s SPORTS WRITING - Swarm mag

SPORTS WRITING

This space wouldn't thrive as much without a semi-regular supply of poetry so we've called upon the first Poet Laureate of Plymouth, one of the earliest loyal fans of SWARM Mag and our friend Stephan Delbos to deliver us from this specific medium shortage. Accompanied by illustrations by Czech artist Mikoláš Zika. Enjoy a piece tailored to and inspired by our current umbrella topic – FRONT RUNNER
SPORTS WRITING 1

1ST PERIOD

We live behind

a ruined stadium.

 

2ND ROUND 

I dream of weeping on ice skates,

Olympiad chorus swarming,

knife-bearing ceremony;

dream of burglars tearing books

and wake to the slumber of my son,

silence

of midnight hockey rinks hovers in the house.

 

3RD QUARTER 

Be a good sport.

F3
F5

SUPERFANS

International pastime

eradicate silence

w/ idle syllables

weather, sports.

 

4am airport taxi pickup.

Interrogation: Patriots,

Red Sox, Bruins—

cartoon clubs.

 

Why not quiet?

Why not speak of death?

Why not the poetry

of government’s murderous intent?

 

Outside the end zone

of habitual exchange 

I loiter on the grass

considering.

F1
F6

SPONTANEOUS MEMORY TOURNAMENT

Life is sports a choice a voice a vote to choke I saw a man with a dead basketball on his head the super fanatics devote your life opiate of the masses false sense of communal security billions of dollars teachers and sports pros who makes more money and impact?  

Ritual #73: Saturday morning World Wrestling Federation on TV. Enthralling characters and epic battles, per the Federation’s plan. A ninja who had tattoo ideograms in neat rows across his face and chest. That captured me, not tattoos, but the idea of being covered in language, taken over, buried in it, awash with words. I want to write myself out of existence, like zipping up a body bag of invisibility. I want to cover my tracks with words. I want to be nothing. Only to exist in what’s left over.  

Two teams two skins the sin of the win I saw in Ohio a man in summer costumed all Buckeye gear, his car maroon and streamers passing while I ate a burrito the size of a football.

F10
F2

DO THE WAVE

 

Sports are a virus

Elections are sports

Life is life or death

Time is a wager

Center stager

Constant talk

Overtalking

Silence walking

Sports of course

Horse trading

Cheater pumpkin-eater

Put on your rally cap

The dug out

Pissed my pants in left field

Highway to the danger zone

11th-inning stretch

F9
F4

ANTHEM

 

A poem human highlight film

A 21-line salute

A poem in Atlanta, GA

Tape for the knuckle line

Breaks a poem with enjambed thumb

A poem for Dominique Wilkens

A poem with a tight fade

A poem on the parquet

Backwards written poem A

 Poem with a pump fake

 

 

ENVY OF MATADORS

All she left when she left:

a chest X-ray from Arles,

 

where she died, green-tongued,

lungs gurgling, for two

 

getaway days. I smoked 

at the window, boiled

 

tea she couldn’t swallow.

Outside, shouting

 

men and bulls

rumbled like a river flooding

 

streets to the rubble

stadium of matadors; sword-

 

blades in the unconsidered sun

or lamplight I see through her bones.

F8
F7

HOME TEAM

I grew up in a house without a living

                     room television.

I grew up in a house that did not watch sports.

I grew up in a house with no home

team.

         I played basketball.

I played baseball.

I played soccer.

I ran cross-country.

My mother would drive me to the field

and watch from the car.

I understand but cannot relate

to the behavior of sports fans.

We all want to belong.

We all want to be

part of something bigger

than a few meek feet of skin and bone.

The legend of the champion.

The grief of the gladiator

forever rehearsing lost triumph.

I grew up in a house with no home team.

 

OVERTIME

We die behind

a ruined stadium.

F3
F2
F1
F11
F10
F9
F8
F7
F6
F5
F4

TEXT / Stephan Delbos

Stephan Delbos is the first Poet Laureate of Plymouth, Massachusetts. His poetry, essays, and translations have been published internationally. He is the editor of From a Terrace in Prague: A Prague Poetry Anthology (Litteraria Pragensia, 2011). His play Chetty’s Lullaby, about trumpet legend Chet Baker, was produced in San Francisco in 2014. His play Deaf Empire, about Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, was produced by Prague Shakespeare Company in 2017. His co-translation of The Absolute Gravedigger, by Czech poet Vítězslav Nezval, was awarded the PEN/Heim Translation Grant in 2015 and was published by Twisted Spoon Press. He is also co-translator of Nezval’s Woman in the Plural (Twisted Spoon Press, 2021), and the translator of Tereza Riedlbauchová’s Paris Notebook (The Visible Spectrum, 2020). He is the author of the poetry chapbook In Memory of Fire (Cape Cod Poetry Review, 2016) and the poetry collections Light Reading (BlazeVOX, 2019) and Small Talk (Dos Madres, 2021). A Senior Lecturer at Charles University and Anglo-American University, Stephan is also a founding editor of B O D Y (bodyliterature.com).

ILLUSTRATIONS / Mikoláš Zika

Graduate of scenography at KALD DAMU under the guidance of Robert Smolík. As an author of stages, costumes, puppet concepts, etc., he has collaborated with, for example, the Lampion Theater (Josef Lady’s Czech Christmas, Puzzle Mystery), the VOSTO5 Theater (Colonization – a New Beginning, Awakening), the Wariot Ideal ensemble (Flyers, Depths), the National Theater / Laterna magic (Garden), Experimental space NoD (Moonlight Sonata No. 11, Fantasy !, Bible 2), Damúza Studio, Ostrava Theater Stará aréna, Drama Studio Ústí nad Labem … It was part of the author’s productions for the Disk Pavilón Theater leaving a 49 bar.

He is a member of the art group TABULA RASA and the country band DINGO.

F11
swarm