Tyson vs. Mercedes
Mar 6, 1985
Plaza Convention Center, Albany, New York, U.S.
When I look at Mike Tyson, I do not see myself. I am not seeking metaphor, not seeking corroboration. This is the start of something: existential. But also, after the finish: history. Or also again: dramatic irony. The camera records, documents: produces records, documents. From this angle, the men are as tall as statues that have not been pulled down. I was one year old when the fight began, and when the fight was over, too. Mercedes crumbles rather than falls, resting on one knee: the end a beginning. Mike Tyson rushes over, palms up, as if almost to apologize.
Tyson vs. Halpin
May 23, 1985
Albany, New York, U.S.
There’s the foreword, the precursor, the a priori from Lowell, Massachusetts, warming up, throwing punches in the air, good form, nondescript: an extra from the set of a movie in which Tyson is the star. He makes, I assume, what we have come to call a fearless moral inventory. Ron Howard was apprehensive about how to film the boxing sequences for his movie Cinderella Man; Russell Crowe advised him: Shoot them like the fires in Backdraft. Tyson celebrates like a bone before the break, the careless synonyms of hand, stroke, and fist. Gloves like flames are raised above the ropes.
Andrew Rihn is a writer of essays, poems, and scholarly articles. He is the author of several chapbooks, including America Pops and Fizzes (sunnyoutside press) and The Rust Belt MRI (Pudding House). Most recently, he co-authored, along with his wife, the writer Donora A. Rihn, the chapbook The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: An Election Cycle (Moria Books/ Locofo Chaps). Together, they live in Portage Lakes, OH with their two rescue dogs.