Balls Felled By An Open Hand, #169

Balls
takes a smack to the head
followed almost immediately
by
a kick straight to the mush.
But the well choreographed impact
fits
in no way the violent,
almost epileptic arms flailing
round
reaction his body
portrays, convulsing in the ring ropes
like
he’s been set on fire,
spasming onto the concrete floor
till
he comes to a cold stop.
For a moment I almost believe
he’s
actually been injured
or some underlying condition
hid
since his birth has risen
up to end his wrestling career.
There
laid out on the aisle
of the arena like he’d been struck
by
a taser, a bullet
or a broken heart, bleeding hardway.
Not
one of the rabid
chanting maniacs call him on it.
No,
they have bought the lie
and fallen into the comfortable
space
that allows all things seen
to, in some underlying facet,
be
real. Outside the ring,
people make fun of rubes such as us
who
will buy into a dream
so obviously meant to be
took
lightly and with a grain
of salt. At the office or at school
we
are laughed at and chastised
for following this soap opera of
sweat.
Even those who watch soaps
feel justified looking down on
us.
Why would anyone smart
and as educated as yourself
fall
in with the rabble who
pay money to watch grown men in short
shorts
bang each other over
the head with chairs and grope each other
while
you chant? Violent? Sociopathic?
Um,
Homoerotic? But
those who complain about wasting lives
on
something so plainly fake,
(Turn the channel, even the evening
news
is at best real life
embellished. There’s no more non-fiction.
Don’t
you know the blood on Grey’s
Anatomy is fake, as well as
all
the orgasms?) these folks
are the same loons who wander to church,
chant
in tempo with a man
in a dress for salvation promised
if
you either live a life
of perfection or if you feel
bad
always for that shortfall
of perfection, in short, paradise
which
will never come. These folks
are the same people who can explain
why
half a billion a year
in salary is not an excess
and
that folks making over
a hundred million need a tax break
for
the good of all of us.
Now I would never suggest wrestling
be
considered as a peer
to church, nor that levers of power
pulled
in Washington are fixed.
Only that I waste Sunday night to
watch
the native of Nutley,
New Jersey roll on the floor in fake
pain
for a reason. I let
loose my own frustrations by chanting.
I
had tickets to the show
and would have preferred to go, instead,
I
spent the night at a nice
expensive restaurant. My lover said
she
needed to meet, to talk
about us. She wore a crucifix
round
her neck and most times read
the Times. We sat, silent, for the best
part
of three hours, of three
courses. And while she was preparing
for
just the right bite to spring
whatever plan, real or a work,
I
was waiting for the lights
to go down, the music and pyro
to
rise, for our time to hear
the chants and take the ring for the crowd.
I
am hot to join the fray,
to cut a promo. I picture Balls
laid
out beside the ring, prone,
waiting for the perfect moment to
get
up. The tension is thick,
palpable between us and rises
with
each escaping moment.
She starts to speak, but without a mic,
grabs
at whatever logic
she can reach, at whatever weapon.
But
her timing is awful
and she has no ring presence, and if
I
cared more about keeping
the title, it would be too easy
for
me to make her tap out,
to lock on some submission logic
she
could flail around in
before she would tap out. Balls gets up,
drags
himself back to the ring,
begins to stand, mugs for the people,
then
is flapjacked and pinned.

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A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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