The Guarding Zimbo Talking Blues
(He had one of those white-boy shots.
Tommy Chong, speaking of Bob Dylan as a basketball player)
You’re on Bojangles, says Silas. Hack him if he gets in the zone. The American Songbook dribbles to his right, favoring his melody hand. At the crossover he looks at the ball for a backbeat before bouncing it back to his shooting side. Hums something that might have been “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” I center my body between his hips and the basket. He grins the way he must have grinned each time he made love to one of those beautiful brunettes. Steps back and guns a set shot over my token defense. Twine. How do I body up the man who could Mr. Jones me during a time-out writing binge? On his team’s next possession he weaves into the key. The lane opening as if Baudelaire and Rimbaud had set NBA picks for his drive. At the goal the lucky wilbury stops, gathers his jump and kisses the orange off the sweet spot. His eyes glitter with that Nashville Skyline twinkle. Who’s got that man? Silas asks the rafters. My teammates glare at me as Jokerman spins off another pick-and-roll for two. Loose balls and deflections find him along the baseline arc where the ball ascends from his groin past his chest and head until he flicks it with the fingers that strummed “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.” He posts me in the paint and calls for the rock in that Book of Deuteronomy howl. Then puts on that gaucho fedora from his Rolling Thunder days. And sunglasses for the coup de grâce. It’s about face now. The next time Blind Boy Grunt catches a no-look from Guthrie, I’ll ring them bells until he’s knocking on heaven’s door.
Bio: Michael Brockley is a 66-year-old school psychologist who works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, The New Verse News, The Rat's Ass Review and Panoplyzine. Forthcoming poems can be found in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Zingara Poetry Picks.