Saturday, April 23, 2005

Saturday April 23, 2005 2:20PM

So this is my poem of last week. It is written after e.e. cummings' "In-just". Do with it what y'all will and feel free to have comments...

(after e.e.cummings)

and the balls dance
out on the asphalt courts

baggy shorts oversized white tees
and JamaalandTyrone
swagger in
and the chains
trash talk and more bouncing echoes

and the blueandwhite cruiser comes by slowly

and the girls fix their hair
corn rows to afro puffs
and short jeans skirts
white tenis
and YvetteandTasha walk slowly
by the ricochet of
bouncing balls
boys taking it to the hole
and the blueandwhite cruiser
sirens once


and the boys freeze
slow their games
smooth guile of a stroll
spring and 5-O
flashes lights again
and EddieandKahil watch
from inside the chain-link court

Spring and
dogwood blossoms
dust the green-painted asphalt
and fifty boys bolt
in fifty directions

and 5-O chooses
a pair of fifteen-year olds
to chase
spring and their guns are drawn
spring and the flat report
rings into the Sunday afternoon
of a store-front church
sweet chariots coming
and their lights are flashing
and there are mothers wailing
the makeshift altars’ flowers
on the hot asphalt court will
fade by summer
and a ball rolls slowly to the street
and somewhere in the city
there is a quick siren
and boys are running everywhere


Meanwhile, I've been watching the NFL Draft. I can't believe that USC's Mike Williams dropped as far as tenth. I can't believe that folks actually thought that Braylon Edwards was a better option at wide receiver. Mark my words. Mike Williams is going to tear up the NFL if Joey Harrington at Detroit ever figures out how to throw straight. Other than that, it's clear i'm way too much of a geek to be sitting here watching folks pick other folks.

Thursday evening, i got to hang out with Martin Espada. Yes, I'm boasting. It was really cool to hang out with someone who is an idol of mine (not to mention the opportunity to sit at the table with he and Mark Doty at the Brooklyn Public Library during his reading there). Got to hang out also with Jack Aguerros; and it's amazing to hang out with older heads who've already forgotten more than you know; and are willing to share it without being obnoxious. Not to mention the poetry was amazingly good. I also went to the Canadian poets reading in lower Manhattan the other day hoping and expecting to hear Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. I didn't, but i was struck (again) by the absolute intent of some poets to read their work in the most boring fashion ever. While i do not need histrionics, i feel i'm within my right to request voice-modulation from time to time, expression or even a little passion. Many of our so-called academic poets read perfectly well and are very very compelling without having to "perform" per se - Sharon Olds, Mark Doty, Martin Espada, Tony Hoagland, Marie Howe (to name a few).

Anyway, San Diego is on the clock with the 12th pick; the one they got from the Giants last year (along with Philip Rivers)in exchange for Eli Manning. Oooops... there goes Merril Hoge talking shit again about Mike Williams not being a dominant player. I have to go scream at the TV now...


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