Friday, 5 September 2014

You remind me of Tyson, Tamikka

I worked out who you remind me of, Tamikka,
and I know that you might take it as a compliment.
Understand - that isn't how it's meant. You remind me
of Tyson: because you're squat, you're strong,
and fast out of the gate, because you're fuelled
by arrogance and rage: and because I'm betting
that you'll end your days

exactly as he has: an Adult Swim joke,
a frat-comedy guest star, like
Drederick Tatum, in The Simpsons,
only more of a cartoon. A bad taste 'toon,
as crude as any episode of Family Guy,
with fewer laughs: and all the gags
are rape gags. Hey, shit happens when you're drunk.

Because, you see, rage can sustain,
but calcifies to hate, and does it smiling,
puts on comic drag, conducts
the low bass rumble
of the we're-all-normal laugh,
barks freak-show patter,
and corrects itself
with a vaudeville wink.

It's not Joel Grey: it's Chubby Brown,
it's pandering, it's mugging to the crowd,
it's giving them the beast they want to see,
the beast they want to be, the rock star clown,
the charismatic bully: not the Leader

but the license for the losers
to indulge their worst extremes,
the toast of every boozer in the sports bar
making jokes about Mike Sam and 'special teams'
and boasting that they'd spit on rainbow laces
if their kid should dare to wear them on the field.

That's who you'll be.
That's what you'll stand for:
the bully girl, the big, bad, comic monster,
and you'll draw buys for Invicta, for a while,
but we both know
that you'll get slow
and punchy
and the strategy that balances the rage:
you'll never learn it, 'cause you won't feel that you have to
'til it's later than you think. And then?

Best hope that frat-coms are still playing
in the multiplexes; best hope stoned hipsters
are still pitching ironic cartoons; best hope
somebody still remembers, and they get someone
with class to ghost your memoir,
and that someone like Joyce Carol Oates
is on hand to review it,
and give your sorry life a sense of drama,

as you stumble from talk-show to talk-show
walking money leaking from your pocket.
Jake la Motta thought he was a poet,
but I write because I cannot
throw a punch: it's my one talent. Fallon
can do both, and, when she walks free of the cage,
that's what she'll do. And you? I'm betting
that you turn out just like Tyson.
Understand: that's not a flattering

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