poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “baseball”

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

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

working through the off-season

she stitched and sewed all winter long
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

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