The Blind Side
Along with novels, non-fiction and my political and social commentary, I have written poetry. Which may or may not be of interest to you but my wife and I were discussing a writer’s life this morning.
I commented that it struck me as strange that my writing—whatever the subject—left my consciousness very much like a dream, as soon as it was done. The upside of that is that on the rare occasion of reading something I have written, it looks new to me and I quite like it.
Case in point, I went to the bookcase and took down a copy of Broken Pieces, one of three published books of poetry. “I’ll open it to a page, any page,” I said “and read what’s there. We’ll see if it’s fresh and still works.”
Page 53 features a poem called The Blind Side and it’s about American football.
The Blind Side
Seconds, only seconds,
when ten make a lifetime.
A rush of defenders,
guys built like locomotives.
He drops back and back,
to find a downfield receiver
in a current of motion and color,
no time, no time, no time.
Third down and twenty-three,
an absolute need to get the ball
not where he is, but where he will be
at a split-moment, crossing
a place in time and space
that doesn’t exist, but will.
A study in the futures-market
of moving bodies
Drop back again, shrug him off,
step up or eat the ball.
The time is now, make it happen,
or crumple and walk away.
That long slump-shouldered walk
across the field to roars
that could be cheers, might be yet,
except for the blind side
It satisfied me and only was remembered in the reading. But I dare to think that if Tom Brady or Lamar Jackson read it they would instantly recognize the feeling.
Anyway, writers write—it’s what we do and I thought you might be interested in how it feels and how it happens from our end. On second thought, maybe not ‘our end,’ maybe only my end. My three books of poems were written in about a two-year period when my mind ran in stanzas. Each poem came to the page complete.
And then the mind-set left me. I don’t know why. But it’s okay.