Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Big Smoke: Rememory

[The Big Smoke reading group]  

Adrian Matejka's poem "Rememory" from The Big Smoke presents Jack Johnson at a different time and place, seemingly far from the ring. Johnson recalls an incident when a "horse back-kicked so hard / my leg bone broke, split my skin / like a lazy plum."

Through all we've been through with Johnson, this poem seems to present him a notably vulnerable way. But what did you think; how did you read or respond to the Johnson you encountered in "Rememory"? Why or how so?  

10 comments:

Isaiah Blackburn said...

It's funny how this seems to be the only instance where we see Jack Johnson in pain. "Rememory" reveals what the great Jack Johnson is afraid of and knocks him off of his pedestal in my eyes. In a sense, it's a humbling experience for him because he sees that he is not invincible. Although Johnson is dominant in the ring, he is still just a man.

Elijah Person said...

Adrian Matejka's rememory put Jack Johnson in a situation that he' snot used to, not being in control. Johnson is shown as a mere human and not the invincible man he is usually portrayed as.

Trion T. said...

Well i can honestly say that i like Johnson more, now that i have seen him in a more or less humble situation. He always talks about how great a man he is and how tough he is. But the fact that we were able to see him in that state, tells us that what we normally see from Jack isn't all there is to him.

Gerrell Lewis said...

Considering other poems by Adrian Matejka, Jack Johnson seems very vunerable to the point were he needs help. He's stuck with a life-long scar on his thigh were he thinks when he rubs it, its brings him luck with his fights. Maybe he feels this way because he didnt die when he at his weakest.

Xavier Morrison- Wallace said...

Jack Johnson seems older and more vulnerable than he was when he was still fighting. The scar that he received after that horse kicked him may remind him that he is not unbeatable and able to get seriously hurt.

Phillip Goens said...

I read and responded to "Rememory" differently because of the way he describes it. He is put in a vulnerable position because it is completely opposite of his normal lifestyle. He is normally the underdog in the boxing ring, but now he is far from that. He is normally throwing the punches, and making people bleed in the ring, now he is getting kicked by a horse, which gets him injured. It’s a Complete change around, this is a since of normal, not everyone can be a giant, and if so, for how long? This shows that many people have their weaknesses, no matter how strong and feared they are.

J.Shaw said...

Being humble is the number one thing that athletes these days lack, and this poem shows that Johnson has a small sense of humility. Similar to how he puts people on their back in the ring, he was put on his by a horse which shows that no boxer is too good to be knocked down in any situation.

Jordan Hardman said...

Jack appears to be less manly and he actually appears to be normal. All of this is due to him being put in an uuncomfortable situation. This shows that no one is invincible from everything in life.

Jelani Brown said...

I feel like the jack we encountered in the past was the fuel for the present jack now. By fuel I mean that he never wants to be beaten down again, so he rubs it for luck hoping that he will not receive another.

Nicholas Rawls said...

I see Johnson as only a man. Sure he's a champion, he's colored, he's struggled, but above all, he's a man. Like all men, no matter how strong we get, we are just as easily broken; fragile. That scar from the horse serves as a reminder to Johnson.
-Nicholas Rawls