Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Gatti-Ward I (18th May 2002)


Arturo Gatti is a swivel globe, the axis a sword.
His opponent, Mickey Ward, is a Massachusetts bear
Of Irish stock; a spited clock
Reacting and resolving with a second, a third hand.

The referee will not stop the fight.

This is fast inswing and brave batsmanship,
Total football unto total football,
A championship putt
In stanzas, rosy and honest, of fucking hit him.

The only chinnies are ringside,
Whose jaw bones thud soft air.

The referee will not stop the fight.

It's fists for consonants: predator Gatti
led by his prey into the wind-howling vowels
Hoarsed by media. The ropes bend.

Another one hundred and eighty seconds fall
Without a fighter.
In each pocket, symmetrical as on a school blazer,
A team works to patch up the openings of each head.
Trainers tell lies to rally and tally true blows.

These really are parents whose families are at stake.
Who could look away now, get up for a piss,
Stop panting?

The referee will not stop the fight.

And in the ninth round,
Ward and Gatti become wolves with arms.
The moon is neither half nor full:
Dieted desires are writing Nature.

The referee will not stop the fight.

Faces - unrecognisable - meet in the tenth
Before the last bell in the world rings. 

Ward wins this time: an ending impossible to give away
Since this isn't the point.

When the primitive and the technical collude,
Hats off, gloves - red gloves - on.

I am marked, and standing in the rain,
And Gatti has passed away, pattering
Into the nighttime of video memory.

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