Friday, January 26, 2024


 National Championship

This is the game for all the marbles

Everyone tunes in and watches until the end

The victor gets every single marble 

Which must be carried out by hand.

One player, the captain, the hero—take your pick

Is selected to be the marble bearer.

If he drops a single marble 

The laugh track kicks in

But it’s an audio loop of walruses giggling

And no one knows what it means. 

The studio hosts, retired linebackers

Or whatever, stuffed into designer suits,

Act like they don’t see it

And go back to telestrating how

To make enormous piles of money

Without doing anything meaningful at all.

No one seems to care about the marble

So he drops the rest of them

And shotguns a beer.

Some hit the hard floor 

With a sharp ping

Like hail against

Your glass face. 

Some shatter into fragments

Of a wasted consciousness. 

Others fracture only on the inside.

Connoisseurs with monocles hold them up to

The light and write down a number

In a leather bound book.  

Only the dorks know what it means. 

Most of them end up bounding

Down the basement stairs

Into the scary cobwebby darkness

And come to rest next to empty paint cans

That should have been tossed out

With the dusty plastic trophies decades ago. 

By now, of course, everyone has stopped watching.


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