Sunday, September 22, 2013


JOE LOUIS (66-3-1)
Joe on the road
we recognize you as we pass by
the near dead and broken body trying
still to crawl to the side
where the broke down lane of peace is.

It’s ok you will heal maybe not
to the past part of your former fighting self
but then and again why fight
when you can reclaim your dignity from the canvass crash site
with a single favor deal smiling, shaking hands  at the casino
with them just back from where the real fighters spent the night
with better deals, free meals and a comp’d babe or two.

It’s still the same MO you know Joe.  
A government hit and run stopping long enough
to check for dents and empty your pockets for funds
to pay for the damage to their taxI transportation
you couldn’t earn to wear anymore son.
Didn’t matter you gave hope and faith to the nation
until your boxing days were finally done.

That’s when the taxman come to let you know
“Hey Joe, you got money owed
so we’re here to collect that all American debt.
Old man back into the ring you got to go
“no sir it doesn’t matter that you were called an American hero”

You have no use left to them
once you got punched out one last time;
except the taxman wants every accumulated dime
including accrued fines. An amount no matter
how much longer you fought you’d never get it all caught up.

You know you’re down and out when the second round bell rings  
you’re not even gotten back to your corner yet
before the real winners start to collect their earnings on their bets.
Were all those shots to the head worth it Joe?
In flies the towel because even upside down
your pockets have nothing left to drop.

 Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant WWII

You should’ve known never to trust your manager with your dough Joe,
You earned 4point6 million, got to keep eight hundred thousand
then at the end you found out none of your taxes got paid out and
everyone always want to be your friend Champ until you’re broke
then they become long and lost never to be heard from again
because you've become the champ chump, except to your friend Max Schmelling.   

After all you were just a journeyman worker
used like a money machine until you could work no more
at being something more than canvass covered road kill
for them with real money making skill
who left you owing a half million dollar tax bill.
I guess it all worked out in the end Ol’ Detroit Son
when president 40 forgave your debt
and had you honorably buried in Arlington.
© M Durfee


  1. everyone wants to be your friend til your broke...its a sad reality you know...when you got nothing for them you only get their backs...nice analogy to detroit man....

    1. Thanks for the kind words Brian. But yeah Joe Louis got screwed and used every way they could, manager stole 3.8 million of his money (legally) then he made a deal with the IRS and came out of retirement with the understanding they would get all of his prize money. Then when he didn't win enough they simply added more tax liability and fines onto it. Turns out his greatest opponent became his best friend, max Schmelling who helped him financially. there were a few others too but none like Schmelling. Of his 800,000 he gave a lot away to hurting people in the depression and bought his mom a house. Man talk about used--building war propaganda around him then fucking him.

  2. The sad ballad of a magnificent fighter. He was beaten by the thieving scum in his corner but now he can rest assured that none were greater than he.

    1. I would have loved to have seen him and Ali box in their prime, Joe wasn't all flat footed but almost all of his fights were KO. No one can ever say he didn't give it his all.

  3. How sad to find out that the person you trusted ran away with all your money & you still have debts to pay ~ Punched out, I read this with a heavy heart ~


    1. Grace, he may have been in the north but there was an unspoken Jim Crow up here too. Funny thing his own sport treated him like crap but the PGA (reluctantly) opened their doors to him and he was the first Black pro golfer. He died fairly broke but it took a presidential order from Reagan to give him what he didn't get in his retirement, respect.

  4. Yeah, we all get shafted by the government in some way or other. Stealing is a way of life for politicians.

    1. It was his handlers that fucked him Charles, he trusted them. The IRS you could say was just doing it's job, but by the time they hit him with the half million dollar bill he already retired once but came out to try and pay them. His purses weren't big enough for the IRs so they just kept the meter on.

  5. I hate hearing stories like that. Always someone unscrupulous preying on someone trusting. Makes me sad. I don't know that a nice resting place makes up for being treated so badly.

    1. Talon no way does (A VERY) prominent spot and one of the largest grave markers make up for how he was treated. Odd how no lawyer would go after his manager. Joe must have been boxing with $100,000 gloves and trunks on.

  6. Joe, Elvis, Janis, Jimmy, Jim M., Amy ... I will never stop fighting ... with my 2 little fists ...

    1. Meowmomma historically there was a big difference. Joe lived on into old age but his story is a true analogy for the city he lived in since he was 12.

  7. I hadn't realized he got such a raw deal.

    1. That's a polite way to say it Alice. The Wiki account is accurate from everything I know.

  8. Sooner or later you get done. What a beautiful post. So full of humanity. The humanity which I think Joe wanted to find in his life at some point.

    Greetings from London.

    1. Joe had family that stuck by him. He paid for their education, took care of his mom and all, but $800,000 after nearly 5 million in prize money and the government using his popularity to sell war binds and do exhibition boxing matches while he was enlisted then that same government screwing him along side his managers. No that just was wrong.

  9. Great tribute, Bro. Hawaii didn't particularly take care of world hero of the waves Duke Kahanamoku either.

    Do a Funk Brothers Post!


    1. Yea i understand that those that do good for a whole class of "Minority" people are the ones that have to be knocked off the throne so they don't get all uppity.

      Hey the funk Bros were Motown, all of them and the rest of the studio musicians that played with them defined that secial music. but I simply have nothing good to say about Barry Gordy and his taking a major inner city corporation that employed a thousand people from Detroit.

      Hi mansion was right down the street from where my mom worked as a social worker. He lived in luxury, screwed his female artists (literally) and fucked them all for royalties. And the entire area around The Boston Edison district, that son of a bitch wouldn't even send a bag of groceries over to an old widow woman.

  10. The fix, when in, always victimizes the strongest. I coulda been a contender - Detroit. I was the champion of the world, the world - Detroit. The gentle giants are in, not of, this world - Detroit.

    This reminds me of a poem I wrote a few years back:

    Words Said as Time Moved into No Time
    It's all going to be just like this from now on,
    But there's a cost,
    There's a reason people write their names on a piece of paper
    And burn it,
    There's a reason they take on the energy of new names
    —Sonny Liston-Detroit—
    But there is no name.
    There's only the sound of a quail calling his honey at dusk.

  11. Sad that he was stolen from and treated like a slave by those who were supposed to care. How do people live with themselves after they use up someone and then take everything away, including hope? I wonder at our cruelty to each other.


So Walking Man I was thinking...