The Underdog

I am made

of big mistakes

and a few lucky shots,

a few well timed words,

a few ill-fated attempts.


I am drawn

not to greater fortunes;

it seems I always select

the hard way.

The adversarial challenge.

The lost cause.

The underdog.


I’m not in the habit,

of good habits,

or doing myself any favors.

I’ve cut my own Achilles

more that once

and tried to run.


Now, would this qualify

as performance induced stress?

Fear of success?

A psychological block,

rooted deeply in a disappointing

culmination of my formative years?

Constant, irredeemable failures,

coupled with emotional imbalances

and exacerbated by a myriad

of substance abuse problems

and a variety of sexual deviations?

Is it not, in fact, fear?

No, it must be blood chilling terror.


So, what its it

that drives the eyes and mind to wake?

To keep fighting?

To keep trying?

What sadism still imparts a measure of hope

to this hopeless case?

What god dares feed salvation

into this unresponsive vessel,

as if intubated by the Holy Spirit?

That which cast its lot long ago,

with Hell and its citizens.

What angels would deny him rest?

How does he remain in the fight?


A glimmer of hope,

in a black eye.

A duck, a dodge, a feint;

I keep learning to fight

that oldest of adversaries.

I just have to hang in there,


that I still have a few lucky shots in me.


HG – 2016

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