Wednesday, March 30, 2005

To Entire Delight

I don't feel funny and it's almost baseball season, so here's one from the vaults (pre-Camden Yards days, even)....

I’m trying to remember the name of Hank’s nine-year-old son, a name that sounded older than Hank, but Hank was older than me, nearly doubly so, yet scratching at poetry for something, and he had something to say. Hank knew what James Wright knew, that language clear as water still lets us see ourselves, lets us see through to a world of shimmer. Hank wrote plain.

It’s not really his writing I remember, though, or his touching tousles with his son, or the exotic Mexican food his girlfriend-then-wife Addie cooked up, or the way he could pull off wearing a nerd band on his black frames and still hold his dignity, or the way we smuggled plastic milk gallons filled with beer into Memorial Stadium and drank it by the third inning before it went flat. It’s that plum dusk light that descends on Baltimore houses, the white-siding ones you can glimpse out over the fence from the upper deck, where we always sat, knowing Three Buck Night was a good thing, and that poetry was everywhere and random, like foul balls arcing into the stands.


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