Regular Poem: TKO in the 4th

20 Apr

I can slip
without much thought
into character.

I look around at the joint
as I wrap my hands
and fall further into her.

What’s she got
that I ain’t got
anyway?

I huff
at my jump rope,
pushing my body but
not so hard that
I can’t talk to myself.

I got an advantage
is what I got.
They all smoked unfiltered
in the ’40s.

Yeah but
they ate fewer processed foods.

I’m not totally
in character yet.
She would never say that–
just tap her red nails
on a can of Spam–
I don’t care what’s in it
if it’s feeding our boys overseas.

Kale? What’s that?
Some kind of Kraut thing?

I’m in the swing
of it
now,
landing some hard punches,
but then
I’m thinking
as me
again:
I don’t have
a grizzled old dockworker
to coach me,
talk at me in indecipherable
old-timey slang,
critique and edify–
rough and gruff and tough–
the mentor I deserve
rather than want.

Jab, cross, uppercut.
I got this.

Now listen here, toots.
You’re fat
and slow,
and you
telegraph every move.

I supply
for myself.
I’ll be my own
grizzled old dockworker
who moonlights
coaching lady prize fighters
out of the grizzled old kindness
of his grizzled old heart.

Yeah,
but ain’t I cute?

I wink, redfaced
from exertion.

You’ll think
you’re cute
when a faster dame
gives ya a good shiner.

Jab, jab, cross.

Good excuse
to try some Garbo makeup tricks.

I’m sweating now,
and that’s really
the point
of the exercise.

We’re all
exhausted,
and I put her away
for the evening.
Tomorrow
maybe she’ll be surly
instead of sassy.
It’ll depend
on what kind of day she’s had
at the munitions factory–
or what kind of day
I’ve had
at not the munitions factory.

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2 Responses to “Regular Poem: TKO in the 4th”

  1. Silver Screenings 21 April 2016 at 9:20 PM #

    “You telegraph every move”!! Love that. Classic 1940s lingo.

    Brilliant stuff here.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Regular Poem: Perpetually Training to be the Middleweight Champion of 1944 | I Started Late and Forgot the Dog. - 8 March 2017

    […] A sequel to TKO in the 4th […]

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