Saturday, February 17, 2007


I'm obsessed with Batman. And a couple of other things, but Batman has been the obsession I've been nurturing purposefully in the last couple of years, to try to embody the book of Batman poems I'm working on. That hit home even more to me tonight when my parents invited me to the symphony with them, and, honestly, my first thought, to myself, was, "Wow, that will help me emotionally ground myself in the part of the Batman myth where Bruce Wayne's parents are killed," followed by the thought, "the fact that we won't be killed will help me ground the book in an autobiographical place of honest optimism." Walking to Powell Symphony Hall, I found myself thinking, "Man, I hope we don't get killed; what kind of cruel world would it be if I brought some real-life version of the Batman story down on us?"

Now, blogging, I'm still relieved and weirdly surprised at how little my life resembles Bruce Wayne's. My Batman obsession doesn't feel like anything in need of a support group, but it's funny how you can inundate yourself in such a project and end up wearing it as an internal mask, or filter, that sorts what can go into the text and what can go into the nebulous space outside the text marked "reality." If you want to write a book about a single topic, immersion is definitely one way to go.

The symphony really pulled me in, more than I can remember it doing before. The symphony hall itself wears red velvet on its railings and gold trim on its ceiling vaults, where white plaster faces smile down, and the crowd holds this rich mix of St. Louis's elders, with their white hair and fur coats and wonderful air of courtesy, and twenty-ish couples and the kids with the symphony in their bones, who craned toward the musicians whose seats they maybe dream of filling one day. Staying awake turned out to be wonderfully easy--the music would crescendo me out of any approaching sleep--but it isn't right now. Good night.