Football

F
Staggerlee wonders by James Baldwin
James Baldwin
1

I always wonder
what they think the niggers are doing
while they, the pink and alabaster pragmatists,
are containing
Russia
and defining and re-defining and re-aligning
China,
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Football Weather by Paul Carroll
Paul Carroll
As a kid I tried to coax its coming
By sleeping beneath light sheets
Weeks before
The funeral of the summer locusts in the yard;
Then when Granny peeled down the crucifix of
flypaper that dangled from the ceiling of the
kitchen
Magic wasn't needed any longer
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37
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Heckyll & Jeckyll by Frank Lima
Frank Lima
Crows see us as another invention.
Like summer and beauty,
They shimmer at sunrise in their new cars,
Change their names and color when they see us.
When they fly, they’re the bite marks on the sun,
And nail-scratches of black against the sky.
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34
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Disabled by Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

* * * * *

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,—
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
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People Who Died by Ted Berrigan
Ted Berrigan
Pat Dugan……..my grandfather……..throat cancer……..1947.

Ed Berrigan……..my dad……..heart attack……..1958.

Dickie Budlong……..my best friend Brucie’s big brother, when we were
five to eight……..killed in Korea, 1953.

Red O’Sullivan……..hockey star & cross-country runner
who sat at my lunch table
in High School……car crash…...1954.

Jimmy “Wah” Tiernan……..my friend, in High School,
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Olives by Donald Hall
Donald Hall
“Dead people don’t like olives,”
I told my partners in eighth grade
dancing class, who never listened
as we fox-trotted, one-two, one-two.

The dead people I often consulted
nodded their skulls in unison
while I flung my black velvet cape
over my shoulders and glowered
from deep-set, burning eyes,
walking the city streets, alone at fifteen,
crazy for cheerleaders and poems.

At Hamden High football games, girls
in short pleated skirts
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The Operation by Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton
1.

After the sweet promise,
the summer’s mild retreat
from mother’s cancer, the winter months of her death,
I come to this white office, its sterile sheet,
its hard tablet, its stirrups, to hold my breath
while I, who must, allow the glove its oily rape,
to hear the almost mighty doctor over me equate
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Fresh Air by Kenneth Koch
Kenneth Koch
I

At the Poem Society a black-haired man stands up to say
“You make me sick with all your talk about restraint and mature talent!
Haven’t you ever looked out the window at a painting by Matisse,
Or did you always stay in hotels where there were too many spiders crawling on your visages?
Did you ever glance inside a bottle of sparkling pop,
Or see a citizen split in two by the lightning?
I am afraid you have never smiled at the hibernation
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Is My Team Ploughing by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
“Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?”

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

“Is football playing
Along the river shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?”

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Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio by James Wright
James Wright
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home,
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
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Ex-Basketball Player by John Updike
John Updike
Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth’s Garage
Is on the corner facing west, and there,
Most days, you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out.

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps—
Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,
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The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me by Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz
“the withness of the body” The heavy bear who goes with me,
A manifold honey to smear his face,
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I Sing the Body Electric by Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
1
I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?

2
The love of the body of man or woman balks account, the body itself balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

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Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring (1 April 1945) by W. D. Snodgrass
W. D. Snodgrass
(Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, once bragged that if one German city were bombed, they could call him “Meier.” At his Karinhall estate, he questions himself and his disgrace.) And why, Herr Reichsmarschall, is Italy
Just like schnitzel? If they’re beaten
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