Monday, May 15, 2017

Fans In the Stands

One hundred years ago it would have been a sea splattered

with straw hats, sixty-years back, with white shirts and fedoras.

Today fans wear jerseys with names and numbers

of their imagined selves, as if seventeen in perpetuity,  

living / dying / living again with every pitch,

smelling the green grass and hot dogs, yelling as if…

And here and there a suit and tie in a corporate seat

close to the dugouts. (Maybe a client to land a contract)

Vendors hawking, Hey peanuts, getcha peanuts,

low decibels of coiled expectation. Intervals

interrupted by action. The punctuation of baseball music -

barrel of bat meets stitched ball

spinning in orbit … crack of wood, sphere launched.

A young artist in the stands looks across the diamond.

Out of focus she sees the crowd as a

Jackson Pollock action painting, wide stretch                                               

of a pale blur in calculated frenzy.

She, too, on her feet in this charged moment -

all eyes on the sudden vortex of runner sliding home

with catcher-in-waiting and umpire in black leaning over,

horizontal form in combustion with vertical and diagonal ump,

cloud of dirt produced by spikes and a hand reaching

out to touch the plate in evasive twist of the body.

The artist knows then she will never paint still

life again; she will chase the wind with incendiary brush strokes,

spend decades bringing that fusion of forces

to life from palette to easel with  42,836 cheering / cursing

voices heard coming out of the canvas. 


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