Newest BOOG CITY Baseball Issue

Cover of BOOG CITY, Issue 80, by Basil King

Back in February, I alerted at least one NotGraphs reader to a call for baseball poems by the small press poetry publisher/newspaper Boog City, which, I found out, is named after former Orioles All-Star 1B Boog Powell. That issue is now “out.” (The previous baseball-themed issue of Boog City, which I “reviewed” in the aforelinked post, was published in 2006, so these issues are kinda rare.)

Among my favorites this time around was a piece entitled “Sabermetrics” by Erika Stephens:

Though it seems to be an “argument” against sabermetrics, it treats the issue in a way that is less obnoxious than most arguments against sabermetrics by invoking the world outside baseball. The poem is at once about baseball and its statistics, and a reminder about the limitations of said to create a full life. “Here is chaos,” the poem says — chaos, which in many ways accounts for what we experience in life better than math or even grammar and syntax. Listen to me: trying to be smart about poetry!

My true favorites in the issue come from “my boy” Joseph P. Wood, a short series of poems called Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s the 1980s, and Here are My Philadelphia Phillies, including this portrait of Mike Schmidt:

I put my face in your handlebar mustache —
it’s like a fan blade — Harry Kalas orgasms
on your 500th — hating you, the city cashes
in on your face — I must handle my bat stash
like manmeat — you lead the league in rashes
broken out — O the lady bits, blessed organism
I’ll never put my face in — I handle your mustache
like Harry Kalas — my fan blades, orgasms

An ode worthy of NotGraphs, for sure — what with its focus on moustachios and manmeats.

There’s also an interview regarding with Travis Macdonald regarding the poet trading cards that he does for Fact-Simile Editions, for which Macdonald said he “considered just creating a template and dropping everyone’s picture in but that seemed like it would get boring fast. So [he] started trying to recreate old Topps designs from scratch.” I myself have of few of these poet trading cards. They are fun…for nerds!

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I’ll be honest, that poem by Erika Stephens is horrible.