jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Baseball”

national anthem


baseball game streaming
live on a.m. radio
I’m in my bedroom
in full uniform
practicing my grip
on brand new ash bat

not too tight but not too light
coach would tell me
you should see how robinson
and aaron and banks get it done

this is all before cable television
and all I got to go by
is how the announcer on the
radio calls it
unwittingly explaining to boys
how men of color
are quietly changing society
one integrated game at a time




june two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

vacationing in Colorado


I’m not going there
she said
can you please change the channel
there must be more to life
than current events
sapping all your energy

we had just sat down
at a local dispensary
having ordered two craft beers
and a bowl of purple sensimilla
the remote control to the TV
directly overhead
within arms reach

what about the Rockies game
I suggested
do you consider pro baseball
current events

that all depends upon who
they’re playing
she answered
not to mention how quickly this weed
will make me not care about anything





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when winter comes


the winter solstice is a week away
yet here am I
sitting in the bleachers with my mother
some forty years ago
watching my brother’s baseball game

it’s late august and it’s a night game
and he’s playing center field
chasing down any fly ball hit
anywhere near his vicinity
and I tell my mother how he
reminds me of Willie Mays

I had a little league game earlier in the day
but I’m still dressed in uniform
dirty pants and dirty face
dirty fingernails and dirty hair

before the sun goes down mosquitoes
land on my tanned and barren arms
and I pinch my skin where they are feasting
until my blood overwhelms their tiny bodies

by the time the ballpark lights take full effect
the temperature begins to dip
lower and lower
until eventually I cross my arms
slightly shivering

are you cold my mother asked me

yes I am I replied

oh my goodness she said
what will you do when winter comes




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

out of time


flashing back to sixty-nine
miracle mets ruining my summer
and the ensuing autumn
forever stamped as an asterisk
in my playbook

in november I received
a green single-speed schwinn
for my birthday
but was forced to postpone
its maiden voyage
until the late february thaw

it was a long and lonely winter
(that much I remember)
and I was afraid
even then
that I was going to run out of time

how little did I know




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

inner city haiku baseball


full moon with stitches
off-white and slowly revolving
like a knuckleball

in the alleyways
pick-up games start at daybreak
broomsticks and duct tape

tying run at plate
runners at every corner
bus driver pitching

final shot arcing
sailing over skyscrapers
shooting for the moon




september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

two out in the top of the first


I’m standing fuming on the mound
head looking up and cleats kicking dirt
pissing and moaning underneath my breath

coach and catcher are stepping toward me
the former tapping his left forearm
the latter blowing a bazooka joe bubble

they stop a few feet away from earshot
in order to have a fifteen second conversation

cheers and jeers from the raucous crowd
come in loud and clear
and I can only imagine how they hate
to see me go so soon

I’ve been in town for less than a day now
and already I hate this fucking place




june two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no time for baseball


it’s the bottom of the ninth
and nobody’s keeping score
and though the lights are on
the stadium is nearly empty

in the comfort of my own home
I can’t reach the game on am radio
instead switch to fm and listen to
jimi hendrix covering bob dylan

early morning news feed arrives
bold headlines scream no-hitter
followed by abbreviated stories
regurgitating tales of mass destruction

weatherman breaks in unannounced
low lying fog chemically unbalanced
possibly canceling the school day
if not the entire baseball season




april two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

crickets singing in the basement


playoff game streaming inside
television set connected to the internet
sound muted in favor of tom petty’s
sirius xm radio channel 31

crickets in the basement seem to be
keeping time with each selection
undoubtedly unaware of the
natural order of things

how they made their way into the house
I have a pretty good idea
and as the game moves into later innings
I begin to wonder how they’ll
ever find their way back home



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the wisdom that is Bob


I heard they were selling tickets to Mars
down at the corner of Oak and Divisadero
but by the time I got wind of what was
going down it was too late
the little bastards were all sold out

soon thereafter I was relating my
disappointment to Bob over a few beers
and a few shots down at The Page

meanwhile on the big screen Giants
score ten plus runs in the fourth
off the Met’s lefty starter
the scattered-brained afternoon crowd
going just a little bit too ballistic

you know old boy
(Bob goes on to say)
there are no tickets to Mars
it’s just some punk rock concert

yes I say in between swigs
whatever you say Bob



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

trying to be less informed


everybody’s keeping score
whether it be with chips or dowels
bowling pins or price of gasoline
pegged to some financial instrument

man made natural disasters
don’t go down by happenstance
official recordkeeper bullied & bloodied
quarantined for centuries
rats and cockroaches running amok
inside and out and multiplying

everyone knows how it all ends
so what’s the point in keeping score
especially when there’s a perfectly good
baseball game streaming live
just about anywhere you can order a beer



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

radio free america


play-by-play deejay
dominating the airwaves
feets stomping and voices shouting
ordinary citizens rejoicing in city square

they pipe in radio from the clouds
or so the children are told
it’s absolutely magic they cry
dancing the night away

far away high-stepping drum majors
lead troops out of war zones
prisoners bound and singing
bringing up the rear

meanwhile baseball diamond
becomes makeshift refugee camp
address announcer recounting
nineteen sixty-seven world series



september two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

working through the off-season


she stitched and sewed all winter long
meticulously
almost feverishly
covering cork and rubber and yarn with
whatever kind of hide she could find
having promised her boys of summer
the only way they would not play ball
would be due to the most severe
inclement weather



april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: