Weekly Feature: Poetry at The Arts Fuse

Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem every Thursday.


From The October Project 2022 with David Kirschenbaum


October 10


Dear Joel Oppenheimer,
The only thing I know about the New York Mets is that you loved them.
(You and Colin Quinn’s character in Trainwreck who called them
“the Metropolitans,” I thought that was funny.) I love listening
to my memory of Lyman Gilmore describe your living room sorcery
for them, switching off the TV set, turning on the radio instead, sex
with the Mrs. to ensure a grand slam in some crucial game or other –
I do that kind of hoodoo too but more offhanded for less formal teams.
You wrote “The Wrong Season” about their worst year, a book
I’ve yet to crack past its forward. I’m sure my lock is in those pages
somewhere, waiting, but I’m Mr. Saturday when it comes to even low
hurdles. I think you can relate. So far I’ve only read the part of “Don’t
Touch the Poet” where you die, lying in an at-home one-man M*A*S*H
unit in New Hampshire. Your sons around. I flash to one of them cuddling
your sudden crypt but that was me. Holding Ed’s dead body on Cape
Cod. His neck not even releasing to the failed pillow. Ed was born
the same year you were, spent a little time in New York, I wonder
if you ever passed baskets near Columbia. He didn’t get to Brooklyn
I don’t think. Never came to see me here. Wasn’t that he didn’t care
he just stopped leaving. Every day a home advantage. I have no club
but him, and you by parallel, and so The Mets I guess by proxy.
Only saw them once in Boston and rooted for the Sox. You’d’ve
liked that team that year. All the fur. And odd success. Who’d’ve thought
I’d end up here. In our empire’s under-doghouse. Up late. Rooting.


Sean Cole is the author of After These Messages from Lunar Chandelier press. His poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Black Clock, Court Green, Boog City and other journals. For more than 25 years he’s worked as a producer and reporter for various public radio shows and podcasts. He is currently a supervising producer and occasional guest host of “This American Life.”


Note: Hey poets! We seek submissions of excellent poetry from across the length and breadth of contemporary poetics. See submission guidelines here. The arbiter of the feature is the magazine’s poetry editor, John Mulrooney.

Arts Fuse editor Bill Marx

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