last thing for bill robinzine

Thing is, Goliath is vulnerable,
And that’s all relative anyhow
(Six-seven and two thirty five plenty big for most folks,
But when every night ‘s just wrestling another six-ten or six-twelve,
All a man can do is grunt and shove best he can
Until the whistle says That’s enough, son.)
Anyway, it all beats you down eventually:
Sometimes it takes decades
(Even if you’re Moses Malone,
And have shoulders like the damn cliffs of Dover)
And sometimes you just land wrong,
Or somebody rolls up on your leg
And there’s a line of small type in the paper and that’s that.
You tell yourself you can get another camp invite,
Pick up some ten-day deal come New Year,
Maybe head to Italy, be the damn king of spaghetti basketball,
But everyone gets finality at some point,
And sometimes it just explodes on you,
Raining shards from every damn direction,
Leavin’ you nothing to do
Except the turn the ignition switch
And make that particular trip to nowhere in particular,
‘Cause that stone came out of nowhere and hit you flush,
As you never saw the damn thing coming.

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6 thoughts on “last thing for bill robinzine

  1. Or, if you’re Joe Theismann, you drop back in the pocket, arm cocked, ready to throw a forward pass, and something big and heavy (something that goes by the initials L.T.), drops down on you, and that’s all she wrote.
    Nicely done,
    Bill

  2. W.K.,

    I remember the name Bill Robinzine from my years as a fan of the NBA. For some reason, I remember him being on the Jazz but not on the other teams, but according to what I read just now, he only played one season with the Jazz and was actually mostly on the Kansas City Kings, with a couple of years with Cleveland and Dallas.

    If I had not come across this article of 1982 from the New York Times, I wouldn’t have really understood what you were writing about, W.K. I hadn’t realized that he had committed suicide. And so young, too, at age 29.

    Your poem was very well-written, W.K. And sad.

    Glen
    http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/18/sports/the-mystery-of-the-life-and-death-of-an-athlete.html

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