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POEM: tell the story when the ball is in the air

Listen to this poem using the player above.

The title of this poem comes from a surprising place — 3:03 into this episode of The Basketball Jones. Tas Melas says it, and based on J.E. Skeets’ reaction, I think it may be something originally said by Stan Van Gundy. In any case, as soon as Tas yelled the line, I paused the show and wrote the poem. It just about wrote itself. This is not, of course, a poem about basketball. Like much of what I write, it took a turn into Relationshipland.

On a side note, if you’re a basketball fan, The Basketball Jones is a must-see show.

tell the story when the ball is in the air

not after she’s left and the crowd goes home
tell it when he can still be the last-second hero
a hometown Jesus on the shoulders of adoring men
tell the story before she cried, before he made her
tell it while the boy in the nosebleeds
clutches a program to his chest and yells because
this is what men do
tell the story so we can all cheer and buy the jersey
so we can tell the guys at the bar that we were there
tell the story when the ball is in the air

Published in Audio Poems Basketball My poems Poetry Sports


  1. relationshipland? is that near boise?

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