Jack Dempsey I

This reading was recorded at Radio Ca’ Foscari at CFZ, Venice, Italy, on the 7th of May 2014. Thanks to the Project Manager Toni Fontana and Nicolò Groja at the mixer.

Read by Steven J. Fowler on 7 May 2014

Jack Dempsey I

I will have a boxer’s funeral without ever
having been a boxer

o jack Dempsey
having sex while needing to go the toilet
how I admire you
it’s as if it all needs to come out anyhow
no thought for consequence
or redolence
just wounding all round every round

international press with photographs
----fighting in the main
wrestling Polynesian harems to the floor
to aid with childcare issues
& the occasional speech, same title
----the sound “ump” should be made

Dempsey
…continuous in his youth
his black eyes
his filth glove inseam sweat
his wounded Svek
rude health & tobacci spit
his oil-pomade wife-beating
a rumble nimble bouquet of broken fingers
man-made warhorse warwound
falling horse Jack
& a hoofing 20’s fame
roses, carnations, riddle & windswept
I kneel before history
--------over & over & over
----& I’d do it again

a retreat to the punch’d county
the nation
the country of concussion
distilling a shine, black
a row as a root
a collected landing
a mongrel dogpot, his America
always ----ready for a fight

from Fights (London: Veer books, 2011).

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