an unspoken truth
I’ve always lived with, a secret
I’ve packed away like
a sock beneath a zipper, but now
it’s ripping through
the purple veil of Puritan homophobia
like Lou Ferrrigno’s thighs
through Bill Bixby’s blue jeans.
To resolve this dilemma of the Hulk’s magic pants,
I invoke the heroic nude demigods
of our Ancient Greek ancestors,
from whom the Hulk surely descends.
Stroll with me down the mythic columned mindscape
of classical antiquity’s highest of high art--
haunted by the heroes of ripped beefcake statuary
that never demurred behind tights or capes.
Notice their marble and gilded bronze penises like
little snails in the foreskin shell;
now picture them green.
Green primal id
Hulk has no prudish reservations
about his undraped form,
the child of both
archetypal myth and atomic power,
free of society’s tight denim of decorum;
he is the binary of masculinity,
the roar of Prometheus,
not just a body builder in green makeup
who sports the purple fig-leaf of Eden’s shame--
our comic book corporations just like Pope Clement,
cloaking the archaic penises of hero statues in the Vatican
in the name of contrived decency.
It’s time for the purple pants to fall away,
for the Hulk’s waist to stretch Puritan prudity.
Listen up, Marvel--
we demand Hulk penis now
in comic books and on the big screen.
What’s the holdup?
The glass ceiling for nude superheroes
has already been shattered--
we’ve all seen Dr. Manhattan’s blue penis just dangling there.
I’m not asking for too much you know--
no need to see Hulk head.
The pencilers and digital animators
can keep our superhero’s gamma-glans
safely tucked away
inside bullet-proof foreskin
just like Dr. Manahttan’s tasteful precedent,
simple and understated,
no unnecessary flopping in action scenes
or close-ups on bulging veins--I’m not unreasonable.
As a child, I had two Hulk dolls,
and I pulled off the pants, of course--
alarmed to find
the sexless smooth doll crotch
just like seraphim.
When Ang Lee arrived on the scene
with his vision of Hulk-as-newborn,
I hoped for an end to the sartorial paradox of Hulk pants,
but instead Hulk wore purple pants provided by the military,
which survive fiery explosions and descents from the stratosphere.
What would happen if the purple veil of Hulk pants fell away
and the American audience
were violently confronted
with a gamma-radiated Hulk penis
(proportionate to his size of course).
We need our friend Frederic Wertham
to detail how this might convert
our sacred straight sons to deviant homosexuals,
or introduce a deep psychic trauma
much worse than
seeing a boob at the Super Bowl.
see the Hulk sans purple pants:
The Hulk is American masculinity embodied,
more redwhiteandblue than green,
nicely packaged in the purple pants of homophobia,
the ultimate Schwarzenegger of our unconscious desires
(the Hulk-howl of emasculated frustrations for power),
every part of him an erection of
swelling unbridled manliness run amok.
the American audience isn’t ready
to see its reflection in a green mirror,
or frankly admit that
it wants a peek underneath the Hercules fig leaf,
or once might just
take a harmless, appreciatory glance
in the locker room shower.