September 12, 2010


Yesterday included a round at the White Oak Duckpin Lanes. Duckpin which would seem like an easier variation on classic bowling--three balls instead of two, lighter-weight pins--but it is actually far more difficult to get a strike. I've always been fond of it because I can hold my own against stronger-armed men, whereas in classic bowling I tire after only a few frames of throwing a 9-pound ball.

Hailey broke out a Hawaiian shirt ideally suited to the occasion, complete with sequined embroidery, which should have given her some kind of magical powers. But two poets and a novelist racked up a combined score of only...199. Ah well. I blame the fact that our beer supply was a mere watery pitcher of Yuengling; clearly, such athletic challenges require more potent lubrication.

On the upside, there's gotta be a poem embedded in a game whose vocabulary includes "strike," "spare," and "deadwood."


Lyle Daggett said...

To say nothing of "split" and "gutter."

Back during the 1990's for a while there was a poetry magazine in Minneapolis (more or less a micro-zine of the type cropping up all over the place back then) called Baby Split Bowling News.

There's a bowling alley in Minneapolis that includes a small theater stage (partitioned off from the bowling area, to muffle the noise) that for years has featured experimental theatre shows, poetry readings, spoken-word and other miscellaneous performance stuff.

One evening years ago (1990's sometime), I got a phone call out of the blue from a man who was a member of one of the Regional Arts Councils in Minnesota. He'd found my name somewhere, said he was trying to organize a poetry reading series at a bowling alley in St. Cloud (town a couple of hours northwest of Minneapolis), and he wondered what I thought of the idea. I can't remember what I said, though I think I mentioned the bowling alley in Minneapolis, and I'm thinking I may have mentioned that figuring out the acoustics and microphone would probably be important.

"Duck... Duck... Goose" takes me all the way back to kindergarten in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania (just a tick downriver from Pittsburgh). We played the same game in grade school in Minneapolis (we moved here in the middle of kindergarten year), only here it was always "Duck... duck... gray duck." Mysteries of folklore...

Sandra said...

Wow, now I feel much smarter on the bowling front. Not to mention the duck-ducking front. Thanks for dropping by, Lyle!

Shashi said...

I like your commentary on life :) It's very healthy and uses beautiful language to convey so..

Yay :) i have a new website to add to my must-check-habitually list. Nice to meet you!

(Check out my poet/blog if you ever feel bored; I'd be grateful having an expert give me feedback -- )

Anonymous said...

Not to mention other less known bowling terms such as "Ball Rack" and "Tickler." Good poetry material I'm sure.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

i stopped by after listening to nic sebastian read your poem at whale sound - wanted to let you know your poetry had its way with me.

but now, bowling (!) if you stay with it there will be the day you'll have a turkey...or..perhaps the way to say it is "bowl a turkey", which is different that turkey bowling (where a frozen turkey is used as the ball). the language of the alleys is poetic and can lead you then to hat tricks in hockey. i look forward to reading and experiencing more of your work.

Ruki444 said...

Hi. I'll have to correct some information in Lyle's comment. Baby Split Bowling News was not a poetry zine, and certainly not 'micro', whatever that means. Thanks for your time.