Sheer Joy... Iowa 30 LSU 25
As a poet interacting more or less in a poet's world where many of the banal and common things of life are not appreciated by my fellow bards sometimes I have to temper my interests;
Poets have many important things to worry about and my own work is full of politics and religion and tough things I also like some simple things; on the whole I like snobs and intellectuals- many poets are a good time . I also realize that people only have so much time and how you spend your time- as it says in the Bible where your treasure is so there your heart will also be and my heart is with poetry.
Yesterday January 1st 2005 was a day of sheer guilty joy it was poetic.
Sitting in my parents living room I watched the Capital One Bowl- my Iowa Hawkeyes (Raymond Bianchi BA '89), fought the LSU Tigers and on the final play of the game with no time remaining Drew Tate threw a 56 yard TD pass to win the game. Sheer Black and Gold joy. Jim Zabel, Iowa's voice from 1933-2003 (He succeeded Ronald Reagan in 1932) broke down in tears. I am sure that a collective scream was let out (or better for an Iowa crowd a collective bleet) that stretched from Iowa City to all Hawkeyes everywhere. Fox Sports called the game the greatest bowl game ever- and its greatest team was our Hawkeyes.
During my time at Iowa (1985-89) I went to many Football games; it was great it was the mid 1980's Iowa won allot and made 2 Rose Bowls, -Chuck Long, Hayden Fry- and it was a very fun endevour plus the drinking made it worthwhile. Iowa beat Michigan 10-9 my freshman year on a last second field goal and we stormed the field and tore down the goalposts.
I graduated in 1989 wanting to get away from Iowa City- sometimes we don't know how good we have it where we are.
I moved to South America in Brazil and Bolivia in 1993. I did not watch much college football in South America and the 1994 baseball strike dimmed my interest in the White Sox. Maybe my interest would wane?
Although an interesting event happened in 1995; I met a 1930 graduate of Iowa at Lago Titicaca; a Bolivian Doctor who when he saw my Iowa Champion sweatshirt- yelled out GO HAWKS at 19,000 feet in the Andes I have a picture with him, talking about Hayden Fry and the Hawkeyes 8000 miles from Iowa City with the Andes as a backdrop.
In 1997 when I got married and I returned to the USA for my honeymoon I took my new bride- Waltraud Haas- artist and non-football fan to Iowa City for a visit. It was nostalgic trip because I learned allot in Iowa City and I felt nostalgia for the first time about Iowa- I learned how to write and read poetry( thank you David Hamilton and Jorie Graham)- enjoy good bookstores thank you Prairie Lights and Murphy Brookfield and Haunted Bookshop- and to love Hawkeye football which came back to me when we drove by Kinnick Stadium.
The only sports affection that comes close for me to my love for the Hawkeyes is my love of the Chicago White Sox- I have lost interest in the NBA and NFL and college basketball is not my favorite. I just don't have time to watch all sports with work, wife and poetry to do but Baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football I make time for and it is a guilty pleasure.
When Waltraud and I returned to the USA in 1998, I was not that interested in watching sports on television. We moved to Dallas, and while I would watch occasionally no passion was elicited from me. I had a new high powered publishing and trade show job and a new wife and I guess I thought I was too sophisticated to care?
This changed in terms of Iowa Football in 2000. I took a job with a Dot.com in Miami Florida, leaving my comfortable and lucrative position with Miller Freeman in Dallas to chase after the Dot Com dream. I was full of hubris- thought I was really something- but I think everyone who was 33 in 2000 who worked in Media was full of hubris remember eToys.com? Remember all the billionaires? It seems like 100 years ago.
The experience in Miami and later Richmond, VA was a total disaster- within a few months the .Com was on the verge of going out of business because it lost funding- my wife was still in Dallas- and we were on the road to financial ruin.
We sold our house at a loss what a mess and moved into a little apartment with our two cats. The lowest moment was living in corporate housing in Miami and on a Saturday, awaiting the inevitable crash of this Dot Com, I watched the Hawkeyes break a 9 game losing streak to beat Michigan State. A moment of sheer joy amid despair. I watched all those crazy Hawkeye fans on TV it was soothing salve; an October day in Iowa City.
During this darkest of times for me and Waltraud- Iowa Hawkeye Football became a diversion something that along with my renewed interest in my White Sox made for a guilty pleasure- like when Marjorie Perloff said on our website that she likes to watch soap operas. As my life reached a nadir in early 2001, I began to rise and resurrect and so did my Hawkeyes (cannot say the same for my poor White Sox) .
In 2001 we moved to Princeton, NJ- to again work with Miller Freeman and then came 911 and amid the 911 tragedy that befell New York and us I was in Italy when that happened and I did not know what happened to Waltraud for two days
since Waltraud worked close to the Trade Center. Thank God she was ok.
9-11 was traumatic to many people in Princeton where we lived were killed the train station was covered in pictures of people looking for their loved ones and New York had a smell of death it was sad time.
My Hawkeyes provided just the salve for our wounds with sheer joy. Waltraud and I went to Penn State to see the Hawkeyes in October. We won in double overtime and I screamed so loud that I lost my voice for three days- it was a catharsis during a time when there was death everywhere.
The Hawkeyes went to the Orange Bowl and lost in 2002 but it was ok . The team that Kirk Ferentz put together was clean and simple and pleasurable without the pain that was removed for a moment at a bad time.
Last year with my parents and my Brother Jon-Paul (U Wisconsin 1999 BS) we began to attend the annual Wisconsin/Iowa game as a new family tradition as my brother went to Wisconsin. . Last year in Camp Randall was cold rainy win- and this year in Kinnick Stadium we went to the game with my very proper Boston cousins Sandra and Keith- where the Hawkeyes won again and my Boston cousins got a good rich meaty taste of the Midwest at the game.
I think that people enjoy College Football because it reminds them of a time in their lives when things were simpler and easier. For a moment it can be in my case October 1985 0r 86 it is a cool crisp autumn day on the Pentacrest- I am first being introduced to Pound or Eliot or Communism or Latin or something else and life is simpler and in a place like Iowa City Bucolic and simple those are good memories and stimulating times.
Thomas Merton said that October is sickness in the USA where everything seems possible especially for Undergraduates. All is new and clean and interesting and possible maybe this is what is elicited by college football?
Donald Hall, who is a better Baseball writer than poet- said that it was in the little silences that Baseball is most poetic- I think that for college football it is the silence right before the band goes on the field. Or maybe the scream that comes in one voice when there is a touchdown in the final seconds like yesterday. All I know is that at the times when I needed joy- the Hawkeyes have come through.
So, the sheer joy of watching my University of Iowa Hawkeyes winning yesterday was the best way to start a new year- a new year that we can hope will bring more good than bad- and perhaps if we can dream- good things- especially for poets and Hawkeyes everywhere. GO HAWKS
A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Sheer Joy... Iowa 30 LSU 25