9 Words

short poems about each Cleveland Indian's game
Darren C. Demaree

Fresh labor,
we estimate

our unburdening
with victory’s



Weak Michael
tap, tap, tap,

taps, Reynolds,
breaks glass.


This bar fight
ended with too many
straight rights.


the failure
to hit,

find good


Youth scatters focus,
and all muscle twitch
becomes dance.


Ecstatic in game, it was

a chest pounding.


Not shadow
nor echo,


right arm
is puddle.


They acted like boys,
played like boys,
without authority.


Sound as sound, tight
breath releases, builds
to roar.


Shudder to flow,
the good blood
was all ours.


Fast wrists,
the birds
were blinded
by burly


Ubaldo, again,
brought feathers

to fight
a hungry bear.


Unfastening, the declarations
of satisfaction
are for cheaper beers.


Stale balloon,
partially afloat

from opening day,
popped tonight.


We want
to be in ocean.
This is fog.


Like an ecstatic wave,
a fit passed, to relief.


That dance,
the swivel

turning to saunter,
such parade!


That light,
swinging from a chain,
has stayed radiant.


Thin and wild,
the wind after rain
flags vulnerabilities.


Reflectors line highways,
waiting for electricity
to share momentum?


Unidentifiably damaged,
for this split second
we are suspect.


Given and taken,
the only memory
will be victory.


Don’t wait for music.
Wait for dancing.
Look! Dancing.


Such fireworks,
a glorious barrage

can welcome
parades everlasting.


We could be wildlings.
We could be decorated


The rising fire
tore through

the prize fight,


The folks know
when lights shake.
It excites them.


Reserved play,

the game,
a team

tightly hinged.


Muscled through,
we never asked beauty
to play baseball.


We could hang
our rotation
on McAllister’s
coy smile.


We’ll take black magic
and blinding egos
as victory.


Visible men,
doing work,

by success

not magic.


This circus
was all tent.

We had
no animal.


I think we won.
I blacked out
holding breath.


A real ornament,
we have risen!
This is sunlight.


Some of the best displays
are quiet until celebration.


Intractable bastards,
they of they rabbit punch,
finished Hagadone.


Heel to heel,
our energy
appears paused,
rocked, traveled.


That caliber

of leaving

a beating,

creates angry


One full night
without taper,

a night
still expanding.


Even the lost
lead hinged, took
wind for us.


Hectic season, in constant
motion, shaken into
focused expectations.


The Ballad of Yan,
great distraction
from the bullpen.


Without murmur,
they relented

to the supposition
of talent.



the substance
of a loss

is real.


Ornery as unfolding,
the emotional angle
drowned in fireworks.


Turnabout, most times,
is a smack in the face.


It’s dramatic,
when your bully

gets bullied,
beaten, buried.


Expected weight,
our lightness

in important moments
is vulnerability.


What’s not lost
is how poorly
Santana is catching.


At least
is enough

in May

to lose


Tight, shouldered,
that was not release,
that was percentages.


In professional fights,
one round

can sway the cards.


Whether too wet
or too asleep,
no fireworks popped.


If Ubaldo stays
this Ubaldo, this
team traps tigers.


Light dashed,

of our good

was ejection.


The ongoingness
of small play
in big games, callow?


The unimproved
standing and no breaks,
a floundering umpire.


The division lead
is a vanishing point,
raw imagination.


That casual defense
allows us
to get bullied often.

When birds

it’s a loud sound.

Hello, thud.


The silence
is anger. The hope
is a whisper.


Forearms against high windows,

Everything, earlier, looked tiny.


Not a breath
of fresh air,

sublime light


An enormous dream,
the weight continues
to slowly disappear.


we have energy

again to be nine


Rush back, rush
back, we never
had hold steady.


& Kluber,

how bumpy
& beautiful

this game.



at this level
we play

all nine


Every name given
to this team,
evades us thereafter.


Slowly at first,
then faster,

Weak Michael’s
smirk exploded.


Less flower
than lit cigarette,

Scott Kazmir
bloomed smoke.


These red flashes,
Kipnis’ ramping energy,
is now un-blinking.


Great pitches, smacked
and defied,

is quadruple A.


Weak Michael,
just Michael?

Enough Michael
to beat Baltimore.


A loss always itches
without distraction;
Kipnis is spectacular.


Every game,
a demonstration of physics.
Kazmir was force.


A fatal flaw,
this defense

over a season,


The rattle never stopped.
It was an exhausting win.


This was the early team,
coming back, coming back.


Clapped together, climbed
together, maybe they
can renovate expectations.


A poem
with heroes

a game with
a Masterson.


Design and another design,
many stories, a good ending.


Young arms
refuse momentum,

they are afraid
of culmination.


Fly off it,
victory shaken
with open fists,


Continuously overwhelmed
by the Tigers clarifies
our abstraction. Lesser.


When company holds
knee to throat,
efforts are brief.

Where there is no fire,
our bullpen sets fires.


Bullpen still limping,
they moved better
than Nick Swisher.


Sometimes the lake
is real magic.
Ubaldo went swimming.


By nine, the baseball
resembles blender attempts.
Thanks, bullpen.


A creeper vine,
finally, with a bloom,
welcome Danny.


A little vibration
from Kluber shakes
the dust completely.


as in presented

a Chisenhall slam,



Thirteen hits,
so much rattling,
it almost became music.


Four hits
is a chalky floor
to lay on.


We would win
any five inning game.
Nine innings?


Justin Masterson
is a heavy
wing, our only wing.


Those weren’t gutted oranges,
those were bombs Seattle hit.


This theme
of almost

will be
the Indian’s



Runs flow
in bundles
with unexpected
power; Kazmir’s



Almost all
folk heroes

are small men



Too bare

to not be

was artful.


This sort of pitching, again,
gives the audience adrenaline.


The hips and shoulders age
first. Giambi’s beard homered.


Two fists, gravel,
the ballad of Yan
constructs victories.


Even ocean lost,
enough tide can
bring beach drinks.


If you own lightning,
you own bewilderment;
Raburn’s rationale.


their feet spun,

a cartoon



Gifted, such speed,
Michael Bourn speed,
can dictate terms.



a small bet

on a big arm,



That fist stayed
in our stomachs,
made us puppets.


You want fireworks
in the end,
not a shrinking.


Tigers fans
don’t write poetry,
they don’t need to.


Raburn’s distraction
does little to help
this callow team.


Here come
the old

tides; anger,



Quickly, our bones

hollow. The shaking
is noticeable.


can be





Even the possibility
of a welcoming breeze,
overwhelming pressure.


Looking up
spread languidly,

the winner
of slow play.

becomes pointlessness

if the event folds
before celebration.


It’s more
than loss,

it’s absence,
the missing



It’s Die Hard


that Ubaldo


Heels in ocean,
that’s what we
know of riptides.


& still

from touching
a light.


is always

a triumph.
Even narrowing

hope shines.


When I see
any part of flower,
that’s bloom.


Home is
lonely pool

if you have
no energy.


This daily business
when good, easy,
is celebration, affirmation.


Four errors
are a scar on
a smiling face.


of the season,

we are wood
too often.


You feel
these losses

as absence,

to feast.


Good swearing,
and the rest of it
was apathetic.


Bourn, etc.,
were witnesses,

twenty yards
from their demise.


Sometimes what wants
to be remembered
is the obvious.


A puncher’s chance
in a baseball season
is nothing.


We are in the lake
waiting for the ice.


No longer tapping
the hose’s metal rim,
warm water!


All of us
would take

a punch
for Yan.


Core shaken,
that deep stir
our good ego.


Coined without threat,
could there be
more victory songs?


Good baseball teams
should never have
a sleeping shape.


Sunk partly,
if Perez

keeps offering

they’ll oblige.


Triumph gone,
taken from home,
but not stolen, won.


Are we preparing
to paint trees
from winter homes?


The hope
is the dam


other towns.


Now, it doesn’t
matter how often
you almost lose.


More magic
than miracle,

Ubaldo pitched
with deft spectacle.


We don’t have
to fear electricity
if we’re lightning.


Absent nerve
to take

the opening,
we pool,



That scream
could be an un-damning,
an important future.


Slight against
the strong wind,

our best,
Kipnis, vanishes.


I want a Carson
statue built
& rarely seen.


The only difficulty
was the weather
which also helped.


Without defect
of ability

Kazmir appears
as warm decision.


Like wolves

from forest,
we took

every lamb.


Time, place
can tempt, pass;

Giambi strangled
the moment.


Fourteen rounds
of victory,

now, to earn
some dancing.


This game
was a promise

that never
again Perez.


Heart swollen
with victories,

those seventeen
hits? A smile.


A single teaspoon
away from good
cure, let’s finish.


There is no silence
allowed in Cleveland
tonight. Dance!


It was a parade
ended in
a blind alley.