Music of the Sphere: Ten Haiku by Jacob Brunner

Nothing’s going to become of anyone
except death:
   therefore: it’s okay
to yearn
too high

 

–A.R. Ammons, “Play”

 

I. Game 2

 

Ants move nut shells and
Blunt tips, while Lord Covington1
Can’t make a layup

 

Cov was fine—more vexed
By the Simmons2 paradox:
He is there, yet not

 

II. Game 3

 

You cannot rewind
Confetti3 like tape, but here
Goes: TURN BACK THE WORLD

 

The headline reads: team
Drops confetti to honor
Postponement of loss

 

Some poor schmuck sweeping
Confetti like spent seed. We
Had our little death

 

Frozen follow-through,
He slumps in pietà.4 Cute,
But one thing—Christ died

 

 

III. The Game

 

Contempt for athletes
Is puritan hate. Waive
Your body, I’ll play mine

 

I speak with a ball
Artists don’t own all beauty
Your airs are showing

 

The Zink5 played that mic
Into the sky. Whatever
Your art, please, say something

 

Once I played a ball
At a show, was called fearless.
Wrong—I’m scared as shit

 


 

1. Sixers forward Robert Covington, who shoots and defends at a high level while struggling to finish at the rim.
2. Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, whose relaxed court presence occasionally lapses into outright passivity.
3. Sixers guard/forward Marco Belinelli hit a tying two-point shot to send the game into overtime; unfortunately, an arena employee mistook it for a game-winning three and dropped the confetti. The game was delayed for several minutes as the Sixers awaited their fate.
4. In the moments after his shot, Belinelli held his shooting form after the release while collapsing backwards into his teammates’ arms.
5. My great uncle David Zinkoff, long-time PA announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers, whose banner hangs in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.

 

 

 

Jacob Brunner is a musician, writer, and playground artist living in Philadelphia. His poetry and translations have been published in Cousin, Chimpanzine, and Doublespeak. He has produced music independently as Strawberry Hands since 2006, while also contributing to records by Weyes Blood, Mike Bruno, et al. His most recent LP Peace Isn’t Luck (Rarities 2009-2017) and others are available at strawberryhands.bandcamp.com. He has a forthcoming live EP and a new full-length  slated for release in early 2019.

  1. Sixers forward Robert Covington, who shoots and defends at a high level while struggling to finish at the rim.
  2. Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, whose relaxed court presence occasionally lapses into outright passivity.
  3. Sixers guard/forward Marco Belinelli hit a tying two-point shot to send the game into overtime; unfortunately, an arena employee mistook it for a game-winning three and dropped the confetti. The game was delayed for several minutes as the Sixers awaited their fate.
  4. In the moments after his shot, Belinelli held his shooting form after the release while collapsing backwards into his teammates’ arms.
  5. My great uncle David Zinkoff, long-time PA announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers, whose banner hangs in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.