Archives for posts with tag: oulipian

Batman symbol V2

Say what any has, all at war fall by war at last – that’s a fact a man can grasp. My flat mandala traps sky at dark. My sharp hand, a batarang, fancy car, a castaway lad, all act my avatar. And a Barbary grammar blasts back: Bam! And Zap! Kablam! and Crash! And … and what? All drang and raw drama; a black palm hangs an arm span away – Smash – a bad man sags, all rags and mass. Glad, all afar clap as at a play (any hand can smack away all that damns). Apart, an ark sans an Ararat, a man stands at an abyss and an abyss asks, Why? All fall anyway as ash – all happy and all sad; all angst, all calm as a man that prays all day. All tasks. All plans. All Adam’s clay. And Batman? A man may pass as man and mask: a half that falls, a half that stays.

© Richard Harrison

<this is the end of the Gotham Monologues — new work tomorrow>


twoface - beaulieu & rossmo

I used to run this city. This morning, I mugged someone in the street for 20 cents. I defilemyself. See the profile on this coin? It’s the pretty one. On the reverse, he bleeds where I knifed him under the midnight in my thumb. You see one side or the other with the coin. With me, see both. Now you comprehend the grotesque: every side of the self tunnels through the body to the light. The bold led them there. Trouble is, by decision-time, they’re either good or evil – to me, the difference is the shift key for the letter it springs from the prison-house of type, but people get upset. You know how it must be: either either, or or, no in-between. Flip the coin. This is logic purified of prejudice. I see your judgment, but give me this: you need guts to see it through. Your hero’s petty foes live petrified of the good they might do if they just let go, yet see how deep in their cupidinous bones they long for even two ounces of good’s return. I could give them the dimes to turn on, but they could not.. Him? My true opposite number in this town? He never lets himself love his flip-side devil – though every night he covers himself in its ink.

for derek beaulieu

© Richard Harrison

Art by Riley Rossmo (Two-Face’s Left in pen and ink) and derek beaulieu (Two-Face’s Right in letters)


To him, everything feminine sweet greed inducing is me. To the boys, too, who followed my episodic lives. Consider only two of these: first, sensuous, white, the Venus to his lonely sculptor. Not to him in solitude, either. I could not guess the number of you out there who longed to stroke my preening thighs. I like to keep my lives in order (unlike some). Then, ghetto hetto queen to his bourgeois muscle, I met him toe to toe purr – don’t tell me I don’t know the concept of screwed over. I know. He knows, too, chewed up like he is. But this is the secret of how his story continues month to month: his worst wounds were inflicted on someone else. Not quite like Nietzsche put it. The thing which killed them left him stronger. I know him. He knows me. Our hurts connect like one of those twisted prints where everyone strides to the top, only to wind up below where they once stood. If he confessed, it would be to this: loving the lowest murmurs within my neck, the sound like dying mixed with joy.

© Richard Harrison

Image by Emma Harrison Rouleau

%d bloggers like this: