May 03, 2008

Ars Poetica: Hitting the Curve

The only trouble with hitting a curve ball
is that your knees are in love with your skull.

To make them lean towards something someone
has flung with clenched teeth at your chin

you have to fake that your front-cleat is soaking
in an old milking pail. And believe for an instant

the truth isn’t true—that even the Gods, even
Williams and Cobb, fail more often than not.

It helps to know Plato’s is from becomes
that the field was a field, the bat a creaking ash limb.

To know even your withered, pale father was beautiful
once, the bat falling from his shoulders like silk

as you lift your foot from the bucket and wail
like Achilles, without spilling a drop of the milk.

—Patrick Phillips

Posted by dwaber at May 3, 2008 05:07 PM