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« Sitting in the darkness waiting for something to burst - Rachel Barenblat | Main | Anthologies and Anecdotes - David Lehman and Bill Henderson join Julie Sheehan »

October 21, 2010

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The Iliad

He is almost a foot
Taller than Calvin Murphy
Was but can he dribble
Two basketballs the length
Of the court and then
Dunk them both?
Yo pienso que no.

Remember how Bill Russell
Shot underhand free throws?
His percentage stank like poo-poo
But when money was on the table
He was strong black coffee
From the line and this too was
Unlike LeBron.

Pro teams used to practice in
The gym where I taught high school.
Chamberlain, Chet Walker, Jerry West,
I saw them all up close and in truth
The only one who acted like a human
Being was Tom Boerwinkle so let's have
A poem contest for the man from Tennessee!

Nice job, Mitch. Did you enter? I think any one of these stanzas, jiggled into 6 lines, could have been contenders.

You can keep your Henry
your William
your Jesse
your Harry:
Lebron is the James
for us in Miami!

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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