Monday, July 29, 2013


Why adopt a pseudonym
Espouse an alt persona?

Well, why does any hopeful superbeing
Veil true self?

A nom de guerre can
Loose quotidian constraints
Lets us be stronger, braver
Funnier, more

Freed from beskirted dignity
The shadow of
Professional respect
The hobble of
High heels, the
Garrote of the tie
We become our own best selves
At least the selves we’d like to be

This thing we do
This endless practice, angsting over
Every touch, each bout,
Ranks and standings
Viewed from sufficient distance, it’s

Given all the time we steal from
Families, jobs, responsibilities
You know—real life—It’s
Serious, but not

Better if we cop to that
Embrace the silliness of dressing up in
Uniforms and masks
Embellish it with character that helps us
Play the part

So Tabby, Dormouse
Werewolf, Aardvark, Bear
Take comfort in your camouflaged serenity
Even though your lamé telegraphs your true identity

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ice Pack

Cool down

Even though the ref is wrong
Combusting now will only
Burn you

Check the gauge--your
Engine’s running
Hot your temperature is
High your self-control is in the

If you erupt
You’re not the only
One who will get

I know, it’s
Hard to moderate the
Flame of battle once it’s
Lit, to cultivate

Maintain equanimity a glacial
Calm when

Passion for the game is
Well and good but
Seriously, dude, just

Stop and take a
Breathe a slop of
Water down the neck
Ratchet back the dial and

Cool down

Illustration from the Creator of Catatonic

Friday, July 5, 2013


I found your glove the other day
Lying in the salle
Still shaped to your hand
Looking like you
Just laid down your foil
Went to take a drink

A year ago
In Anaheim
I heard the news
Had to leave the room and walk
Trying to outpace time
And truth

Found myself beside the strip
Cheering on the guys as they teamed up to
Battle other veteran blades
Proving bravery is not sole province
Of the young

It felt funny, cheering
While I mourned
But proper

This year, standing on the podium
I wished I'd brought your glove

I miss you 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


For the most part
don't get scored

For some that offers sweet relief
From dreams of
Missed examinations
Failing marks

Me, I miss the brutal clarity of grades
Absolute or graded on the curve

Perf reviews are squishy
Carefully opaque
Supervisors squirming to avoid the
Awkward conversation 
Armored from legal redress
Unhelpfully polite

Competition proffers  
Ruthless objectivity
No fear of inflation
No entitled culture 

I win, I lose
I'm in, I'm out
I medal
Or I don't

In the end I'm slotted in a clearly numbed rank
At most, a tie

Just for a moment
Stripping off my sweated uniform
I know exactly where
In fencing GPS
I stand

With a faithful reading of my
Position, course & speed
I can 
Plot the course corrections that I need