Click image to order
Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


« Live from London! Limbering Up: John Keats as Handball Olympian by Lytton Smith | Main | The Games Continue: ON (POETRY AND) BOXING by Jennifer L. Grotz »

July 31, 2012


I totally agree. He had splendid reflexes and really understood the game as a table (or horizontal) version of lawn tennis, a phrase that made him pun on Lord Tennyson, and competitive but not quite like the Egyptologist who payed pinball with his current or former students with the ferocity and single-mindedness of a concert pianist. Anyway I appreciate the distraction. It's been a long day and I have driven in the rain and finally found a motel and damn do I need a shower. See ya later.

I reject the suggestion that Koch needed distraction gambits to win at table tennis. He was an extremely focused competitor who used all of the table.

As for his ranking, I have not had it confirmed whether he ever played ping pong against Ron Padgett, Gary Lenhart, or Chris Edgar, three tennis-playing New York School poets. I'll ask.

I had Kock in a class called "The Comic in Literature" where the reading list included Svevo, Borges, Firbank, Waugh, Huxley, Machado de Assis, also a German and maybe a Pole and a Russian, and there was a ping pong table in the basement of Ferris Booth Hall right near the bowling alleys, where I beat him in ping pong, Mitch.

Sal, you're up against a legend here, and you have no film. I'm interested in one of those computer matches, where the past legend meets the current legend. I'm thinking specifically of novelist and critic, Tom LeClair, who has adopted the role of Professor Ping Pong (donning red suspenders and red bowtie) on Friday nights at Susan Sarandon's pong nightclub, SPiN. LeClair, a retired (but not, alas, retiring) English professor, has serious pp creds, including a 1600 official ranking and a wicked, almost non-returnable serve. He also takes on all comers on Tuesdays and Thursdays at King Pong, an establishment just up the street from the nightclub in the news recently for being trashed by the entourages of rappers Chris Brown and Drake. I think LeClair beats Koch, hands down. Or up, if you prefer. Sal, drop by KP some afternoon, see how you do.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

click image to order your copy
That Ship Has Sailed
Click image to order
BAP ad
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


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


  • StatCounter