Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 17: Opposite of My Father, W. Todd Kaneko, "Where There's Blood There's Freddie Blassie"

I am the exact opposite of my father.  He worked all of his life as a plumbing contractor.  Has voted for every Republican presidential candidate since Dewey, including Nixon, Reagan, and Trump.  He's never read a book of poetry or Charles Dickens novel. 

And now he's not the man he used to be.  This year, he will turn 90 years old.  He fell last year and hasn't really fully recovered from the injuries he received.  But he's a tough old piece of leather.  I've seen him tear a Detroit phone book in half with his bare hands.  My dad has always been larger than life.

Saint Marty isn't larger-than-life.  When he dropped his son off at school this morning, Saint Marty called out, "Have a good day!  I love you!"  His son shook his head and said, "Whatever."

Where There's Blood There's Freddie Blassie

by:  W. Todd Kaneko

In the tavern where my father fell, I find
no bloodstain shaped like my father's body,
no dent where his head clashed
with the floor.  The bartender says they talked
about all the men they once watched
wrestle on television--like Classy Freddie

Blassie, hated by every pencil-neck geek
in America.  Women swooned for him in California,
the bartender said counting out his till.

Who knows why women do the things they do?
my father said, recounting those twenty-five
people in Japan dead of fright at the sight
of Fred Blassie gnawing on a man's face,
everyone's bodies slicked red.

Twilight calm, tavern hush--dead air
broken by a siren's cry outside,
then a crack like hammerfall,
shivered glass.  There is no such thing
as life so long as a man sits alone,
no such thing as death so long
as we say a man's name.

I sit down on my father's stool,
the bartender pulls a beer for each of us.
We talk about the men we used to watch,
wrestle until out voices give out.

No comments:

Post a Comment