Little Green Pea

From The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Poetry

If the sun were the size of a big-screen TV, Earth would be the size of a little green pea. It takes two minutes to walk from the Sun to the Earth. That's four times the speed of light. If this pea were the size of the Pentagon, Oakland (CA) would be the size of a Science Fiction novel. If the novel were the size of Mount Sinai, I would be the size of a pea. I'm feeling kinda small and green and squishy today.

My thoughts are moving four times the speed of light. So fast, I'm time travelling and shape-shifting. I'm a half-baked green pea walking down a perfectly normal sidewalk in America of the recent past. The sky is brilliant blue. Not even clouds are flying today. Nobody notices I'm green. They all look a little green themselves. Quaint newspaper stands are filled with antique headlines: Some baseball star hit 64 home runs. The price of power is up. President Bush is still a joke and he says we need more power. Maybe we can import it from Mexico…

My mind is at WARP 11 and my consciousness is beaming into other bodies. Who put this funny green paper in my pocket? This is not my beautiful wife. I don't know how to fly this thing. Who's that guy in the suit? Mr. President, I have some urgent news…I'm at a nice restaurant with an incredible view. I look up from the Wall Street Journal and there's a jumbo jet…I'm covered in sweat and running up the stairs, with an axe and a respirator in my hands. The building begins to shake…

I'm trapped in a posh office in the South Tower punching an emergency code into my wrist computer. The Bat Copter has left the Bat Cave on Auto Pilot, but events are unfolding too quick, this wasn't in the script, there are no bad-asses left alive to kick. Why was there no warning? I've got Bat Satellites so small they can see evil intent. Batman don't need no stinking bench warrant. So how did I miss it? If I jump out the shattered window without my cape, I hit in 7.8 seconds and splat like a pea. I open my Bat Wallet, but the Law of Gravity no longer accepts credit. Where the fuck is Superman?

I just planted an American flag on the fourth moon of Jupiter and claimed it for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I just kicked some alien ass and Ganymede is now safe for Petrochemical exploration. An SOS just arrived from the Justice League …thirty minutes too late. Where the Hell was the Incredible Hulk?

I'm standing on a corner in Oakland (CA) staring slack-jawed at a television set. An invisible monster is trampling New York, but I am unable to get angry. Ever since the court-ordered anger management course, the corporate job and Prozac, I haven't felt much at all. I'm green alright, but I'm kinda small and green and squishy.

I take out my driver's license and look at the old picture to remind myself how I will look tomorrow. Tomorrow when America is at War. When five thousand will die suddenly. When America is forty zillion one-hundred seventy-six trillion miles from the center of the Galaxy. Only a Superman can grasp that number and make it make sense. Halfway home, just past the orbit of Mars, I get it. America is NOT the center of the universe. Nowhere near it. But I'm too late this time. Too late to save my comic book nation from finally growing up the hard way.

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