The Metropolis Factor

Metropolis was a 1927 Fritz Lang film

Superman also lived there.

George Reeves who played a TV superman

committed an impossible suicide.

And so on.


When the oil company put on it’s evening lights

I thought, Metropolis again

industrial pre-Hitler germany

Before the first death began

industrialized death

how easy it is to say

one works in a factory

one does not make policy

one does one’s job, questions being for philosophers


Rotwang was the created robot

robots are not good, not evil

they act as ordered

the perfect soldier, the perfect civil servant

the perfect administrator

and how does one tell

when the first metal appears on the arm

the first bolts dawn on the neck

if noone else seems to think it strange……..


and yet the lights were beautiful

another way of saying christmas, one supposes

as long as there are lights on christmas trees

the world must be right

were there trees in Berlin

does Santa Claus glide over the Potomac

and when crosses burn, isn’t that christmas, too

a time to remember the sick and homeless

those with AIDS, those without much life to live

remember them, then

keep all the thems happy

for a while


Growing up

I remember a black and white superman

on my Tee Vee screen

I don’t think I ever believed in him

but he was okay

but once I discovered Batman,

someone I could of been………

Batman was the rolling stones to me

superman the beatles

the times are not for trusting now

and have not been for some great time

there has not been some great time

for a long time now

perhaps it’s aging

seeing everything as heading into the abysss

into the factories

that have no exits


when the concerts start again”

I’ll pick up threads of my humanity

cut some, repair some

put others away

with my batman albums my rolling stone comic books

my lou reed figurines

why can’t i capitalize cultural ikons anymore

what did i see that night anyhow


it reminded one of the movie

silent, 1927, the workers living underground

natural in their sheepness

but this was 1990

this is not a valid comparison

the logic is soplistic

the reasoning sophomoric

the emotions are adolescent, at best

this is only a job

stringing lights on fuel tanks

nothing at all to do with chambers of gas

Bob Small sometime in 1990


About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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