Thursday, 18 November 2010

Word Wrestlers (for GS)

Way-wordy and self-indulgent
I wrestle with my whimsical words

A series of tightly-tucked stanzas
An entrapment of collective fantasy

The violence of entertainment
Knows no bounds. They shan't escape this time.

I connect . We contest. And then
I discover them to be fragile

And so I give up and move them
Peripatetically for knock-out effects

I crack the soft on the hard
And cool the hot on the cold

But I don't destroy. I transform
And preserve. And then I give

Them my last ironic scrutiny -

But Look! We are back in the ring
And I'm wrestling them over again...

image: free clipart


  1. it is all in the game! no matter, you are always a winner in poetry!

  2. Wresting as a metaphor must have changed over the years. When I was a kid our family always made sure we were home for four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon to watch the wrestling on TV. Back then there were some real technicians in the ring. I was lucky enough to see the great George Kidd, the finest technical wrestler in the post war era, wrestle a few times before he retired. I had never appreciated quite how much skill there was in the sport before that. The lightweights were the ones to watch and the ones I preferred. The heavyweights tended to resort to brute force especially bad guys like Mick McManus – my father hated him with a vengeance and would lean forward shouting at the TV screen; he hated dirty fighting. Nowadays it’s all showmanship and I can’t enjoy it. It’s not real wrestling.

    I guess it’s the same with writing, we can play dirty or use skill to pin our words to the page. It’s worth remembering that words can fight back and just because we’re heavier than them is no reason to get overconfident: George Kidd was a lightweight. His last bout was in 1976 and he retired from professional wrestling still claiming the World Lightweight title. He fought McManus (who was a middleweight) about a dozen times off camera and, if memory serves, beat him every time.

  3. Ah George Kidd, what a guy! A local as far as we were concerned: just up the road!

    I'm envisioning haiku writers involved in bouts of sumo wrestling with their syllables.

  4. Thank you, Gwilym. Good poem. My favourite wrestling title was Jackie 'MrTV' Pallo's memoir-exposé, 'You Grunt and I'll Groan'. He was snubbed by the wrestling establishment after that.

  5. Dianne, Jim, George, Gordon thank you all very much. "You grunt and I'll groan" - that sums it up.

    As a matter of fact I lived a couple of doors away from a Cumberland wrestler called Jerry Hoggarth. He was a gentle giant and solid as a rock. Well into his eighties he could be found doing a daily training session - mainly it was skipping with a rope which whirled so fast you could hardly see it. He saved his wrestling money and when he finished he bought lots of chickens and sold their eggs. He was a rare character - cleaned his paint brushes in a plague stone, drove up and down the motorway like Moss (but safely), got done once doing over a ton on his way to a sheepdog trail with his border collies. He had the reflexes of a man half his age. A great sense of irony. An enthiusiasm for life like you never saw. And never touched a drop of booze. Great bloke.

  6. Gwilym - this is one of your very best - and I love it. It describes so beautifully exactly how I feel about writing!

  7. you are right is a wrestling match and quite often I get thrown out of the ring.

  8. Pat and Gerry,
    thanks for those comments. Yes, wrestling is a good metaphor, and with this poem I try to involve the reader in the creative process, so that s/he is more than just a passive reader, in fact I do so with many poems - but not always so blatantly. I often 'get thrown out of the ring' and when I do I tend to throw them in my ideas/rubbish/etc. box)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.