Some people seek catharsis; the relief
of chemicals and aching muscles tensed.
Some love the pain and others the pretence
of shadowing what’s lurking underneath.
Sometimes it’s just a question of belief
and attitude and cock-sure confidence,
and other times it confounds common sense
like lifting weights by using just your teeth.
But strongmen know when tears are mixed with sweat,
and brawn can be a front for loneliness
until the aggregation of regret
stains everything the colour of distress.
Sometimes a smile is built on gritted teeth;
Some people seek catharsis: the relief.
John Massis was a Belgian strongman and 'teeth acrobat' who specialised in bending iron with his teeth, as well as lifting heavy weights with his jaw. He struggled with poor mental and physical health and died in 1988 from suicide.