Climbing


Crag rats with calluses tune a bohemian craft
up slabs, overhangs and roofs
across boulders, mantels and mindfulness.

Watch out for gashes, split tips or flappers
watch out for ego, Ego, EGO
watch out for sewing machine leg
—-(Elvis quake and tremble)
—-ultra-pumpy situations
—-the detrimental whipper.

dig deep
squeeze
shift your balance,
turn a straight down,
pull into an under cling

get creative get dynamic
do the syncopated dance
the rock and teacher funky move

smooth grooving flowing mood
cranking on and on
past the snag
toward the crux

hold on by grips crimps cobbles and knobs
kick your heels
foot with friction
high step
scrunch
smear
slope
and edge

speak the speak:
yo-yo—-solo—-scramble
hang by a rope and a dream

Don’t worry,
the belayer has you by the grigri.

Source: “Sport Climbing” by John Long – Publisher: Falcon; 3rd edition (January 1, 1997)


Christina Burress lives in San Diego. She is a California Poet in The School and founder of The Del Mar Writing Project. Most recently, her work has appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual.

1 Comment

  • March 29, 2013

    Joel Preston Smith

    Truly rad, poet dude. Seriously now. The poem rocks. (How can someone read this and NOT want to like TOTALLY synch the lingo?