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Two poems by Brian Burmeister article

Hurt Me



How the hell can I

          Make my teammates better

By practicing?


They should be used to

          Playing with

Those are my teammates.




My game is going to deteriorate

Because I’m not


With my teammates?


Is my game

          Going to get worse?

Is my game

          Going to get better?

Because other players are hurt on my team.


I mean:

          Do that hurt me?

Do you think that hurts me?


I’m being honest.


People are hurt

          On my team,

Do that hurt me?


Does that hurt me when:

          I go out there and play
          48 minutes?

Does that hurt me as a player?


Does that hurt me

          If this person is hurt
                   Or that person is hurt?

Do it hurt me?


Taken from a transcript of a post-game press conference with Allen Iverson at

But Brother


I don’t have to say a whole lot more

          About the way I feel
          About Ric Flair.

No respect. No honor.


There is no honor amongst thieves in the first place.


He put

          Hard times

On Dusty Rhodes

And his family.


You don’t know what

          Hard times

                   Are, daddy.


Hard times:

          Are when the textile workers
          Around this country
                   Are out of work,
          They got 4 or 5 kids

Can’t pay their wages

                   Can’t buy their food.

Hard times:

          Are when the auto workers
          Are out of work

And they tell ‘em,

Go home.
          Hard times

Are when a man

          Has worked at a job
                   For thirty years
          Thirty years
          And they give him a watch,
          Kick him in the butt and say, “Hey
          A computer took your place, daddy.”

That’s hard times.


That’s. Hard. Times.


And Ric Flair,

          You put hard times on

This country

                   By takin’ Dusty Rhodes out.

That’s hard times.


And we all had hard times


And I admit,

I don’t look

          Like the athlete of the day
          Is supposed to look.

My belly’s just a lil’ big,

My heiny’s a lil’ big,


But brother:

I am bad.


And they know I’m bad.


Taken from a transcript of Dusty Rhodes “Hard Times” promo at




Brian Burmeister is Program Chair of English and Communication at Ashford University. His writing has appeared in Cleaver MagazineThe Furious Gazelle, and Yellow Chair Review. He can be followed on Twitter @bdburmeister.




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