Niedecker and Wonju
Both chose to fly their rounds, tempestuous,
yet, I preferred woman on paper,
you preferred your men illiterate...
Deep within a mass of illiterate men
across the ocean southern peninsula
at a bar in Wonju, he mused,
his wounds, colorful old raw.
Helen started a chain reaction
created Achilles upon her shore
created generations of warriors and war.
The last fight provided his frame
with an adequate amount of punch
before he returned blow by blow
a powerful sting from boyhood
In Vegas, In Troy, on the strip
or on the bow of a Greek vessel
where the warrior sat with heavy
head down towards the waves,
before thrown onto the sands and swords.
Each bout provided ample mental challenge whether
the control of his body through exhaustion
or when to move each foot to avoid stray fist
or when to win gracefully with a much
weaker opponent. tonight he soaked
his wounds in Soju, ate dried squid,
watched a gray haired man, shrunken,
aged, fall from the height of his bar stool,
crawl back up and with a ferocious face
devour the exit drunk and lost.
I followed him around South Korea,
helped him function after every fight
held the towel, provided the light,
as he fought his way through Korean cities.
A year of my life much like reading Greek,
we chose to live our lives tempestuous,
I preferred woman on paper
like Helen of Troy or Lady Macbeth
you stopped loving literate men
now I sit alone without you
or random warriors.