Miller’s Batman

Batman: Year One (1987); writer: Frank Miller; artist: David Mazzucchelli




                           city as infrastructure
            inky-clear sky beautiful through the network of gantry and elevated train track
                                   rooftops as interstructure
Gordon: ‘How did I let this happen …
          bring an innocent child to life … in a city without hope’, then …
                      Batman as innerstructure
       ‘I may have to die tonight … How, father? How do I do it?’ … then
                                   of groundfloor human nature:
                                                     Loeb’s grandfatherly bankruptcy ‘yes it is’
                chewing mints mass-culture collect cute vile power as right
                                 Flass’ bullplay get things done with self-satisfied smile
            doing it the right way only way power as use
                                   Gordon principled
                     but weak with Barbara weak with Sarah
            the only occupant in an artery of cars off the bridge onto the mainland raining
                                     thinking clinking cups in Hopper’s
        Wayne still no personality except the vindication of his anxiety
                                    strong but stupid stupid

                                                   Batman is not a character but a shift of emotion
                   the sky whispers to him through antennae and water-tower
       Gordon only happy when outflanking Flass
                                    when anticipating the Joker
                      Batman alights out of a beam of light
                                                                        smelling Gordon’s coffee



–~\ BATMAN /~–



The Dark Knight Returns (1986); writer: Frank Miller; artist: Frank Miller & Lynn Varley




                earrings: left then right
                static square and upright obelisk

                steam across every avenue
                before the silhouette architecture with grizzly coat of ornamentation

                earrings: lime-olive horizontal
                and block full-stop

                the rabbit-chase fall below
                is sudden guttural and city-wide

                ‘a flash of lightning in the dark of night’*

                all the effortless intelligence beyond the door
                beyond the wall        with bat-darts

                earrings: mother of pearl
                pause and equals

and there he is jumping taller than a building across the only spaces left now:
                the sky and the ante-room before preconception (a cowardly and superstitious lot)

                the spires stand clean
                in the grey-wash sky

                where gothic statues acknowledge
                the impossible pinion and swing

                “… I have to know”**
                and stone manes splay when he sees “a reflection”***

                earrings: topaz pennies
                one and three-dangling

                and while the gently-cornered squares
                talk the Worm the Bluff and the Dribble

                others take the space down in the dump
                where a position cannot be found

                where the position cannot be resisted
                no matter how young you are

                no matter how strong you are in the realistic world
                in all the floorboard rooms the TVs and magazines

                stack positions on shelves and in refrigerators
                and in wrappers multifarious in choice and option

                any space here
                would make everything all the more ugly


                the move needs to come from
space of no choice and it can never be obvious it can never be choice

                bright on the side of Moloch****

                stone birds from the 1930s
                earrings: gone

                ah, but the world grows [not] up
                rather it folds over itself and regenerates

                with billowed ruffles
                atop old buildings

                “so many smiles / so many faces / all the same”*****
                “every year they grow smaller”******

                earrings: vampyre’s teeth soaked
                serious faces        all the same

                when you break too many of the important rules
                you’ve acted to define yourself vindicated

                you haven’t given    anything
                it doesn’t count

                death happens by itself without design
                all you have to do is let it all go –

                the purpose and the self –
                and you could live clean for a hundred years


* Bodhisattvacharyavatara I, 5, Shantideva (translated Stephen Batchelor): ‘Just as a flash of lightning on a dark, cloudy night / For an instant brightly illuminates all, / Likewise in this world, through the might of Buddha, / A wholesome thought rarely and briefly appears’
** Book I, P.43 & 45
*** Book I, P.47
**** Howl
***** Book III, P.25
****** Book III, P.25



–~\ BATMAN /~–



The Dark Knight Strikes Again (2002); writer: Frank Miller; artists: Frank Miller, Lynn Varley



                              plethora: the Dark Knight Strikes Again (2002)

                                                            human store
                              bloated to homunculean proportion
                                   when glimpsed

                                             human whore
                    clenched to butt-round shouldn’t tantalus
                              when communicating

                                   human law
               infected with green lobes and infinite pixels
                              when serving

                         human war
          sputum-bilious from the love which couldn’t Have
                              when living

               human core
     mad as a food whisk masticating what it speaks
                              when speaking

     human spore
profligate of claim and statement to Have as currency
                              when building

                              with hands that span
                              and feet that stand
                    the planes that ‘scape and kaleidoscope

                              thought contorts and twists
                    involuntary-contrary to the atomic space it seeks to bridge
                                        free for those who ride the writhe that releases when
                                                  the atoms disperse

                                                  as they always do
                                        as they always will
                              vain and vein to the maintenance of world
                                                  and self

                              beings talk with thought
                              creatures think with will
                    and denizens of the 21st century Have everything
                                             but ideas

                                                       no wonder
                                        everything is so big and gaudy





2 thoughts on “Miller’s Batman”

  1. Year One should be required viewing for all writers. Thanks for the flash back


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