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Phillies Prospect Roundup, August 11, 2011: Hyper-Link'd Poetry, in Motion

<em>I can play, but never truly be, somebody else.</em> (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
I can play, but never truly be, somebody else. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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PhillyFriar was winging his way back East after binging last weekend at the Tipsy Pig in San Francisco with friends, when, left thusly incapacitated, he asked me to step in once more with today's special versified edition of Phillies prospect roundup. Friends of the blog might remember when I did this last year (not just once, but twicet!). This year's effort takes on a special flair, as I am blogging from my mother's upstate side porch (literally!), and, on special assignment myself, took in Tuesday night's game not too far away in Williamsport. (Main SSS takeaways: RF Aaron Altherr needs seasoning but is worth fussing over; 3B Harold Martinez exudes a "man among boys" presence at the plate, and take with a grain of salt the generally solid pitching stats of the Crosscutters - though I had been there before, I had forgotten what a cavern Historic Bowman Field is. On the flipside: the fact that all three Williamsport outfielders were named to the NY-Penn League's all-star game next week does tell you something. Gabriel Arias is worth keeping tabs on, as well as Adam Morgan. Also, profound h/t to Martinez and Altherr for signing postgame autographs for my two boys.)

But enough about me. You want poems full of prospect-y goodness. I gots three. Jump, damn your hides, jump.


(for Austin Hyatt, Trevor May, Garret Claypool, and Ryan Duke)

When the medium is control
the artist, from above, stud-
ying his tableau, applies force
and pulls strings, the levers of power
like a puppet-master racing to the end
which is like domination, or total war.

The center is utterly empty,
the masses sing his praises.
The rise of every young strongman
creates a kind of order, tames chaos,
is beautiful, terrible, and sows seeds of innocent victims
planted silently in a whirlwind.


The Understudy

(for Freddy Galvis)

My bio in the Playbill means little
next to the exasperated sighs of the audience
when the stage manager announces my name,

and my first task acting tonight
is to pretend I don't hear them
before a night's worth of performing
after training, to the best of my ability,
to block out this truth:
I can play, but never truly be, somebody else.


Williamsport, PA

(with a h/t to John Updike and for Gabriel Arias, Leonel Bastidas, Francisco Diaz, Maikel Franco, Juary Gomez, Witter Jimenez, Lino Martinez, Hector Neris, Jesus Pirela, and Luis Unda)

Concatenation of sweet-Deutsche carbohydrates, gazetteers, and young boys
who take their shots each late August swinging at the Japanese
and fill Lycoming County's chain motels with a bag
of brown balls, sunburned drunk coaches and aluminum ping-bats. These
rain-besotted old mountains grew mushrooms of big-box retail -

curious consumer-gate sculpture
way on the other side of town from where the gray men played,
hurling potatoes. We Hispanic boys

do not understand this place, the poverty among wealth,
the fans who come out to sit for hours and not watch us, the mascot
with unbalanced nightmare eyes. Last night
I saw a woman win a prize for flipping two tea bags onto the brim of her hat;
as the second one dangled there, taped to her brim, I thought of the bus,
my life, dangling, precarious, far from home. I gripped the ball
and threw hard at every Yanqui I saw.