Not much up today: walked the Hammer who whiffed what she likes to whiff in the Labour Day breeze. After she rolled in what she whiffed, I had to give her a long bath to get most of the smell of a homeless man's brown/yellow shit off her long fur. After the dog was cleaned up I watched a little of the Rangers/Sabres game - that was some good violent hockey. Hopefully the Canucks/Ducks game will be even more so.
Have you read Al Purdy's Hockey Players before?
What they wory about most is injuries
broken arms and legs and
fractured skulls opening so doctors
can see such bloody beautiful things
almost not quite happening in the bone rooms
as they happen outside -
And the referee?
He's right there on the ice
not out of sight among the roaring blue gods
of a game played for passionate businessmen
and a nation of television agnostics
who never agree with the referee and applaud
when he falls flat on his face -
On a breakaway
the centre man carrying the puck
his wings trailing a little
on both sides why
I've seen the aching glory of a resurrection
in their eyes
if they score
but crucifixion's agony to lose
- the game?
We sit up there in the blues
bored and sleepy and suddenly three men
break down the ice in roaring feverish speed and
we stand up in our seats with such a rapid pouring
of delight exploding out of self to join them why
theirs and our orgasm is the rocket stipend
for skating through the smoky end boards out
of sight and climbing up the appalachian highlands
and racing breast to breast across laurentian barrens
over hudson's diamond bay and down the treeless
auroras are tubercular and awesome and
stopping isn't feasible or possible or lawful
but we have to and we have to
laugh because we must and
stop to look at self and one another but
our opponent's never geography
or distance why
- just men?
And how do the players feel about it
this combination of ballet and murder?
For years a Canadian specific
to salve the anguish of inferiority
by being good at something the Americans aren't -
And what's the essence of a game like this
which takes a ten year fragment of a man's life
replaced with love that lodges in his brain
and takes the place of reason?
Besides the fear of injuries
is it the difficulty of ever really overtaking
a hard rubber disc?
Is it the impatient coach who insists on winning?
Sportswriters friendly but sometimes treacherous?
- And the worrying wives wanting you to quit and
your aching body stretched on the rubbing table
thinking of money in owner's pocket that might be in yours
the butt-slapping cameraderie and the self indulgence
of allowing yourself to be a hero and knowing
everything ends in a pot-belly -
Out on the ice all these things be forgotten
in swift and skilled delight of speed?
- roaring out the endboards out the city
streets and high up where laconic winds
whisper litanies for a fevered hockey player -
Or racing breast to breast and never stopping
over rooftops of the world and all together
sing the song of money all together ...
(and out in the suburbs
there's the six year old kid
whose reflexes were all wrong
who always fell down and hurt himself and cried
and never learned to skate
with his friends) -