They Said I Couldn’t Be Real

By on Dec 17, 2014 in Poetry

Real female hero in blue and green.

They said I couldn’t be a real
superhero because my breasts
were too small and unperky.
I could never fit the required
uniform, and my hip-to-waist
ratio didn’t conform to the fever
pitch of the modern fan-boy’s
favorite four-color dreams
(not to mention that my lips
are neither thick nor pouty
and will never be either
bee-stung or ruby-red
like a certain Amazon queen’s).

“But I can fly,” I said, quietly,
not quite in quiet unburning tears.
And they said, “So can birds
and planes and neo-Nazi Zeppelins.
It’s not the power that matters,
but the presentation, the package —
You gotta be able to sell it. Look,
get a day job, save some dough,
and get some work done. Maybe —
Next time — Who knows?”

And all I could think
(as I flew over the city
like a double-fisted arrow
with cheekbones so dull
and flaccid they felt like erasers
that had been clapped too hard
one too many spring afternoons)
was that I’ll know —
I will always know.


Jack Vian, 43, doesn't have a biography worth noting other than to say he was born in Texas and raised on comic books, sci-fi, and the worship of Elvis, Evel Knieval, and Star Wars. Between high school and adulthood he lost his way (literally as well as metaphysically) before returning to the Dharma, discovering his inner-yogi and remembering that with great power comes great responsibility. Today he continues to observe his durance while keeping faith with family and friends and seeking truth in word, thought, and deed. Some people call this literature. He has had work published in a variety of small journals, from Modern Haiku to War, Literature & The Arts. His work has most recently appeared in Rattle, Colere, Big Muddy and Gemini Magazine. He also has work forthcoming from about seven journals in 2014-15. You are welcome to contact him via e-mail.