Skipping Time

Poetry

Wrote this at work today and after the bar, having coffee before bed. Otherwise tailoring a verse story for someone. Taking a while or two whiles or so or maybe more.  

Nobody noticed in the boxing hall
Past dark when the moon was gone
The black light covering rings and
Skipping ropes as the boxers were done
Where Gerry Louis laid on the mat
Bleeding from his nose, shivering
And cowering because he knows
He’s no good to no-one, not even
Nothing can save him with the whimpers
Echoing off the walls the way punches
Do, and the song voices in the theatre:
Too much for him to enter with a third class
Whore – they stop him at the door while
She goes on through. Gerry hung himself
With a skipping rope above the boxing ring
Floor,

That stadium of gladiators throwing steel
Fists at their more unfortunate com-padres
In battering, bruise-brokeness. Gerry lost
A fight with his Dad and won a fight with a post,
Splitting his face burning with whiskey,
Iodine of the soul, and hookers who wouldn’t
Look at him, or laughed on his cock
After the battle since Tom Slammer bid ’em
With his, and after the rope snapped the tears
Finally came like that drizzling pissing rain:

Gerry Louis hung himself above the boxing ring
Floor, but the rope snapped like with so many
Others before: you can see the marks of their
Knees, their blood and tears with the blood
And sweat and pre-fight spaghetti. While
He choked on his pride in the moments
Before Hell, he forsook his name and took
Up Gerry Lou, beat-down boxer kid from
Some Chicago suburb: never even got a place
In a factory, just ran paper rounds and salty
Coffee shop stalls on those bleak streets

Until he broke in the boxing ring, falling
On his face and into the long dark where
Even the moon wouldn’t go and though
He had friends they were as bad and barely
Talked about the things they never had. So
Sitting in the blank by himself, Gerry Lou
Got a notion to rise if for nothing but
The yearning in his throat
For whiskey
Or hot coffee and pie, back in the diner
At 4am where he could tell the waitress
He was about to start life anew, find her
Perspective on things, old Dave the coffee
Fiend, Frank about to give birth to a melon
And Mel Tenko the friendly whore who did
It for free, yeah, maybe they’d tell him
What he needed to be but now…

He’d just hung himself above the boxing ring
Floor, echoing a thousand kids before his time
Blurting and choking on the drink they’d never
Tried, about which everyone seemed to lie until
You were hooked yourself and you told the same
Tales about how maybe a night here and there
Crumbled but it ain’t so bad as hanging from a
Skipping rope above a dirty old floor, snapping,
Wishing you had the gumption for more
Then crying as you call your own name,
Gosh, ain’t it a damn shame skipping time
Until your last lump of pie is swallowed
And even as your beverage burns the eyes
They’re saying goodbye forever.

Well, Jerry Lou might’ve been his name
But to tell you the truth,
I’ve stopped seeing through my own pain
For a while now and all the words go on
Break sometimes and I don’t really mind ’em
As long as in the morning I can still find ’em
Which, isn’t always so, but most of the time
I know and I can go back to the boxing ring
And talk up to the youngsters, showing them
A few little things before they bring back
All the fame I need of being drunken Jay,
Hey, it pays at the bars I can tell you.

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