90 Seconds on the Round

90 seconds on the round
            Slip Slip
to the Double Leg Slam.

He's chasing his dream
he's chasing my dream, but I - -
               arm bar
       A snap. I catch the wince
he stacks down on me, pulls out

- - I pursue myself. 

We lock eyes, warrior 
spirit to spirit. Limbs pinwheel 

     This guy's here to go all out on me
     he goes - all - out - on - me.

He's trained to fight me, 
sculpted moves to fight me 

and now eats my blood. Brothers,
we leave it all in the octagon

all the muscle memory - 
all the hours run,
all the minutes on the bag, 
the tap-outs, the sparring
  - all the stories -  
our bread, our limit, the dreams

No hard feelings, but I want that belt.

Throw my head kick, he checks it to a 
takedown and triangle.

Forgive no excuse
     just one more round
           just one more round
second best is last

I  look  up  shake out

Time skips.

I watch myself, jump
parallel his back over his neck 
sink in the back choke, my feet
already 'round his thighs.

The last minute I marshal every 
scrap of my soul
                           Do or die 

I leave the cage a different man every time.


Thanks to the coaches at the UFC Gym in Corona, 
California for the precious glimpse into your history. 
Heartfelt appreciation to Phillip Brown and Cameron 
Underhill: it is my privileged pleasure to give voice
to your story. You inspire me to push the pace and 
sweat it.

The Boy Who Never Had Ice Cream

Correct, he’s never had it. Even here, it’s pseudo cream – really just cold, sweetened coconut milk. But I can live with his record broken at six years, four months. Tennyson has never been given candy, chocolate, jelly beans. You get the picture. Sugar weakens the immune system and feeds pathogens. Food so cold not only shocks the stomach but dampens the body, making it a lovely greenhouse for microbes.

Here is something you don’t come across everyday. From Food is Your Best Medicine by Henry Bieler, M.D. who practiced in California and treated patients only with food:

“One of the common sources of the diffusible toxin is ice cream – which is a highly putrefactive protein mixture, whether it be the best “homemade” or the crude commercial type, rich in emulsifiers….The freezing process gives to the cream its last and finishing touch of physiological corruption. Quickly fermenting substances like milk, cream, fruit, etc. break down structurally at the first touch of frost. And, as the arrest of bacterial activities caused by the frost is only temporary while the molecular derangement of the frozen substance remains a permanent menace, it follows that a renewal and increase of the destructive work of the invading microbes immediately takes place when the ice cream reaches its melting point in the stomach….the ice cream, melting in the body, sets free the carcasses of the ice cream and milk cells, to lay them open to the resistless attacks of swarming and festering bacteria – though the evidence of the ghostly carnival of putrefaction escapes the taste by being masked into unrecognizability by the great deceiver – sugar….the putrefactive acids from ice cream indigestion when not eliminated entirely by the liver and kidneys, emerge vicariously through the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses….the polio virus feeds upon this excretion.”

He goes on to explain a connection between the polio epidemic of the 50s in the U.S. and excess ice cream consumption. He is not the first health care practitioner to name the study where a doctor in Virginia had kids abstain from such sweets. There was practically no outbreak of polio in the VA town. The point was not to conclude that ice cream causes polio per se but that restricting the former predisposes the body to defenses even against something as frightful as polio.

So Tennyson mentioned around his sixth birthday that it would be nice to try some ice cream. Mom had planned on holding out until he was eight or nine. But even she couldn’t say no this time, when the little guy’s been so good about eating differently from other kids. Am not preaching. This is just the path I’ve chosen for my boy until he can exercise discretion. Not to mention that it’s been 100 degrees all summer. This was the coldest food he’s had. Yes, I would warm it in the oven if I could. As it is, I left it out to melt a little.

He asked for it on a cone – next time.


INGREDIENTS: Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut,
Water, Organic Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair
Trade Cocoa (processed with alkali), Organic Vanilla Extract