Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Marital Row No. 693

The Batman would never
stand for this.

The Batman would never
have been caught like this.

Not The Batman.

We have a lot in common –
The Batman and I.

We both wear masks
but I don't have his strength.

25 March 1989

I don’t think I’ve ever had even three rows in my life that weren’t with my parents, “shouting matches” as my dad called them—good expression. So this is fictitious. I don’t think F. and I even rowed once in all the years we were together. We had disagreements but they never escalated into fights. I used to work with a woman called Donna who said she and her husband rowed all the time and she thought that was a good thing; she clearly enjoyed the make-up sex.

As for Batman, yes, he’s probably by favourite comic book hero. I haven’t seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yet but I will get round to it. I feel like I’ve been reading about it for years. Last I heard the trailers when spliced together amounted to fifteen minutes of the actual film. I watched the very first trailer once and that’s been it. I just don’t get the film companies. They’re talking about films just now that won’t see the light of day until 2020 (Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps). By the time they hit the big screen—let alone the small screen—who’ll care any more? I remember this all started with Tim Burton’s Batman. I devoured anything I could to do with the film and so, when I finally did sit down to watch it, I was, predictably, disappointed; nothing—and I do mean NOTHING—could live up to the hype. Nowadays I read very little. Mostly I look at the pictures and skip the words.

‘Marital Row No. 693’ was first published in Psychopoetica #17; I keep forgetting to check before I upload these poems. There is precedence for the use of the definite article by the way. Detective Comics #567—the famous Harlan Ellison issue where Batman has the most uneventful night of his life—is subtitled Presents The Batman. There was also a tie-in to the Warner Bros animated series called The Batman Strikes.


Gwil W said...

Your post reminds me of the Empire Saturday morning, the gateway to Gotham City and Batman. And also the Wild West ruled by the Lone Ranger. We knew what a mask was for in those days of youthful innocence, or felt we did. Now everyone is wearing one. Even the Donald.

Jim Murdoch said...

I’m a cynical soul Gwilym. I think people’ve been wearing masks for a very long time. We’re just more aware nowadays. Now we expect duplicity.

Kass said...

Of the super heroes, Batman is a favorite. I attended the first Batman movie with my sons, in full attire (down to the cape with stuffed ears and gloves - which I had made). They were a little mortified, but it was a midnight sneak preview so they figured the chances were slim that their friends would be there since most normal mothers wouldn't agree to take their kids to a movie at midnight.

Jim Murdoch said...

No, Kass, I’ve never been the dressing-up kind of fan. It kind of defeats the purpose. That’s my secret identity. People look at me and what do they see? They certainly don’t see a poet. And, at my age, it’s unlikely they’d imagine me being much interested in the current comic scene. Identity’s a complex thing. Few of us—if any—get to be who we are all the time or even all at one time. I’m a dad but how often online do I behave dad-ish online? This is where the writer me comes out to play but that doesn’t mean the dad-me’s defunct and, occasionally, I do get to be Dad and writer-dad at the same time but when I’m being them I’m not being comic-book-me or classical-music-loving-me. I guess it’s like food. I love suet pastry but you’d never fill it with pear yoghurt. There’s a time for everything and a time to be everything.

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