Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lately I have been thinking about Bruce Sutter’s beard
And the Old Master whose favorite pose was the Suffering Dog—
Not an easy pose to reach and maintain.
We pitched Relief in ’82, the Fall Classic,
And we were long, lean, driven. We could bring the Heat.
We could bring the Curve.
And we had a best friend who brought the Slider.
Ragtag outfits and bright light,
In photograph we are anything but timeless.
That which looks slightly out of focus and as if from a distance
Had once been so very close, so focused, so intact, so bold.
I believe it was raining where we were,
And it was raining on television, where they were, in the game,
Though my recollection of these events has been disputed.
It may have been snow.
Bruce Sutter, on a baseball card, in my hands, was something on which I could count.
The Wizard does a back flip stealing home.
The first baseman, Hernandez—a leading man if ever there was one—
Turns to camera and flashes a cheap million dollar smile.
Suddenly the crowd and we lunge to our feet,
There is silence, God,
And then great sound,
Because something incredible has happened.
The Swagger here. The Smallness.
In the mirror I am all beard, and I am going into my Wind Up:
Long leg reared near head, hands cupping a thing close to my heart,
Eyes trained softly forward.
Meanwhile, in a forest in a part of the world I could not then imagine,
The Old Master sat for many seasons.
He would later report to me that there had been a Woodsman
Chopping wood day in and day out on the far side of that forest.
After months of this sound,
The Old Master undertook long journey
To that part of the forest from which the sound came.
Once there he discovered that not one tree had been felled,
No fires started,
And no house built.
The Old Master sat and he waited.
To his ears in time came the sound of wood being chopped
On the distant side of the forest from whence he had travelled.
The Old Master would later report to me that the sound of this chopping had become the sound of the Suffering Dog’s Heart.