jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Baseball”

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

Revolutionary béisbol


They put Castro on waivers and
brought up his little nephew
to replace him
but only trouble is
neither could manage
to hit their weight

Last time the southsiders came
to town they filled the seats
and then some
even the Hilton across the street
was brimming with Americans in
balconies drinking Bucaneros
and smoking Cubans

But back home things were different
for this makeshift
patched together band of brothers
and if they have visions
of putting together a postseason run
it’ll never happen without
reigniting their fan base
desperate for a full-blown
revolutionary assault
including nickel hot dogs
and peso beer nights



august two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it rarely rains at the coliseum


it was getaway day at the coliseum
and dogs and soda and suds were
all half-price

there were lots of suits commingled
among many of the more casually enthusiastic fans
and even the public address announcer wondered
if any of the banks were open for business

some early inning runs quickly increased
concession sales

late comers rushed to the beer tent
before finding their seats

the rookie southpaw had a no-hitter
going into the fifth
and the place was all abuzz
like it hadn’t been in years

the afternoon matinée couldn’t have been
more perfect
until the roar of the crowd
called forth the god of rain delays
who just wouldn’t go away

and gradually (but with a fight)
the stadium lost all its life
as if nothing had ever happened



may two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

good riddance to october rain


I don’t remember autumn being this wet
she said

I blinked my eyes and looked outside
thinking to myself what an
absurd thing to say

it’s not that wet I said it’s just an illusion

it’s wet enough they canceled tonight’s
baseball game she said

real men play in the rain I said

you’re an idiot she said and walked away

I raised my glass and made a silent toast
to rid the world of absurdity
and rainy october nights



october two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

waiting on deck


september’s death
rests inside a fielder’s glove
her final breaths elongated
lilting and fading
elegantly purposeful

she would not be happy
knowing what follows next
her boys of summer in full costume
exhaling the uncertain air and
parading out past twilight
clumsily swatting bats




september two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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