Oldguy: Superhero


Red Hen Press, March 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59709-741-3

Poems by William Trowbridge
Art by Tim Mayer



feels like a young guy in a bad costume.
The arms and legs sag, and the waist’s
too tight. Where there should be a large S,
golden star, or lightning bolt, there’s what
looks like a zero, and on his trunks, Depends.

The boots look more like flannel slippers.
Some lout’s made off with his super-hearing
and X-ray vision, leaving only an Ampli Ear
and Coke-bottle lenses. Like certain sheep,
he doesn’t fly so much as plummet. He hasn’t

smashed through a good wall or door
since before he can remember, which is
a little after breakfast. Speeding bullets
and tall buildings must now be turtles
and mole hills. He has no fear

of an erection lasting more than four hours,
but he’s depressed and often flatulent.
His best tactic, the long wait, accounts
for the demise of many a foe, that
or rambling on and on and on and on,

which can paralyze from as far as ten feet.
He’s not handsome like Clark Kent or rich
like Bruce Wayne, but in the prolonged-run
he can be a deadly opponent, if he doesn’t
mix you up with someone else.

Other Chapbooks

(Out of print.)


The Packing House Cantata
Camber Press, 2006

The Four Seasons
Red Dragonfly Press, 2001

The Book of Kong
Iowa State University Press, 1986