Saturday, December 13, 2014


I thought that when I leveled up
It would come because I'd gotten
Metamorphed into a higher state

But no, I checked--
I'm still only me

Ten toes, two feet
Nine knuckles and a
Fragile back
All essential traits are still intact:
Forever not too bright

If anything, grace came because of
What I lacked: concern for anything but
Getting through the day

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wait Test

Picking at the tape that’s
Fraying on the barrel of my blade

Tying and retying shoes

Resisting the compulsion to
Check Twitter, Facebook

Studying the divots of attack
Marbling the walls and floor

Netting flotsamed conversation
Washing through the hall

“…the worst thing you can do is
smile at the ref…”
“Stepping on the blade is cardable…I’m right?!?”
“…said Dude! You can’t put that in your mask…”

Trying very hard
Not to watch the newbies lurch and flail
Nor the long and lean and strong march stalking down the strip
Lest the images entangle in my hand, and blade

Trying simply to inhabit this
Lacuna in space and time
Between the flighted pools
Where I’m known only by the pseudonym on my lamé
When I have nothing I can do but

Appreciating boredom is a veteran’s grace

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lyric Wisdom

It’s not so much not
Having what I want
Which (I know with Stone cold certainty that)
I can’t always have

It’s finding I can’t want
What I am trying so hard to get

Grasping at a goal ensures it
Slips away

Chasing victory results in
Empty hand

And so the paradox:
To make the touch
Requires caring just enough
To schlep my bag to practice
In the rain
To bandage, brace, wrap, roll and ice
Rise early and retire late
Leave books unread
And beds unmade

And yet, once on the strip
Let all that go
Banish any thought that
Work deserves reward
Practice makes perfection
Pain results in gain
Trying will succeed at last

Requires faith
That trying is enough
Requires faith that
Caring just so much, no more
May mean I find

Exactly what I need

From Naruto Creation RPG

Sunday, August 24, 2014


So much force
Ending in such
Delicate assault

Arcing over parries rendered moot
Aiming at the sky yet
Homing in on target, sight unseen

Forging a quantum blade that is both
and there

Establishing the virtues of an
Indirect approach

Lessoning on this
--Suspending disbelief--
I realize that 
Flicking is as close to faith as
I may ever know

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