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From the vault

Tomorrow is December 1, 2018. This picture is from around 30 years ago based on Tara's size. What was going on? As usual, I'm not a good reporter of facts. I have a few things stuck in my head but the circumstances of this picture is not among them.

Yesterday Marion called to tell me she finally figured out why she could remember one random baseball name: Freddie Patek. She also had Davey Lopes in her head but that's because he played for the Dodgers, she said.

She had run across this poem of mine & it all came back to her. I only remember anything about this incident or reading because of the poem. True of so many recollections—I have them now only if I wrote them down then.

Game 4, American League Championship Series, October 12, 1985

Bases loaded no outs & pitching on a mere 2 days rest
Dave Stieb looks so desperate I chew my fingers as tho
at a Stephen King movie, I can’t watch alone!
so call Steve, who’s sleeping
but amazingly enough Marion has the game on
not however imagining poor Dave
is as hounded as he looks to me

talk turns to tomorrow’s reading
—oh man he just walked in a run—
I haven’t really been watching you understand
typing all day
nothing like a reading to burrow for poems

Steve’s a little depressed, Marion says,
he has to finish
all his poems
Yeah, I agree, I have about a million works
that’re terrific till late innings then stop short

I’m getting a stomachache
watching Stieb claw around for help

And so is born another million-dollar scheme
The Relief Poet!
who’ll come in at the end with a trick pitch
witty poignant heat
& finish off your poem tidy up your poem
getting credit for a save of course

Then I remember for Marion
the incredibly short shortstop
the Royals used to have was Freddie Patek
& we 2 happy geniuses hang up
as Tom Henke comes in to get the inning’s last out
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