Running back bounces outside
It’s what he do, he do it all day
He do it to get paid, but he’d 
Do it to pray, most of all play 
The game is in his genes, 
His bitches in the stands. 
Pearls pinch the tongues 
Of oysters, the ‘back 
Makes his cuts between 
The strands, and tutoring 
The young first round 
Draft pick, linebacker 
Who pressed for 
Outrageous demands.


Eyes darting, eyes stark still 
The running back draws even with 
His breath, road-kill between he and goal 
A rock in a sandstorm, a fist in a verb to be 
The exclamation to the long drive, 
A dancer for the claims of victory.


The ‘knee’ 
Long held in imagery 
As perpetual psychic injury 
As suspicious rival to the symmetry 
Of a so far fabled career, but those 
Who run the ball can know the shadow 
Behind every tear that dances with the 
Ligament there, but most of all 
The sacrifice is to forget what 
Wishes to be remembered, the fear. 
It takes Zen mind to block and tackle 
The pain when game moves into higher gear.


This hold-out was a major hassle 
But management and we had to tussle 
,wrestle , sweat, pick and roll cause 
It’s like this, ”I Gotta Get Paid” 
I got my years, I got my dollars, 
So now, we can play. After all 
I am the playbook, the quarterback 
Gets to keep from the dimes that 
I took.


I own these fools 
The DB is hopping 
The DL’s are shopping 
To see if they can flush 
Me right. I’ve got sight 
And will send false signals 
That I will fall for trap 
Once in end-zone 
I will trade in the ball 
For a butt slap and head to 
The sidelines where I trade 
My helmet for a soft cap.


The ‘ouch’ beneath the fumble pile 
Is a cold initiation into the tumbled wilds 
Of pirates using athletic guile to scratch 
Poke and inflict hard memory that match 
Bruises to their chosen patch, and leaves 
Fresh points for style. Who has the ball 
Has new life, who has the leaping, 
Exuberant men, has the game about 
To come to them.


Only 6 yards for the record 
Only 6 yards to a new contract 
Only 7 yards and we win. 
That is what I call a win-win 
For all parties.


We started 1- 3. 
We started from old history 
Then made it up as we 
Went along, adding new 
Chapters and slapping teams 
Up, we went from league 
Buttercup to wave riders 
Of much bigger seams 
We found out that we had 
‘gumption’ and took the 
‘ass’ out of former assumptions.


Here I am, about to bust 6 
And this could be ‘dewey’s 
Last game. We came out 
Of college together, he the third 
Round, me the fourth, and a good 
Friend and lineman is he. He gets 
Paid to protect the ‘blindside’ 
He gets drunk to project his mean side. 
I knew him when just a farmboy 
Fresh from the daisies of Kansas 
And I a fumble prone prodigy 
Eager to find out what a man was.


“Man, this coach is just driving me insane” 
I’m really in pain ,but like it’s my fault that he’s 
Insecure and never led a team before 
So I get constant brain from staff and reporters 
(those ones that harass) and from society queens 
Who would throw themselves at what would 
Pursue their daughters. I brought the team this 
Far when it sputtered from the gate. The coach 
Has one season left, one season too late.


Neville Kimbrough 
First in round one 
Number 24 at last 
In the ‘bigs’, and 
Expected to carry 
The club to the next 
Level (he’ll excel) 
The cobra in the clutches 
Of lightning, swerving 
Wildly to its static 
Humming pouncing form 
His mother’s name was Doris 
He says his father’s name is 
Mercury Morris.


I’ve got this much space to score, and no more, we just need 4.


…and now for my signature move 
I’ll feign left, look right, hesitate 
and go left and leave some player 
grabbing grass and calling out 
the name of his prayer book 
god. They say I cut back like 
Sayers, Gale. I carry the ball 
like a lunch pail and punch 
the line like I punch the clock 
Every fall my tendons turn to 
pistons and I remember my 
father, and his life on the docks.


8 years, they say I’m slowing 
yet, I find the goal line as much 
as before, when as a rookie I broke 
old records, and brought in more 
people to see me score. 
Now management has to justify 
the money spent on the latest 
hype, another ‘back breathing 
hard on mine, due to the weight 
of the contract signed. So my 
game has got to testify that I 
haven’t lost a step, to keep 
Junior on the sidelines , I run 
on more than ‘rep’, I run 
to keep my team inside the 
winners simple guidelines.


No player loses a step who does not lose a little will 
No player fails to dominate without the urge to kill 
The little militant angry voice that sounds like our old man 
Never grateful, never kind and always pushing, always pushing 
I stay a step ahead of it, this is the cause that fuels the wits of 
Rushing, rushing, rushing.


A ‘dump’ pass 
and 5 yards for 
the QB’s completion 
record and a 1 st down 
I drop the pass. I return 
to the huddle and say 


I once dated his sister. 
He is too classy to 
say much about it 
but, she will call me 
and give me shit.


Would it be wise to receive another? 
No, it would be time consuming and wasteful. 
The white guitar fixation is your mother. 
The ones you have are pretty useful 
And none too bashful. 
Take them and leave the rest to ‘bother’.


Stadiums, soon departed of cheers 
And whistles from the wind and not men 
Filling them, will be in my mind replaced 
By the sound of soft waves dampening my face 
And the smell of the sea and its creatures 
I’ve rushed for over 10,000 yards, now 
I retire my life to its bonus features 
I never got the ring that I envisioned 
I’ll meditate on this while I’m fishing.


Wow, first day of camp! 
No one thought I’d make it. 
I didn’t come this far just 
to make the team, I came 
to make the team understand.


Fuck an endorsement 
and being some plantation 
nigger for shoes. I came to 
endorse pain, disaster. I 
endorse a foot deep in your 
butt and I aim to massage your 
face with my cleats. I will 
make you look bad in front 
of your spawn and ring your 
bell to announce’ game time’ 
is on. Endorse these knuckles, 
one causes the bends, the 
other bruises and buckles.


I was a young boy when 
I saw Randy ‘Sweetback’ 
Walker score 5 touchdowns 
in a game. His Bethune-Cookman 
team playing a conference rival 
and needing all of ‘sweetback’s’ 
running to keep them in the race 
he wore number 20 if I recall 
correctly and crimson, burgundy 
were the colours of the fall and 
the ‘Wildcats’ jerseys exactly 
he ran until my mind had taken 
root with the winners urge in me,
corralling my horses long forsaken 
that day will remain in my spleen 
long after the wounds that these 
eyes have seen, become but springboards
for future dreams. That Saturday, ‘sweet-back’ 
found the seams and ran towards ragged 
daylight. Dogged and rugged , dodgy and 
swift, feet fertile like mercury in a girdle.


4 th and 6,we must go 
for the first down 
or: Game Over. 
They expect, 
naturally a pass 
I expect to immigrate 
over the grass, and 
I will even run over 
God. He has given 
to me, this magnificent 
bod. The weak side 
corner has pre-pimped 
his move, I will run 
straight at him and shove 
him deep into the end-zone 
Championship, champagne, 
and 2 bitches diving off 
my milkbone. 
Forget pain, forget fatigue, 
I’m about to run this corner 
out of the league.


We won! 26-21 
And I have a date with a hottie, 
Gonna pull rabbits and cabbage 
From the depths of her body 
And dig deep worms to go fishing 
She looks like an Aztec priestess 
Which is fine ‘cause I’m an ass technician.


I was not the 
First round bonus baby 
I was more like null and void 
I was practice squad wearing crazy high number, I carried 
water when not holding lumber 
and sweating my spot on the bench. 
Now it’s my pearlies on the little screen 
advertising and things and moving the team 
down the frontlines, now it’s my time, and 
yes I practiced my touchdown dance. 
I may never again have this chance to 
hustle, shuffle and bleed. This was all 
the motivation I need and my speed 
has kept pace with my greed, but I don’t 
play for bonus. I play so that commissioner 
may crown us.