One for Raymond Louis Heenan
I hated him
when I was kid,
how he convinced Andre to turn on Hogan,
cheated the Warrior out of the belt,
but as an adult,
I loved him
because he was great at acting
like a weasel:
coming up with insults,
then hiding behind someone more muscular,
and maybe this regular looking guy
in tacky shiny clothes
was more like the rest of us
than his character or the rest of us
wanted to admit,
but he died
because that’s what we all do-
his legacy preserved on a DVD
or grainy VHS tapes they used to trade,
while I write this poem,
pretending it’ll outlast them all.
Overthinking a Classic
How can we know
the Koopa Trooper in Mario Kart
has always been the same one?
What if he asked for too much money
after the first game
because he found out how much Yoshi was paid?
This might explain why he doesn’t race on the N64.
Then, he was out of work for a while,
had to pawn off his kart
and couldn’t rebuy it within in thirty days,
so being forced to go back on guard duty
outside of Bowser’s castle,
he took solace in signing the occasional autograph
(also always being asked why he was fired,
only for him to say he quit)
in between looking up, wondering
if he could smell mushrooms in the air.
His triumphant return actually someone else,
who is contractually obligated not to mention
or comment on
the original Koopa Trooper.
Richard LeDue (he/him) lives in Norway House, Manitoba with his wife and son. His poems have appeared in various publications throughout 2021. His second chapbook, “The Kind of Noise Worth Writing Down,” is forthcoming in early 2022 from Kelsay Books.