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


« A Fountain Pen [by Lera Auerbach] | Main | Alicia in Wonderland: What it's like to be the only American and only woman in the contentious Oxford Professor of Poetry election [by A. E. Stallings] »

June 04, 2021


As someone who has tripped, and who has talked about tripping with Donald Hall, a man who let a therapist talk him out of tripping, what is your purpose here, beyond an attempt to catch a "contact high" by way of literary parasitism - by talking about an athlete who was more than a jock?

The point to be drawn from this episode is that Dock Ellis had more intellectual self-confidence and/or curiosity than his biographer did.

The exclamatory ending of this poem is very nice.

"Literary parasitism": isn't that what they said about "The Waste Land"?

I never heard anybody talk about it; I dug parts of "...Prufrock," but generally prefer poetry by Americans unswayed by stuff out of England/Europe. I'm with Dr. Williams, whose book "Spring and All" is the literary equivalent of Thomas Paine's pamphlet, "Common Sense." Point out any troublesome aspect of public life and I'll smear my British litmus test swab against it, then propose a solution!

I've always loved this story, and in fact it makes total sense to me. I've had certain experiences in which I felt totally "in the zone". It's almost incredible that a pro athlete tripped at all, on or off the field. I think this poem could be even longer, maybe try to re-create the day. This feels like the first rush!

I agree with Vincent.

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