Poem #7: Flat Basketballs Don’t Bounce

Flat Basketballs Don’t Bounce

Here comes The Lake Show, the big dough explosion whose salary cap erosion brought forth the Shaq attack, back with Nietzsche and Aristotle, in a bottle or a boombox, like Kazaam helping Rick Fox with his outside jumper, bumping the slumping Blazers out of the top spot, getting hot like an unlubricated robot left out in the Phoenix sun, and dropping the Kings like sopping wet under-things, bringing us to Kobe Bean Bryant, a high school giant too cool for school, the fool, still not quite clutch, not drinking much – legally, at least – becoming a defensive beast just in time for Ron Harper’s prime, his nickel-and-dime knees biting like bees, pardon me, please, let’s welcome Tyron Lue to the Lake crew for the title run, a hard-won blend of one-on-one match-ups and hot dogs with ketchup, Jaleel White asking “what’s up?” from the front row, vicious undertow sinking the Admiral’s ship, a tiny blip on the playoff radar screen, no sweat for AC Green, the solid hygiene rebound machine who’s never seen a day away from play, injuries not making him pay the piper, picking pickled pointers from the prolific player turned coach, Max Roach – no – Phil Jackson, the soulful Anglo-Saxon Zen master of triangular disaster, clearing minds with wisdom and signs from the bench, his henchman Tex Winter, the splinter in the lion’s paw, and even Brian Shaw gets a chance to prance in the playoff dance.

@ NBF 5.11.2000


NYC, 2007



I wrote this poem during the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run in 2000, their first of three straight during the Shaq-Kobe era. I’m posting it today to celebrate the beginning of the 2009 NBA Playoffs.

I intended this work to fit into the slam poetry mold. It’s meant to be read aloud, with enthusiasm and emphatic hand gestures.


One Response to “Poem #7: Flat Basketballs Don’t Bounce”

  1. […] students to poets they should know based on their expressed interests. He knew I was fond of jazz, basketball, and Japanese culture, so he insisted that I investigate Lawson Fusao Inada. Harper met Inada […]

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