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Monday, August 31, 2020


by Gary Glauber

The action’s good and nasty
till late in the game
when angers flare
on the hard court:
sudden death, annihilation,
season-ending elimination,
the paint inside, the pain out.
There are no more fouls to give.
Nothing but sharp sounds
of rubber on wood
punctuate proceedings
until whistle blows and
we awaken to a world seething
in misdirected rage, driving the lane
under falsest of pretenses.
Shots in the back are foul shots.
And criminal ignorance walks unimpeded,
as if rewarded points for
an intentional flagrant
as pseudo-reparation,
a false notion of prejudice
masquerading as protection.
Serious spins go deking and ducking,
a head fake here and next thing
a body leans in to draw
the biggest foul imaginable,
the same one that has
poisoned outcomes
before the game ever begins.
For now, there is outrage,
hope replaced by those
sick and tired of playing at
this unjust and unfair contest
like hurling one up from half court,
wishing it might yet go in
when life repeatedly
shows you otherwise.
Sadness and frustration
dictate the facts that
for now, this game is over.

Gary Glauber is a widely published poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. He champions the underdog, and strives to survive modern life’s absurdities. He has three collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit) as well as two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. Another collection, A Careful Contrition (Shanti Arts Publishing), is forthcoming soon.