The Millions

Advice to Young Writers on the Eve of Wrestlemania

A while back, I gave a reading for Little Salon, a Washington, DC arts event that takes place in the comfort of someone’s living room. I read a poem called “Stroke Diary,” and I told the audience that the poem was very personal, as it attempts to capture the minute-by-minute unfolding of my wife’s 2009 stroke at the age of 27 and the paranoia that followed such an unexpected medical event.  

During the Q&A afterwards, I was asked how much of my work was autobiographical—the dreaded question. I answered that the “I” in the poems was, most times, actually me, but at the same time not really me. Instead, they were a version of me. Everything is both true and not true at once. Which naturally got me thinking about professional wrestling. 

What’s been most interesting to audiences in professional wrestling across the last two decades has been when and how the WWE writers integrate truth and storytelling. The fans are in on this. There are hundreds of “news” sites and Twitter accounts that spin out rumors from backstage—so-and-so doesn’t like this guy, this person’s contract is about to be up, this guy is losing so much because he failed a drug test, etc.—and I eat it all up along with millions

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Millions

The Millions7 min read
Noir Is All About Bad Decisions: The Millions Interviews William Boyle
The novels of the Oxford-based, Brooklyn-born author William Boyle are replete with dire circumstances, gallows humor and instantly iconic characters. An unapologetic disciple of the noir masters of the past, his work invokes both the mind-bending mo
The Millions2 min read
The Millions Top Ten: September 2018
We spend plenty of time here on The Millions telling all of you what we’ve been reading, but we are also quite interested in hearing about what you’ve been reading. By looking at our Amazon stats, we can see what books Millions readers have been buyi
The Millions5 min read
To Rip It Up and Start Again: Jeff Jackson’s ‘Destroy All Monsters’
Like many kids who grew up in small towns where there wasn’t much to do, I spent my adolescence going to punk rock shows. I wasn’t an actual punk, mind you. While other kids bleached their hair and affixed Black Flag patches to their backpacks, I wor