Obvious Truths

by David Arroyo

I just want to write a poem that will get me laid.

Problem: I’m writing about three things: trauma, heartbreak, and superheroes, which means my target audience is Oscar, the creepy fat guy huddled in the corner of Heroes and Dragons playing with Han, Vader, and Leia as he plots and plans, twenty years later, against the captain of the high school wrestling team, who left Oscar stuffed and buried vertical in a thin, tin locker, surrounded by rebel yells and bang-bangs all the while pining for Mr. Wrestling’s girlfriend, Rebecca, the cheerleader queen with the tits and the ass and that cruel, cruel laugh. It was the laugh that sent poor Oscar screaming and huffing into the darkside, where everything is collectable, everything has its own tiny coffin, and Oscar with pasty authoritarian glee enacts a plastic ballet of revenge and ten naked storm troopers.

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, I just want to get laid but can’t because I’m covered in the stink of Oscar, covered in the muck of my own heartbreak that won’t wash off because I got shoved in a bathtub with a gun to my head. I have the tragic secret origin, but no fucking powers. I have one word–survivor–but I don’t want this big red S on my chest. I throw it away like a magic boomerang, and every time it returns; instead of rupees, it brings another Oscar, another reminder of my own weakness. I don’t need this kind of soul mate, yet I’m the secret paramour of Dark Helmut, the evil little shit, the nerd gone bad. So if I want to get laid, it’s time to write about flowers, candy, how the vagina is the eighth wonder of the world. And I can never ever say the R word, or Mr. Wrestling will discover my secret identity.

I don’t mean Rebecca, I mean the bad touch.

I have the tragic secret origin, watched my girlfriend take the R word right down her throat, courtesy of Mr. Wrestling. I live in shame as suicidal ideations whisper a plan of a hot summer’s day, wind sprints and five bottles of endorush, because I make mistakes as mistakes often do, and Oscar is the only one who will ever love me. When you can’t help the one you love you are Oscar. Stan Lee! Where are my powers? I should have web shooters, a healing factor, green skin, the power of a million exploding suns. Instead I’m a nerd on stage shouting at an audience that doesn’t care about my superheroes, my broken heart, and the burning gray glaucoma at the center of my mind ’s eye that obscures reality with grinning eidolons. There is no cure for this very lonely madness, a sonic vertigo of loud, quiet, loud, make it stop, make it stop. Fill my ears, fill me, fill me with naked bodies, I need to shove it all out, shove all the evil out.

I just want to write a poem that will get me laid.


In the summer of 2007, David Arroyo discovered a pair of nega bands in a crater in the middle of a demolished comic book store. Since then, he’s fought the forces of darkness with cosmic poetry and a very intense stare. He is also working on his first chapbook, Secret Identities.

From the Author
Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is one of my favorite novels. Like that novel, the poem creates a universe infused with nerdery. In the novel, Oscar is a sensitive, shy nerd whose unbridled optimism and joy for his passion serve to isolate him from 99 percent of humanity. He is, at times, lonely and desperate, but he never gives in to cynicism or entitlement. The poem, on one level, is about what some nerds fear: becoming an Oscar who gives in, Comic Book Guy, a Sith warrior who falls to the Wyrm.


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