3p Home Page The Threepenny Review
Winter 2008

Dementia Pugilistica:
Ali-Spinks, 1978

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Just one time only ever in my youth
my father laid his hands on me in rage.
The ring in Vegas, that crucible of truth,
rehearsed a patricide: the Champ, whose age
was greater than his years, could only pull
possum's old trick, his Rope-a-Dope, the feint
that'd trapped the brutes who vainly bombed his skull
for years, and lost. Now punk, raw Leon spent
his fury on his hero's brain, which sloshed
in its suspending bath and caromed back,
and bled. The Zenith blinked as teardrops washed
down Mother's face and Ali's arms went slack.
I taunted her, leapt up to see his doom:
Dad grabbed my throat and threw me from the room.

—Peter Spagnuolo

Peter Spagnuolo lives in Brooklyn and spends way too much money on tickets to the opera. His chapbooks can be found at www.booklyn.org.

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