Tim Peeler: “Drive-in 21”

 

 

Drive-in 21

Through the pounding thunderstorm,
They endured blue lightning flashes,
Great drops of steaming rain,
And on the screen, the first of
A double feature, Invasion
Of the Blood Farmers,
A film shot so poorly
That day and night shots
Were jumbled together;
So cheap, the actors were paid
With six packs of beer
To play blood-seeking druids
On a mission to save their queen.
They gritted their teeth
As their wipers slashed,
The speaker crackled, and
The parking lot emptied
Of all but the stoners
And the crazies awaiting
The second feature,
Shriek of the Mutilated,
Wherein grad students
Undertake a field trip
To Boot Island in search of Yeti,
And the hardcores were rewarded
When the summer skies cleared
And fell silent as the hairy
Beast began his carnage.

 

 

 

About the Author: A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.

 

More By Tim Peeler:

Modernist Hay Making

Paramnesia 2

Ballers 2, the Star’s Monologue 3

 

Image Credit: John Margolies “Augusta Drive-in Theater, Route 11, Augusta, Maine” (1984) The Library of Congress

Larry

Walker Evans (1935) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

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Larry

By Tim Peeler

 

Larry

There’s an owl-faced hillbilly boy staring at me across
The Cracker Barrel dining room where I’m sat back to the fireplace,
Waiting on pecan-crusted catfish, cornbread,
Collards, contemporary country music with its TV accent
Bursting forth like busted springs—that boy
Probably thinks I’m as old as the shit hanging on wall
To authenticate somehow this cattle drive of victuals,
And in the old days I would have frightened him or challenged
His daddy to step outside, but now I know I am just
Another spectacle pinned to the walls of the living
To someway make it look real.

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About the Author: A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.

Paramnesia 2

Photo by Gertrude Käsebier (1905) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

Paramnesia 2

By Tim Peeler

 

Paramnesia 2

The deluge of nighttime dog barks
Pauses for the after storm gutter drip.
There was a game, he says, can’t
Remember if it was 47 or 8, but we had
A two run lead in the bottom of the ninth.
Crickets like a crowd roar and the faint
Leaving of a train across the river gorge.
You got a light. Thanks. Well they got
The bases loaded, drunk as they say.
The old man’s profile, a Hemingway
Hillbilly with bifocals in porch light.
And coach, he hollers for me to get in there
To pitch to this Babe Ruth no neck left hander. 
A bawling cow somewhere, the Judge’s braying
Donkeys, hungry in their dark pasture.
So I say a little prayer ‘cause I believed back then,
Hid the ball in my glove behind my back.
A neighbor’s old pickup truck inching
Through the front yard of his trailer.
I throw it hard and outside at the knees.
He swings and misses. Lights was so bad.
An owl in the maple top, sounding out a
Whole summer of loneliness.
When he struck at the third bad pitch, that was
The game, but then he come after me with his bat.
A Hmong woman across the field, singing by the
Lanterns in her vegetable garden.
Our first baseman, Rosenbluth, stopped
Him out between the bases.
The hiss of traffic on the wet road,
River like a belly against the old dam.
We piled on him, beat the shit out of him
Before his teammates got out there, must have
Been 48, same year I met your mother.

About the Author:  A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.

Modernist Hay Making

Hart Crane
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Modernist Hay Making

By Tim Peeler

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About the Author:  A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.

Ballers 2, the Star’s Monologue 3

from The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein

 

Ballers 2, the Star’s Monologue 3

By Tim Peeler

 

Ballers 2, the Star’s Monologue 3

So he puts X=6 on the board,
says I’m gonna show you
how to figure out this problem
and then starts drawing
all this other number stuff;
then pretty soon he’s back
to X=6 at the bottom.
So math is like this I think;
you remember when the kids
all went cruising,
into the downtown,
around the courthouse,
you know, back before the mall.
Now when they stopped at a light,
they would all get out,
run around the car
screaming and laughing,
get back in
when the light turned green.
They would of course be
in different seats,
but it would be
the same damn kids in the car;
that’s how math works.

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About the Author: A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Tim Peeler has also twice been a Casey Award Finalist (baseball book of the year) and a finalist for the SIBA Award. He lives with his wife, Penny in Hickory, North Carolina, where he directs the academic assistance programs at Catawba Valley Community College. He has published close to a thousand poems, stories, essays, and reviews in magazines, journals, and anthologies and has written sixteen books and three chapbooks. He has five books in the permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, NY. His recent books include Rough Beast, an Appalachian verse novel about a southern gangster named Larry Ledbetter, Henry River: An American Ruin, poems about an abandoned mill town and film site for The Hunger Games, and Wild in the Strike Zone: Baseball Poems, his third volume of baseball-related poems.