Friday, May 28, 2010

Stage Fright

Contemplating registration—
Time, date, place
(& worst—the likely rating)
Puts me on edge
Cramps my shoulder
Damps my humor
Shuts my stomach down

What imbecility—
Results means nothing in the larger picture
Not life, love, income, health, security
No one but me will even give a damn
How I perform
Less impact than a
Fallen cake,
A sodden batch of dough

I’m being disingenuous.
I know exactly what this is
Recognize the tightness in my gut

It’s fear
I might fail, and failing, fall to meet
My secret estimation of myself

So—knowing that, what then?
It’s just psychology…intangible, correct?
Not a fleshy wound that takes its own sweet time
To heal
How long could it take to
Change a mind?
Flip a switch and make electrons course on
A new path?

If it can be done at all…
I would have to
Redefine success
Reprogram my thesaurus to cross-index to
Valiant effort

It’s hard
To overwrite an eon of conditioning
Wired to demand a
98th percentile
Nothing but the best

Something to consider—you parents out there
Shepherding your kidlings to the strip
What’s the price of
Expectation? And
When will the debt come due?
Maybe decades hence

My advice—lionize a ‘failure,’ now and then.
Break out the cookies, celebrate and go home

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Epeeists—well versed in
-Rather bouncy-
Like to tease but
(Rarely) to commit

Sabreurs—oblivious to
Bulls with china
Parading chests
(And paunches) in the salle

Foilists—entangled in
Mind games
Recursive arguments
An excess of analysis
Head cases, every one

So, where do you see yourself?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

In My Day

Footwork, first and foremost
Endless lines: advance, retreat
Minutia of how to pose the
Foot, hip, knee
A hundred lunges every day

Finally! Earned by dogged patience
The privilege to hold a blade and hit…
A target
Extend, recover
Aiming at the one square inch of center
Marked in tape
‘til it felt my arm would drop

My reward for battering the
Leather square into submission?
Drills! Two on two
Precise prescriptions
Parry, riposte:
Four six seven eight
Executed without deviation
Oooo! Exotica—a circle six for spice

Finally (by grace my patience held out that long)
A bout…

Look at this year’s crop:
Whacking at each other from the start
Blades like windmills
(reminding me of miniature golf)
Feet splay
Shoulders hunch
Butts stick out
Foils clutched like staves
Lunges like a bunny hop

I look at them and see…

Ungainly grace
Unconscious strategy, and

Maybe we could trade:
A little bit of my precision for
A bite of your
Naïve improvisation
Spit and shake—a deal

So, who comes out ahead?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ars Morendi (The Art of Dying)

To have no future is to accept
Living in the now
The death of habit
Abolishment of filters that
Define the world
Pull its claws and make it
Safe, predictable and sane

Leaving me
No independent moves
No pattern language
Framing what comes next

Just this moment

Unmoored, without the anchor of
My self-directed mind
I am adrift
Seeking for a deconstructed heart