January 5, 2007

Well you know what happens after dark


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From The Basketball Article by Bernadette Mayer and Ann Waldman, written in April 1975 as an assignment for Oui (defunct?, i remember seeing them as a kid in my uncles closet) but never published in the magazine. Also rejected, for not being technical enough, by the Village Voice. Finally put out by Mayer in 1975, as an edition of 100 'duplicated...by a Gestetner 420 mimeograph machine using green film stencils no. 62.' In 2005 it was rereleased by Shark Books in a limited edition of 500. Its worth finding.

...
We sit down to watch a few Knicks games. If one sat down with Dave DeBusschere, one might have a margharita. Margharitas, tequila sunrises, someone tells us Wendell Ladner likes to fuck. Frazier's 'sometimes I get an offer I can't refuse,' occurs to us. Jim Wergeles, the Knicks publicity manager, tells us Bill Bradley won't give interviews this year. Frazier's publicity is awful. Bill Walton announces they're trying to discredit him, he doesn't fit in. The FBI is looking for the people who shared his house. They question Walton about Patty Hearst. the Knicks steal Eddie Donovan from the Buffalo Braves. 20,000 people come to watch an NBA game. In the cheaper seats in the Garden, nobody cares is you stand up for the national anthem. It's not like baseball. We always say we're pregnant if anybody hassles us. If they play the national anthem before every game because the sport is a national sport, then how can the champions be world champions? What does Bill Walton think when he listens to the bombs bursting in air? After all, he's been arrested in a peace demonstration. Could a player be arrested for reading Shakespeare. Jim Bouton said everybody though he was queer for reading any books at all. You feel like you know the Knicks personally. Its the publicity, or maybe age. Your age, our age. So Bradley won't give interviews but Jackson will talk about mysticism and philosophy. He grows a beard, he shaves it, he looks like a different person. He and Gianelli become look-alikes for a moment on the court. Jackson looks younger, Red Holzman looks the same. Why do coaches crouch.

...

Oscar Robinson tells us if it weren't for basketball he'd probably be in jail. "Economics calls this...when you're poor you don't have anything to do. He was the first black player at Cincinnati in 1960. His great, great grandfather, an ex-slave, lived to be 115 years old in Bellsberg, Virginia. His mother raised him, she was a beautician, and his father was a meatpacker and a 'punishing figure.' 'I have a lot of stories but I can't tell them.

Self-Portrait: Black’s Law Dictionary
-- by Beth Woodcome

for Megan Hehir

An elephant moth, devoted to eating,
a tender of meat, a compulsive, a meek,
something that should have been smaller.
Did I do that, or did my body?

I was an Omitted Child. I love the law,
my box, knowing what I should do.
I cannot touch, or swear, or forget my food.
If my mouth opens, something has gone wrong.
Something has gone very wrong.

This will all make sense to you.
I was only an Issue, anything more or less
would have meant love. My own will,
for instance, is blank. Given nothing,
I am only the thing in the woods searching
for an adoption, a different statute, or a good kill.

War
-- by Beth Woodcome

Lean in like babies. Lean in like paranoids. Our eyes go to the left,
and quickly to the right. Can you hear it? Can you tell me when it’ll happen?

The sound of someone plotting. A deep breath.
All those fatigues. Those boys.

Let me tell you something. Come closer so my lips. So my lips.
Last I checked you should run.

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