Tuesday, February 21, 2017

My letter to Cardinals management

I'm responding to comments on the St. Louis
True Fans facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/St.LouisCardinalsTrueFans/

My letter to Cardinals management. Could be better, but I have a day job!
47-728 Hui Kelu Street #9
Kaneohe, HI 96744
21 February 2017
William O. DeWitt, Jr.
CEO, St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium
700 Clark Street
St. Louis, MO 63102
Dear Mr. DeWitt & other members of the Cardinals front office:
While I have never lived in St. Louis, I have been a Cardinals fan for 50 years. I was born in Belleville, Illinois, but never knew it as home. When the Cards made the World Series in 1967, however, I took them on as a my home team, and they’ve been that ever since. I’ve made several trips to St. Louis over the years, alone and with my family, to meet up with friends and to see games. I founded the Cardinals Hui on Facebook for writers (like me) who are also Cardinals fans. We often watch playoff games together on-line. My husband and I are White; our two kids are Asian American.
My first baseball heroes were Black: Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Curt Flood. Even as a child, I knew their careers were more difficult than they ought to have been. I remember reading Gibson’s From Ghetto to Glory early on, which confirmed my suspicions. More recently, I’ve read biographies of Curt Flood and joined his daughter’s movement to have him put in the Hall of Fame. Now my family and I follow Kolten Wong with particular interest because he’s from Hawai’i. So I was horrified when I saw comment streams on a Facebook page yesterday attacking Dexter Fowler in racist and otherwise ugly language. I put in my two cents on two of the threads, but that didn’t seem enough. I failed to write to you do so after Michael Brown was killed while wearing a Cardinals cap and the team remained silent, but I am writing to you now.
Fowler has every right to his opinion on the travel ban. That his wife is Iranian and can’t travel to see her family is a real problem for him. That her sister has a hard time coming to this country is another. What I would like to see from the Cardinals is some active support for him, our only African American player at present, and one whose family is from a country held under suspicion by our government. Perhaps baseball can bring us together rather than—like so much these days—tear us apart. But for it to do that will take some real effort from you. You might even need to break some eggs. St. Louis is a complicated community; acknowledge it as such, and help to bring people together. But above all, support players whose lives are affected by racism and immigration issues.
Thank you for the wonderful experiences we had at games in recent years. I hope that 2017 proves a successful season for our team.
Yours truly,
Susan M. Schultz

Monday, February 20, 2017

20 February 2017

Perfect humility is not a destination. The paragraph is not perfect, though it appears to be humble. All forms contain their own predictability. What to do about the wall that runs through our living room. In the book about donuts, one house bears a sign, “Don't feed the living room.” It's a book about love that ends when the boy with too many donuts saves an old woman in a cellar from drowning in bad coffee. The paragraph's borders are porous only in content; the form is fixed. I took photos of places the dog stopped on her walk: a grass patch, a yellow leaf, the bottom of a light pole, a gap in a blue fence, a white pipe, an abandoned plate lunch, a brown dog, the neighbor's cat. When I stepped in the elevator I knew someone had been drinking. Trump's Vodka lives at the end of one the spokes in a diagram of his Russian connections. The dentist drinks vodka, my mother told me, because it doesn't smell. 

President's Day

--20 February 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

19 February 2017

Humility is seeing yourself as you really are. The dog gazes back, her dark brown eyes framed by a hint of iris. Her forehead is folded, gray and black, her nose long enough she can't see the red dot in front of her. The word “hackles” comes to mind. Each morning the man prays to (and for) a six foot cardboard image of the president. I'm struck by a desire to do nothing but sit in the field out back and hold the long orange leash that keeps my dog from bolting. John Bolton's in line for the NSC job. Each night the president crawls in his bed in the house in the city in the nation behind the wall he knows to be his legacy. His will be done, his kingdom come. In a hangar in Florida Melania used the “trespasses” version of the Lord's Prayer. From the other room I hear Bryant tell the dog to sit. Sit, sit, sit, stay. Come! Good girl.


--19 February 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

18 February 2017

So let go of every clever, persuasive thought. To note that the dog is clever is not to ascribe an extra clause to the syntax of her bark, or the idea of evolution to her consumption of cat shit. It's to say she knows how to stop me at the rock wall to smell urine, moss, water running through the pipes. Her green leash pulls taut and the early sun folds her solid ears on the sidewalk. “Generals, dictators—we have everything,” the president tells his cronies. A fine-tuned machine is how he describes chaos. When words are taken to be their opposites, we do more than put them in the mirror. We bathe them as we bathe the dog, carefully rubbing her anus to rob her of her smell, dabbing at her ears with cotton swabs. The words shall be clean, as Williams said of Moore's. There's good reason for cleanliness, though it confuses the dog. Her chin on my leg as I type, black nostrils trimmed like sails, ears cocked for sirens on Kahekili.


--19 February 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

17 February 2017

This word will protect you. I love the dreamers, he says, except those who are in gangs. They love me, he says, counting his electoral votes. There's so much love out there, he says. The widening gyre of need upon need upon need. And we all fall down. The dog stuck her German shepherd head into a white drainpipe, leaving only her terrier body outside the rock wall. That was when I knew I loved her. No camera to record my testimony. We read the Objectivists next week, but I warned students there won't be much music. Look at the counter through a painted window; it's a symbol of loneliness without the symbolic freight. Take language off posters and elevator walls, then write a love poem. Poems included fire hoses, bicycles, and a lot about safety. That's the word of the day. We run toward it like mourners behind a wagon led by a camel, ending up in a rutted field beside a plain casket. The dog rushes up and down stairs after a red point of light.


--17 February 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

14 February 2017

Thoughts will come. Stop every time your dog sniffs and write a sentence. Stop 1: (I kid you not), beside the sign that reads, “Have some respect / for your neighbors // pick up your dog's / poop.” Stop 2: Next to the mailboxes. I pick up mail; I pick up poop. Stop 3: Near the road, branches blown down by last night's Kona wind. Stop 4: At the coiled rusting chain. Stop 5: At the light pole on Hui Iwa Street. Stop 6: At the nose of a friend behind chain link. These stops have been edited for narrative effect. The dog sniffs my hands at the keyboard, my toes, the bed spread. Something always smells. The National Security Adviser went rogue, made promises to the Russians on his own. Sad! Throw bleach on that stink and we come out smelling like a rose. Stop 7: Under the ground cover. Stop 8: At the ex-banana patch (the wind again). She barks. There's something to which she means to attend. Assister √†. To go to a restaurant. To see a national security crisis in real time. Nothing that is out in the open is real. Ask for the alternative happy meal. This was almost a sonnet.


--14 February 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

13 February 2017

He can be loved, but not thought. He (a lesser he) caught by the lens at his table, gazes into the near distance, entranced. Where is the self in such self-regard? The dog knows her self attaches to her nose, knows every grassy area by its invisible excrement. My mother-in-law sees roiling shapes as she falls asleep. A fetus nests in the heart muscle. Angst 1. A hooded demon surfs a swirl of paint. Other demons hide in narrower coils. Angst 2. Somewhere at the bottom left an 8 appears, or is it a treble clef? Angst 3. We are whatever we let go, so long as we see its shapes. Busta Rhymes referred to him as Agent Orange. He is all cistern without sound, impossible to fill in. Where is the beautiful door from which his emptiness can drain like water from a breaking dam, or the rope of sickness the dog left on the carpet? A fallen dumpster lid snapped in a gust of wind. The dog startled. We kept walking.


--13 February 2017