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Street Fighter Sonnets #3

by Nick Holloway

In the run-up to the release of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li at the cinema on Friday, every day we're featuring a sonnet, written by Ross Sutherland, based on the Street Fighter universe. Over to Ross...

Today’s sonnet follows sumo wrestler Edmund Honda. Edmund's make-up is in the kabuki style, the same style worn by his hero, Kamakura Gongorō Kagemasa.

We catch up with Edmund in the bath house of his sumo stable. Edmund is thinking about a recent performance of the Kabuki play, Shibaraku, during which Kagemasa stops time to deliver a monologue before fighting off a group of villains...

E. HONDA (JAPAN, 304lbs)

Last year, at Minami-za, Kyoto,

He saw Kagemasa stop time, swan out

on the hanamichi like a game show

host, heavy with answers, turn about

and wink before killing the frozen soldiers.

In the empty bathhouse, he thinks of this.

How peace before battle is now no more

than ostentation. Edmund writes out his

father's poem: steam hides the bather /

yet it condenses into / ladles

of water. Hands upon his starched equator,

displaced from the vacuum of his stable

he hears the crowd sound out the pattern:

One hundred single hands, all clapping.