Saturday, August 2, 2014


There's your view
The referee's
The video's false objectivity

The forum's crowded wisdom

Fact is, reality's
replete with ambiguity
Doomed to multivalent states
Open to diverse interpretation 

Most actions are
Contingent on the angle
point of view

Shaped by expectations
What doesn't fit our frame of mind
Dismissed as aberration

Somewhere in the midst


Triangulated truth

Are we talking fencing, or
the world?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Round of 8

Turning in a slip and getting back
--Rather than another assignation--
A half sheet and a pencil
An invitation to reflect
  • Where I’m from
  • How long the journey to this point
  • Who coaxed me along

And then the kicker:
“Best results so far”
(A query guaranteed to
Throw me off my game)

First of all, what’s “best?”
First in a cozy local competition, with little to contest?
Dead last in Div IA—a newly minted C, abashed, astounded that
I even dared to try?
The “Friend of Fencing” medal awarded by my college coach (himself a living legend in the sport)?
My growing list of thirds from facing these same friends and foes?

I want to say “Today. Today exceeds the rest.”
Maybe by the time you read this slip
I’ve triumphed three more times
Maybe even now I’m
Clutching gold, or
At least, have trod the finals strip

In any case, why ask?
What’s past is past
The last thing I need now
Is to be snagged by expectations
Amped up by ambition to excel

I need to pee
I need to check my blades
I need to
Breathe and take a moment to reflect

So sure, whatever, scribble in some dates and places
Maybe get it right
And if it’s slightly off, remember that my thoughts are not on
Autobiographic stats
My focus is on
Scripting future fictions

Hoping they come true

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Varieties of Coaches

Those who give minute instructions
Orchestrating every move

Those who hurl abuse
Taking every failure as a
Personal affront

Those who shrug, and turn away
As soon as things go south

Those who live and breathe to
Argue with the ref
Or mutter, bark and shout
In Babelicious tongues

The ones, over-committed, who
Are doomed to dash between a dozen strips

And mine, parked in my line of sight
Talking on his phone
To someone else’s mom
Sometimes giving signals that I swear
I’ve never seen before
Gesturing as if he’s
Trying to land a plane
Distracting me from what is going on
Upon the strip, which sometimes
Is exactly what I need

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Lost…& Found

My breath
Which fled the moment that I went on guard
My equanimity
Which seems to need some oxygen to thrive
Several touches
Due to the above

Plan B
Premised on a tempo fully half my normal speed
In finding youth can be beguiled by deliberate pace
My knickers

Which, turns out, were in the bottom of my bag

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Blank canvas reads as 
Double dare 
Incitement to rebel 

Regulations breed 
Subversive work-arounds 
Foster style built on 
Subtle permutations 
Covert bling 

The font on a lamé 
Patches marching up a sleeve 
A ring, a pierced ear 
Or nose 
Optimistic nails en-armored in 
Enameled heraldry 

Masks like jewels 
Or flags, beasts, flames 
Monsters, Contemporary coats-of-arms 

Hair in spikes, or dreads 
Shagged, mohawked, braided 
Died in all the hues the 
Jacket lacks 

 Below the knee a 
 Panoply of pattern 
Stripes, spots, dots 
Paw prints 

Shoes flash semaphoric riffs in 
Red, purple, orange 
Viridian extremes 
Threaten retinal overload 

You think, in uniform, we look alike? 
Then look again, and marvel at the truth, that 

Creativity is fueled by limitations 

Follow the sartorial exploits of fencers with flair, in practice, in competition and on the podium on the Fencing Fashionista blog.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Shouldering a burden
Shouldering aside

Shoulder to the wheel

Scaffolding a
Chip, a
Cry, a
Heavy burden, heck, the
Cares of all the world

Broad, strong, cold, soft
Rubbing, shrugging, standing

Scheming with the head to
Rise above the rest

True, all true

Mainly, though, I know that mine is

Sketch from Open Clip Art

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Women's Practice

Sorry! That must have hurt
My fault--I hit too hard 
Oh dear, your hand...
Let me get some ice

No, no--that was your touch
I'm sure you started first
     my parry was too weak
     I countered into your attack

Wait! Your earring's coming loose
Let me secure the clip
They're very nice--a gift?

You too?! We must be synched
Of course it always starts before a

Bear and Badger, photo courtesy of

Monday, March 3, 2014


Water, salted nuts
Ice, bananas, gentle stretch
Heat, sleep, patience, time


A mask, two cords, two 
working blades. What more do I 
need? Oh! Chocolate.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

No Show

“Dear Fencer, I am writing to ask if you will answer a survey about why people don’t show up for competitions they have preregistered for…”

Dear Fred
You ask what happened

Truth is,

I overslept

Last night the cat was sick 
She puked all night
I had to
Rush her to the vet

Another time, my car—the battery was dead
Or, on the road, an accident clogged up the pike
And there I sat, when
Registration closed

The furnace died, pipes burst the
Toilet is backed up the workmen said he’d come
(and didn’t show)
An inauspicious stain is creeping
Down the wall

I woke up a fever
Ancient injuries flared up
Loading my equipment to the car I
Threw out my back

The editor turned back my manuscript last night and
Asked for cuts
By first thing Monday,

In short
Life happened
That’s all, just