Poem by Dennis Mahagin


 

From the Deep Purple Diaries of Axylcoatl the Hurler

In Cuba, there’s a classic rock
Shortage; these days I hum some
tunes with ducks on a pond, the jams
at times might get me out of a bind,
say routine grounder turning
two, turning two; I’d rather walk
six guys than get rocked, with runners
on… back in Cuba I took the cat calls
in stride via kazoo, through my stretch,
on that hill my best pitch is still the
curve ball that dives, from noon
to six, oh machine head, yet
sometimes I struggle to get
the bitch over; as such, I’m afraid,
yes, much as being wary of death,
the many ways it could come:
in my stretch, I bend,
peer in, worry, and stall some
more … if I can’t get it over
they will send me away,
to Triple A Tacoma, beginning
of the end in store, it’s excruciating,
really, play by play, my skin, thick
as the poor and coal-black,
nonesuch cafe au lait, with runners
on, like old rumors dogging me,
in my stretch: I throw
over, to first
and stall: if I were a fan, a woman
from Tokyo, oh, who could take it?
At fourteen I watched soldiers
dispatch a man, for spitting
hangnails at a poster
of Fidel: a honcho spat
toback with his blade, and bat,
all gallows tall, first baseman’s mitt:
he winked at me, through the worst
screams, tipped his beret, evil
and jaunty; I think about him
during midnight electric special
when I get rocked, then toss over
to first: a lot of my sliders
end up in the dirt, and pitch counts
run higher, higher; if I were a
fan, Lazy, I know it … hurts.
My pea boat hit sweet Pensacola
at age 22, when I knew the Show
to be a promised land,
smoke on the waters, your glovers,
and Father: every life ascribes
an arc, from mound to mitt
and much movement
in between. My heart, set
on this, I’ll fall sideways off that hill
and make it stick, shrink the scarred
pill to the absolute girth of a pea,
nothing like that hole they threw him in,
past shortstop through the mouth of piranha
deep green ocean foaming helpless men …
or simply the rotation that will
have me, when I learn to pin that cutter
pitch dead solid perfect stranger,
humming through all the hits, I’ll play
a kid’s game, and grow old, get rich;
my name you’ll know this, as Luis
when I came, stayed a time
as sunlight in my garden
of vines dropping off a
table top, hey Ma,
listen, I’m on the
radio station.

 

“An Acoustic Perspective” © Dr. Regina Valluzzi

 

Dennis Mahagin is a poet from the Pacific Northwest, currently living in Montana. His collections of verse can be found here and there: And well, worth it. Maybe.

Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.

 

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