Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Day of Baseball Tweeting, with the help of Wallace Stevens & Old Ez

One of the unexpected joys of joining twitter--for purposes of marketing Tinfish Press--has been the discovery of the tweet as an art form. Stephen Colbert and Aaron Belz write brilliant, funny tweets. The Dalai Lama reminds me to find detachment. And then there's @TortyCraig, by St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Allen Craig's pet tortoise. Torty is a brilliant observer and listener (he gets Pujols's accent right, notes the glint of Coach LaRussa's pendant, given him by Carlos Santana). I keep expecting him to tweet from the field, he writes so much. So yesterday, as the Cards fought for the Wild Card berth, I joined them, rewriting Wallace Stevens's "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" (to say nothing of Gizelle Gajelonia's "13 Ways of Looking at TheBus"). Here in backward order, are my own status line/tweets:

Revision! "The apparition of these faces in the crowd / Cardinal homers off a wet, black bat" (Ezra Poundish).
and now to Stevens's "13 Ways"; find the original here.

It was an evening game this afternoon/It was humid/And it was going to be humid./The Cardinal sat/On the happy flight.

The ball is heading out/Mr. Pujols must be up.

He rode over Busch/In a big blimp./Once a fear pierced him/In that he mistook/The shadow of Bud Lite/for Cardinals.

At the sight of Cardinals/Flying at dusk,/Even the braves of Atlanta/Would fly out softly.

When the Cardinal flew out of sight,/It marked the edge/Of one of many base paths.

I know midwest accents/And lucid, inescapable runs;/But I know, too,/That the Cardinal is involved/In what I know.

O thin men of Atlanta,/Why do you imagine otherwise?/Do you not see how the Cardinals/Take intentional walks/And score?

Shadows covered the infield/With barbaric dark./The shadow of the Cardinal/Ran the bases, first to third!

I do not know which to prefer, /The beauty of sacrifices/Or the beauty of inside the park homeruns/The Cardinal...

A man and a woman/Are on first./A man and a woman and a Cardinal/are on first.

The cardinal whirled in left field / It was a small part of the ballgame.

I was of three minds/Like a tree/In which there were three cardinals.

Among twenty snowy mountains, / the only moving thing / was the eye of the cardinal.

That Torty knows something--how much, I do not know--about poetry shows up in his latest tweet: As Tennyson writes so eloquently, "The shell must break before the bird[s] can fly."

Yesterday was one of the great baseball days ever. Let's hope it keeps up. I sure want to see more Torty tweets! He knocks me off my path of detachment, but one hopes only until the end of October.

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