25.3.08

Opening Day

Seeing as how Opening Day is a day away (or yesterday's today, tomorrow's yesterday ?) in Japan and doesn't feature the Mets or even an NL team, we aren't considering this official in the traditional sense.

Accordingly, rather than recount the deeds being done so far, far away or write some baseball satire, eyeball-popping headline like Pedro Loses Right Arm In Bar Brawl, I've chosen instead to regale yea fortunate readers with a little baseball poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, writer and founder of the infamous City Lights Bookstore. Ferlinghetti, for those of you unfamiliar, was jailed in those dark and evil days or yore when publishing "obscenity" was punishable by jail terms. Just imagine what they'd regard the majority of non-political blog content these days, or 90% if the internet these days...

Baseball Canto
Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right
through the

Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor's voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits
and
little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
Standing straight and still like at some funeral of a
blarney
bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding
Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.

But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun
and
takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go mad with Chicanos and
blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
"Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!"
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don't come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he's escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he's beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don't stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.

4 comments:

Itsmetsforme said...

what a beautiful poem. now where are the opening day birds?

kyle in newport news said...

Regarding your opening paragraph:

Today's great skies, and tomorrow's tears
You'll have to wait till yesterday's here


Enjoy the season.

Jaap said...

Opening Day birds indeed IMFM! How could I have forgotten!

Jaap said...

Cheers, Kyle, let's hope it all comes up roses for us...