1921-07-31

Bless me Lord, with surging vengeance on those that might someday harm me.

Bless me Lord, with surging vengeance on those that might someday harm me.

Oh Lord, deliver me from George Herman.
He’s on deck and twirling a pair of sticks.
He’s watching me pitch. Watching, then spits.
Oh Lord, I walked Peckinpaugh,
Ruth is there standing tall —
Oh Lord, protect me from physical harm,
let this ball hit Sewell
or Wambsganss at second.
Strike them dead, Lord,
but in thy mercy consider my children
and my third and future wives.
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Ichiro Again

Japanese card.

Japanese card.

Somewhere in that swirling haze
between nighttime Advil and the alarm clock,
I was thinking about your father
and his failing health.
To be a healthy, normal man one day —
to be a personality and a story,
a guy with long-honed skills,
a guy who knew how to use a tablesaw well —
to be the guy who carried the family history,
who knew how great-grandpa’s voice sounded —

to be that and then not that —

Ichiro, burn brighter,
reach higher.
There’s a whole universe
out there to challenge.
Find bubbling planets
of plasmic goo,
teach them sport,
then beat them blue.

Ichiro, like a solar flare,
like a blast of energy,
go and go and go.
Like a heartbeat,
like a recovered heartbeat,
the downs mean only more ups,
a new peak,
a second career,
a hope upon hope upon hope.

(I dreamt your father recovered,
like my grandfather did.
I dreamt that when they pulled out the tube,
he could talk again.)

Ichiro forever, and when you’re done,
do it again.

Joey Rickard Analysis Poem

The early morning flowers are the first eaten by the post-apocalyptic bird-monsters.

The early morning flowers are the first eaten by the post-apocalyptic bird-monsters.

Athleticism has known bounds
when you and I were pressed together
in that Parisian bus,
jostling — crowded — down some historic rue.
Our eyes locked on each other,
I draw my arm around your waste,
and you helpless, hands full of luggage,
could only watch as I felt around
for your wallet, Mr. Meinke.

— he can’t hit,
he can’t field,
he had one good week —

It’s my stop, but I’ve already crossed
a major barrier of decency,
of civility, of civilization.
I can’t go back now,
I reach with my other hand
and check the other old man cheek.
The wallet must be in luggage,
the damn luggage.

— for an amphitheater of Rays fans,
the Orioles don a beret and striped shirt,
and mime the part of Meinke’s thief
on a crowded bus.

Pepper Martin Don’t Care

Pepper Martin once ate ten salmon steaks in between innings, and you think he cares to hear about your bellyaching?

Pepper Martin once ate ten salmon steaks in between innings, and you think he cares to hear about your bellyaching?

Pepper Martin don’t care that you got a blister on your throwing finger. He don’t care that you’ve got a bit of clay in your eye. Pepper Martin dislocated his shoulder and still hit a double. He ran into a wall and the wall spit him back, but nary a complaint found Pepper Martin’s tongue.

Onward, then, into the brick wall! Into the unbending clay! Overtop the pebbled infield!

Adorn thyself in dirt and grass, a crown of dust and sweat!

My sunroof has a leak and it just rains, rains, rains. (Pepper Martin don’t care.) I tell strangers — I look out the window forlornly and I tell the Asian woman wandering around the office with an empty coffee cup, I tell her: “My sunroof is leaking.”

She chuckles and hesitates and mutters, oh, realizing I’m talking about the old green Buick in the parking lot, and then she slips back into her meeting like water slipping into the interior of my green 1991 Buick Park Avenue, and a whole dimension away, Pepper Martin is cranking those ivory rain levers over and over and over.

He’s not laughing; he’s mirthless. He’s as solemn as a ground-rule double. He’s cranking the rain levers and I’m telling Joe, “I’ll be driving home with a soggy bottom today.”

Pepper Martin don’t care. If he did care, he could only care about toughening me up, raining me into either a sloppy oblivion or a hardened, weathered, All Star third baseman, like a chiseled stone revealed after the mud is washed away, the obsidian statue to me, hidden until a mudslide of trouble washed it clean.

Opening Weak

When comes the Opening in days that come, in times far off from here — in some unknown and godless, bright potential age that might arrive, that could emerge — then we’ll greet it as we will do then every year in our religious habit as the age demands.  We’ll don our sacred caps, obey the sun, and season’s benediction thus intone: Continue reading

Oh, Randy Johnson, Have Pity on Your Home Planet

Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord, forget us not in this moment of certain doom.

Oh Lord, Oh Lord, Oh Lord, forget us not in this moment of certain doom.

For heaven’s sake —
the heavens rain
down and out another
doubleheader.
It’s not the first but
the third time
in three weeks.
I know the scent
of acrid chemicals
overbubbling
God’s cosmic stove.
He has a plan,
and he won’t tell me
because he knows I’ll
kick my stubby little legs
at the stew pot.
The rains clear up
and we lose
one-to-three
both games.

He’s six-foot-mullet,
and he’s ready for the first pitch.
May it miss a galactic dove,
may it keep us somehow spiraling
’round that orange warm blot in the sky.
Oh Randy Johnson, have pity
not just for us but for the birds.
Throw a change
and give us a chance.

Unintended Poetry: Kawasaki Ninjas, Much Translation!

Kawasaki

“I’d say [the the Kawasaki commercial song] doubles as an Ill-Advised Poetry post.”

— Casey Singer, comments of Wednesday’s article

“So,” said I, “mayhaps this video’s words deserve greater scrutiny. So to ensure this is indeed the mighty warrior’s doom sonnet I suspect it to be, I shall review the YouTube Automatically-Generated Closed Captions© and–”

[Author subsumed into in the yellow glow of majestic poetry.]

It turns out the closed captions for this commercial might actually be the lyrics of a slam poem about redlined housing districts in Chicago. I invite you to enjoy:
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