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Monday, 2 September 2013

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore: Baseball Stadium Epiphany


Crowd (Phillies game): photo by Mike Ashley (jacreative), 29 May 2007

At the moment I entered the baseball stadium
a huge crowd ovation went up

and I found myself imagining it was for me
and my latest poem, for a split second our

culture had shifted drastically and was
capable of cheering a poet and his poor tropes,

thrilled at the ultimate victory of words of light
over the sleep of the human species,

overjoyed and eager to cheer the exact image
..and the sudden ecstatic flight of the soul

......for the good of all.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore: Baseball Stadium Epiphany, from The Puzzle, 2011

Crowd, Philadelphia: photo by Brandon Blattner (masemase), 9 October 2008


TC said...

A drastic change in the culture is definitely the (tall) order of the day.

A working poet may sound a contradiction in terms, but that's exactly what Daniel is.

He has been a friend to poetry, to this blog and to the conscious universe for some time now.

Few who hang about at this site will have forgotten this:

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore: Cancer

ACravan said...

This is very, very bright -- in the light/dark sense as much as the "smart" sense,, which I expect when I read things here. That feeling of entering the stadium through the tunnel is always so powerful and a time of intimate, intense thought and fantasy. It's one of those things where you always feel "I wish they could bottle this" or "if I could stay here forever on the verge of something I know I'm going to enjoy a lot, I'd like that." A wonderful start to Labor Day, which has already made me pause and delay an assigned work task. Curtis

TC said...

Thanks, Curtis. Delaying readers' assigned work tasks is, I believe, the unconscious motive of all bloggers.

(With the understanding, of course, that a Higher Purpose is always being served, even if just at the moment we can't remember what that purpose is, exactly.)

Be the BQE said...

Three cheers for Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore for reminding us of the precision and ecstasy that baseball and poetry demand and inspire. Happy Labor Day!

TC said...

Thank you, David. I can see that my own assigned task for this Labor Day is going to be performed for me by my brilliant readers, who have just now twice in a row been spot-on in pointing out the joys in this terrific little poem (the brightness, the movie-like fantasy moment, the resemblances of pleasures in the forms of play, the precision, the ecstasy), so that I don't have to.

By the by, there's been some internal debate here as to how to read it. Is there a wry good-humoured self-deflating note -- the modestly realistic poet laughing at himself for having even momentarily expected the impossible -- or am I just imagining that?



Yes, yes, there IS "a wry good-humored self deflating note" here -- I hear it, and add my THREE CHEERS for Daniel Abday Hayy Moore's hearing that sound as he walked through "the tunnel" (as Curtis put it), or up those stairs at AT&T (as I've done, and will again on Friday night, when I'll think of this little poem and its "ovation"), adding to that (for what it's worth) my own "Go Giants!" as well as "Happy Labor Day" to you.

Be the BQE said...

I would agree that poet's hyper-inflated language--"ultimate victory of words of light/over the sleep of the human species"--suggests he is have some fun with the idea of poet as superstar.

BTW, Tom, I received a copy of your lovely baseball poem/postcard, "Time rotates but there is only one season," in a package from Ken Mikolowski. I've been trying to track down as many of the Alternative Press bumperstickers as I can for my own blog. I believe you did one in the early days of the AP. If you have time and interest, I'd love to correspond about your experience with the Press. My email's Now, I need to check the scores!

Wooden Boy said...

...for the good of all

dropped in cheekily at the last minute.

If anybody's due a huge crowd ovation, it's Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore.

TC said...

Thanks to all. I'm beginning to think Daniel's Baseball Epiphany was premonitory. He's getting that richly deserved standing ovation.

Well, sitting, here, but still, that's old folks for you.

David, yes, I did a number of projects with the Mikolowskis, back in the day. There were several postcards -- "Baseball and Classicism", one called "Ode to Negativity", "Time rotates..." and probably others I'm forgetting. Then too I did several series of one-of-a-kind handmade postcards for them. And there were the broadsides and bumperstickers. I recall a broadside called "Back in Tulsa". And a bumpersticker, "more hair every day". That one was in 1972.

(Since then I've been working on an unpublished sequel -- "less hair every day"... my most extensive work.)

TC said...

PS. David, now another fuzzy blip appears on the memory screen. A 1981 broadside called "Stooges Anonymous". That I believe was a sort of manifesto, announcing a Movement, as it were. I don't think it went very far.

Be the BQE said...

Tom, Thanks for the Alternative Press memories. I have had a good time looking through the issues in the oh so proper Berg Collection at the NYPL on 42 st. It's great to see the postcards, bumperstickers, broadsides, bookmarks spill out onto the green felt. Sadly they don't have your More Hair Every Day. I'll take a look for the manifesto.

Alll the best,

Unknown said...

Baseball Stadium Epiphany is a wonderful poem Daniel. Surely when we write our poems they do, at their best, lift the spirit of everyone and everything. I once wrote a poem that ended, “go out to the seashore, and sigh, and cry, salty teardrops and ease this burden for everybody.” Your poem Cancer lifted the burden for me Daniel. Thank you. I must read more of your poetry.

Would the fans were cheering for your vision of “the victory of words of light over the sleep of the human species.”

They do cheer for the poetry of baseball, its mysterious curves, geometry and drama.

The last time I went to a game it took me quite a while to focus because of many things I encountered in the “New Yankee Stadium:” the black and white MIA-POW flag, a pirate flag, a war flag, hanging below the national flag some forty years now; the sleepwalking, super-privileged idiots around me; the general out-of-whackness of our car-crazy, broke, distracted, superficial, stupified, cruel, hypocritical culture (of which I am a part) etc.

Yes, Tom, a “drastic change in the culture is definitely the (tall) order of the day.” Maybe a job for “Too-Tall Jones” star of another, more brutal sport more appropriate for the current state of the nation. I couldn’t get into the spirit of Labor Day baseball yesterday, even though the games were played as they should be, in the day time, with the pitchers drenched and the fielders sweating their brains out. I kept thinking of Yeats’ The Second Coming, the “falcon cannot hear the falconer” and “What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.” So, of course, today’s post from you is Yeats. Of course.

At some point in each life everything is likely to “blaze and open up into a night full of stars” as Daniel has pointed out. Thanks Daniel. Thanks Tom. I did eventually enjoy the baseball that day, and yesterday too. Only through your poetry, however, has anything approached epiphany here lately.

Harris Schiff

ACravan said...

Interesting to read Harris's comments about the "new" Yankee Stadium. Our first vivid memory was that you couldn't purchase a hot dog and french fries at the same counter, let alone in reasonable proximity to each other. It was about a 5 minute walk past sushi stands, halal food stands, etc., etc. We go about once a year (except for this year) when my brother-in-law is kind enough to give us tickets. Harris's description of the place and atmosphere is quite accurate. I always have fun, though. Curtis

TC said...

While we were giving Daniel a standing O for his gift of poesy, he was off at the acupuncturist.

This is the Wisdom of Sages.

I was introduced to the magical green diamond of light in 1947. A twi-night doubleheader with the Yankees in town. DiMaggio, by then treading gingerly on tender pins, banged a couple off and over the old brick outfield walls at Comiskey, and the hated Yanks took two.

That began my long sullen childhood detestation of the Yankees and everything they stood for.

Whatever the Yankees wanted, they got. If another (lesser) club had a guy the Yankees wanted... money talks.

I learned about Imperialism early on, from the nonchalant sempiternal dominance of the Yankees.

Everybody in America hated them for that. By America I designate that vast stretch of terra incognita, cactus, bermuda shorts and saddle shoes west of the Hudson.

Many years later I had a girlfriend from the Concourse. She took me round to Yankee Stadium. I refused to look.

ACravan said...

I think whatever feelings of confidence and emotional security I had growing up might have had something to do with the Yankees' sempiternal dominance. I never thought about that until just now, so thank you for that. (The shrinks never got close to uncovering this.) It's the first day of Jane's school today, season winding-down and winding-up time. Anyway, my great enthusiasm for the Yankees ended a long time ago, the stadium replacement being a capstone event. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a repellent individual on the order of George Steinbrenner. Both of them cause me to avert my eyes and want to change the subject. But I really, really like this poem. Curtis