i remember being by the dugout. in search of an indian’s autograph and some indian set my shoelace on fire and i had been hot footed and i knew it was love.
Tag Archives: baseball poem
roses from a sacramento bunker
there were noises outside the basement window…
probably tanks rolling over gravel.
old Blinker let out a farmer’s blow of green slime and
snuck under his basement steps.
he flipped on a flashlight,
removed a box of 1974 Topps
and thumbed through them,
happy all over again that he was only missing two cards from the entire 660 card set –
number 13 – Tom Hilgendorf and
number 409 – Ike Brown
he wondered what the Hilgendorf and Brown cards looked like.
he’d never seen them.
head first dive into second?
batting cage casual?
the questions resurrected a no longer dead part of his mind.
sudden thoughts of Bill McNulty and his 55 homer season,
Pacific Coast League,
The Blinker rolled his fingers like a beginning piano player.
babe ruth too!
ok, when Rick Wise hit two homers and tossed a no-hitter,
he was pitching for the National League Phillies, but
Ohtani hitting the way he does and in the American League!!
such an ironic, slap in the senior circuit’s “pure” baseball face.
on an otherwise not so romantic night
“A dirty chain ain’t half bad,” mulled Slapstick Sam. “Keeps a stranger from flying over the handlebars, keeps the links together.”
The air was thick, but it wasn’t summer, no swimming through molasses decisions needed, to move or not to move. It was almost winter and a few pitchers had already signed nice free agent contracts, a small trade here-talk of bigger trades there. Talk of January being mild, of the Sanitary Commissioner stepping down, of old Slapstick Sam unveiling his stack of basketball cards, the tall ones, from the early 70’s including the Lew Alcindor rookie and the sound of sweet Lew turned minds to Maury Wills and his 104 stolen base season, of him only getting caught 13 times, helped Slapstick Sam sleep well and he woke up good and ready, strong coffee wondering if Sadaharu Oh hit 868 homeruns, than maybe Josh Gibson hit 900 or some unknown league in Liechtenstein housed a gunner who hit 40 inside the parkers for 30 years which adds up to 1200 if these moon time calculations are accurate.
But back to that dirty chain, Slapstick Sam had his eyes on a girl. She went by the name Calypso the Copperfield, named after the magician, and she could dance, on a pogo stick or a unicycle, it didn’t matter, she had the stroke, in dirty water or high blue skies, she had the grace, that knowing she wasn’t supposed to be and so her and Slapstick Sam wandered into a wintery night and the smell was right, the wood burning and crispiness of it all December, but they turned back anyway and settled down on their cabin sofa, on a love seat, and flipped on a rerun of some old regular season game…the rib and ridicule of the play by play and color putting them at ease, glad to be alive for another night.
i think i hate november
i was gonna quit drinking but confusion and paranoia and please pour me three more!!! and good thing i did drink because after reading charles bukowski’s ham on rye i learned about a baseball player i had never heard of before – Jigger Statz and so i shared my discovery with a friend who likes baseball. (it’s hard to have a friend who doesn’t like baseball at least a little) and he reminded me that Jigger Statz is one of 8 or 9 players who amassed 4,000 hits in pro ball…..most of Statz’s hits were in the minor leagues, but so what, that’s some firewood to wrap around me all winter or at least one lonely night in november.
on the other side of science street
the game was over.
it had all the ruminations.
i learned that word today – ruminations.
i like how it’s not only a thought process, but a cow chewing its cud.
there was a complete game in the game.
the winning pitcher won.
the lights at the bar across the street went on at 2 AM.
it was always that way.
they called it bar time.
some of the locals said it was no good to stay awake past 12
they were still there, at the rail, drinking at 1:15.
because there’s always that chance of a forbidden kiss.
a little of that old pitchback game salvation
It happened so suddenly…..
this no more talk of resurrection and red sea crossings…
this no more bird chirp dawns of spring…
this no more kids playing whiffle ball in suburban backyards…
this no more spring training number 99 who? playing shortstop…
this no more violet bulbs on branches bursting a wild rush gush of green.
this crucible we’re in.
i got that worry, that paranoia. I bought a lot of food, but in my panic i bought spicy hot dogs that are messing with my stomach. i’m failing this test so i close my eyes and watch my body walk real slow, slide across the wood floor a sort of moon walk. Along the way, I pick up a rubber ball and slide some more, towards my bedroom wall. I stand on a makeshift mound, a stack of underwear or an old newspaper and I exhale nice and slow. I throw that rubber ball.
I’m Tiant’s 180 degree tango one pitch.
Fernando’s heavenly glance the next,
and then Pedro’s three quarter,
Dave LaRoche’s eeuphus,
Kent Tekulve submarine and so on…
Tim Lincecum’s cupped ball…..Brandon Woodruff over the top and holy crap he can hit too, whacked a home run off Kershaw in the 2018 playoffs and so I dream of a bat in my hands and long for a pitcher to bring it on and suddenly i don’t know what time it is or what day and death doesn’t matter, for a few minutes anyway.
maybe something to scribble on the back of my baseball card
and so the world is ending.
i’ll fix me up some whisky and
think about the lucky times i loved.
our first baseman was tall.
and as they got older,
they had to field and hold runners close to the base.
i don’t know how they ballet did it?
with nomadic hookah hospitality?
nice words trickery?
i never found out,
but i made it to first as a runner and
it felt like a scary desert island.
i admired first baseman even more!
many failed at becoming first baseman.
they drifted to the outfield instead or
across the diamond,
to third base or
they quit baseball altogether and
took up cigarettes, stamp collecting or whatever.
the first baseman i know today is not tall and
he never talks about baseball.
he works in a warehouse.
people go and talk to him.
they get to know each other.
little league wasn’t for everyone,
but most kids took their shot at hitting a ball,
back alley dares;
windows were meant to be broken.
i forget the kid’s name,
but it was easier for him when the bat was wet.
he shook the lumber like carney lansford,
all spastic and focused,
auburn colored hair,
even when he swung and missed,
he screamed and never stopped,
kicked over garbage cans.
he found a way under everyone’s hood.
he took took us from matchbox cars to the moon,
and even now,
so many years later,
i can hear him whizzing as
heads our way!