At Muscle Beach in Venice, CA

Swarthy, bear-like, he was known
as Dr. Squat. He never took steroids
but bulked himself up—

5 double cheeseburgers & 6 milkshakes
a night so he could 'have a go'
at weight-lifting.

The young UCLA resident in neurology
could do a front-squat lift, 570 lbs
though his eyes would bulge & he'd worry

about the blood pressure in his head.
On weekends he'd wrap his Nikon F,
a 4 x 5 Linhof & tripod in his sleeping bag,

ride his motorbike all over California
shooting landscapes in a style inspired
by Ansel Adams, but also close-ups

of flowers, moss & lichen. He took photos
of the giant-armed men at Muscle Beach
& developed negatives— in the neuropathy lab.

Bound for New York, he packed a suitcase
with nearly all his Muscle Beach photos.
Lost en route, but someone else snapped:

In San Francisco, Oliver Sacks with beard,
bare legs, setting the California record. 1961.
Full lift. 600 lbs.

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