CHAMPION POETICS (MOI VERSION OF SPORTS #2)
Fabulous news! Joyous news! JOY! Here is Michael doing a header in front of his team!
And why are they HAPPY, you ask? Well, with a preening chest and cheeks hurting from grinning so wide, I proclaim: You all are looking at the photo of the winners of this weekend's 2009 Napa Cup for Under-14 Soccer! Michael is far right, front row:
I remember on the Flips List a discussion years ago about good vs bad poets....and Patrick Rosal displaying the rare (rare among would-be poet-critics) grace as well as intelligence about how all poets are important. Specifically, Pat used a baseball metaphor to say (and I paraphrase), "Remember that Little League is important to ensuring the ongoing viability of Major League ..."
Michael and his teammates manifest this poetics. To receive the Napa Cup, they ended up beating the very first team they played in their regular season and who routed them -- about which ignominy I describe HERE.
And I'm particularly proud of Michael because, as usual, he is the smallest kid on the field. He plays defense, and this weekend, he stole many balls from bigger, stronger forwards and, indeed, several of his balls would end up becoming goals for his team. As I overheard one of his teammates during a break saying to Michael in an awed tone: "How could you defend against guys three times bigger than you?!"
Michael displays championship qualities honed in the brutal fire of having to live as a survivor. He displays heart, grit, an incredible work ethic, a refusal to play victim ... -- he teaches me much about Poetry. Indeed, towards the end of the last game, Michael got injured -- a VERY LARGE kid literally stomped on him as that was the only way to stop him. He's fine now but he bled ... for Desire, this kid will bleed and I ... am honored to be his Mom.
I know some of you were expecting my "fabulous news" to be something like a poetry award. That's Little League. Major League is what you risked Poetry to transform you into -- in the small example of my case, Poetry turned me into one of the most important roles possible for a human being (something I believed even in the years when I had no interest in it): being a parent. Because once I allowed myself to be open, Poetry took me outside of my "head" to try to make a difference elsewhere (I think it's how Robert Kelly said, "You have to welcome them. It’s a matter of giving yourself to them and seeing what happens. And that’s how poetry is." Or as Eric Gamalinda also put it, "The most difficult part about writing a poem is not the writing but the process that leads to it, ... And at the end of our lifetime, what matters is not what we have written, but what we have become.") Here is another photo of someone who survived into a Champion: