:: Article

the Wrestlers’ Series

by Tim Atkins.

Wrestlers’ Series #1:
Mick McManus

A ring full of wrestlers arrive to state this
Come ye daughters, and share my anguish—
His legs
Blue
Tendons bleeding
Caught in a
Head lock, his
Black blood fills
The dress
Of the audience
Live from Walthamstow
November
Heaving
His dead century
Flounces, starched
His ears
In a terrible hurry
Bare arms, black trunks
See him? Whom?
I am
Mick McManus
& he is too
Reigning
Born
Arcadian
Now
European
Middleweight Champion ye
Stealers of titles & belts ye
Immured holloshikies
Bediamond the passion of our Lord
See him! How?
Persisting
Look now
Upon my works
For no less than
10 shillings
Ye mighty—
Kendo Nagasaki
Jackie “Mr TV” Pallo
Bobby “Bad Boy” Barnes
Jim “Cry Baby” Breaks
Tibor Szakacs
Johnny Cougar
Johnny Kwango—
The thickness is
Just blood
Wherein my ears register
All the pains in this world
If you feel them
I will
Most certainly
Floor you
The Things
Becoming
A mass movement
They say
Fried food
Clogs the arteries
ITV
Saturday afternoons
& weekday evenings

Flaunters of the Classics & Tradition

Wrestlers’ Series #2:
Big Daddy

Vladimir Mayakovsky & I—
Whatever forget how
Verses are made
Concerns us
Pugilists
Whose
Pasty whiteness
Equates to a
Far nobler art

That of verse
Who nobody realises
The Evil One
Is a bright scarlet
For example
& he bears a massive hump

At others
I walk the roads between Rochdale & Rotherham
In Wordsworth’s Prelude he says
Something about
The nobleness of all
Shouting
Now I lay me down too
A Domino’s pizza
& 6
Sibilant inches
Whenever the phone rings

I pick it up

In this life

The floodlights contain
All the whack you can
Shit into a handbag

165 years old

Alive only

& incontinent

For an instant

With excitement

Wrestlers’ Series #3:
Jackie “Mr TV” Pallo

To those without
Avantgarde
Muscle
I am running on empty
In a region
Infinitely sparce
& infinitely many
My Unfinished Ode To Mud
Appears horribly social
It Is
Hard to man the barricades
In a pair of rainbow
Wrestling trunks
& indeterminate packet
Now it is May in the
Ape
Fellow thespians
My name was
Your Name Here
More than
The Nutritious Ton
& I was
Born
In
To Dagenham
On a ferry crossing
The Black Sea in 1933
Living inside a television
& the new sentence
To my gypsy phonetics
English-as-a-second
Genital
Vibration
Weakens
The worlds / the reflexes
Are coming to an end
I say
Why not enjoy them?
Working the ropes or manhandling
A man down
At my best when
Here
Is my half-nelson
Come
Feel my loneliness
For it is a hard one
When I am
Flooding you
With catacombs
Faded
Cockney
Robbers
& prophylactics
Ham sandwiches
Made by
Hairnetted Teds
Turn any man on
Spending my fortune
On
rugs
& in love
With a motorway
Meditation
& unconditional
Offers
A modicum of protection

The last line of my manifesto
Is this
Living as I do
At the end of my days
At the ungentrified end of
New Jack City
A
Pugilist-
Poet
Viewing
The gradual diminishment
Of his
Franchise
& powers
A pink bee on an orange leg
Crouching
Behind the set
In order to avoid
The cop rays
With
Hindsight
Mince
Is a noun
& a verb

In this life
(it says here)
The moniker
“Mr TV”
Could be
Confusing

Wrestlers’ Series #4:
Giant Haystacks

Being a bad man is when I was cool
I put zaum in me forearm & squish it
With all the gay boats burning I stare frankly
At the Kitty clouds & nightly hit

As the crow flies over Nixon’s aorta
I bite on the beast with the teef of me daughter

Caught / at a glance / or traced with pains
Heading to Worthing on the afternoon train

Eskimo wrestlers fairys anarchists
Climb up my pole & attempt—there—to piss

I yam Giant Haystacks & Giant Haystacks
I yam
This is my still life with raspberries & aspirin
Application for disability benefit
I seek reimbursement
For a lifetime of tachychardia
Relief & cablevision
All the oil in the North Sea
Squandered
On several fronts

Cunts who claim rhyming’s for cissys—
I beg to differ

Gouging, oiling, any punch involving the third phalanges, or towel sweating

May all who dare
Try to come in my hair

Climb into this leotard

& attempt to
Surprise Me

Wrestlers’ Series #5:
Kendo Nagasaki

I remember once

Seeing

Johnny Kwango

At Brent Town Hall

Lying face-down

On a piano

Like & yet

Unlike

W.B. Yeats

My legs

Were

Buckled

Scalene

Isosceles

& Equilateral

tim20atkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Atkins is a British poet, editor and lecturer in creative writing at the University of East London. His works include 1000 Sonnets (if p then q 2010) and Folklore (Salt 2008)

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011.