9 Words (2015)

9-word poems about every Cleveland Indian's game

by Darren C. Demaree

Game #1

An escape
into the sky
isn’t always
real flight.

(L 2-0)
Game #2

 Good blood,
victory
 
is silence
consumed
 
by motion,
Carrasco!

(W 2-0)
Game #3

 If the burst
becomes a river
inside the river…

(W 5-1)
 
Game #4

Without mastery
or magic
 
Zach McAllister
is uniform only.

(L 8-4)
Game #5

That fish fought,
but it’s difficult
to breathe sand.

(L 9-6)
Game #6

 Cold amazing,
some beatings
simply take away
the adrenaline.

(L 8-5)
Game #7

 Carrasco’s purple
jaw
 
inspired
no Clevelander.
 
They all crumpled.

(L 4-1)
Game #8

Turn to lightning.
Don’t ask questions,
Ride the indefinable.

(W 4-2)
Game #9

Is Kluber light
only to be fed
into darkness?

(L 3-2)
Game #10

Surrounded by cliffs,
a dance is a dance is…

(W 4-2)
Game #11

House on fire
can be interpreted
until gas splashes.

(L 7-2)
Game #12

That’s not snow.
That’s ash. 
 
That’s incredible
loss, transitioning.

(L 4-3)
Game #13

​In the ripple,
secured
 
in that water,
standing tall.

(W 6-2)
Game #14

We appear to be
swallowing
 
every deep
breathe.  Terrible.

(L 6-0)
Game #15

Not a quilt,
but a cavalry
 
of fireworks,
tenting.

(W 13-1)
Game #16

​One man shows
end poorly in
real gang fights.

(L 4-1)
Game #17

​A curiously shaped
story of men
that only fail.

(L 8-6)
Game #18

It didn’t rain.
Why did they
play eyes closed?

(L 6-2)
Game #19

​When the bell
rings, they hunch
before the beating.

(L 11-5)
Game #20

The moth,
the blossom;
 
our hope has
actual color.

(W 7-5)
Game #21

I dream
of a threshold
not leading
into fire.

(L 5-1)
Game #22

One glut
of good bats
opening
a real
channel?

(W 9-4)
Game #23

Barreled
to the swirling pool,
 
they’re frantic,
headed nowhere.

(L 11-4)
Game #24

Finally, a declaration
of lake wind,
our power source.

(W 10-7)
 
Game #25

Sometimes the chicken
drowns.  It’s weakness
at terrible moments.

(L 5-3)
Game #26

Oxygen! 
How incredible
it was watching
our chests
expand.

(W 10-3)
Game #27

The longer
you’re at sea
the more
you drown.

(L 7-4)
 
Game #28

Green grass
becomes slime
 
with the weight
of faces.

(L 9-3)
Game #29

The winning
pursuit is immediately
contradicted
by the carnival.
 
(L 7-4)
 
Game #30

If you’re a professional
dancer, eventually
your missteps align.

(W 8-2)
 
Game #31

The fight now
is to realize
this team lacks.

(L 8-3)
Game #32

Beautiful pivot,
am I watching
the arch find balance?

(W 2-0)
Game #33

No one praises
the heavy lifting
when treasure crumbles.

(L 2-1)
Game #34

We wait to name
the flower
until it blooms.

(W 8-3)
Game #35

Energy in freight,
Kipnis,
 
a mineshaft canary,
returned singing.

(W 10-8)
Game #36

A man runs terribly
on fire.
 
His thrashing fails.

(L 5-1)
Game #37

​Each thud echoes,
expands the weakness;
this is kneeling.
 
(L 2-1)
 
Game #38

​Winning is odorless.
Will our stink dissipate 
quickly enough?

(W 3-1)
Game #39

​Shoulders squared
it is time 
to extend our jaws.

(W 4-3)
Game #40

​Danny, sport
is two steps
 
& go. 
Well done.

(W 5-2)
Game #41

Now, I am so curious
that I am imagining.

(W 7-3)
Game #42

​Finer dust
sparkles
& then you
can believe
anything.

(W 2-1)
Game #43

I hope the hope
that this isn’t
the crest.

(W 5-2)
Game #44

​Glutted mouth,
you have to swallow
to consume more.

(L 10-8)
Game #45

​Back to the almost
again, lost 
in our shortcomings.

(L 4-3)
 
Game #46

Thick traceries
& the shock
of haymakers
during chess.

(W 12-3)
Game #47

​Light  
is close  
to strobe.    

Dance to  
encourage  
music. 

(W 5-3)
Game #48

One drop of rain
drowns
those that don’t swim.

(L 2-1)
Game #49

Ugly win,
beautiful in the binary,
we embrace you.

(W 4-3)
Game #50

Head raised,
horizon isn’t level,
but I see sun.

(W 6-3)
Game #51

​Trading empty punches,
we landed only two,
danced unenthusiastically.

(W 2-1)
Game #52

The headlights 
aren’t enough;

you must 
drive the fog.

(L 4-2)
Game #53

​The ruined sky 
was distraction only.  
Work was done.

(W 6-2)
Game #54

​Soft heat is still heat,
but what 
wasteful flame.

(L 5-2)
Game #55

It happened; 
 
power left
his hand
& remained  
 
powerful.

(W 2-1)
Game #56

A champion’s pose
fades with each
swelling, black eye.

(L 7-2)
Game #57

​The Ballad of Yan
needs harmonizing;
singers, not dancers.

(L 3-2)
Game #58

The wind 
vanishes
& flight?  
We need
actual force.

(L 9-3)
Game #59

​I am looking
at a team
enlivened
by beatings.

(W 6-0)
Game #60

​The hope
is that Danny
was watching
Price pitch.

(L 4-0)
 
Game #61

​The best breath
came last, moved
the whole team.

(W 5-4)
Game #62

Everything is lost
& scattered after
a shotgun blast.

(L 8-1)
Game #63

​Some victories open
a trail, a repeatable
path.  Proceed.

(W 6-0)
Game #64

​We found 
the tipping point 
between darkness
& hilarity.

(L 17-0)
Game #65

​First fingers
on the good rope,
Giovanny,
keep pulling.

(W 4-3)
Game #66

If every punch
received is uppercut
you’re knocked out.

(L 4-1)
Game #67

​Each game
is performance.
Why do we
lack gravitas?

(L 4-1)
Game #68

The cave isn’t 
a revelation.

The light 
carries more.

(W 1-0)
 
Game #69

​You can’t
question
the fighting
of bullies.
You must.

(L 8-5)
Game #70

I don’t know
how to listen
to athletes whisper.

(L 7-3)
Game #71

​It takes 
lightning

to turn 

our sand 
into glass.

(W 8-2)
Game #72

Our weakness
isn’t a rallying point.
We don’t overcome.

(L 4-3)
Game #73

Heavy with no offering,
that weight is our bodies.

(L 4-0)
Game #74

These are professional
beatings; that kind
ends warm seasons.

(L 8-0)
Game #75

​A beautiful sound
doesn’t become song
unless is continues.

(W 7-1)
Game #76

The pulse
is a quiet language,
 
it’s stirring
continued.
 
(W 6-2)
Game #77

Action is territory,
a claiming
of the good field.

(W 8-1)
Game #78

Joy beats the tail
against the chest
of Aviles.

(W 5-4)
Game #79

Given to gather
we are almost
a winning team.

(W 5-2)
Game #80

So much
of our muscle’s contraction
remains paused, hesitant.

(L 1-0)
Game #81

The flurry always
stuns us flat.
We are heels.
 
(L 5-3)
Game #82

The rub
with four
& three
burned
our feet.

(L 9-4)
Game #83

​Sometimes it goes
how it should
go.  Such relief.

(W 2-0)
Game #84

The summer mirror
always hold hope
like it’s fire.

(W 4-2)
Game #85

Enough paper piled
up neatly recreates
bones, stable action.

(W 3-1)
Game #86

I put my ear
next to them.
I sang!

(W 5-1)
Game #87

​A grand chest
filled with air only
always disappoints.

(L 5-4)
Game #88

Singing
turns to
 
chanting
turns to
 
prayer
so quickly.

(L 2-0)
Game #89

Our arms
moved
like overcoats,
 
a thick
weakness,
smothering.

(L 6-1)
Game #90

A righteous sea
has no dimensions,
only more sea.

(W 9-4)
Game #91

Walking the curve
of water
 
makes swimming
seem inevitable.

(W 5-3)
Game #92

All reflex,
we mirrored effort
 
until they
kept working.
 
(L 8-1)
Game #93

The rules allow
nine bats.  We won
with fewer.

(W 7-5)
Game #94

When the ocean
gets aggressive, weak
men always drown.

(L 8-1)
Game #95

​The fear doesn’t matter
anymore.  All is lost
already.

(L 6-0)
Game #96

You can’t just pretend
to be lifeless
during beatings.

(L 10-3)
Game #97

Alive!  There,
air escaping
while they
stepped on us.

(L 2-1)
Game #98

​How lovely,
each remaining twitch
of our young pride.

(L 9-4)
Game #99

A bear in shade
is lovely,
unless he’s dead.

(L 2-1)
Game #100

Shame brings
adrenaline, as well
as winning.
Shoulders shrug.

(W 12-1 Vs Kansas City Royals)
Game #101

We are in hero
mode.  We have
no army.

(W 3-1)
Game #102

Any animal
standing up
amidst the gore
looks beastly.

(W 2-1)
Game #103

We look strong
with chests
 
puffed out. 
Damn exhalation!

(L 5-1)
 
Game #104

​The trimmed grass
looks like forest
from the dirt.

(L 2-1)
 
Game #105

That circling isn’t vultures,
it’s other teams, lapping us.

(L 5-4)
Game #106

Youth is ceaseless
& all punching,
violet in dark.

(W 2-0)
Game #107

​The storm doesn’t matter,
if you’re living in fog.

(L 4-3)
Game #108

​Spirit animal, already
over the cliff,
stop running, fall.

(L 10-9)
Game #109

Roadside firework salesmen
can always coordinate
one professional show.

(W 17-4)
Game #110

​All the shouting
comes 

from his wrist,
that snap.

(W 8-1)
Game #111

The alarm rings
during each inning
past nine, music!

(W 5-4)
Game #112

​He took the night,
smeared it
with his arm.

(W 2-1)
Game #113

​The tug, the tug
is downward
& limits victory.

(L 8-6)
Game #114

​Inevitable, 
the leveling

of his record
& our own.

(W 6-1)
Game #115

We have 
no frequency profile 
at the bat, nothing.

(L 4-1)
Game #116

​Dangle legs
are for children,

not for ballplayers.
Dammit.

(L 4-1)
Game #117

Once again,
hunter’s pose;
we can imitate
real action. 

(W 8-2)
Game #118

​All that thought
& oddity, talent
diluted by process.


(L 9-1)
Game #119

Because storms
catch light,
 
that doesn’t mean
destruction wanes.

(L 6-4)
Game #120

​The drool
in the coffin

looks like 
a river.

(W 3-2)
Game #121

​Each flash

is surrounded
by great 
darkness.

A sun?

(W 7-3)
Game #122

​A lost body, still dancing
is a ridiculous sight.  

(L 6-2)
Game #123

Deepening
the water
 
the age
of greatness
 
is fluid.

(W 4-3)
Game #124

Is this closeness
actually our love
embracing a sadness?

(L 2-1)
Game #125

Those small veins
behind the eyes
they are expanding.

(W 11-6)
Game #126

The breath adds
weight
 
when it stirs
the lungs.

(W 6-2)
Game #127

It’s enough good
to make the dark
changing, light.

(W 3-1)
Game #128

I had missed
terribly, singing
the ballad of Yan.

(W 8-3)
Game #129

​The crucial thing
is not the victory
it’s momentum.

(W 9-2)
Game #130

Danny, Danny,
crackling 

in the center
of all attention.

(W 4-2)
Game #131

​Now, holding
light isn’t enough, 
we must own it.

(L 5-3)
Game #132

Unprepared to dance
with those knuckleballs,
they pummeled us.

(L 5-1)
Game #133

Never a bird again,
he still flew
high enough.

(W 8-1)
Game #134

The slope
is good
if it’s brief
& angry.

(L 6-0)
Game #135

Occasionally,
a shooting star pauses
to drag
the constellation.

(W 4-0)
Game #136

When the older boys
find footing
they make stands.

(W 3-2)
Game #137

Each loss
demands to be seen
as something more.

(L 7-4)
Game #138

A great height
from a great height
feels normal.

(W 6-4)
Game #139

The obscure ending
is what we want
for now.

(W 7-5)
Game #140

​Rocks melting
is for show, 

moons stay, 
display bloom.

(W 7-2)
Game #141

Such grand light
with remorse
is only days
releasing.

(L 9-2)
Game #142

We have jaws,
not paper boxes
filled with teeth.

(W 8-3)
Game #143

​We keep remaking,
instead of charging
forward, fully realized.

(L 2-0)
Game #144

​The shadow of the bird
can envelop a bus.

(W 5-1)
Game #145

We turned a cloudy bat
into a deep storm.

(L 8-4)
Game #146

Read the water.
Drink the water.
Own the water.

(W 12-1)
Game #147

This swell
to un-swell
creates
 
vacancy
instead
of victory.
 
(L 4-3)
Game #148 

​This is Lonnie,
his wrist turning,
timed to war.

(W 6-3)
Game #149

​The day is fixed
by fixers,
that wasn’t us.

(L 3-1)
Game #150

The guts of the hero
slide off-center
with weakening.

(L 4-2)
Game #151

To take
crisp branches
 
& use them,
that’s baseball.

(W 6-3)
Game #152

​It’s art
if everybody watches
the artist
orchestrate ecstatic.

(W 6-0)
 
Game #153

​The sand

can collect
into statues
if it

solidifies.

(W 9-5)
Game #154

​When the hills 
flatten, it’s gravity 
only blocking victory.

(L 3-0)
Game #155

​Dropped past
the grass,

these worms
are company now.

(L 4-2)
Game #156

​The light matters 
are gone.  This
is sadness lengthening.

(L 7-1)
Game #157

​The back
is clasped

shut.  Wins
are candy now.

(W 10-2)
Game #158

Long tunnels end,
but that light
we never wanted.

(L 4-2)
Game #159

​The spirit gets
the vote,

the half-hearted,
consolation vote.

(W 8-2)
Game #160

​We needed syrup
not sugar, but this
spoonful sparkled.


(W 2-0)
Game #161

​A whole season
brings another 
in the same place.

(W 3-1)