March 4, 2011

Allegations in the air
Collaborations with the East

Linda Jo Nazarenus, Hidden, 2010

Darryl Strawberry Asleep in the Field of Dreams
-- by Paul Beatty

they raised the price of dreams
blue inked can of del monte creamed corn
where baseball players
are reborn
in their prime
to play in modern day times
and not only was the ball white
shoeless joe jackson was white
his uni was white
all the dead white players was white
takin batting practice in white home uniforms
under white iowa clouds

I squirmed in my seat hopin for a
warm thunder storm
that would rain down cool papa bell
and hell would drip off corn stalk blades
pool into a homestead grey
inna a grey away uniform
flip down flip-up shades
and say hey now lets really play

got to wear your sun glasses
so you can feel cool

but its only a movie
and in film school heaven is
where white doctors who played
only an inning and a half in the show
can pray for a tinker everlastin chance to groove the 0-2 sinker
white boys steady leanin in
truly believin this is the best movie they’ve ever seen
but none of em asked josh gibson to slo-dance
across the color line that
falls in an iowa ball field
broken but unhealed
fathers younger than their sons play catch
onna mismatch patch
natural grass and james earl jonezes broad ass
hollywoods black fat majesty
bellows…and people will come

black people smiled and fell in a single file
to pay to watch mel ott run through Fences
and put the suicide squeeze on my mothers mother
whose color
is the same
as the night game infield

and the people will come

to see that black father to be
with scars on their knees
from shinbones split in half
and knocked off kneecaps
practice the rap dunks they will pump over their daughters n sons

and the people will come

how could daughters n fathers build
wooden bleachers
just to sit and cheer male features
if umpire pam postema dies in the minor leagues
ty cobb’ll hook slide into heaven
and she’ll call him out
and he will get up dust himself call her a…
brush it off as a tease

is this heaven
no its iowa
is this heaven
no its harlem
is this heaven
no its bedrock
is this heaven
no its cabrini green
do they got a team
aint sure they got dreams
damn sure aint got a field
or crops that yield
is that sign for steal
I approach the third base coach
and ask is all the movies for real

A Three Point Shot From Andromeda
-- Paul Beatty

rain rusted orange
ring of saturn
in urban orbit
over an outdoor gym

nighttime jumpers
pull up to the hoop
dance on the rim
bolted against a
metal backboard sky
riddled with

ninety nine thousand
BB sized holes
compressing fifth floor duplex
kitchen light
into a galaxy
of 50 watt schoolyard stars

supra flex intense constellations
rotate on defense
double down
tryin to guard
spinning playground
planetarium delirium
of black gods flyin
on neighborhood rep
shake n bake
pump fake
jab step
past orion
walk on air
and burst a reverse

on the stellar bear

Why That Abbott and Costello Vaudeville Mess Never Worked with Black People
-- by Paul Beatty

who’s on first?
i dont know, your mama


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