| operative network | writing archive: columns - reviews - interviews - features

hannibal tabu's column archive

| home | what's this? | legacy archive | MySpace blog archive |

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Father Figure (National Poetry Writing Month)

I feel good about this early draft.

Last year, Ratpack Slim's Facebook-exclusive poem in the voice of Ben Grimm got me going. I have since written poems as Black Adam and Lex Luthor, and I have started one on Bizarro. I never did one in the voice of what most people consider a "hero" ... I'm not sure that's changed.

I you don't know about any of what's being discussed here, Wikipedia is here to help. Let's see how this goes ...
My son will bury me.

I've known since he was a baby.
Communion with the Panther God reveals much
if one is open to listen.
I knew the garishly-clad American was coming
before his orders were handed down.
Winds of war blew past my verdant native land
but never crossed inviolate borders.
Haile Selassie took notes,
but always chased our secretive glories.

Knowing the weight of my reputation
more than he'll remember my voice,
This one, this T'challa,
will know such solitude and frustration
unprotected by his prismatic mind.

He will be known for his imaginings.
Quinjets and construction technologies,
His thoughts the fuel of an economy.
Like me, he will marry an outlander,
Bringing home power and grace
not found in our lands.
Earth's mightiest heroes
shall call him friend and brother,
But none will know him.
As I kept the realm isolated physically,
His wall of wonder will keep Wakanda a mystery.

He won't have my voice to guide him.

When the smiling white trader appears,
I know he brings tears and funerals at his footsteps.
They all seek it,
Precious find under Black soil
birthright and protectorate.
My son will keep it safe
at whatever cost
no matter the love he loses along the way.

I can't tell him any of these things.

I won't live to host
his globally-observed wedding.
Struggles with identity and purpose
he must shoulder alone.
He will be a conundrum to history,
Brilliant but conflicted
adventurous but secretive
an African king in a Brooklyn classroom.
T'challa will have to learn the hard way
sometimes the old ways are best
technology doesn't have to abandon spirit.
The Panther God is always waiting for our return.
T'challa could never leave pawprints of his own
if he kept chasing my shadow, my path ...

It's better this way.

Please show Mister Klaw in, Zuri.

By Hannibal Tabu

Bizarro will either be Wednesday or Thursday. No idea about tomorrow.

Playing (Music): "Window Seat" by Erykah Badu

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

random image

Hannibal says:

    follow me on Twitter


    also find Hannibal on:

      give us your money!  
      search this site  
    powered by FreeFind

    top | help 

    | writing & web work | personal site | writing archive | contact |

    the operative network is a hannibal tabu joint.
    all code, text, graphics, intellectual property, content and data
    available via the URL "www.operative.net"
    are copyright The Operative Network, LLC 2003,
    and freaked exclusively by hannibal tabu

    accessing any of these pages signifies compliance
    with the terms of use, dig it