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a poem from The Atlantic Anthology, Volume 2, edited by Fred Cogswell (Ragweed, 1985)

Decisions, Decisions

Since I can’t win your love with poetry I think I will take up football.

All one needs is 250 pounds of muscle, instantaeous reflexes, unhesitating
obedience, and an adamentine determination to die in agony,
hands mashed, thighbones splintered, spleen kicked out, neck broken.
For an audience of two hundred million beer drinkers who wouldn’t
turn himself into a projectile? Or a quarterback—
he gives the orders the orders and drops back to hurl touchdown passes.

In the off season I’ll be a TV comedian
and after that
an international authority on orgasm in the female.

When I retire from football I’ll own a fleet of 300,000-ton oil tankers
and a well stocked island
defended by e Organization of American States.

Meanwhile the Russians and Chinese
will have created a society in which poetry is more impoertant than football.
A billion people will buy recordings of W.H. Auden
and read Dante in the original. And in the whole of Eurasia
there won’t be enough ball players left to field a single team.
In fact the only three extant will be found penniless
in a deredict stadium in Tashkent
sitting like poets in a circle
and keeping the game alive by calling plays at one another.

By this time, however, the free world will have entered the millenium.
All desires will be satisfied before they occur.
Well, why wait when you can have it ten minutes ago?

It’s spoken word transcription of stand up comedy storytelling. But even tho the surprises aren’t because I already read it, its absurdity is fun no matter how many times I read it again. It is damning and hopeful. Even tho poetry is generally overstocked on poetry referencing beer, it is endearing.

In othere news Jim Smith in interview about writing and Nicanor Parra at Findinf a Voice.

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