In a literary context, I’ve always seen myself as a young Mike Tyson. The proverbial bad guy (dressed in black). The antihero. At 20 years old, Mike Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champion ever (no small thing, unifying all three belts). Surpassing Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis in unparalleled mystique, Mike Tyson was a worldwide phenomenon. But even more remarkable, of his first 19 fights, all were knockouts (twelve in the first round, in three minutes or less). Unprecedented! Thus, in the indomitable spirit of Iron Mike, I feel compelled to wow the crowd in 90 seconds. In three paragraphs. In 300 words or less.

With that being said, in The 48 Laws of Power, there are many contradictions. Two rules apply directly to the publishing industry. Law #6: always make a splash (never go unnoticed). I’ve got that covered (and then some). But Law #1 is more complicated. Trickier. More nuanced. Law #1 states: never outshine thy master (always make those above you feel comfortably superior). In this particular area, I fail miserably. My tragic flaw. A real hindrance to my commercial success. Shame on me, but ever since I was a young boy (a city all-star in two sports at ten years old), I couldn’t help but to shine. I can’t help but to be excellent. I can’t help but to stand out. I can’t help but to be me. A lightning rod to most, in sickness and in health, (over time) I’ve accrued both a bevy of loyal friends as well as a plethora of sworn enemies.

A divine blessing and curse: I am both loved and hated. Black and white. Rich and poor. Sinner and saint. Weak and strong. Wise & foolish…I am a freak of nature. An anomaly. A unicorn. A bastard of twisted fate. Orphaned by providence…destiny’s lovechild…I stand alone. Thus, for better and for worse, my life has become a living sacrifice. I am poured out daily in public record: five published essays and a 17-page rap sheet. An urban legend, I am (nay, I have become) all things to all people (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Alas, in the end, I don’t just talk about the city on a hill. I don’t merely revel in Americana. I don’t casually expound upon the poetics of the more perfect union. But rather, I am the city on a hill. I am America. I am the more perfect. As far as the literary world is concerned, I am the chosen one. I am the truth, the way and the light (John 14:6). When it comes to the almighty pen, I’m not just good…I am godlike. Invincible…I am Iron Mike. Undefeated…I am a young Tyson.