Two Stanzas of Ottava Rima Written in Earshot of a Skate Board Park

Skateboard Wipeout by Robert Mooney

Skateboard Wipeout by Robert Mooney



I said, ‘It’s certain there is no fine thing   

Since Adam’s fall but needs much labouring.

                                                                      WB Yeats


Willie B makes it seem so damned easy,

each iamb in it is appointed place,

but whenever I try it, I feel sleazy,

like a Byron wannabe pissing in the lake.

Yet even to Yeats it didn’t come easy.

A line would take him hours. Better to “break

stones,” he whined, “in all kinds of weather”

than try “to articulate sweet sounds together.”


Form versus execution. I hear the clatter

of skateboarders’ failed attempts at competence.

They flip the board, fall off, curse, batter

their knees as they try to perform the tricks

they see on TV — as if mind over matter

weren’t a myth, as if practice makes perfect,

as if talent can be willed. I say

time to shut down this computer, call it a day.