When you tried to tell me
baseball was a metaphor
for life: the long, dusty travail
around the bases, for instance,
to try to go home again;
the Sacrifice for which you win
approval but not applause;
the way the light closes down
in the last days of the season—
I didn't believe you.
It's just a way of passing
the time, I said.
And you said: that's it.
Thanks to today's contributors, and don't forget Poets Celebrate Baseball tonight at the Sac. Central Library, 6pm. Details over on the b-board, including the nine featured poets. And keep watching the counter down near the bottom of our skinny blue box: I'm guessing we'll pass 100,000 hits sometime early Friday.
—Carl Bernard Schwartz, Sacramento
Constant flowing, churning of the Yangtze River
factory whirling, burning, the unreal appeal
of the Yellow Sea
I am anxious to leave Jiangsu Province
and sail to America, Land of Opportunity
Above all else I must be presentable to gentlemen
of quite astonishing exclusive taste
I am the one, the only one, who will be their bride
fresh, new, and chaste
Finally I am taken up the ramp to the ship
which is like the factories only resting on water,
crowded, huddled with other brides;
parents keep the son and sell the daughter
The foul air thick, my stomach is sick
but when we pull into port I must be presentable;
all voices cheer, the moment is here
and then we are told we must first be rentable
Taking leave of the vessel
that had come ‘cross the ocean
we had only our smiles
and a small dab of lotion
Would I be paired with a wonderful man
and enjoy the benefits of his wonderful life?
Stay down! I am told, be part of the woodwork,
that man who chose you has a most jealous wife.
Mr. Wyre is once again
dangling his modifiers or
dropping his participles in front of his remedial English class
only he knows which ones they are.
And the middle-ages math mistresses
look like downtrodden stewardesses
going glumly from point X to Y
pulling their academic luggage well in tow.
Lucille was lacerated by lanyards
possessed by the fears of
bad accreditation reports
no hope abounding in her SLOs.
And Stanley in sociology
studies secondary effects
elevated to primary finally
but he is now long-done dead.
Cora is simmering again
not solely about COLA
but the lack of coke on campus
they only dispense Pepsi here, she says with a sneer.
Ms. Lechuga monthly laments
the lack of lagomorphs on the lawn
only now the Canadian geese and confused geeps leave lovely deposits
in front of her outer laboratory door and the eatery called The Corral.
Dean Dodge howls to the wind
about budget cuts and staff reductions
while painting pictures of plaid Pez palomino plastic toys
and wonders about bra-nay-brown bow ties.
—Michael Cluff, Highland, CA
SANDS OF PERRANZABULOE
—Taylor Graham, Placerville
It's the sea that tears down mountains
here, and sea-wall. Sea and wind. Sand-
stone to sand. Perished-in-the-Sands-
Below town and any church was built
here on a sea of sand. Soughing of wind
like unhouseled spirits. Only rabbits
are at home here, burrowed under sand
in rippling furrows changing places
by the tides of wind with dunes and
hollows, sand-ribs barely held to earth
by reedy grass that nourishes on—what?
Rabbit-burrows dug into mountain-duff.
Scattering like sand in wind, rabbits
at hundreds to the acre, living on what?
Sand and air. Mountain-drifted sand.
On the luck of rabbits.
A CORNISH MINE
Deep below mole-maze, below whale-path
and freighter-road, dark among earth-ribs,
the pick-shoulders and the shovel-arms
work without sun-lamp or star-compass,
venturing down, down blood-ways of stone,
mining earth-treasure not seen before.
What fool has words for the earth-heart's fire?
Who can praise a sun-on-brine-swept day?
It's land's-end. Watch the sea-feathers soar,
sky-wakes on wind-wake, wide-faring air.
Over tide-skin countless the wave-shadows
skim without seeing, buried in ore
underworld, the iron-crowns blinded
to sky, to oceans of widow-waves
mourning distance and grave-deeps,
mining earth-treasure not kenned before.
Landscape as obsession:
Pillars, spires and cylinders of rock
standing soldier-still, unchanging
as if forever
as lizards skitter crevice to sun
and a great solitary bird
lounges on the lift of thermals,
red clay and sandstone stand sentry'd
over centuries but with a warning
shaft of sunset
wearing forever away.
—Kevin Jones, Fair Oaks
Bottle was usually
By the time that