Skip to main content

Michael Brockley

Bruce Springsteen Joins Aloha Shirt Man in the First Turn for a Cornfed Derby Dame Bout

Scooter van Zandt, he says while shaking my hand. He’s wearing a Jersey Devil sweatshirt, Maui Jim sunglasses, and a Cornfed Derby Dame baseball cap he bought at Kim Karsmashian’s souvenir stand. But the jazz dab from the Soul Crusaders tour gives him away. Springsteen doffs his shades and winks. He’s looking for Maria Roberts. Says she ditched her husband after his outlaw brother disappeared into the Canadian wilderness. Springsteen heard Maria took up skating on the flat rinks, jumping from one midwestern team to another. We watch Bona Petite slip through a Debbie Darko shoulder block to lead a jam against the Quad City Rollers. And five points. Springsteen studies the skaters jostling each other in the scrum. She’d be in the middle,  he says, Throwing a hip block or a can opener. Bona Petite tiptoes through a cougar trap to lead another jam. Springsteen picked Muncie, figuring Maria would be drawn to a town one of the most dangerous men in America calls home. He nudges me in the ribs and turns to the match, reciting their names: Melody Mayhem, One-Hit Wonda. Soulseeker. He focuses on Rogue’s scrum tactics as the first half closes. Then asks if anyone requests “The Night of the Johnstown Flood” from the DJ during the break. When I shake my head, he stands. Tips his hat. Says he’s heading back to Ohio to check out the Burning River Rollers. I tell him I’ve never heard the Johnstown song. He pauses before saying, Someday I’ll have to record it. 

Michael Brockley lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Flying Island, Clementine Unbound, and Tipton Poetry Journal. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ed Dorn's # 22 From Twenty-four Love Poems

                                               from Jacket The strengthy message here in #22 of 24 Love Songs can be summed up in two lines: ['There is/no sense to beauty. . .' and '. . .How/ the world is shit/ and I mean all of it] What I also like about this brief poem is the interplay between the title of the book and the subject of the poems (love/anti-love (which is not hate)): it's all a mass of contradictions, like love. And I have to say that the shorter poems of the Love Songs and the last book he wrote before dying (Chemo Sábe) seem to me much better and more memorable than the Slinger/Gunslinger poems. These (generally) later poems probably attempt less stylistically, but are more sure-handed, hacked from a soap bar, maybe. Easy to use, but disappear after use. In any case, Dorn is well worth the reading and re-reading, for me, though he'll never become one of my favorites. And doesn't every poet want that, dead or alive? ;-) #22 The agony

Mike James

 The River’s Architecture for Louis McKee, d. 11/21/11 The river has a shape you follow with your whole body: shoulder, footstep, and ear- those who know how to listen hear how river wind is like breath, alive in lung and line. Mike James makes his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has published in hundreds of magazines, large and small, and has performed his poetry at universities and other venues throughout the country. He has published over 20 collections and has served as visiting writer at the University of Maine, Fort Kent. His recent new and selected poems, Portable Light: Poems 1991-2021, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His last collection, Back Alley Saints at the Tiki Bar, was published in April by Redhawk. He currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, TN.

Jim Daniels

Half Days My daughter, thirteen, pale shred of herself, fought an unidentified infection in her spine as it softened her discs into disappearance. I’d unread that story if she were young and still listened to lullabies. After she got discharged, I set an alarm for two a.m. each night to shoot antibiotics into her port while she slept, her limp arm resting in my hand. Her return to school: half days—follow my dotted line smearing across months of sleepless breadcrumbs— at noon I idled high, anxious in the school driveway rattling off the latest test results in the zero gravity of fear. She startled me with the brittle thunk of the car door slam, then snapped at me for staring at her friends as they strolled across the street to the cafeteria, creeping them out, she said, embarrassed by illness like hard acne or a blooming hickey, wrong music or flakey hair, or the tacky middle-school jumper she no longer had to wear. I was there to drive her to