(Rom Spaceknight #1, December 1979)
It’s classic meet-cute. He’s a seven-foot cyborg on
a quest to rid the galaxy of an ancient evil.
She’s a small-town girl on her way home from work.
She swerves to miss him. He wrenches her back on to
the freeway. Stands there statuesque in
silver wetsuit and thigh boots, engine-block chest and
boxy head blank apart from two red headlamp eyes.
He shines a light on her and flies away.
Later that night, in front of the Bijou, The Creature
from Space on the marquee, he turns two guys to piles
of ash like chalk outlines. Everyone runs
but her. He flies her to the outskirts of town, tells her
about the war in space. How he signed up for the cyborg
army. How her high-school buddies are
shapeshifting sleeper agents hiding in plain sight.
The National Guard cuts in. He chucks around some tanks
and jeeps. Ignores the bouncing bullets and
the flicking of flames against his armour. Turns the Sherrif
and the local barber to ash, then flies away again, leaving
the survivors to tell the tale of his arrival. It’s
Roger Corman meets Ernst Lubitsch. It’s a hell of a first date.
This week’s poem was originally published in audio form by the fine folks at Going Down Swinging, part of my in-progress suite of poems written in response to an old 1980s comic book series called Rom Spaceknight. For more of my poems, head to the Books or Other poems and stories sections of this site.
Come back next week for another poem. And to find out what I’m working on and where you can read my latest writings, sign up for Adam’s Occasional Poetry News.