Archive for March 2010

Hitting a Three-Pointer

Friday, March 12, 2010

Notes on “Good!”

March Madness: it was wonderful hearing my basketball poem, “Good!” on the radio today, two days before Selection Sunday (when the teams are seeded) and less than a week before games begin in the NCAA Tournaments. It’s a fourteen line poem on Jack Kerouac’s birthday, and I’m happy to see it and happy to have it read on NPR by Garrison Keillor for The Writer’s Almanac. The poem appears in Proposal, but also was chosen by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, to appear in the anthology We Came to Play, Writings on Basketball, along with selections from John Updike, John Feinstein, John McPhee, Bill Russell and Bill Bradley. It’s like hitting a three-pointer: it’s good.

Good!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The ball goes up off glass and rebounded
down the court, outlet flung to the quick guard
like clicking seconds: he dribbles, hounded
by hands, calls the play, stops short, looking hard
for a slant opening, fakes it twice, passes
into the center—he lobs to the small
forward, top of the key, a pick: asses
crash (the pick & roll), he cuts, bumps, the ball
reaches him as he turns, dribbles, sends it
back to the baseline, forward back to him,
jumps—and in midair, twisting, he bends it
over a tangle of arms—SHOOTS, the rim
rattles as it jerks against the back joints,
and into the net, trippingly drop two points.


About this poem