Thursday, October 30, 2008

Look to your right. They did it. After I sat on my uncle's carpeted floor in Wantaugh, Long Island, New York and saw Joe Carter launch a home run in Game 6 in 1993, 15 years later the Phillies did it. I'll write all about it this weekend. A full launch into Philadelphia sports (maybe a full launch, or maybe just handle the Phillies and my experience of them). I'm going to enjoy this, this and the fact that basketball season just started and this is going to be one of the best basketball seasons in the history of the NBA. We are going to talk about this season like the 1980 season with LARRY and MAGIC. Or how any mid-20's kid talks about 1990's basketball as if they know anything about it. However if you dig deep enough they know nothing about Kendall Gill on the Hornets passing the ball through his legs to L.J. They just remember "Bulls Knicks Bulls Knicks." Burn your throwbacks.

Below a poem I wrote earlier this year. April 2008.

From An Ivory Tower

Somone told me I’m getting soft,
You don’t go to court anymore,
You’re not the solitary white boy sitting on wood
Next to all the blacks and hispanics,
With dust on your fingertips.

And that person might be right,
Because I don’t have my head between my knees,
I won’t get dizzy anymore.
And I don’t believe in the impossibility of friendship,
Because I only make deals I can keep.

I’m soft because I want something more,
I want what is not mine, I want the world,
The world that has all the important stories,
The world that can tell you what I can’t.
And I’m just a vessel in that world’s image.

If I could be separate like my youth,
Then I’d never grow old and understand separation,
Why lovers lifting each other in sunglasses –
The two embracing in black and white photos –
Come to divorce and suicide and Sunday morning papers.

Your fathers all snore in the basement
While your mothers wear robes and care
About all the details you don’t have time for,
The things you hate because they tie you down
From the precious independence you can’t even define.

But who’s to say I’m free from those shackles,
Because I’m the soft one, the one destroyed by love,
The one who makes plans and images,
The one who values myth only to destroy it,
Because I saw it in your eyes first.

I’ve got the same haircuts and the same clothes you do,
You who sit in your ivory towers made of influence,
And who don’t care about what dictates your position,
You who wait for salvation from the next song on an iPod,
While I sit on rocks turning my back on dejection.

There is no honor in a sneer or a rush of adrenaline,
Those were the drugs I read about and saw on TV,
While I tried to find the best pill to avoid fate,
But I’m not straight, I’m not an album of sobriety,
I’m just soft because I laugh at everything in the sun.

I’m not any closer to what I want than you are,
Objects still illude me at every turn,
I’m working at the concrete, I’m working at description,
So that I can relay it back to you and send it up
From the dirt to the window in your ivory tower.

If I’m soft then I’m not sure what you are,
I could call you Idiot Wind or Blackbird,
And get angry at streetlights and the hum of a truck,
But those things are only a part of my world,
Which is the world that will inevitably bring my salvation,
Not simply out of vanity or confidence, but out of goodness,
The goodness that any object has the power to put into the world
That is not mine or yours or your friend’s or your lover’s.
And even now – in this softness I’ve grown into –
I’m not close to being on the outside,
To being able to bid you welcome into the home I’ve built,
A simple roadside barbeque where we serve fountain soda
On a wooden table where separation is understood,
And only through that can the world truly be mine or yours,
The world that is ours, the world that is made of time,
Timeless and absolutely present at every turn.

So call me soft from your ivory tower
And I’ll keep trying to throw you a bone
Through the front window, which hopefully you’ll keep open.

1 comment:

  1. poignant.

    i dont own throwbacks. i knew my glen rises and my shawn kemps when they swished and flew; i know their memory well.

    it seems youre right about the 08-09 season, though not for the knicks. labron, kobe, and d wade will hold my interest.