In a few hours I'll be entering the writing huddle--a day and a half spent with the poems of Carruth and Kenyon and the curiosities of working poets. I am so looking forward to it.
Outside, at first light, the world is cool and damp . . . leaves plastered to cars and sidewalks after yesterday evening's rain, dahlias bunched and bowed but still blooming brightly in the gray dawn.
I learned this morning that the great pitcher Bob Gibson has died--one of my all-time favorites, whom David Halberstam writes about so eloquently in his book October 1964, detailing that year's World Series between Mickey Mantle's aging Yankees and the young, diverse Cardinals--a team with Tim McCarver and Lou Brock and Curt Flood and Bob Uecker and the amazing, scary Gibson . . . which also happened take place exactly at the moment when I was being born.
Here's a little poem I wrote about that series. It doesn't mention Gibson, but I wish it did.
October 7, 1964
On the day I was born,
three Dixieland bands were playing
in the left-field corner of Busch Stadium,
and Bob Uecker, the Cardinals’ backup catcher,
was shagging balls, the World Series
was about to commence, Bob was about to snitch
a tuba and start catching pop flies in its bell,
the crowd was about to clap and cheer,
the irate tuba player was about to charge Bob
two hundred bucks for wrecking his horn,
and I was nothing, the bliss
of my father’s dream, the mirror
of my mother’s . . . and even still
nothing began again.