plans to explore the murky and disorienting waters of poetry and music in NYC where she continues to publish her poetry and sing.