Friday, March 29, 2013


When Babe Ruth stepped up to bat
It was as if the sky stood still
And the birds listened for the crack
And the ball flying among them
To distant solar horizons.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

False CA Brown Recluse Spiders: they're Titotus, not Loxosceles

The soft squishy house spiders so common in Northern California, have a similar shape as true brown recluse spiders but they're fatter, their legs are also fatter, hairier, and they're more fragile. ergo, they're not brown recluses. But try and convince someone who's creamed the unfortunate spider to something resembling babyfood puree…

We used to call them violin spiders when we were kids. To go with the black widows who had little red violins on their tummies. We orchestrated stories that they were brown man widows. The male black widow is a stripy tan or gray‚ but also shiny like the lady spider who will eat him for post-coital lunch. So you don't see very many man widow spiders.

I don't know when we began to identify the faux brown recluses as true brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles reclusa) but it was sometime during the 1980s. Blame it on the hyperbole generated by the news media.

Black widows or Latrodectus—Wiki

What we tend to identify as brown recluses are not, in fact, brown recluses—though they have similar 6/2 eye structure. They're of the Titiotus persuasion. Actually these Titiotus bhoys have the 3 compound eyes plus one big hairy eyeball structure too. Hence the confusion.

A rather wan and pale Titiotus sp. from CA —Wiki

Grass Valley poet Molly Fisk posted a photo of a real brown recluse on her Facebook page. And I realized that what we've been ignorantly calling brown recluses are in fact, not. However, another name for brown recluse is—violin spider. This is one time I'm SO glad I was wrong about them. The things ya learn on FB. Unfortunately one woman took umbrage at my debunking of the brown recluse myth in California.

Brown Recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, has 6 eyesWiki

Let's say, when I suggested that it was a false ID, and provided links to many scientific papers on the false identification of brown recluses, her fangs came out. She lost her shit. I rarely defriend people on Facebook, or block them. But that's what was called for. Her vitriol was poisonous. What is is about social media where people can mouth off unsubstantiated drivel and expect NOT to be challenged?

Brown Recluse range—they don't spin webs or go outside. Spiderbytes

However, that said, apparently I am a delicious picnic for spiders: I've been chomped on by the best of them—many faux brown recluses, a black widow, possibly a woodbine spider—to dire results. So I don't stick around to ID them unless I have to. But I don't pulverize them on sight either.

That said, I did keep daddy-long-legs as pets. But they're not spiders, you knew that, right? Opiliones are an order of arachnids, aka harvestmen.

Here's a handy-dandy spider chart from Facebook (no one to credit). Note that the body shape seems to be a clue as to good spiders. Big butts are good. Rather than creaming or nuking that spider, take it outside. Please don't kill your house spiders. They're really beneficial creatures. Sadly, the harmless southern house spider, aka kukulcania, is often mistaken for a Brown recluse. They have hairy legs. None are in N. CA.

There are no populations of brown recluse spiders living in California. If you still don't believe me, read the highly entertaining  Myth of the Brown Recluse: Fact, Fear, and Loathing  by arachnologist Rick Vetter Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA.
Only a handful of specimens (less than 10) have ever been collected in California and usually there is some connection between the spider and a recent move or shipment from the Midwest...The brown recluse has been elevated to a major urban legend status very much like UFOs, Bigfoot and Elvis....I emphatically state THERE ARE NO BROWN RECLUSE SPIDERS LIVING IN CALIFORNIA.
Got that? Good.

Update 6/19: Just Googled Brown recluses, still no reports in CA! But maybe people are mislabeling our native SoCal desert recluse (Loxosceles deserta), as Brown recluses, but they only live in the eastern deserts and rarely bite.

There is a lost Chilean recluse colony in LA They can pack a wallop of a bite too, but they also rarely bite, you have to seriously threaten them. They're really big, and sometimes are called fiddleback spiders too. I guess that fiddle means don't mess with me!

Knee blues

Living the solitary life, icing the knee. Will there ever be light at the end of the tunnel? My knee is improving daily. Today is not one of those days. Neil is still in Scotland, so I’m going all this alone. Solitary confinement. Life striped down to the bare essentials. I had physical therapy on Tuesday and then did too much yesterday, too—though it wasn't all that much. But I was knackered. Been trying to sneak around w/o crutches or cane. I don’t get very far. And I’m not going to take up ballroom dancing any time soon. I did 2 miles on the stationery bike at #1 tension. Breakthrough. Weenie stats. Knee is now killing me. But it is improving. Ibuprofen is my friend. And ice. Especially ice.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



Pi r square.
Pi r not. Pi r round.
U r square...
Square root of Pi is cake.
Don't be so constantpated.
You can't square a circle.
Way too radius.
It's circumferenstantial evidence.
Don't be irrational.
Integeresting. Reductio ad absurdum.
Why yes, I'd like 3.14 pieces of Pi.
Let them eat random numbered cakes.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

I injured my knee...

I did something to my knee. Other than uncontrollable copious tears, ice, ibuprofen, arnica and Topricin, what else to do? I ate some of my frozen peas (and corn—what was I thinking?) so I ziplocked the remainder of them and have the bag strapped to my elevated knee. Excruciating to put any weight on it. Only way I can hobble is with a patella strap. Meniscus damage? Dislocated patella?  Bursa is puffed on inside joint. Reading up on it now. Pain is unbelievable.

Funny ligament noises. Like knee trying to pop back into place. It's taken about a week to declare itself and to get to this state. I've been ignoring it. There was no specific pinpoint of pain. Now it's painful at the inner joint where the tibia and femur meet. Sounds like MCL sprain or tear along the inner joint line of the knee. Or it's a torn meniscus. I'm leaning toward that one.

Driving (clutch) is excruciating. Waiting until I can take more ibu. Called the clinic-closed for weekend. Urgent care in Fremont! Too far to go. Counting the minutes until the next round of ibuprofen. Someone wants to know why I’m not popping Vicodin. Then I'd be barfing on the far wall. I can't take synthetic opiates. Can you spell projectile vomiting? And that's just the floor show. It gets worse.

My knee improved in the shower, it seems to prefer heat, but I did ice it too. At first, it was excruciating. If I straighten my leg and flex my toes up, heel down, then I can walk on it. No bending allowed. Cane too. If it spasms, ditto. Contract toes up (no ballet moves!) I can bend it to 45* (almost). I can only hold toes flexed for so long. Getting rather good at odd isolated moves—those years of dance when I was young...good old psoas for lifting. Other leg to lift or reposition leg. Very glad to be limber right now. I look like an odd stork, when I move—everything is an economy of movement. Every move is premeditated. Pain is a quick teacher. I was terrified of being busted by my grannie, so I hid all my injuries.

What I've learned: brooms make good crutches—especially when you’ve left the crutches on the other side of the room.Dirt on the floor really bothers me when I can't move fast. Broom crutch is doubly useful. Canes need leashes—they tend to get away. Scrunchies make good leashes. With one hand, it's hard to carry plates, cups. Jamjar glasses, and an apron to stash gell icepack and food is good. In other words, I look ridiculous. I also need milk. Don't know if I can fathom trying to drive to the store. Clearly not working today. Or tomorrow. I’m doing this alone, Neil is still in Scotland.

I carefully plan all forays to the kitchen & loo. Scope of my limited world horizon. What I don't get is how easily I become tired. I guess I'm masking the pain so I don't feel it and it's a lot of work. Sh*ty, forgot to take ibuprofin this AM and it's time for round 2. Playing catch up with da meds. My knee feels like it's made of lead. Heavy, hard to bend.

I have to hobble into work & file a report, Will try & go to Dr tomorrow, and yes, I'd love to borrow some crutches, if they don't give me some. The locked knee with toe to ceiling trick is like a natural immobilizing splint. So that suggests meniscus. Phew! Doable. Shouldn't have ignored the pain Friday. We tomboys who grew up with the no pain, no gain attitude don't know when to say Uncle! When I was a child, I broke my left arm and never told anyone—nut until I was being X-rayed after an accident in 1997, that I knew about it. Stoic, stiff upper lip, and all that.

I hadn't counted on exhaustion from pain. Working up courage to go to Urgent Care Clinic. A two-hour wait. Reading opportunity! Nearly finished me off for the day to go to work & get the paperwork. Can only escape pain by keeping knee locked and toes up—as if to do leg lifts. Counter intuitive. Otherwise it's excruciating pain. Waiting for bu to kick in before I attempt to drive. Hard to bend leg to get into the car!

Catch-22. Morning chores made me nauseous (from pain), and I can't take any ibuprofin until I eat—and the thought of eating is—ugh. So the pain continues. First time ice has felt good on the knee. Today I can begin to use heat. Dr gave me cool icepack and heating pad with velcro! OK, that's done.

One week later...

Yup, Kevin McConnell was right. Torn meniscus. I'm in love with Polar Frost gel. Swelling is going down—knee looks almost normal. But I'm not supposed to put any weight on it. No can do. Too disorganized on two crutches. But one crutch is good, even better than the cane—which I favored until today.

I am now able to hobble around the house sans crutches, but need to bring them on outings. The PT taped my knee—amazingly simple process—an x around the kneecap on either side mimics the tendons/ligaments and adds stabilization to the knee. It looks like I'm wearing a bizarre form of painter's masking tape art! Just call me the Hobbl-it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Facebook request for baseball terminology

I was in need of baseball metaphors, similes and prosaic sayings for a poetry class (funded by the SF Jr Giants). I'd been making baseball word cards all night but am running out of ideas. So I posted on Facebook and it was still garnering comments eleven days later. I kept some of the best comments.

Alastair Johnston
Alastair Johnston "dont look back, someone may be gaining on you" -Satchell Paige.

Penelope la Montagne
Penelope la Montagne squeeze play

J.s. Butcher
J.s. Butcher like, "I couldn't get to home first base with her?"

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley It ain’t over till it’s over.
- Yogi Berra
Kids, John! That camel both'rin' you? What does squeeze play mean?

J.s. Butcher
J.s. Butcher define "kids" LOL

Penelope la Montagne
Penelope la Montagne "The bags are loaded." (Said at a a women's softball game in which I was playing) we all fell on the ground laughing. And, of course, we were.

J.s. Butcher
J.s. Butcher out in left field (where I ended up when she wouldn't let me get to first base...) Better?

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley John! NOnooooooooo!

J.s. Butcher
J.s. Butcher I am trying reeeealy hard, Mau, work with me!

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley bases are loaded, foul ball, top of the ninth, grand slam....that sort of sportscaster/ announcer stuff that we all take for granted.
Every game is game seven
It’s about playing catch & throwing strikes
Shut up and pitch

Babe Ruth is dead — Throw Strikes!
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Intensity is not a perfume!
Respect All, Fear None
If its gotta be, it starts with me
Refuse to Lose
All it takes is all you’ve got
Championships are won at practice
Play like a Champion Today
Never let good enough BE enough!
Kevin Killian
Kevin Killian "I don't count em, I just catch em," — Willie Mays.

J.s. Butcher
J.s. Butcher teeeHeee... ok, no curve balls! "Take me out to the ballgame" at the 7th inning stretch!

No joy in Mudville... Casey at the Bat

Penelope la Montagne
Penelope la Montagne Stealin' home.
 A swing and a miss!

Molly Fisk
Molly Fisk pitchers and catchers report

Penelope la Montagne
Line drive
Don Kingfisher Campbell
Donna Champion
Donna Champion Take me out to the ball game

Don Kingfisher Campbell
Don Kingfisher Campbell Donna, you forgot Shag Flies.

Donna Champion
Donna Champion “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” --Babe Ruth
 I like this Babe Ruth quote: "I swing big, with everything I've got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.”

Centa Theresa
Centa Theresa My son I'm positive can give you what you need. Corey Uhalde on FB. He would be happy to...knows baseball, history of, is a great writer,,,varsity baseball coach in Redwood City teaches History...i'll see if I can reach him.
Good eye..?

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Keep your eye on the ball.
Bottom of the ninth.
A swing and a miss. 
Hit a homer.
Out in left field. 
Ooh, almost forgot this one: And it's bye, bye, baby!

Jack Crimmins
Jack Crimmins Ducks on the pond. Loosey goosey. 'Hey batter, hey batter, swing.' Keep your eye on the ball. Let's turn two. Touch all the bases. Round third and head for home. Swing through the ball. He's firing heat. Steal home. Caught stealing. Good hands, no bat. A power hitter. A good glove man. Don't be afraid to get your uniform dirty. Play till the last out. The strike zone.The bullpen. He's getting sent to the showers. He chased that pitch. Low and away. High and inside. Curveball, Fastball, Knuckleball and 4th grade fave, Spitball. He's keepin' them guessing. He could hit that spot all day. That ball's gone.

Terry Matsik-Getchell
Terry Matsik-Getchell I know you are looking for words but I think the song says it all:

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don't care if they ever come back, so it's root root root for the home team, if they don't win it's a shame, cause it's one two three strikes your out at the old ball game. (I might have some wording wrong)

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Somewhere in the ballpark of....

Terry Matsik-Getchell
Terry Matsik-Getchell But you HAVE to utube Take me out 1908. Just for the spirit!

Andrew Fecskés
Andrew Fecskés "in a pickle", "off base", "put both cheecks into it", "swing out of your shoes", "tore the cover off the ball", "...line drive ate him alive", "take a walking lead"...and on and on
one of my personal favorites: "God gave ya two hands, use 'em!" ...edited down, it goes: "God gave ya two!" (if you're trying to catch with one hand)
h yes, and the ever-profound "you're steppin' in the bucket!"

Erik Painter
Erik Painter OKAY, I'll bite, here is the best baseball book ever with a million great quotes and sayings and similes etc.: 1956, "Bang the Drum Slowly" by Mark Harris, His earlier book "Southpaw" is really good too. And "A Ticket for a Seamstitch" (1957),and "It Looked Like For Ever "(1979). And the 1973 Movie holds up well staring Robert Di Nero- then little known. The feel in the movie will help you. Filmed in Shea and Yankee Stadium. And I don't really like sports or baseball. He taught at San Francisco State College for a while. 1956-1967. Born Mark Harris Finkelstein in NY.
He said "You will no more expect the novelist to tell you precisely how something is said than you will expect him to stand by your chair and hold your book."

“The sky was just beginning to light up a little, the quiet time when all the air is clean and you can hear birds, even in the middle of New York City, the time of day you never see except by accident, and you always tell yourself, "I must get up and appreciate this time of day once in awhile," and then you never do. Don't ask me why.”

"We will all of us die with things never remembered."

"And even the people who read it will think that it is about baseball or some such stupidity as that, . . . "

"Oh Katie, honey, why don't you get yourself married and raise yourself some exemptions"

"Skip the facts, just gimme the details"

"Dutch Schnell: [taking Piney's revolver in the locker room] Hand it over. I'm in no mood to see anybody get killed by a buller wound. Piney, I hear you have bullets with it too.
Piney Woods: Yes, sir. They're in the gun.
Dutch Schnell: Why the hell didn't you tell me?
Piney Woods: I didn't think it'd go off. I'm always very careful.
Dutch Schnell: That's what everybody says. That's why the hospital's full of babies. "

From the game TEGWAR-The Exciting Game Without Any Rules ( wonderful idea true or not)designed to lure in fans and take thier moeny in a card game.
"Henry Wiggen: See, it was no double birdie.
Mr. Pearson: Double Birdie?
Bruce Pearson: Whereas for, it coulda been a spread eagle.
Henry Wiggen: Probably you've been playing Southeastern Tegwar all your life, but in the Majors the boys all play Western Canadian style. Which, for my money, is much faster. That leaves you free for a Butchered Hog most any time, whereas, uh.
Bruce Pearson: Whereas uh.
Mr. Pearson: Wh, Whereas what?
Bruce Pearson: Whereas, it, uh, keeps you from dropping dead on the board"
Andrew Fecskés
Andrew Fecskés and, finally: "Dodgers suck!"

Erik Painter
Leslye Layne Russell
Leslye Layne Russell Maureen, do you know Tim Williams? Poet/writer (also a tax accountant) in Santa Rosa. He is the man to talk to about baseball and writing!

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Mo, are you using William Carlos Williams' poem, "At the Ballgame"?
The crowd at the ball game
By William Carlos Williams
The crowd at the ball game

is moved uniformly

by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them—

all the exciting detail
of the chase

and the escape, the error
the flash of genius—

all to no end save beauty
the eternal—

So in detail they, the crowd,
are beautiful

for this
to be warned against

saluted and defied—
It is alive, venomous

it smiles grimly
its words cut—

The flashy female with her
mother, gets it—

The Jew gets it straight— it
is deadly, terrifying—

It is the Inquisition, the

It is beauty itself
that lives

day by day in them

This is
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail

permanently, seriously
without thought
Yes, 18 stanzas, 2 lines each=9 players to a team, 9 innings....

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley High and Outside

I spent years heaving a baseball high and wild

into the August sky. Easy, easy my
dad cautioned me but still I threw my arm out
in a vain attempt to beat gravity and make

that baseball dangle long-limbed and light above
the monotony of Sunday afternoons
and the well intentioned whispers saying that
my time was up, that a growing girl had no

reason to feel the singular ache of a
curveball or spin impossible dreams about
major leagues and baseballs that would cheat the air
landing beyond sunflower seeds and logic

straining the hand with the promise that maybe
the next throw would spiral above all their heads
rise and rise against every law of physics
taunting the sky in an open rebellion.

—Audrey Larkin

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Stelae

There are stelae at Palenque

that are nothing but names and numbers.
Home runs, strikeouts and stolen bases
for Hunahpú and Hunahpú
who played the sacred game back when
you had to claw for every run
not like today. The losing manager
got disembowelled on the mound
by the knife of the morning star.

I grow older, hombre, or the beardless
mozos striding to the plate grow young.
At 41 I played in Jalatlaco,
place-name meaning “sandy ballcourt.”
The Zapotec lefty decked me.
¿Cómo se dice beanball en español?
And then for once in my mortal
vagabond middle-infielder’s career
I got good wood on the pelota,
it sailed toward the sacred ring,
reached the ancient wall on one bounce.

Hunahpú and Hunahpú
played ball against the gods
in Xibalbá. They lost.
They got their heads cut off
and turned them into baseballs
and stuck them on a tree.
A girl ate them. She had babies:
Hunahpú and Hunahpú.

They finished second two years running.
They smoked the candles of the underworld,
came back to challenge in the playoffs.
They used a mosquito in center field
to steal signs. They stole them blind.
They sacrificed, they had the long ball,
they had defensive magic. They threw
the change, they threw the split-finger.
You remember the sequence from Game Six.

The Mayans carved the standings
into limestone. Learn to interpret
the statistics of heaven,
these cyclic fractals of the endless game.

John Oliver Simon

Donna Champion
Erik Painter
Erik Painter Eight Men Out -writen and directed by the under rated John Sayles is also and really good movie for source material. He really does his research and brings and period (1919) to life. Here he is discussing research

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Twins

Jefferson practices a big windup

from the pitcher’s mound,
Giants cap flopping over eyes
as he deals a southpaw
sidearm fastball into
my old
gray glove.

Gwydion swings an imaginary bat
at home,
momentum whirling him
laughing into a
batter’s box heap.

Jefferson continues pitching
despite the prostrate body
next to the plate

While I crouch
Jefferson’s often errant fastballs,
Gwydion crosses his hands behind
his head,
lying there gazing skyward,
“Dad, did you know
clouds are like castles?”

Ball into glove
Pitch punctuation,
“Dad, was that a strike?”

“If the wind changes their shape,
even dragons
can’t see them.”

—Jeff Brain

Maureen Hurley Jack Spicer: "pitchers are not human. They have the ghosts of dead people in them"

Terry Matsik-Getchell
Terry Matsik-Getchell Gosh Maureen, I am going have find myself a good hot topic like this, what a fun thread!

Donna Champion
Donna Champion What a night! I'm frying up some chicken and thinking about baseball....

Terry Matsik-Getchell
Terry Matsik-Getchell As do artists.....somehow that ball just can flow right out over the plate.

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe Jackson; Bull Durham—don't the players wear panties to touch their inner feminity_with Susan Sarandan.

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Great movie, "Bull Durham."

"A League of Their Own"--"There's no crying in baseball."

"There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all." - Lou Gehrig

Erik Painter
Erik Painter If you use William C William's poem, I have to make a plea for you to use it in the context of the whole book "Spring and All" . It was not really meant to be separated out and the parts play against each other in important ways that are not apparent when read as stand alone pieces. Without the prose parts it is a very different work. To do otherwise is like reading a random chapter of a book.
"It might best be understood as a manifesto of the imagination: the prose passages are a dramatic, energetic, and often cryptic series of statements about the ways in which language can be renewed such that it does not describe the world, but recreates it. These passages are interspersed with poems that demonstrate this recreation in both their form and content"

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Isn't it also his commentary on the savage power that is latent in man and nature?
Fried chicken, anyone?

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possible be – in baseball and in life.- Pete Rose

Erik Painter
Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley List of memorable SF Giants players? Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Barry Bonds...

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Show me a guy who can't pitch inside and I'll show you a loser.--Sandy Koufax
Jesus Alou--I always loved the sound of his name.

Erik Painter
Erik Painter "Say it ain't so Joe"
Joe Jackson was innocent, their was no…

Donna Champion
Donna Champion Willie McCovey. Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Vida Blue....

Erik Painter
Donna Champion
Donna Champion
Donna Champion
John Goodman stars in the story of…

Maureen Hurley
Donna Champion
Erik Painter
Erik Painter Paul Newman in Bang the drum:
Watch the full version at:…

Donna Champion
Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Dream of a Baseball Star,” by Gregory Corso (1960)

I dreamed Ted Williams
leaning at night
against the Eiffel Tower, weeping.
He was in uniform
and his bat lay at his feet
—knotted and twiggy.
"Randall Jarrell says you're a poet!" I cried.
"So do I! I say you're a poet!"
He picked up his bat with blown hands;
stood there astraddle as he would in the batter's box,
and laughed! flinging his schoolboy wrath
toward some invisible pitcher's mound
—waiting the pitch all the way from heaven.
It came; hundreds came! all afire!
He swung & swung & swung & connected not one
sinker curve hook or right-down-the middle.
A hundred strikes!
The umpire dressed in strange attire
thundered his judgment: YOU'RE OUT!
And the phantom crowd's horrific boo
dispersed the gargoyles from Notre Dame.
And I screamed in my dream:
God! throw thy merciful pitch!
Herald the crack of bats!
Hooray the sharp liner to left!
Yea the double, the triple!
Hosannah the home run!

—Gregory Corso (1960)

Erik Painter
Erik Painter I LOVE the Creeley!!!! The Natural and Field of Dreams ( Shoeless Joe- by Kinsela) not so much.
Damm, that Corso is good too!!!

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Lawrence Ferlinghetti, "Baseball Canto"Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor's voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits and little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
Standing straight and still like at some funeral of a blarney bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.

But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun and takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go mad with Chicanos and blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
"Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!"
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don't come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he's escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he's beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don't stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.
Maureen Hurley Baseball and Writing
by Marianne Moore

(Suggested by post-game broadcasts)

Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting
and baseball is like writing.
You can never tell with either

how it will go

or what you will do;
generating excitement--
a fever in the victim--
pitcher, catcher, fielder, batter.
Victim in what category?
Owlman watching from the press box?
To whom does it apply?
Who is excited? Might it be I?

It's a pitcher's battle all the way--a duel--
a catcher's, as, with cruel
puma paw, Elston Howard lumbers lightly

back to plate. (His spring

de-winged a bat swing.)
They have that killer instinct;
yet Elston--whose catching
arm has hurt them all with the bat--
when questioned, says, unenviously,
"I'm very satisfied. We won."
Shorn of the batting crown, says, "We";
robbed by a technicality.

When three players on a side play three positions
and modify conditions,
the massive run need not be everything.

"Going, going . . . " Is

it? Roger Maris
has it, running fast. You will
never see a finer catch. Well . . .
"Mickey, leaping like the devil"--why
gild it, although deer sounds better--
snares what was speeding towards its treetop nest,
one-handing the souvenir-to-be
meant to be caught by you or me.

Assign Yogi Berra to Cape Canaveral;
he could handle any missile.
He is no feather. "Strike! . . . Strike two!"

Fouled back. A blur.

It's gone. You would infer
that the bat had eyes.
He put the wood to that one.
Praised, Skowron says, "Thanks, Mel.
I think I helped a little bit."
All business, each, and modesty.

Blanchard, Richardson, Kubek, Boyer.
In that galaxy of nine, say which
won the pennant? Each. It was he.

Those two magnificent saves from the knee-throws
by Boyer, finesses in twos--
like Whitey's three kinds of pitch and pre-


with pick-off psychosis.
Pitching is a large subject.
Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
catch your corners--even trouble
Mickey Mantle. ("Grazed a Yankee!
My baby pitcher, Montejo!"
With some pedagogy,
you'll be tough, premature prodigy.)

They crowd him and curve him and aim for the knees. Trying
indeed! The secret implying:
"I can stand here, bat held steady."

One may suit him;

none has hit him.
Imponderables smite him.
Muscle kinks, infections, spike wounds
require food, rest, respite from ruffians. (Drat it!
Celebrity costs privacy!)
Cow's milk, "tiger's milk," soy milk, carrot juice,
brewer's yeast (high-potency--
concentrates presage victory

sped by Luis Arroyo, Hector Lopez--
deadly in a pinch. And "Yes,
it's work; I want you to bear down,

but enjoy it

while you're doing it."
Mr. Houk and Mr. Sain,
if you have a rummage sale,
don't sell Roland Sheldon or Tom Tresh.
Studded with stars in belt and crown,
the Stadium is an adastrium.
O flashing Orion,
your stars are muscled like the lion.

- See more at:

Maureen Hurley “Analysis of Baseball,” by May Swenson (1978)

It's about

the ball,
the bat,
and the mitt.
Ball hits
bat, or it
hits mitt.
Bat doesn't
hit ball, bat
meets it.
Ball bounces
off bat, flies
air, or thuds
ground (dud)
or it
fits mitt.

Bat waits
for ball
to mate.
Ball hates
to take bat's
bait. Ball
flirts, bat's
late, don't
keep the date.
Ball goes in
(thwack) to mitt,
and goes out
(thwack) back
to mitt.

Ball fits
mitt, but
not all
the time.
ball gets hit
(pow) when bat
meets it,
and sails
to a place
where mitt
has to quit
in disgrace.
That's about
the bases
about 40,000
fans exploded.

It's about
the ball,
the bat,
the mitt,
the bases
and the fans.
It's done
on a diamond,
and for fun.
It's about
home, and it's
about run.
Maureen Hurley Kubla at the Bat
A Cutup of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and Ernest L. Thayer’s “Casey At The Bat,” by Whitman McGowan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree....
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the local nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
And then, when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

With walls and towers girdled round:
They thought, If only Kubla could but get a whack at that,
We’d put up even money now, with Kubla at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Kubla, as did also Willy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
But oh! that deep romantic chasm!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball
And when the dust had lifted and men saw what had occurred,
There was Willy safe at second and Flynn a-huggin’ third

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell,
It rumbled through the valley; it rattled in the dell;
And ’mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river,
For Kubla, mighty Kubla, was advancing to the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt,
Then sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean.
And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Kubla stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there,
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Kubla. “Steeeeerike one!,” the umpire said.

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!...
From the benches black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him; kill the umpire!” shouted someone from the stand,—
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Kubla raised his hand.

He signalled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;

It was an Abyssinian maid,

And on her dulcimer she played,

Singing of Mount Abora.
But Kubla still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Steeeeerike two!”

The sneer is gone from Kubla’s lip; his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
And now the pitcher holds the ball,
Oh, weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
And now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Kubla’s blow,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Oh! somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there’s no joy in Xanadu— mighty Kubla has struck out.

Maureen Hurley The Seventh Inning
By Donald Hall
1. Baseball, I warrant, is not the whole

occupation of the aging boy.
Far from it: There are cats and roses;
there is her water body. She fills
the skin of her legs up, like water;
under her blouse, water assembles,
swelling lukewarm; her mouth is water,
her cheekbones cool water; water flows
in her rapid hair. I drink water

2. from her body as she walks past me
to open a screen door, as she bends
to weed among herbs, or as she lies
beside me at five in the morning
in submarine light. Curt Davis threw
a submarine ball, terrifying
to right-handed batters. Another
pleasure, thoroughly underrated,
is micturition, which is even

3. commoner than baseball. It begins
by announcing itself more slowly
and less urgently than sexual
desire, but (confusingly) in the
identical place. Ignorant men
therefore on occasion confuse beer-
drinking with love; but I have discussed
adultery elsewhere. We allow
this sweet release to commence itself,

4. addressing a urinal perhaps,
perhaps poised over a white toilet
with feet spread wide and head tilted back:
oh, what’delicious permission! what
luxury of letting go! what luxe
yellow curve of mildest ecstasy!
Granted we may not compare it to
poignant and crimson bliss, it is as
voluptuous as rain all night long

5. after baseball in August’s parch. The
jade plant’s trunk, as thick as a man’s wrist,
urges upward thrusting from packed dirt,
with Chinese vigor spreading limbs out
that bear heavy leaves—palpable, dark,
juicy, green, profound: They suck, the way
bleacher fans claim inhabitants of
box seats do. The Fourth of July we
exhaust stars from sparklers in the late

6. twilight. We swoop ovals of white-gold
flame, making quick signatures against
an imploding dark. The five-year-old
girl kisses the young dog goodbye and
chases the quick erratic kitten.
When she returns in a few years as
a tall shy girl, she will come back to
a dignified spreading cat and a
dog ash-gray on the muzzle. Sparklers

7. expel quickly this night of farewell:
If they didn’t burn out, they wouldn’t
be beautiful. Kurt, may I hazard
an opinion on expansion? Last
winter meetings, the major leagues (al-
ready meager in ability,
scanty in starting pitchers) voted
to add two teams. Therefore minor league
players will advance all too quickly,

8. with boys in the bigs who wouldn’t have
made double-A forty years ago.
Directors of player personnel
will search like poets scrambling in old
notebooks for unused leftover lines,
but when was the last time anyone
cut back when he or she could expand?
Kurt, I get the notion that you were
another who never discarded

9. anything, a keeper from way back.
You smoked cigarettes, in inflation-
times rolled from chopped-up banknotes, billions
inhaled and exhaled as cancerous
smoke. When commerce woke, Men was awake.
If you smoked a cigar, the cigar
band discovered itself glued into
collage. Ongoing life became the
material of Kurtschwittersball.

Maureen Hurley Baseball and Classicism
By Tom Clark

Every day I peruse the box scores for hours
Sometimes I wonder why I do it
Since I am not going to take a test on it
And no one is going to give me money

The pleasure’s something like that of codes
Of deciphering an ancient alphabet say
So as brightly to picturize Eurydice
In the Elysian Fields on her perfect day

The day she went 5 for 5 against Vic Raschi

Erik Painter
Erik Painter I like the Hall but no baseball in it really.

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Ditto Clark

Alex Call
Alex Call book' Pastime' on Kindle can read it for free..try the intro " The game"

John Oliver Simon
Tina Areja-Pasquinzo
Tina Areja-Pasquinzo Stay off the high cheese
That pitch looked fat, soft hands, stay in front of the ball.. oh there are so many, but my favorite is rally cap time.. or where's the sun flower seeds or take two.. I can go on forever

Alex Call
Alex Call Jim Bouton reported that a pitching coach once told him, regarding pitching to Al Kaline or somebody, to " zitz him inside"
high hard one.. the ball had eyes...dig it out of the dirt...fat pitch...popup skied to left... frozen rope...blooper...tweener...
Ty Cobb said that Walter Johnson ( Big Train) 's fastball "looked like watermelon seed and hissed angrily as it went by" 
hit it a mile...
paint the can tell it goodbye!
Tina Areja-Pasquinzo
Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley Alex Call Thanks for the link but it's no longer free so I'll read what I can in preview. And thanks for all the great baseball images. I loved what I was able to read on Amazon. I suspect our mothers knew each other. She was costuming at the Gate Playhouse Theater in Sausalito at the same time so their paths must've crossed. It was a small, small world way back then. Hey shorty four-eyes, rt, Tiger, did you keep the names of your friends or did you change them? Curious about what to do with memoir. I've got a lot of them stacking up. I love the part about Donnie's mom being a beatnik, so was my mom. She worwe white capris and striped shirts. I bet Lew Welch was at some of those readings. Did you ever play out in Nicasio or Lagunitas School? We used to hang out on our horses at the Little League games.
This was the most fun thread ever—thanks to all of you.

Greg McCombs
Greg McCombs Bingle...sports writers and announcers used to use this to mean a base hit single

Jim Corbett
Jim Corbett a frozen rope, blue darter, dinger, hot corner, can of corn, seeing eye double, round tripper, paint the black, toe the rubber, suicide squeeze, hands of cement, and more

Cathy Barber
Cathy Barber How about some Yogi Berra quotes?

Maureen Hurley
Maureen Hurley I got some doozers but I don't think the kids get them.

Ken Bullock
Ken Bullock Waiting like a trapdoor spider for a rookie sell-out. Baseball or the name game?/When I was a catcher, you came to them. You said "Gee, Mr. Whilikers, I'd like to be a catcher." You worked out/With other unassigned players./You had to make it or be signed down to Shenandoah or Rockport. Them/Was the days. Like/Now: the tigers treat the pigs real fine before they eat them: there is a pension for almost everything: very few and old pitchers throw screwballs. By request of the management./Like kid, don't enter here or you'll become like a pop fly I lost in the sun but went back in the stands anyway. Foul./"Learn/How to shoot fish in a barrell," someone said,/"People are starving."
Do the flowers change as I touch your skin?/They are merely buttercups. No sign of death in them. They die and you know by their death that it is no longer summer. Baseball season./Actually/I don't remember ever touching your back when there were flowers (buttercups and dandelions there) waiting to die. The end of summer/The baseball season finished. The/Bumble-bee there cruising over a few poor flowers./They have cut the ground from under us. The touch/Of your hands on my back. The Giants/Winning 93 games/Is as impossible/In spirit/As the grass we might walk on.
Start with a baseball diamond high/In the Runcible Mountain wilderness. Blocked everywhere by stubborn lumber. Where even the ocean cannot reach its coastline for the lumber of islands or the river its mouth./A perfect diamond with a right field, center field, left field of felled logs spreading vaguely outward. Four sides each/Facet of the diamond./We shall a build our city backwards from each baseline extending like a square ray from each distance--you from the first-base line, you from behind the second baseman, you from behind the short stop, you from the third base-line./We shall clear the trees back, the lumber of our pasts and futures back, because we are on a diamond, because it is our diamond/Pushed forward from./And our city shall stand as the lumber rots and Runcible mountain crumbles, and the ocean, eating all of islands, comes to meet us.
 ( Three poems above ~ Jack Spicer, from "Four Poems for the St. Louis Sporting News," Book of Magazine Verse (posthumous, 1966); "Love Poems," LANGUAGE (1965) & "Seven Poems for the Vancouver Festival," Book of Magazine Verse)