Monday, February 14, 2011


I don’t wear glasses when I fence
After all, how clearly must I see to hit these massy foes?
(Even the little ones are plenty macroscopic)

Besides, their blurry edges are better proxy for the world
It’s rare to find the outlines of our target crystal clear
Do you know exactly what you want or is your goal

Forget the ambiguity of borders
Focus on the center with
Relentless gaze

Let peripheral attention do
What it does best
Tracking random movements and distractions
Warn of inbound threats

As long as I have depth of field
I’ll do just fine
Half blind

Sunday, February 13, 2011


You ask me for a bout
I graciously oblige
So blithe and unconcerned
Dancing at the edge of your exertions
Gliding out of reach or
Interrupting your attack
Tossing off a little fencing humor—counter attack with squirm
Feint and run away
Embarrassingly simple lunge and touch
Salute, and bout

We find each other on the strip
An even match
We dally, butterfly and vamp
Exerting all our wiles
I draw on everything I know of you to
Put one over
Game your quirks and foibles
Sometimes we end 5-4, sometimes 4-5
If I prevail, I know without a doubt that
You’ll adapt—next time I’ll need to
Up my game

Humbly, I ask to referee
And cycle in
Even watching it’s a struggle
To parse your strategy, call your blinding moves
When I plug in I become a stumblebum, a clod
A rank initiate
But you—so blithe and unconcerned
Dancing just beyond my lunge
Gliding out of reach
Interrupting my attack
A little fencing humor—now the joke’s on me
I barely score a touch

And so I backtrack to my first opponent
Reassure myself that
I can move
Can make the colored light go off
(More to my credit, to rehearse the moves that
I suspect might work some day, scaled up in
Speed and execution)

We cycle through the salle
A fencing reel of couples swapping partners
And frustrations
Egos waxed, and waning
Eclipsing and eclipsed
Tutoring and schooled
(And smarting from the lesson)

Pardon, may I add you to my dance card for the night?