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T.S. Eliot Be Damned PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Fleisher   

Damn you, T.S. Eliot,

not because you were
an anti-Semite,
not because you inspired
that insufferable musical,
though those are perfectly

appropriate reasons 
to damn you
No!
Damn you for demeaning
April as the cruelest month

Did you embrace cricket
or soccer hooliganism
when you became a Brit,
abandoning the Cardinals
and Browns of your
St. Louis youth?

Let me tell you of April

Soon after flipping 
the calendar page 
the air echoes 
with the thwack
of a 95-mile-an-hour
heater colliding with
a leathery mitt
lovingly caressed
with neatsfoot oil

Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio?

April, when the crack
of a Louisville Slugger
sends a nimble outfielder
galloping into the grassy gap
only to witness the white blur
arc beyond the green expanse

When Latino names
in headlines signify
not tinpot dictators
nor phony populists
nor evil drug lords,
but agile shortstops.
fleet-footed flychasers,
sinewy southpaws;

When basket catches,
tape-measure homers,
graceful swings inspired
street corner singers
to croon the talents of
Willie, Mickey, and the Duke

When kids pound a pocket
in their fielder's gloves,
offer autograph books,
hoping to snag a foul ball
or a signature or both
if luck is with them today

Take Me Out to the Ball Game,
Take Me Out to the Crowd......

Who cares if the authors never 
sang their song during 
any seventh-inning stretch;
And yes, Abner Doubleday
inventing baseball is...
just so much doubletalk

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