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“That Girl’s Breasts,” by Carson Cistulli

I’ve got to admit, it was pretty fantastic listening to a Britisher, the one and only Mr. Craig Robinson, talk about baseball, among other things, last week on FanGraphs Audio. That accent, man; gets me every time. Although, I will say, it pained me deeply to learn that the legend behind Flip Flop Fly Ball, the man who’s led me — led all of us — on numerous baseball infographic adventures, is a New York Yankeees supporter. The horror.

Anyway, after listening to Mr. Robinson wax poetic about baseball, Mexico City, and the remix of R. Kelly’s “Feelin’ On Your Booty,” I came across his tweet, embedded above, about the works of NotGraphs’s Supreme Leader, Carson Cistulli. As a Canadian, and therefore the definitive opposite of “rude,” I felt it was my patriotic duty to buy “Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated.” I mean, the cover alone is worth the $0.99. (Or $1.03 Canadian.) And, let me tell you, the book didn’t disappoint. Cistulli is one of the greatest poets of our time; a real-life Rafael de la Ghetto, if I may.

Now, I must warn you, to know Carson Cistulli is to know Carson Cistulli’s ego. When I landed in Phoenix last March, for FanGraphs’s annual Spring Training retreat, rumour had it that Cistulli had his own band that was following him around the hotel, playing music each and every time he entered a room. Yep, you guessed it: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. It remains, to this day, one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed. I learned two things that weekend: one: I love the Tijuana Brass; and two: never room with Carson Cistulli. Also, a couple of days after buying “Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated,” I received an anonymous email from “The Carson Cistulli Fan Club,” assuring me that my copy of the book would be personally autographed by “the legend Cistulli himself.” I replied, saying that I bought a Kindle version for my iPhone, and received the following response: “Look on Location 314.” Sure enough, there’s an autograph. Weird.

Now, the reason we’re here today is because I’d like to share with you one of Mr. Cistulli’s poems, one that combines his three passions in life: poetry, baseball, and the female anatomy. Without further ado, “That girl’s breasts,” by Carson Cistulli:

That girl’s breasts distracted everyone at the baseball game. The umpire frequently mistook the count. The pitcher had no cares as to the location or delivery of his pitches. Nor did the batters appear to mind striking out at all. As a sidenote, a TV colorman did make one insightful commentary, as follows: “Though I owe much of my life’s happiness to the splendor of this beautiful and honored game, there are times when we submit to a force beyond our control, no matter how it might compromise our relationship to those things we hold dear. I confess that, at this point, I am entirely invested in the magnanimity of this woman’s bosom and have no further concerns other than just to stare at her chest for as long as I live. And, if ‘as long as I live’ is only for the next minute, it’ll have been worth it, for this moment could span ages if it were judged in terms of truth and beauty, the meanings of which I have just now understood.”

See? Greatness. I wasn’t shitting you.

In all seriousness, buy “Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated.” You won’t regret it. You literally can’t; not at that price.