Wednesday, March 9, 2016



For Chris, in real life
Frank, in imagination, and
Ted, in memory


Something I always feel
at a baseball game.
How much I love the scene
& how little I love “America.”

If only they played ball
in England
where they play cricket.
In its own way

nearly as good. And Canada
where they play ball.
Jackie Robinson auditioned
in Montreal, where they

don’t anymore, at least not
in that silly indoor place
by the great botanic garden
. . .

Think about it. Art Turf
across the busy street
from nature’s own art
where it gets a little help

from hardworking locals
(docents & presumably legal
gardeners) a great place
honestly & the best

North American beer grows
there too.
Check it out at
strong lager, Raftman,

With a coral sheen that is slightly robust
and combines the character of whisky malt.
Brewed to commemorate the legendary courage
of the forest workers and share their

Joie de vivre with a beer and a whisky.
Very cool, although it doesn’t have to be
served that way. Big tough redhead
French Canadian logroller piking river-borne timber

on the label. You want
myth and legend, well, I tried
to write a poem about Tiger Stadium.
Got two four line stanzas

into the thing & it turned into
a diatribe about Nixon.
The professor hated it
even though I meant

every word, and turned out to be
right. Maybe that’s why
when I think about writing about
baseball, now,

I think of George W. Bush.
The best thing I saw
in Montreal’s botanic garden was
the First Nation recreation

of what that place
may have been, then,
In those days . . .


I played sick the day
JFK threw out the first pitch
in the stadium now named
after his brother where

the Nats play, for now,
so I could watch my beloved
Tigers on opening day in 1962.
In the same new house later

That year I was baking
for the first time . . .
Angelfood cake . . . Angel
Bo Belinsky

Threw his 1st start no-
hitter. That same year
I heard the news that
Marilyn Monroe died.

(“I am truly horribly upset because Marilyn
Monroe died”) while I baked that cake
Angel Angel Angel & it wasn’t that long
afterward that JFK was dead too.

God Bless America
land that I love.
Irving Berlin wrote
something like that

Moloch Moloch Moloch
Alan Ginsberg wrote
exactly that. Those aren’t the teachings
of a man of god, Eliza G. sang that

in Golden Gate Park, & elsewhere.
I sit here in North America, a place
I love for 3 reasons.
1. Itself, the look of the place;

2. Baseball, for all the obvious reasons;
& there is a third, but
I forget it now, I suppose it
must have been

The promise of the place
furiously betrayed by lies.
So I don’t stand for the blood-spattered banner,
wish to sing O Canada

With pure patriot love
in all my heart commanded.
Fuck Jesus! said Ted (albeit in jest)
but Ted is dead (July 4, 1983).

True patriot he, true
son of Whitman
that “incredible queer”
(per Ted).

Almost wish there were
a GOD who
would dispense richly
deserved damnation

As though that weren’t
aught but a richly
merited fantasy . . .
America . . .

When will you cease
your never-ending
war with the flesh
& my soul?

& when will you finally,
as the good Doc.
Williams said, realize there are
no ideas but in things?


The trip begins
with a Beefeater
at Jack’s Bistro.
The security level

is Marsec 1
(whatever that means).
The Peralta approacheth
the dock. The cormorant

on the buoy by the Potomoac
fleeth not. Departing
passengers look
anything but terrified.

Boy Scouts go by.
Language is spoken.
There is the possibility
of rough water says the Speaker.

Particularly for the Giants
who have lost 7 in a row.
Pelicans to Starboard
entering the Bay.

Big old ugly barge
straight ahead
although not THAT straight ahead
& then THE Bay Bridge

easily got under & then the Capital
of Ecotopia & the ballpark (on its third phone company name
nameless here, for obvious reasons
of good taste) at Port.

The ferry approacheth its
target wharf, framed
by one tower named
either after a carpet company

or 19th Century criminal &
the other named after
a TRUE corporate criminal
(i.e. COIT & Transamerica).

No City
without its verily awful bloodlines,
as Dr. Thompson might insinuate.
Hit the dock, walk between

two great pop artifacts
Oldenberg’s bow & arrow
(I left my heart, get it?) & the
Hills Bros Arab & on to the Embarcadero.

Commencing a stately stroll, even
for one spiritually stateless
except perhaps in state of mind.
O Canada, O Canada

Which won’t get sung tonite.
Past godawful statuary
“Passage” courtesy of
Black Rock Art Foundation.

Talk about black art!
Well, after all, it is
Organ Donor Night at the “old” ballpark
& one is stupidly tempted

To make wishlists:
For Bush a healthy mind.
For Cheney a soul.
For Leezy a conscience, but

fantasy is fruitless.
They ain’t got ‘em
& they ain’t going to.
Bill Clinton an organ

to go with his sax? Aw c’mon
Cheap Cheap Cheap
Cheep Cheep Cheep, and the anthem
is actually beautifully

sung, but who
can stand for it
or the republic
for which it pretends to stand?

(O Canada. O Canada.)
Followed by recorded Bowie
doing Young Americans.
As Carl once said

I can’t believe I live
on this planet!
but according to various solipsists I
sort of have to accept that I do.

I do. I do. Three pressing
questions at 7:25 PM.
Can the Cubs hold a 9-3 lead
in the 9th at Wrigley.

Can the Tigers hold a 10-4 lead
in the 9th at St. Pete?
Can the Giants ever win again.
Probably yes, to all 3

Not that any of it will do any
good for the planet’s sufferers
aside from Cub, Tiger, & Giant fans
who can’t be suffering all

that much because they still
have time for baseball
and don’t even have to dodge bombs
between innings. Tiger fans

being the least easily pardoned because
if they don’t enjoy
this season their suffering
be self-inflicted.

At the phone park, bluebirds sweep
the view deck. Sadly,
they are not bluebirds
of happiness.


(Interesting, but unpoetic sidebar:
On the day Fidel’s provisional
stepaside becomes public in the USA
Washington pitcher is

Cuban fink and ex-Giant
Livian Hernandez & the most-hated
Person in the USA -- besides Fidel – also nameless here,
is NOT in the lineup.)

Through 3 & ½ innings none of this has helped the Giants
much. They play old, old, old
old as Fidel, who should have died
hereafter, but hasn’t, weird JFK-

linked schemes notwithstanding.
Foul balls still go foul.
Bad baserunning turns into outs, &
“our” lads do plenty of it.

Baseball being as merciless as
the American Way
which must be why it remains
the National Game.

So here I am, watching
the Washington Nationals, no relation
to Senators of either stripe, & managed
by Frank Robinson, the best player I ever saw.

I couldn’t say enough good things
about him, wearing my baseball cap,
except this, to quote Ted one last time.
“He will always be perfectly Frank.”

Leave game at 9:25
presence as
insignificant as it is
in the real world &

Besides, taping it at home
where warm bed &
bedfellow & whisky whisky
my old friend

await. Good night Mrs. De Vries
all of you (save one who knows who she is
& that isn’t her name anyway)
wherever you are, I just want

to make it clear I’m not
one of yours
whatever they or you say
& have not been
for a long time.

Line Score Pitchers HR
WA 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 4 6 0 L Hernandez 7 (W 9-8), Bowie .2, Rauch .1, Cordero 1 (S 19) none

SF 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 Cain 7 (L 7-8), Chulk .2, Stanton .1, Benitez 1 none

San Francisco, Cobmoosa Shores, MI, 5/18 – 8/9, 2006
Ethics & Blades

Although not a blade freak
I do subscribe to the gospel
according to Corb.

“Always keep an edge
on your knife, son.”
(I’m not Corb’s son.)

I’m not his father either.
His father was a bullrider.
His mother was

a goatroper
and Corb’s the best country-punk
rocker in North America

I don’t ride bulls. Occasionally I eat goat.
About as often, I ride bullshit.
It stinks. There are

ethical issues, like when
you put a Gerber Famous Blade
in your dop kit in the Super 8

out by O’Hare
at the end of
a very hot trip

and then can’t find it
for two weeks and send
United Air a very polite email

about how they lost your
favorite knife and they (equally politely)
send you a $100 discount on your next trip

in the friendly skies,
and so you go and
search the ENTIRE internet

for the knife you lost
and it’s not made
anymore, but it’s really the one you want

and so you spend some more
time and money online
and because you don’t know

exactly how long an inch is
you do find something that
looks like the knife you lost

and you buy it, and it’s beautiful
except about one third the size
of the one you had in mind.

AND THEN, the lost is found.
But the edge is dull, and
you get to work with that stone

and although you should be listening to Corb sing
about keeping a sharp edge,
being one of very stoney brain

you are instead
searching Wikipedia and all manner
of blade-related sites

for the knife you really want
(except with a blade you
will this time keep

an edge on) and watch
the White Sox beating
the Tigers, on ESPN2,

all the while pondering
whether it would be righteous
to use that $100 certificate

on your next trip
to Chicago, or perhaps
to Michigan, for the American League
Division Series.

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