Three Wrestling Poems By Josh Shepard

Poem for Late Stage Capitalism from Hulk Hogan’s “Third Man”

“Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do
is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna hear what I’ve got to say.”

-Hulk Hogan to Mean Gene Okerlund, July 7, 1996

the future came

& everybody knows

I made a monster.

I made people rich,

made billionaires;

promised millions, promised


we take the whole—

the monsters with me—

we destroy all.

i did everything

i did

for me.

the New World:

me & the blood

by my side

whatcha gonna do?

whatcha gonna do?

what are you

going to do?

Poem for Self-Encouragement from Mick Foley’s “Cane Dewey”

“I love being right.”

-Cactus Jack to Tommy Dreamer, September 19, 1995

to pay the price / to sweat / to bleed

to suffer / to sacrifice / for them

they’re worth it / you got the choice / not me

I made my choice / believed in something / I thought that made a difference

the Dream embedded in my skull / embedded in my heart / be honest with the pain

my saving grace / simple words / time & effort

my heart / my heart / my soul

my little pissant aggressions / selfish wants / hatred

I’m on the path / it’s me / I burned my bridge

with open arms / who would trade that / welcome, Dreamer

Poem for Narcissus from Chris Jericho’s “RAW Is Jericho”

“You people have been led to believe that mediocrity is excellence. Uh-uh, Jericho is excellence!”

-Chris Jericho, interrupting the Rock, August 9, 1999

i am your hero / your host / your living history / a dawning of

a dawning of / a new era / a captivating / cliched / honest

shining idiot / & this idiot / is good enough

a man / & the problem / here tonight

never again

Josh Shepard is a poet and artist living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His work can be found most recently or forthcoming in Waxwing, Bureau of Complaint, cool rock repository, Sledgehammer Lit, Punk Noir Magazine and Slipstream. Twitter: @JoshShepard 

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