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Poems

CATCH WRESTLER

Don’t let the Catch Wrestler catch you, my son
He’ll disjoint your leg for a bit of fun
He’ll let you hang with him, to give you hope
To drum up the betting. Tighten the rope
And just when the prize is fair in your grip
His FISHHOOK will tear a hole through your lip
Poor hometown hero with trophies galore
Struttin’ round, showin’ off, your Lion’s roar
Remember now, these ain’t no highschool fools
Barnstormin’ Carnys don’t play by no rules
They prance in like clowns, insultin’ the town
Fake rhinestone jewelry adornin’ their crown
Red striped pajamas and waxed up mustache
The Pringles Can Man. With peacock panache
A Lancashire Wrestler, from Wigan Town
Issues a challenge. Proclaims a showdown

To any of you that claims he’s a man
And isn’t some pantywaist, golfing fan
Or wants to impress some doey-eyed lass
Or maybe the priest at Sunday morn Mass
Last ten short minutes ‘ginst this grapplin’ king
And on bended knee, your praises I’ll sing
So, step right up! Yankee Doodle, so bold
The stake is the other chap’s wedge of gold”
And up steps Big Billy, three time state champ
Burliest bloke in the wheat threshing camp
Towering over this pinstriped buffoon
Wearing a cap made of trashcan raccoon
“I’ll take that wager, you old English clown
Throw you sky-high for the pride of the town
I’m heavyweight champ from Des Moines to Ames
You’re just some Limey that pees in the Thames

I’ve pretzeled the Farmer, backed down Frank Gotch
I’ll wager my gold, my knife, and my watch”
The old Carny Wrassler gave a slight smirk
Off flew his waistcoat, then “Lay on, McJerk!
The fur then did fly. Big Billy bore in
Just his famed BEARHUG away from the win
His “fools rush in” move, gained him no profit
The Lancashire Man locked in the GROFFIT
An old English term for “Brutal Neck Crank”
Billy in pain. to the ground slowly sank
That was the end (but the Carny released)
The sheep he was working hadn’t been fleeced
He let enraged Billy tackle him down
And feign flopped about, delighting the town
His Second wrote figures in a small book
They’d take this hick town by hook or by crook
“That’s I’wa dirt, yer tastin’ old Turtle!”
Lancashire Man… confessed it was fertile
He’d tasted prime dirt from Shanghai to Rome
This stuff, he mused, was a fine grade of loam
Seven more minutes of NELSONS and TURKS
The Mayor of Humboldt threw in the works
The key to the city. Ten jars of gin
Surely young Billy! was destined to win!
When every last dime townwide was secured
It suddenly happened. What they all feared
That STEP OVER TOEHOLD looked fairly tame
But this deadly HOOK, left young Billy lame
A loud tendon POP. Disjointed ankle
Ten seconds left. Now, doesn’t that rankle?
The Lancashire Carny gathered his gold
Onward! to other sheep… not of this fold!

****

A hundred years later roams Supercop
The thugs of Seattle, one by one drop
Was ever there ever? Grappler so strong?
Enforcing the statutes. Right versus wrong
Tracking down druggies by light of the moon
Delinquents the size of Haystack Calhoun
Kingpin, he SALTO’ed, headfirst on the street
JOINT-LOCKED Snake Ripken by leverin’ his feet
His height five foot nine, from athletic stock
A modern day Titan chiseled from rock

Way back in high school, he routed the State
Setting a record for pinfalls scored straight
He should’ve been barred from the wrestling squad
Ragdollin’ champs like a hound dog a todd
But God broke his arm. The title it cost
He made no excuse, just said that he lost
The truth is so simple, God placed his mark
Protecting the weak, from thugs after dark
I wrestled him once to see what he had
When I a grown man, and he still a lad
Less than a minute, I judged him too strong
Wearing me down as the match went too long
My Catch Wrestling training came into play
He circled for lev’rage. I made him pay
I snuck in a NECK CRANK, bold as a sin
An illegal HOOK that got me the pin
He never complained, but he knew the score
Rubbing his neck, he petitioned for more
“Teach me a few of those tricks, you old Fox
That neck thing you did. Those nasty joint locks”

He asked with such heartfelt humility
I couldn’t refuse this most ardent plea
I taught him to SHOOT, to BREAK, and to HOOK
Now he knew every foul trick in the book
How to CRIPPLE, to MAIM, shrimp with the hips
Then I bequeathed him my knowledge of RIPS
All of the moves Coach Cecchine taught me
He soaked like a sea sponge soaks up the sea
Right then I knew, I’d not test him again
He twice my equal. No way I could win

Several years later, was born Supercop
Sweepin’ Seattle with pistol and mop
Point on the S.W.A.T. team. First man through the door
HOOKIN’ em, BREAKIN’ em, wipin’ the floor
The Metal of Merit sown to his heart
Without his consent a mouse couldn’t fart
All’s well in Rain Town. All’s well in Zion
But Satan doth prowl. Roars like a lion.
Now, Milo of Renton, born from the cess
Seattle crime boss. Grand Master in chess
At twelve he hoisted a colt off the ground
Then, once again (when the horse gained a pound)
In two years time he’d lifted a stallion
Ten years later he’d raised a battalion
Of thugs and druggos the likes never seen
Two stints in the PEN had turned the man mean
One day he set forth to war with the Law
He dispatched the Chief by jacking his jaw
Captains. Lieutenants. He went through the ranks
Icing State Troopers and pillaging banks
He flooded the streets with underpriced crack
Seattle and suburbs under attack

The Mayor, he thought to send in the Guard
But then an old Colonel walked ‘cross the yard
“Don’t send the army to start a bloodbath
Send in a warrior to bring down the wrath

Let Supercop loose. He’ll dog old Milo
The clash will dwarf the Battle of Shiloh”
The whole city flocked to witness the match
Mayor Newcastle tossed gin down the hatch
A ring staged at the base of the Needle
Sleeping on top, a blinking nose Wheedle
Police lined one side. Thugs lined the other
Olympic Mons split. Brother ‘ginst Brother
Milo of Renton towered like Bābel
He mighty Cane, resolved to slay Abel
Supercop closing like the Grim Reaper
Handcuff case stenciled; My Brother’s Keeper
He’d make the arrest, let justice be done
He stripped off all of his knives and his gun
Off came his shirt. Badge pinned to his beltline
Both palms shown empty. Outstretched for a sign
T’would be hand to hand. Milo just snickered
This donut-shop cop had to be liquored
“A nine cubit bed, I’m tall as King Og
Kiss my hind end, and I’ll call you Prince Frog
Six toes on my feet, six fingers and thumbs
All of you lawmen, to me are just bums”
Supercop closed, speaking nary a word
Talk was sold cheaply so far as he’d heard
Laying his hands on this oversized crook
“You’re under arrest. Condemned by the book”
Milo ARM DRAGGED him. Attempted a throw
But Supercop stepped round, blocking him low
“Now you’ve resisted. You’ve begged for brute force
I’m glad to oblige. My pleasure, of course”

Quick as flash lightning, the Lawman broke grip
Reversed, then unleashed, a GUTWRENCH back flip
“That’s how it’s done, you delinquent deadbeat”
Lesson rammed home as his head cracked the street

Then the RIDE for control. HAMMERLOCK locked
“You’re under arrest. The Law won’t be mocked”
Milo of Renton refused to submit
His front teeth filed sharp, the Lawman he bit
Back on their feet, they vied for position
Supercop gave his last admonition
“Three strikes and you’re out. You know the routine
You’re the malfeasance, and I’m the Vaccine
If you don’t submit, then I mix and match
From here on… I BREAK each limb that I CATCH”

Then Milo, the crime boss, gave a loud roar
And ANKLE PICK-KNEE BARRED Cop to the floor
Supercop laced up a DOUBLE WRIST LOCK
Arched ’til he’d wrenched it from Leeds to Bangkok
The shoulder joint BURST… like Forth of July
But Milo swore, “I’ll not quit ’til I die!”
Supercop snaked in a half FIGURE FOUR
Then Billy Jack Haynes’ed his knee ’til it TORE
Clobbered and drubbed but still brimming with salt
“Kill me you bastard! Then YOU bear the fault”
Supercop chuckled, “That’s what they all say
You splurge on lobster, then don’t want to pay
Ain’t no ‘nih’lation. Just heaven or hell
Now, have a fine sleep, á la Gene LeBell”
So, justice was served. The handcuffs were placed
Milo of Renton completely disgraced
He thought it would be, Cane versus Abel
Poor fool! He wound up… facing Dan Gable!

****

A long time ago, a man took a snooze
In a place that made him take off his shoes
He dreamed of a ladder, scraping the sky
Angels descending from yonder to nigh
The LORD stood atop and called him to serve
Full of zeal, the man, gave oath not to swerve
He built him an altar… with pillow stone
A bond between him, and God on his throne

Twenty years later, he had wife and wealth
He toasted his bounty. Here’s to yer health!
Then, at the spark of an old family feud
Him facing a pretty powerful Dude
Whose four hundred Rangers towards him did ride
Alone by a brook, he prayed and he cried
“Deliver me LORD! from my arch rival
Please grant me, and my family survival”
From out of the dark a MIGHTYMAN strode
Grabbed him and tossed him around like a toad
He squawked and he squirmed and fled from the light
The MAN wouldn’t let him out of his sight
Slapping on TOEHOLDS and making him scream
A Nightmare Haunt, from some long ago dream
The torture continued hours on end
Finally vexed, he said, “My turn to rend!”
A CHANCERY ought to turn ’round this bout
But the MAN’s low HIP-BLOCK put him in doubt
Counters for counters. Such strength and such speed
A CROSSFACE SMASH… and he won’t even bleed!
Surely this MAN, is much more than a Man
It’s almost as if… it’s part of some plan
Wrestling is brutal, the PUMM’LING and SLAPS
The DRAGS and the SHUCKS and mid-forehead TAPS
This CATCH WRESTLER perfect. His HOOKS drum tight
Pray I endure! until dawn’s early light…
Methinks?… I see?… a faint glow in the East?
The MAN started chaining moves like a beast
A HALF BOSTON CRAB, locked in made him cry
One JERK, and the sinew SNAPPED in his thigh

Now, he was halted, and lay on the bank
The MIGHTYMAN watched. The torn sinew shrank
“It’s good you prevailed with me until dawn
All are sustained, whom the FATHER hath drawn”
HE turned to leave, but the wretch like an eel
Reached out to him feebly, grasping his heel
“I won’t let you go, unless you bless me”
A face lined with pain and grim urgency
The strength of a baby, clutching a man
Why not? shrugged the master, CATCH AS CATCH CAN!
“What is thy nature?” the CATCH WRESTLER asked
“A damn dirty sinner. Just now unmasked”
Tears glistened up in the eyes of the LORD
“Son, of the covenant. Go forth, restored”

****

To any and all, who once felt the call
Did you make any promise? Big? or small?
Have you stayed the course? Your covenants kept?
Think back to the time, where your heart once leapt!
Carnival Conmen will purloin your gold
The Lawman’s handcuffs will keep you controlled
But, the CATCH WRESTLER, Sir, will BREAK your health
And DRAG you to eternal life… and wealth

——————————–

24. And Iacob was left alone: and there wrestled a man with him, vntill the breaking of the day. 25. And when he saw, that he preuailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh: and the hollow of Iacobs thigh was out of ioynt, as hee wrestled with him. 26. And he said, Let me goe, for the day breaketh: and he said, I will not let thee goe, except thou blesse me. 27. And he said vnto him, what is thy name? And he said, Iacob. 28. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Iacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast preuailed. 29. And Iacob asked him, and saide, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name: and he said, wherefore is it, that thou doest aske after my name? and he blessed him there. 30. And Iacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seene God face to face, and my life is preserued. 31. And as he passed ouer Penuel, the sunne rose vpon him, and he halted vpon his thigh. 32. Therefore the children of Isreal eate not of the sinewe which shranke, which is vpon the hollow of the thigh, vnto this day: because hee touched the hollow of Iacobs thigh, in the sinewe that shranke.

Genesis 32:24-32 (Holy Bible 1611)