Thursday, June 13, 2013


How many brain-dead
baseball diamond drills
do we need to run, rookie?
Do we need to purchase
for you an insurance policy
to protect you against
the sorcery of blurring
curves, the chin music
of mommie balls
coming in fast?

Spring training
is the hope-forming time
to scrunch scar tissue,
to test aches subtracted
from the totem death-dance
of old brown city street snow,
of writer's block shaped
into three white bases,
to take into our nostrils
the sweet fragance of March

And after the vets have tapped
the buzzing fridge of free cokes,
turning termimnal pains
into mere dietary disease,
we must line up trainer's tape
to meet and meet together
at the left-field foul pole
to intensify the muscle memories,
the heated up PFP, PFP, PFP ...
the endless ritual
of pitcher-to-first,
pitcher taking the lob,
spiking the bag

This is how we practice
each thin temporal moment,
experience to ascribe antidotes
for thoughtlessness into decisions
because only repitition can influence
our grace before ownership's
remote tentatcled lens
so if we can make it to October,
if we get lucky,
maybe you'll thank me

So don't be a loud-mouthed rook
wasted for higher purposes
beyond the reasoning of mere mortals
Don't talk back to me!
Don't think to much!
It's bad for everyone concerned
Don't carouse with wild women
sent to stand on your bases
and don't talk money with me
We pay you plenty
and candy comes after

Because I knew John McGraw
Who fussed himself silly
Made teammates enemies
But they played great
Despite his tyrannical self:
Gawd how I loved his glare,
like Joe Torrie's blank stare;
a poker face almost saying, man,
I loathe baseball, I wanna go home

I heard stories about such skips:
See, this pitcher, this catcher,
they hate each other, so they throw
harder and harder to each other
and surely at some point
there's got to be a limit,
a point where their palms
turn red, maybe even bleed
until all innings end, unforgiven

By the time they get back
to the bench they are screaming
at each other so ol' skipper
comes over, spits, and says,
"Okay boys, you go back
into your pretty clubhouse
and have at it. May the worst
man win. I'll warm up Johnson
and Mack, get the equipment on."

So the two embattlers
go behind closed doors
and end up killing each other
The general manager calls
new recruits up from Triple-A
to replace them both:
Everybody wins

Taking Stock of Bonds

Ten warm-up pitches
ascend ten Dante-esque
levels up the screen
behind home plate
and Barry Bonds
took a look
and his mega-salary
was mistaken for humble
and human; his life as pure ego
was at stake, make no mistake

He waved to manager Don Baylor
in the opposition dugout
in the sunny half-joke
in spring training in the desert:
hard to reason with the risk
of certain beaning
as limousine Barry
goes up to the plate, the pitch,
and Bonds does straight-into-the-air time
and lands back down to do the earth dance,
an element of fear enhanced, gets up
and his earring shines from some light
beamed from far up in the sky
since, with nobody on, there are only
so many points a ball can be thrown
through the atmosphere as the next pitch
was down the middle of the strike zone

After Bonds had swung it landed near
a western wear store west of Apache Junction:
So much for the element of surprise

Later that day at the ballpark, frankly,
Barry Bonds almost trampled my son
trying to get his autograph
and my kid said, What a jerk!

It made me so proud

My Cup of Coffee in the Majors

A shadow passes on opening day
as the umpire screens the views
of new scores coming in,
old scores settled long ago,
as the heartbeat of the homeland
counts the day's receipts
checking for signs of mischief,
as angry Aztec gods
make a point, hiring lawyers
for copyright violation,
as spring birds bunt,
turning snow into drops
of sugary sweet wine,
as the ball comes down
the third base line
with just enough gust
to push the ball foul
as ice cold beer sales
flow into the face
of forever: O sure,
I had a cup in Euphoria
but didn't stick for the Stixx
and the banks were all closed
at sunset and I couldn't
get a grip and the previous
night's bright lights
could have been a trick


Post a Comment

<< Home