For the month of July I had the pleasure to collaborate with Eric Morago, a well known poet in the Southern California writing scene and publisher of Moon Tide Press. I've known and admired Eric's work for quite a while now. I asked him to write a bit about about the theme of the photo shoot we did. You can read one of his poems below.
"I have spent most of my life with my head down in a comic book—I gravitate to the heroics and drama of it all. As I have grown into the poet I am today, I have tried to bring those same elements into my writing, drawing from pop culture and superheroes the way past generations of writers would allude to Greek gods and Shakespeare.
What I have written above, while true, is also just fancy-speak for: I’m a geek. I read comics and science fiction, I play old school video games, and—the icing on the geek-cake—I write poems, sometimes about those things.
The idea behind this shoot was to show me in my natural habitat. A bookstore. More importantly the comic book section of a bookstore. I love spinner racks. The first place I ever bought a comic book was in a bookstore with a spinner rack—an old bookstore that smelled of musty old paper and wood, the way a bookstore should.
If I ever became a famous celebrity with my own line of fragrance, it would be the scent of an old bookstore. These photos could then appear in the ads of magazine pages like GQ, Maxim, and Wizard: The Guide to Comics.
That probably won’t happen though. I mean, Wizard, has been out of print for over a decade now. Besides, what could my fragrance be called—Page Turner?"
Eric Morago is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who believes performance carries as much importance on the page as it does off. He is the author of What We Ache For and Feasting on Sky. Currently Eric hosts a monthly reading series, teaches writing workshops, and is editor-in-chief and publisher of Moon Tide Press. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach, and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
THOR LOSES HIS HAMMER
by Eric Morago
He staggers into my home tear-drink,
gold locks reeking of booze and puke,
snot dangling from his perfect nose.
I ask, What happened?
It’s gone, he says, I can’t find it.
He sits, sinks into the cushions,
cries more than any god should.
Loki? I suggest, quick to help.
First place I tried—beat him to a pulp
then ransacked the underworld.
Hela told me to check with the frost giants.
No luck there, either.
As he speaks he voice shakes
with so much loss I ache for him—
helplessly, like having to see a child
break, bawling over a popped balloon.
I brew us coffee.
He takes his mug in his large god hands,
thanks me and asks what he should do.
Can’t the dwarves just make another?
He says I don’t understand.
Tells me it was a gift from Odin—
the only hard proof of his father’s love.
But I do—years before my father left,
he gave me a watch I’d never wear,
but made promise to always keep.
Now it rests in a sleek black box,
tucked away in my bedside drawer.
Often I forget it’s there, except
on nights I can’t sleep when I hear
its faint ticking, and think to take it
from its grave, to feel the weight
of my father’s heart in my palm.
I want to tell Thor I understand,
but he has passed out on my couch,
curled into a muscular ball, snoring—
and I wonder,
if Thor cannot find his hammer,
how long before we feel his loss,
how long before we miss the thunder
from our skies.