Today we have a poetry video in which I perform my favorite poem of all time, "Maybe Dats Youwr Pwoblem Too" by Jim Hall.
Jim Hall is most well-known as the bestselling, award-winning mystery writer James W. Hall. His 15 mystery novels include, most recently, Hell's Bay, Magic City, and Forests of the Night. Perhaps my favorite book of Hall's is his collection of humorous essays, Hot Damn: Alligators in the Casino, Nude Women in the Grass, How Seashells Changed the Course of History, and Other Dispatches from Paradise. According to his website, Hall's "books have been translated into a dozen languages, including Japanese, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Croatian, Dutch and Russian." He is also "the author of four books of poetry, The Lady from the Dark Green Hills, Ham Operator, False Statements, and The Mating Reflex [as well as] a collection of short stories, Paper Products." The poem "Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too" appeared first in the Beloit Poetry Journal and later in Jim's 1980 poetry collection The Mating Reflex.
Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem Too— a poem by Jim Hall
All my pwoblems
who knows, maybe evwybody's pwoblems
is due to da fact, due to da awful twuth
dat I am SPIDERMAN.
I know, I know. All da dumb jokes:
No flies on you, ha ha,
and da ones about what do I do wit all
doze extwa legs in bed. Well, dat's funny yeah.
But you twy being
SPIDERMAN for a month or two. Go ahead.
You get doze cwazy calls fwom da
Gubbener askin you to twap some booglar who's
only twying to wip off color T.V. sets.
Now, what do I cawre about T.V. sets?
But I pull on da suit, da stinkin suit,
wit da sucker cups on da fingers,
and get my wopes and wittle bundle of
equipment and den I go flying like cwazy
acwoss da town fwom woof top to woof top.
Till der he is. Some poor dumb color T.V. slob
and I fall on him and we westle a widdle
until I get him all woped. So big deal.
You tink when you SPIDERMAN
der's sometin big going to happen to you.
Well, I tell you what. It don't happen dat way.
Nuttin happens. Gubbener calls, I go.
Bwing him to powice, Gubbener calls again,
like dat over and over.
I tink I twy sometin diffunt. I tink I twy
sometin excitin like wacing cawrs. Sometin to make
my heart beat at a difwent wate.
But den you just can't quit being sometin like
You SPIDERMAN for life. Fowever. I can't even
buin my suit. It won't buin. It's fwame wesistent.
So maybe dat's youwr pwoblem too, who knows.
Maybe dat's da whole pwoblem wif evwytin.
Nobody can buin der suits, dey all fwame wesistent.
NOTE: I suppose you've noticed that in my performance I changed "color T.V." to "HD T.V." It just seemed to need updating. I hope Jim is okay with this change, which I made to help the poem work better for a contemporary audience. Actor's prerogative, you know? Maybe this will elicit some good discussion in classes wherever about what can be changed in a text, and so on.