The big push

How many years -
a weight of books on your mind
their heft in your hand -
have led you here,
where sweat and the cold smell
of metal bars are pungent as coffee?

The brain becomes another muscle.
Bicep curls, synapse stretches.

Between the white and black machines
in this fairground of strain
unreal visuals beam and music hits
at 2 beats a second.
No more harmful than breathing
years of book dust, trying for ideas.

Thudding rubber in one spot
for twenty minutes gets you nowhere.
So does pet Theory.
Overworked, unused,
it collapses in on itself.

Go inside on a track
find what's been ignored.
Muscles have not only names
but existences (if not essences)
which you have denied,
hypocrite, intellectual.

Every jock knows, there's work to be done.
Creating bodies out of more than words.

The fear of death perpetuates every page
from half title to index,
every push from bench press to sit up.
Imagine 100 kilos of books
balanced above your head.
Hold them far away as you can.
Your arms waver, you know you can do it,
with little effort or second thought.

Jill Jones

If you've any comments on this poem, Jill Jones would be pleased to hear from you.

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