No. 7


Andrey Gritsman  


Soccer like reggae lets us bounce back 
from the precipice of mid-century, pulsating salty blood 
filling the temporal bone. Bone against the bone, 
stone against the stone. Referee always silent. The game 

goes on in complete darkness. We can only feel — 
this was a good pass, a good line, right pitch, the rest 
fades away. Our close ones fade away. He guards only 
what’s beyond the arc, out in the field of endless water, 
as the arc sails away to the homey island. 

The air smelling of thick coffee, tobacco and wet hemp 
while crazy singer serving the corner bends it out
and sends an incredible shot into the bottomless sky, 
where the magic ball disappears forever, and we 
have to start all over again.

                                                                                  — for Gene


This time heaven
could not hold it any more.
It was pouring like hell and we
were dancing in the rain in steaming water
in our raincoats, hoods up,
four pocket-size flasks smuggled
inside our socks through seven security checks.

When the playing broke in
it was a replay of a massive air-raid,
the air-defense projectors drilling
a swollen sky and searching for
a lost target over the smoky Babylon of life:
the hot-dog stands, pretzels, lines to the can.

When they really got going
all of them were lit, even John’s ghost 
on the keyboard, as if he was driven
from the Central Park
through the rush-hour bottleneck
of Lincoln Tunnel to the swamped Meadowlands.

Christmas shopping was over,
the delta flow built up and flooded
the night mixing with the suspended raindrops
dancing in the crossfire of lights.

The sealed sound blew up and the skeletons
were singing in the rain, 
all the closets thrown open,
when something was taking off,
that fleeting feeling of freedom
for once, of something
that never really happened to us
yet still was alive, unfolding, squinting, blue and raw,
smelling of blood and semen, the pot,
sweat, grass, more and more
until the darkness stood still,
the deserted field was dead and snow-covered
with ticket stubs: “The Rolling Stones at Giants Stadium, 
     September 94.”




The copyright of 
everything published 
here remains 
with the authors.


Main Page | Current Issue | Contributors| News | Where to Buy | Links | Contact us | Archives

© 2003-2005 Ars Interpres Publications.