For Billy Beane, On the Eve of Game Five

Billy, holy wow.
Holy crap, Billy, did you see that?

The elfin sprite that
stole my hat,
I see now how he floated
away from me
so fast:

he was possessed of an afro puff,
and was he Crispy!

He was Crispy!

But you were locked, maybe,
upside down in some shed
at your ankles with the lights off
transistor radio in the corner
plugged with an ear
the only sounds
dark sound
until there was light.

You yourself were glowing.

I was, by
god, jostled, tousled my sheets
to say the least
when I seen it, Billy —
your living ghost lurk
waving Seth home,
the very hat you gave me

I mean, hot damn, Billy:
you see that?

So, you keep the hat —
I see now you need it —
and I will keep the hope

and tonight when the light springs
forth — who knows what creatures
sit spring-wound under tarps — when I pound
my hands blue
wake up the house
practically drool
I’ll know it was you who gave me
The Hat, Billy.

And Billy, you’ll know it was me
who gave The Hat back.

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Hire Robert J. Baumann to live-blog your next birthday party, family reunion, or corporate event. You will not want to forget it soon.

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Chuck Hussel

Baumann, you magnificent bastard. Hot damn, indeed. You sing the Billy electric.


” who knows what creatures
sit spring-wound under tarps” should replace “wait ’til next year” as the anthem of the unbowed baseball optimist.