Assuming for a long second
that seagulls and flying things still launch from hand rails and
soar similar heights,
does the wild euphoric collective scream
after a walk off homerun,
at today’s Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park,
sound the same to a seagull,
as a Nazi Nuremberg rally’s collective ”seig heil, seig heil, seig heil” did?
a question of consonants and vowels perhaps?
the bread crumbs and hot dog scraps of Ball Park delicieuse
serve a flying thing’s survival,
buy why Cincinnati?
why not bavarian milwaukee or anywhere else?
it’s because of my great half uncle in reverse – Otto Ramdickle.
he lives in cincinatti and feels alienated there,
told me so over the telephone.
he said, ”the baseball announcers suffer from homerism,”
so i said, ”why don’t you shut off the radio then?”
but i immediately knew that was an out of the ball park question,
a foul ball question
because Otto loves baseball,
relies on it like a raft riding through a black hole
and that without baseball,
he might get all the air sucked out of him like a birthday party balloon and disappear.
Otto also told me that the ”homerism” he hears on the radio
adds to his alienation and that
the entire situation reminded him of the nazi germany he’s been studying in high school,
”first we take poland, then we take France,” he laughed, but i think he was crying.
i don’t have a big bookshelf or rather, the shelf is big; there’s just not a lot of books,
only a couple of baseball-isms, machinery manuals, and a few poetry pamphlets.
but i like asking the shelf a question and
then closing my eyes and playing a piñata game equivalent,
my hand and finger become the wand or stick,
but i don’t swing.
i point instead,
and whatever i point to…..book, manual or ism
i snatch it off the shelf.
there’s no candy inside either, only words,
i played the game while talking to Otto my half uncle in reverse and
landed on a postcard size copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl.
perfect i thought because i knew Otto had a copy too
so we read it to each other over the phone
back and forth,
4 or 5 lines at a time,
like two kids riding a seesaw,
and since a lady with a sweet balmy voice said, ”6 hours remained on the phone card,”
Otto and i kept playing…reading nice and slow,
doing our best to pause at commas and express emotions in wild lilts,
feeling like colorful saxaphone bouquet blasts
and when Otto reached the end of part 2 and
heard the word ”radios” come out of his mouth,
”radios…….. lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!”
i could hear the curl in Otto’s face, the flesh stretching as he smiled
or maybe i exaggerate and it was more like empathetic visual hallucination?
either way, i let him read and read and read some more,
all the way to the last two words…..”’Western night” when
Otto paused and screamed,
”Creek Howl, Creek Howl, Creek Howl”
so i said it too,
”Creek Howl, Creek Howl, Creek Howl,”
not really knowing what i was saying so
i said it again and then it hit me,
the rhyming with ”seig heil, seig heil, seig heil.”
not a perfect Hop on Pop sort of rhyme,
but i knew what Otto meant or felt like i did anyway.
i closed my eyes and could see Otto beside water,
staring into the Ohio River,
at the waves,
Great American Ballpark in the backround.
he wore a half-smile,
the swastika’s meaning bending again.
i think Otto felt lucky.