by Dan Zamudio
In sparing lines and with a reluctant irony reminiscent of Holden Caulfield, Dan Zamudio
deadpans his way through more than 100 poems on baseball. It is a teen’s smirk the
speaker wears, telling us that a “slight distraction / always helps” when you’re tendering a
month-old ticket for today’s game (“Say, who’s pitching today?”)—and when the teacher
leaves the room, “Long / unsharpened / pencils / swing across / desk tops, / connect with /
inside pitches”(“Hurry, she’s coming!”). In Chicago, the poet’s hometown, the South Side
may have Buddy Guys, but Wrigley is still the best known venue for the blues (“Blues”).
Sharing the delights of poetry and baseball without condescension, the author meets young
adults and thus all of us on common ground, engaging with familiar language and anecdotes
that part of life still pretending to distrust anyone over the age of 30.
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