Poem: To a Photograph of Dave Parker


To a Photograph of Dave Parker


In love poems we talk about eye color.
Your eyes are the color of the virginity that Brooke Shields just lost
And the luxury Oldsmobile she’ll give birth to nine months hence.

In benedictions we ask the firmament for mercy and riches.
You are large and bearded like the godhead in sanctuary etchings.
Through oral tradition, you taught us how to anger presidents with a lean.

Yours is the Sunday hat of fat-armed Baptist aunts.
But on you its wide brim and flop languish for disapproval.
Its tincture, cocaine in a sunbeam.

The words on your shirt are not explanation. They are augury.
Noise is going to happen because this more-than-man is mining for runs.
Prick up your ears only if you want to be deafened.


In sea chanteys we sing to forget what our roasted muscles know by rote.
But do take heart and know that the shore hovers ahead.
Or perhaps that is a discotheque. Or the nearest precinct.
This is why you hum chamber music at the plate.

Gotthold Lessing wrote that wine and love are the only two things
That keep a man from being a stone. In you, though, there is
An artery that has grown through your finger and into your cigarette,
Which it now garrisons with plush blood.
That is the elusive third thing
That keeps you from being just a man.


Your tongue prowls out of what we thought was your mouth
But turned out to be the stoop of a brownstone in Red Hook —
Back when it was dangerous, obviously.


In elegies we lament.
So I lament that the buildings of the boulevards
That housed the best nights ever had or never had
Are long shuttered,
Like coins over the eyes of a dead Roman.

Print This Post

Handsome Dayn Perry can be found making love to the reader at CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball. He is available for all your Twitter needs.

12 Responses to “Poem: To a Photograph of Dave Parker”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Chaco Chicken says:

    This has made me weep and rend my garments.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. stockhfcrx says:

    Well if kanye ever wants to actually sell a 280$ tshirt…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Sister Sledge says:

    Goddamn, that’s good stuff. If you, the writer of this, was a batter of baseball, you would wipe away the batter’s box chalk, and not wear batting gloves, but maybe a fat, gold chain. A fat one. Sister Sledge loves it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Paq says:

    We demand more Justin Ruggiano!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Kyle says:

    Baumann needs to tie together another chapbook to house this wonderful beast.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Aaron Trammell says:

    No lie, I caught the faintest whiff of TS Eliot here. Like if The Waste Land had more Dave Parker in it, and more words I actually knew.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Mr. Observant says:

    Not to nitpick, but I have a unfounded and unscientific hunch that Mr. Parker was, is and always will be a Plymouth man as opposed to an Olds man, a brand that was too bourgeois and honkey-esque a ride for a man of his evident pimpatude. Wherever did this picture get discovered. Top notch literary investigative work, Dayn.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Chaz Bono's Sweaty Gash says:

    Fat-armed Baptist aunts. ROFLMLAO!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Resolution says:

    Redhook is only dangerous now when:

    1. Dave Parker is near
    2. The Ikea has closed, thus cutting off the supply of modestly priced furniture and even more modestly priced hot dogs and froyo.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Furtively searching for the single grain of salt atop mounds of the negligible, I find myself rather endeared to and jealous of this.

    Can’t get past the Kentucky Derby hat though.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>