Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Twenty-eight days after open heart surgery
to install an aortic valve
(genuine Longhorn Bull tissue),
 I can barely restrain myself from running Roberto Duran combinations 
against "Bobo," 
my wall-mount head/torso striking bag
from Title Boxing.
To punch Bobo's fucking lights out right now, would be self-indulgent... 
and probably would pop
the surgical wires holding me together. 
So... anger boils in my cranial vault....
I am not supposed to hold trainer Tara Finvola's leash for another 90-days... until cleared off all "sternal cautions."  Tara Finvola is unhappy with this arrangement and its limits.
The absolute limit of current weight training a month after open heart surgery.  Exasperating.
However limited I am four stinkin' weeks after open heart surgery, it sure would be nice to have at least some half-speed sparring rounds.  Nope... not quite yet.


Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook (META) move to protect Putin and Russia
from too much criticism!

If you say that Russia is "raping" Ukraine, Facebook will suspend parts of your account!

If you write that Russia, with its military mobilization, only wants to "half rape" Ukraine, then Facebook will suspend your account.

Know this:
Mark Zuckerberg
Vladimir Putin and Russia!

Monday, September 19, 2022


As the comeback to boxing
from open heart surgery
 gathers steam and new muscle,
I am drinking Mike Tyson's IM-21 twice day!

No complaints.  A full, complete comeback might be further away than half a year.  Nothing is certain.  At age 78, this is going to be a shifting battle on unmapped territory.

The next Fight Night, Battle of the Bulls 3 in Moses Lake, Washington, is scheduled for early November.  Can you believe that my trainer (and director of Sacred Scars Gym), Isaac Jones, turned me down for an early comeback bout?
Me 'n Isaac Jones... all-time great fight trainer for MMA and Boxing.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

 Fool's Errand  /  Existential Errand

As age 78 approaches, just past open heart surgery to replace an old aortic valve, what is it that a Man should make of himself?  

Let's Go.
Why Not?
That is what is said at the end of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.  
Let's Go.
Why Not?

Should a man not define himself by who and what he takes on... the load he carries?

Those who advise caution are not friends; they are but passersby... unworthy of attention.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

 Autumn... and the Aging Athlete 
Takes Pause and Rest
Beneath Intertwined Austrian Pines,
One Living and One Dead
Mid-September on a Sagebrush Steppe...
Non-Native Growth to Hide and Present
Coyotes on a Wildfire-Smoky Afternoon
How to Regain Speed and Strength,
Punch and Shove... Work.
Admit, Old Man,
You are Not Yet Ready to Bang...
Punches-in-Bunches for Real.
Make Each Day Earn the Next One!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


Athletic Comebacks are Undertaken

with Self-Delusion... Self-Deception... 

Usually at Odds with Those 

Who Want Something Else From Us

The sky... as I huffed and puffed for a quarter of a mile, trailed by cranky wife and Tara Finvola... who could not understand why she was not in the lead.  The sky....

I am on Warfarin for two more weeks... in case of a stroke?  In case of AFIB?  Not that it matters one way or the other... in the long game.

More often than not, there is only the self-delusion, self-deception of an old man... not a Comeback... not an Athletic Restoration.  Only an old man who ought to have resisted modern medicine and its painted upstage scrims of tomorrows that never quite come before the appearance of Abaddon with his fast talk about how much fun there is to be had in The Bottomless Pit.  And from the mailbox half a mile west on the paved road, there is a bill from a hospital where some truly believe they are doing Good Works.


Sunday, September 11, 2022


Seek Ultimate Dark.  

Never Fear Ultimate Dark. 
Ultimate Dark Present Gifts to Boxers.
You become a Seer... a Spirit from the Dead.
Your hand speed increases.
A Boxer Becomes a God in Ultimate Dark!

Autumnal Clouds

Autumn, Autumn, a Communion of Darkness.

Heart Surgery is its own Country
Its own Ultimate Darkness.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Comeback Workout Nights Add Up

What we are doing is not quite roadwork.  Kate does most of the leash handling.  Tara follows Kate's lead and keeps checking my progress.  And I shuffle-walk and regret the ice cream I had earlier in the day.  I wear a pair of RDX inner gloves... in case there is a poplar or fence post I want to jab.  The RDX gloves offer good knuckle protection and are useless for insulating arthritic thumbs.

It is mid-September.  Weeks to go before my post-op exam at the Spokane Heart Institute.  What will they do about the wires holding my ribs and sternum in place?  Do the wires stay in?  Get taken out?  I can imagine taking a punch to the chest and the wires cutting through this or that and lots of bleeding.  Or the wires will be padded by soft tissue and just won't matter once there is healing?

Ambition... to fight into my ninth decade of life... indomitable... each time in the ring a wonderful triumph of rebellion-against-fate.

Thursday, September 8, 2022


Half-roadwork this evening in light wildfire smoke, Tara Finvola led Kate and me through a low-speed quarter-mile.

A Comeback one day at a time.

So this is what it is like to be the first boxer to attempt a comeback after open fucking heart surgery.  This is what it is and this is what it feels like.  All I can do is hope that I do not blow-out/pop a few surgical "K" wires.

Wore a new pair of inner bag gloves... just in case I felt a need to hit a wandering tree.

Wildfire Haze 
gives one a sense of being at the End Times.

RDX inner gloves are okay, but they offer no protection to arthritic thumbs.  And my right thumb is at the start of its arthritis journey.

Tonight's wildfire-smoke sun....

Monday, September 5, 2022

Mike Tyson (former Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, Public Intellectual Challenging the Conventional, and Entrepreneur) is... Inspirational!

Life is about good, honest work... the task of rebelling against fate... using boxing as a direction that promotes life at its best.

Yes... I do use Mike Tyson's IM-21

In the not-distant future
look for my next poetry book:
Eclipse of the Sun: Boxing Poems
(coming from University of Nevada Press).

Rebel Against Fate... Offer Resistance!
(photo by Maggie Middleton)


Saturday, September 3, 2022

 Training is Proof of Life for a Boxer

Eleven days past open heart surgery, sort of following sternal precautions to avoid popping my chest's surgical wiring, roadwork is a slow quarter-mile walk (with rests) and slow, glacially slow punch combinations.  Sadness for little reason will set in if I cannot get some work done... in a Mike Tyson Savage Mode T-shirt.

Dusk approaches, darkness settles between cows on a super-watered by pivot shrub-desert paradise

I am seventy-seven-fucking-years-old... maybe the first man to have a boxing match after open heart surgery.  The odds are against men past eighty... as bones tend to shrink in size and lose density...and one's aged muscles lose strength, endurance, and flexibility.  My life as an ancient (absurd) boxer is... Rebellion Against Fate.

As wife Kate snaps photographs, Tara Finvola, my Irish Wolfhound (constant companion and physical trainer) controls the pace of the drill... and I listen to her: That's it.  Pop him.  There you go.  Good moves today.  Hook to the head... hand to the body.  Pop... pop!  Hook to the fucking head.  Side angle... low angle... another one off the head.  Who is the last guy to stop punchin'?  Last puncher wins.

Then Tara Finvola reminds me that I am carrying way too much weight... maybe skip the ice cream tonight.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

A Slow Autumnal Comeback Begins

I knew it was coming... surgery to replace an ancient aortic valve.  Stenosis.  It is commonly called Heart Failure.  The fine thing is that I did not bring it upon myself.  My arteries are clean.  No bypass was needed.  My genetics had somewhat protected me from my worst eating impulses.

For the next six to eight weeks, I shall walk two or three times a day... build the minutes to create miles of very slow, breathtaking roadwork.  Until I am fully off Sternal Caution, no using the Giant Dog, Tara Finvola, for roadwork.  I am attached with surgical wires.  The man of wire.  The man of wire must also be a man of great patience... no blowing-out the rib cage.

Progress reports to come.

Weight needs to be lost... a lot of weight.  Wish me luck, please, lots of luck as I try to train to box in mid-2023 and onward.