09 April 2013
What comes to mind when you think of a superhero? One often forgets that superheroes are just like us because they have the added bonus of being invincible to bullets, super strong, wear a costume or can fly. Missing You, Metropolis envisions superheroes as ordinary citizens in the eyes of the reader by giving them problems such as unfulfilling relationships, escapism, and racism that we face in reality. There are many themes in Missing You, Metropolis that identify contemporary issues in relation to escapism. Jackson poem “Iron Man’s Intervention, Starring the Avengers” shows a character who is taken for granted by the very people he saves every day. Iron Man states, “As if I can’t have a drink or two in the morning, before risking my life for people who don’t know my name” or “As if I can’t enjoy a bottle of Chianti and a smooth woman…” these statements show Iron Man wanting recognition for saving the public and to live a normal life (45). Yet, these two yearnings can’t be achieved simultaneously because the fact that his identity is the same as Iron Man can’t be revealed. If Iron Man lived a normal life he would be unhappy because “… With my suit – my marvelous iron prison – I could pop his head with a flick of one finger. But without it, I’m just a man lost in the city” (45).This line displays Iron Man’s need to escape the hero scene because he refers to his “iron suit” as a prison yet will never abandon his superhero life. The last stanza of the poem points out that if an ordinary person puts on a hooded cap, the person beneath and Iron Man are one in the same. Thus saying, what’s the difference between him and you? Ultimately Iron man’s situation displays his dissatisfaction with escapism between his transformations from a superhero to just an ordinary citizen thus his reasoning to drink.
One poem in particular that stood out to me in Missing You, Metropolis is “Upon Seeing Spider-Man on My Way to Work” because the approach to escapism and pathos of wanting is too realistic. I laughed when Jackson called Spider Man a bastard and totally fell in love with the rest of the poem (26). This poem is the most relatable to the audience because majority of people wish at point in their life that they were someone one else. The speaker of this poem is “walking home in the goddamn New York cold” because he has car issues and the cost of repair is too expensive especially when working on a high school teacher’s salary (26). He’d give anything to have a day in the life of Spider Man who has freedom from the issues human’s face to be able to climb walls, spin webs, and touch rooftops with his toes instead of waiting for traffic lights or pedestrians, or an annoying wife because the speaker states “I’ll trade my job, my BA, hell even my wife” (26). The need for escapism reflects off that quote and shows his unhappiness in life.
Escapism links “Home from Work, I Face My Newborn Mutant Son” to the previous two poems in which the father kills his new born son to save him from a lifetime of misery and pain. “For a moment, before I drop him, I wonder how he’d make it? Even if his skin does harden…” (56). Through the eyes of the father he is doing the righteous thing of sparing his child’s life, this act helps the son to have escaped what could have been an unsatisfied life filled with grief and pain because of his glass body and the longing for a mother figure who died while giving birth to him, a mutant. This poem along with “After the Green” explores the theme of death and emotion of grief. The judgment for one’s life of whether they would be happy to have lived it is in question as showed in this poem as well as “After the Green” in which Jackson himself questions the past eight years his sister lived. Though the theme of this poem is death at the end Jackson questions his mother’s choice of letting her daughter, his sister live a life of misery....