Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Ghost of Art "The Great" Shires

The Ghost of Art "The Great" Shires

We're trying to finish a game of baseball golf
with a hovering, thunderstorm-promise sky
getting bleak-darker by the minute.
From out of the sagebrush across the road
from the college ballpark, comes Art
"The Great" Shires... dapper in a wool
1928 Chicago White Sox uniform,
I'll stomp-kill any man who won't
let me take some hacks with you...
money-on-the-line, you bastards.

I glace into the sagebrush, spot a sparkle-
new Cadillac with his name painted
on the driver side door above crossed bats.
Shire's, on his first swing, rips a line drive
off the left field foul pole and the ball
ricochets right back at us like a meteor,
hits Shires on the jaw and drops
right in front of his polished spikes.

Bet you bastards don't know
I'm I-talian, Shires laughs,
born in Italy... Italy-fucking-Texas.
That's why Al Capone liked me.
We carried a bit of the same blood.
Murdered a couple of guys, I did,
though one might not count...
since he was a retired umpire.

Shires, vaudevillian-boxer-baseball star,
and now a ghost with boozy lung-cancer-breath:
I was so famous that Hollywood sets me up
to marry this girl from Milwaukee...
never set eyeballs on her big tits before..
but I'm a good sport where there's cash,
so they film us at city hall...and I give her
a hotel try-out that night and she's
okay, but pulls off some pitches...
if you know what I mean.

Shires, losing interest in baseball golf,
looks at the storm-to-come heavens,
Just like always, when I'm winning,
here comes lightning to betray me...
'cause the gods are jealous of my
swank looks... just in bitter-awe of me.

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