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City of the Bats



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Sat Mar 19, 2022 1:19 pm
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Mageheart says...



City of the Bats

an ode to gotham & its many inhabitants


Image


past years

mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sun Mar 27, 2022 11:16 am
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Mageheart says...



🦇 table of contents 🦇


mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sat Apr 02, 2022 1:18 pm
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Mageheart says...



fireflies and blades

when i was old enough to walk,
my grandfather gave me a blade
and told me that it was my duty
to use it to preserve my family’s legacy.
he commented on my progress
but never gave me sweets
or told me i was pushing myself.
he never knew i loved to draw.

my mother showed me how
to hold a sword in pudgy little hands
and told me it was my right
to the al ghul name.
she continued our family’s cycle
by teaching me to cut down
any other heirs that stood in my path.
she never knew i loved animals.

when i was ten, i met my father.
he made me put away my blade
and told me that it was wrong
for his family to kill.
he saw me as a complication
he couldn’t trust and kept
me in his manor.
he never knew i loved him.

my father died.
grayson returned my blade
and told me that i was good.
he showed me how to
use my blade to help
instead of hurt.
i hope he knows
he saved me.


Spoiler! :
This poem is about Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's only biological son in the main continuity right own. Damian was raised by his mother, Talia al Ghul, and his grandfather, Ra's al Ghul. Both are part of the League of Assassins. Talia is more of a nuanced character than Ra's is, but I thought it would be fun to touch on how she did raise Damian to fight.

There's also a period in comic history where Bruce Wayne died and his first son, Dick Grayson, took up the Batman mantle and let Damian be his Robin. That decision changed Damian's life, and I really want to pay homage to their bond in this poem.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sun Apr 03, 2022 1:55 pm
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Mageheart says...



robin wings made of wax

i’m a modern day icarus
always flying too close to the sun.
not because of human hubris
but because i long for your warmth.

because what is life in this dark city
without your light?
i’d build a thousand false idols
if it meant bring you back to life.
i’d fashion you out of clay
and plead for the gods themselves
to give a chance at rebirth.

i’d search for you for an eternity
and then some
if it meant proving
that you were still alive.
i’d turn back time
and make it so we never met.
so you could never pick up the mantle
that was meant to be mine.

i’d give you all my memories in place of yours
and rescue you from hell myself
if it meant i didn’t lose the family
that i’ve always been so hesitant
to accept as mine.


Spoiler! :
This poem is about Timothy Jackson Drake, who has not had a good time in the past few decades. Tim became Robin after the second Robin, Jason Todd, died. He essentially forced Batman to take him on his Robin after trying to get the first Robin, Dick Grayson, to return to the role instead. His earlier days were relatively stress-free, but the 2000s were rough to him. They killed off his girlfriend Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, his best friends Bart Allen/Impulse and Conner Kent/Superboy, and Bruce Wayne in more recent times. Tim especially didn't handle Conner and Bruce's death well: he tried cloning Conner and kept searching for Bruce even when everyone else was sure he really was dead. I wanted to touch on that desperation.

(Other "deaths" referenced in this poem are Dick Grayson losing his memories and turning away from the family, and Damian dying and ending up in Hell not long after Bruce came back. Another death I wanted to touch on was Alfred Pennyworth's, but I don't have as much background with it.

I'm also still in denial.)
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Mon Apr 04, 2022 4:40 pm
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atlast says...



Oh, Mage I absolutely love "robin wings made of wax!" i love the seamless connection between robin and icarus, and the way you tell robin's story in the template of icarus's. i don't know a whole lot about the dc/gotham universe, but the raw emotion emanating from this piece is nearly palpable.

beautiful job, and i look forward to reading your works this month! <3
atlast

previously AtlasWut

my pms are always open <3






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Fri Apr 08, 2022 12:23 am
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Mageheart says...



@atlast, thank you so much !! I'm glad you enjoyed that poem even without knowing all that much about dc. <333
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Fri Apr 08, 2022 12:44 am
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Mageheart says...



to alexandria

they set fire to the library of alexandria.
they say it was an accident
and that it was just how stories go,
but i saw them lighting fire to
those thin matte pages.

they tell stories of you now,
but the history’s all wrong.
they say you’re just
another trophy girlfriend,
absolutely smitten
with his boyish smile
and lighthearted banter.

they forget that you were
the lifeblood of an empire.
that you gave shelter to those
trodden down by society
because libraries are for
the public good
and not just for a
blüdhaven police officer.

they pretend that you
weren’t a hub of information.
that you were powerful and strong
when you dispensed information
away from the field and not in it.
they know it.
they whisper of your history
on the darkest nights,
but only let you be
another one of the first robin’s
red-haired love interests.

Spoiler! :
This poem is about Barbara Gordon, better known as the Batgirl but known more in the Batfam fandom as Oracle. Like many older DC characters, Barbara's had a rough past. One of the most controversial things DC ever did was had the Joker destroy part of her spine in The Killing Joke—ignoring how they also had her get together with Bruce in it, despite Barbara being far closer to his son's age. Barbara, for the most part, was forgotten, but a pair of comic writers realized it really wasn't right to write her off by saying she couldn't do anything when in a wheelchair.

Enter Oracle, Barbara's time as Gotham's vigilante information supplier. During her time as Oracle, Barbara provided information and served as a mentor figure to at least one other Batgirl. She also very much became her own character, instead of Dick Grayson's on-and-off-again girlfriend.

Unfortunately, DC eventually decided to reverse this decision by making her Batgirl again. I have a lot of problems with it (how it took away her independence, infantilized her given how she's at least in her late twenties at this point, and completely ignores how there are multiple younger characters who could take up the mantle instead) but one of the biggest is how they effectively erase mentions of her disability. They hinted at in an alternate universe(ish) series called Dark Nights: Death Metal and suggested that she might be returning to her wheelchair again, but have failed to follow up on it. Instead, she's been reduced to just appearing as Dick's girlfriend in recent canon comics. I wanted to write a poem that expressed my frustrations with DC and its decision to ignore how important Oracle was to Barbara's history.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:35 pm
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tatteredbones says...



Spoiler! :
i loved your second poem i am infatuated with icarus and your imagery and painting of emotions was lovely.
Respect is a valued commodity with high demand and low quantity, so build yourself a fortune by becoming a supplier. - Gem




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Sat Apr 09, 2022 11:29 am
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Mageheart says...



Spoiler! :
@TypoWithoutCoffee, thank you! I love when Icarus is used as a metaphor, and I thought it would be very fitting for a character who's only ever had bird-themed superhero identities.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:15 pm
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Mageheart says...



your first gala


you’re standing in the cave
and looking at your reflection.
the cowl frames your face
in a way you’re still not used to
and the kevlar feels heavy
on your shoulders.

suddenly you’re at your first gala,
wearing the same itchy suit
your dad wore at his first gala.
there wasn’t enough time
to shop for a new one
and alfred had insisted
that it would be a perfect fit.

you hadn’t known
how to tie a tie then.
alfred had shown you how
with gentle, careful hands.

he’s standing by you now
with a sad smile on his face.
the suit fits you
even though wearing it
makes you feel like
you’re a kid playing pretend.

but robin needs his batman now.
and gotham does, too.

“good luck, master richard,”
alfred softly says
as you turn away
from your reflection.

Spoiler! :
This poem is about Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's first Robin and the one that stepped in for him after he supposedly died. I touched on it in Damian's poem, but there was a period of time where Dick was Batman and Damian was Robin. I think a lot about how hard that time must have been for Dick. Dick very much isn't Batman, and also hadn't been prepared to raise Damian. From what I know of the comics, the one constant support system in his life then was Alfred.

I also really wanted to parallel Dick and Bruce's experiences in this poem, which is why I didn't reveal that it was Dick until the very end. Both of them lost their parents, and both took boys they hadn't meant to raise under their wings.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sat Apr 16, 2022 8:31 pm
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Mageheart says...



girls just wanna have fun

“this is stupid,” damian says
with a frown on his face.
it’s his father’s face, alright.
you can imagine that stern look
peering out from behind the cowl.

“no,” you correct, “this is fun.”

you’re leading him up
to a bouncy house
you convinced alfred
to buy and install in
the manor’s backyard.

you don’t tell him
that this is your first time
going in one too.
how you wanted to get one
on your seventh birthday
but your dad was behind bars
and your mother was just barely
making ends meet.

you drag damian into
the inflatable castle.
and before he can protest,
you jump as high as you can
and he jumps a little as
the ground shakes
beneath his feet.

you’re gliding through the air
with leap after leap.
it’s nothing compared to jumping
across gotham’s rooftops
but damian’s secret little smile
when he finally jumps, too
makes your heart soar anyways.

Spoiler! :
This poem is about Stephanie Brown. Stephanie's been both a Batgirl and a Robin. She first appeared as a vigilante named Spoiler. During her earlier appearances, she left clues for Bruce & Tim to use to catch her villain father, Cluemaster.

In one of my favorite Batfam panels, Stephanie takes Damian into a bouncy house after realizing he had never been in one before. I can't remember the context, so I used some artistic liberty for it. Though Stephanie was no assassin growing up, she did have a rocky childhood, and I really wanted to touch on how much she got Damian.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Sun Apr 17, 2022 11:23 pm
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Mageheart says...



death in the family

sometimes family is the man
whose tires you stole with a tire iron
when you were just barely twelve.

sometimes it's the butler who
didn’t expect another ward
so soon after the last left.

and sometimes it’s the first
who never expected
to be a big brother.

sometimes it’s the replacements
siblings that your dad
can’t stop adopting.

sometimes it’s the found family
of redheads and rejects
that you shoved into your safe house.

and sometimes it’s the children
of the streets, who know red hood
would never bring them harm.

it’s not the man who left
your stepmom to rot,
and it’s not the woman who
rotted alongside you.

because family is who
you would fight gotham’s
darkest rogues for,
and the ones who would do
the same for you.

Spoiler! :
This poem is about Jason Todd, who was the character that really got me into DC and the Batfam in particular. Jason is infamous for being the Robin that was voted to be killed off by DC readers because they didn't like how he replaced Dick Grayson as Robin. Many years later, DC decided to bring him back with a twist: unlike Batman, Jason (as Red Hood) killed criminals. He also wasn't as mentally stable during his first reappearances, and infamously attacked the next Robin, Tim, while Tim was in his team's superhero base.

But Jason's gotten better since then, and has become a fun anti-hero that occasionally butts head with Batman. This poem pays homage to his bad relationships with his blood family, as well as the two iterations of his vigilante team (The Outlaws) and the street kids of Gotham that he understands better than most.

And if any of this sounds interesting to you, you can check out more of Jason's story by watching Under the Red Hood! It's an animated movie that significantly simplifies the comic story line. It's also the movie that got me to love his character.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:54 am
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Shady says...



YOU'RE DOING SO WELL MAGEY! KEEP IT UP <3

I know 0 things about DC so kinda taking it just from poetic merit alone but I really, really liked the "robin wings made of wax" poem! I was going to point out the lines that really stood out to me, then realized it would be an awkward number to point out individually lol I guess what I like overall is the fact you're able to tie tangible items/concepts (icarus, idols, clay, etc.) to powerful emotive words and it really just does wonderful things for your imagery. All of your poems are lovely! This one just stood out to me as particularly powerful so I thought I'd let you know how nice it was to read :')

"u and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws" - Atticus
"From the fish mother to the fish death god." - lehmanf
"A fish stole my identity. I blame shady" - Omni
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Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:26 am
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Mageheart says...



Awww thank you so much! I'm glad you liked my poems even without knowing DC. <333 we'll have to do a rp where I throw in some DC stuff sometime I hope the spoilered descriptions helped you understand the poems a little more!
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.




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Tue Apr 26, 2022 10:13 pm
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Mageheart says...



the harlequin's diagnosis

the harlequin stands on a purple and green stage.
the smile on her mask
stretches from ear-to-ear.

the psychiatrist sits in the front row
with a clipboard and a pen.

the harlequin’s distracted.
she keeps glancing at the wings
for her honey, her joker, her mistah j.

the psychiatrist waits patiently.
it’s a textbook case of stockholm syndrome.
of a love built on burning chemicals
and promises to stay together forever,
ignoring how the love was actually built
on last-ditch attempt to escape
arkham’s prisons.

the psychiatrist knows
that the harlequin will keep
tripping as she runs about the stage
with a comically big hammer in one hand
and a gun in the other.

if only the harlequin would check her pocket
and find her crumpled diploma.


Spoiler! :
This poem is about Harley Quinn. Harley is best known for her involvement in the Suicide Squad and Bird of Prey movies, as well as being the Joker's sidekick. Harley was originally a psychiatrist who worked with criminals like the Joker. She fell in love with him, but eventually realized their love was genuine and/or healthy. There's a lot more to her story, but this poem is more focused on that part of her backstory.
mage

[ she/her, but it's a loose relationship at best ]

roleplaying is my platonic love language.

queer and here.







"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
— Martin Luther King Jr.