brewers baseball and things


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johnny finds a rose

it’s an early spring morning.
a pleasant cardinal tweet greets Johnny
but he wonders darkly instead.
if he were stranded in a small boat,
in the middle of a big ocean
with no signs of land,
no water to drink,
and no food to eat,
would he really care
that 37 games into this 2017 season
the Brewers were 20-17,
and had already hit 60 home runs,
most in the majors?
would he care?
maybe more than ever!

 


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no name

He could have been like the others and joined some wilderness retreat and learned a new pitch, become a converted reliever and revived or rather, started his career. Others had done it, most recently, Edgar Warrbins. The Boise teenager could barely hit 75 on a radar gun, but when he dropped his arm down to the side, he won a few onlookers. Then Edgar dropped it even further, to the submarine zone and the Indy leagues came calling. It made his pitch swerve and some say rise and then quickly fall,  a bit like a drunk struggling to a squat kerplunk to the hard earth. Batters would swing and miss. It was all very unorthodox and highly contagious, but he looked down and then around, at the railroad tracks stretching horizon to horizon. He liked where he was and so he kept to the amateur league course, as a mop up man, throwing ho-hum overhand strikes, inducing fly balls, and eating up innings. He said it was better for his well-being, reminded him of the thankless toil of it all.


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the affectionate one

the thermometer hasn’t changed much recently.
makes the odds of a miracle seem low,

but then last night,
the Brewers were in Toronto for the Jay’s home opener.
the Brewers’ Domingo Santana was at bat.
i forget what inning,
but he stood there and took a bunch of pitches and fouled off a few more.
he does that often.
he looks like a bull fighter not the least bit impressed by the bull pitcher.
i forget how the at bat ended up,
but i felt warmer.
the Brewers won 4-3.


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baseball and god

of all the radio broadcasters,
over all the years,
ever since the first transmission way back when,
all of them,
nestled in booths,
owls perched on a branch
overlooking the diamond
describing all the action or non-action;
there must have been at least one
who compared a baseball game to a story
with all its up and downs,
twists and turns,
plots and characters,
but a game is sometimes dull,
so dull
that people fall asleep and
others complain and suggest ways to speed the damn game up,
to make it more interesting and what not
but a story can never be dull or
it’s not supposed to be.
the author struggles to make each sentence sizzle
or maybe they make sentences intentionally boring
as a set up for the ones that explode?
like dissonance and harmony dancing one after the other!
in that case a story can be like a baseball game,
but the author of the game can never be known.


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batter x

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,
certain,
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
another pitch,
another day,
heads our way!


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the first breath again

the old barber shop,
with a red, white and blue twirl outside and
a chair i had never seen before inside.
i was too small so the barber laid a board across the arm wrests to raise me up.
there was a mirror in front of me.
there was a mirror behind me.
i could see myself repeating for infinity.
the barber gave me a bazooka joe bubble gum when he was done cutting.
the wind felt right as I walked away.

i don’t look at the mirror much anymore.
it reminds me too much,
of what’s been lost,
baseball’s four divisions
and before that,
the two leagues of my grandpa’s time
all spring summer season long they played for
only one winner per league,
one playoff called the World Series,
all those games for nothing i love that,
no wild cards,
no inter league play,
no money sponsors commercial,
only strange named relievers and hot dog wrappers.

i like the smell of a vagabond.
i like the will of a can collector.
i like the runaway train determination of anyone doing what they love to do.
i cut my own hair these days.


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outside

a deck of playing cards is scattered about my route to work
just like it was before the snow fell frozen,
stray numbers,
stray royalty.

i look up instead.

a satellite dish and a crow share a roof top.
makes me long for the order of a baseball diamond,
i go there,
but there are only partially underground dugouts,
3 feet underground dugouts,
abandoned,
a used condom and candy bar wrappers in the corner,
but it’s a kid’s crumpled up 
homework assignment that saddens me the most.

i think about cancer, name calling, depression, stubbed toes and all sorts of woes, but then i think about those cups we used as kids, the ones we connected with strings and communicated with one another and then i think about walkie-talkies and dugout phones and bullpen phones and a manager summoning something ancient from the bullpen ——the menagerie of a reliever, the circus of his hair, a messiah, an assassin, to climb the mound and prevent any further damage, to preserve it all, and in the next half inning,
to give us another chance,
one more chance,
and then one more,
over and over again.