Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Indestructible Beard - 12/30

Today I used the amazing Nicole Homer's prompt from her blog Asterisk and Sidebar* (where she's hosting the one and only NiProWriMo (Nicole's Prompt Writing Month)). I've been hooked on her poetry for years, so it came as no surprise to me that she has a knack for inspiring and motivating others to write as well. She's been motivating me since I first heard her, so I'm glad to take up one of her prompts.

Her challenge:
Superheroes are amplifications. They are what we love most about ourselves and/or humanity multiplied by a thousand.

My brother said to me in the month before my kids were born, “Don’t be afraid to be a mom; you’re mostly a good person and being a parent just make you more of who you are.”

Today, choose some attribute of yours (physical, emotional, whatever).

Then, choose a normal scenario (ordering coffee, taking out the trash.)

Add these two elements together and amplify the situation.

You can’t order coffee because your fingernails are 2 feet long and so you can’t reach into your pocket to get the cash. This is clearly a metaphor for something. Your other job is to make sure your choices aren’t random.
With that idea thrown my way, it took me a few minutes of chin-stroking before I settled on an idea. A grand idea, if I don't say so myself.

I love beards. I love my beard, and I have had a beard, in some way, shape or form, since I could grow one. If my life were a TLC special, they'd say I was addicted to my beard (but I'm totally not, because that would be absurd and nine kinds of ridiculous). Not a day goes by that I don't encounter some kind of beard-hate, however. The world, our culture anyway, is terrified of the beard. We teach the boys to keep them shaved off and the girls to keep them at arm's length with a loathing wont of Frankenstein.

So, with that understanding, I see the beard as a metaphor...for other things that society quite possibly relishes looking down upon and would love to snuff out. Nerdy things. Geeky things. Things represented by things referenced in this very poem!

Basically, this is an anti-conformity poem. I don't know if I've ever truly written one, too simple and borderline angsty for my taste, but this is what came out, and hopefully the hyperbolic humor tempers the somewhat amateurish message.

The Indestructible Beard 

I, the indestructible beard!
The whiskers loth to e’er be sheared!
Bring your Norelco if you dare.
I’ll leave it choked on steel wool hair,
strands like Logan’s coated bones
or Shagrath behind microphones.
You cannot tame this metal, black
as Gotham once Bane broke the back
of a bat-winged, mask-clad vigilante.
You’ve got a Braun to up the ante?
Bring it! See how far you get
before motors smoke their groaned regret
and rue the day you purposed to
rough-hew me into another you.
I’ve got 3 meters of this weird,
this pride that you were taught to fear,
these whiskers, loth to e’er be sheared –
I, the indestructible beard!

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