We find God in the helpers
Daily April poem: unprompted

Daily April poem: about a superhero


When Tony puts on
his Iron Man suit

bright spark of life
pulsing in his chest

does he feel like
the Golem of Prague

rising to the rescue
from the Vltava's banks?

He masters the air
as Loew mastered incantations.

No words are written
above his brown eyes

but if his electromagnet
relaxed its constant humming

all his mechanical strength
would drain away, truth

reverting to death again
as though a thumb

had erased that letter
without which we melt

into the primeval mud
from which we came.



A recent prompt at NaPoWriMo invited the writing of superhero (or supervillain) persona poems. I didn't manage to write in the voice of a superhero, but I did write a poem about one -- actually kind of about two at once, since the poem compares Tony Stark / Iron Man to the Golem of Prague.

In the version of the golem story I know best, Rabbi Loew created the golem out of the mud of the Vltava river and brought him to life using kabbalistic incantations. The golem's task was to protect the Jews of Prague from pogroms. On his forehead was written the word אמת / emet, "truth." When the א was erased, leaving behind מת / met, "death," the golem was turned back into mud.

Tony Stark doesn't have mystical Hebrew letters written on his face; instead he's kept alive by the presence of an arc reactor -- a powerful magnet -- embedded in his chest.