Sunday Jul 14

01Rihn Andrew Rihn is a writer of essays, poems, and scholarly articles. He is the author of several chapbooks, including America Plops and Fizzes (sunnyoutside press) and The Rust Belt MRI (Pudding House). Along with his wife, the writer Donora A. Rihn, he co-authored the chapbooks The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: An Election Cycle (Moria Books/ Locofo Chaps) and The Day of Small Things (Really Serious Literature). Together, they live in Portage Lakes, OH with their two rescue dogs.


Four Micro Essays

Tyson vs. Tillis
May 3, 1986
Civic Center, Glens Falls, New York, U.S.

Revelation is a kind of newness, a method of uncovering, of recovery. Mike Tyson reveals a head shaved to look like Jack Dempsey, no robe, all gladiator and walking mythos. Tillis is nearly knocked out at the end of round one, but, as the L.A. Times comments philosophically, what happened, happened. This fight, Mike Tyson’s twentieth, will be the first to go the distance. Revelation: a truth laid bare, also translates to apocalypse, which once meant insight or even a visionary hallucination, has been truncated into a belief in the imminence of our own annihilation, the end of the world.

Tyson vs. Gross
Jun 13, 1986
Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.

Above the “Tale of the Tape” floats a gold crown attached to a name in gold lettering: DON. The TV Guide is also a kind of revelation. Pay per view. Prime time. The infinite ways we are distracted. The fight ends with a KO in the first round, perhaps the most beautiful twelve seconds of Mike Tyson’s boxing career. Gross, who had been defending for the better part of the round, unloads a flurry of perhaps fifteen punches, all of which Mike Tyson successfully avoids before responding with a single left hook which floors Gross. Replacement memories, ephemeral and prophetic.

Tyson vs. Hosea
Jun 28, 1986   
Houston Field House, Troy, New York, U.S.

Mike Tyson’s last fight as a teenager, a fight ended too soon, a path blocked with thornbushes. Hear this, you referees! You count the sand of the sea. Hear this, you judges and scorekeepers! You break the distance of blood, walking the parched land of the ring apron. Hear this, you ring announcers, jeering fans, inchoate crowd awash in your emotion. Who is wise? Let them realize the righteous walk while the rebellious stumble. There are the ugly, powerful answers to ugly, powerful questions.   Do something about this, like people, like priests. Like muscles into meat, like fists into gloves.

Tyson vs. Boyd
Jul 11, 1986
Stevensville Hotel, Swan Lake, New York, U.S.

We note the fight’s location: Swan Lake, the metaphors for good selves and bad. The camera focuses onto Mike Tyson’s right bicep, a tattoo of the word MIKE, a small persistent thing in the midst of this precarious world. At twenty, Mike Tyson is already outgrowing the nickname Kid Dynamite, becoming Iron, becoming the baddest man on the planet. Boyd leans in low from the waist to avoid the hooks, but remains vulnerable to uppercuts. Mike Tyson’s left hand is injured; Boyd’s nose is broken. Vulnerable in his own raspy ways, Mike Tyson ends the fight without a cracking smile.