Friday, November 21, 2008

KAY RYAN VS. CHARLIE ROSE ON PBS by (me!) sandra, tvgp

unless my children are on the field, i have no interest in sports.

every once in a while, i accidentally land somewhere (usually for something to eat), and find myself below a tv screen and surrounded by crazy sports fans

espn -i don't bother to look up, just out.

you can feel the tension in the room even when it's relatively quiet. feel the tension growing, building, until

here it comes

people popping out of their seats, chairs sliding and falling over "go! go! go!" or sometimes,

"no! no! no!"

and it's all shouted with such passion and volume.

my interests lie elsewhere

on the literary field.

and a couple weeks ago

i was a crazy poetry fan

kay ryan vs. charlie rose on pbs

i wore my colors, grabbed some spicy almonds and cold beer

i was home alone.. part of me wishing i was surrounded by like minds in a local poetry bar, pbs on the giant flat screen

i do not know enough sports teams or players to provide an analogy..

can anyone help? u.s. poet laureates.. billy collins then kay ryan on the same team; different years

both great poets but polar opposites on the field


i'm watching charlie. and everyone knows i'm a big fan of charlie's

but i'm a big fan of poetry too. so it's kinda like watching ... 49ers/raiders? both california teams.. you like them both?

or no. more like your hometown childhood team vs. your where you live now team. a slight allegiance to both, but one slightly more than the other.

so charlie slightly more.

and i've heard charlie read a lot over the years.. book passages, critical reviews, and poetry

he's awesome. and even when he's not awesome, he's damn good. the man knows what he's doing -he's charlie rose for goodness sake

and i can tell when he's gearing up.. and i watched him gearing up to read one of kay ryan's poems

the turtle? the elephant? -i can't remember

whichever it was, i found myself chanting, "go! go! go!"

and when he finished it was like... "touchdown charlie rose!"

and i did a little dance for him. but then,

i saw kay ryan.. squirming. uneasy. gradually tortured, crying "foul" or "out of bounds"

-robbing him his glory, his points

and i popped out of my chair,

"no! no! no! don't do it! kay.. stop. let it be.. don't.. he scored just fine!"

and i looked all around at my invisible friends,


but she couldn't resist. it was just too much for her

and so she corrected charlie rose's interpretation of her poem write there on his program on national television.

charlie rose. one of the most gracious, earnest hosts of all time.

"BAD FORM!" "BAD FORM!" and i threw a couple almonds at the tv.

"oh! did you see that?!? can you believe that?!?"

... like the worse play ever!..

"PENALTY! PENALTY! where's the referee on that one? -someone call a time out!"

but it didn't even stop there..

got worse!

charlie.. most gracious, earnest, talented host in all the tv world, says, in such a humble, apologetic manner to kay (his guest.. i must repoint out that she is his guest!)

he says to her something like.. "you do a much better read.. "

okay.. and let's say you're trying to fix something on the football field.. and necessary or not, you generously, graciously give the ball to a teammate

and your purpose, and your expectation is that your teammate take the gift and run

only.. when you hand the football to your teammate, instead of running with it

he throws it in your face

that's what she did!

because after charlie hands kay the gracious humble apology ball

she says something like,

"it's okay.. you would have come to that reading after 3 or 4 tries"

"OH! that's it! you are out of the game! off the team!"

i'm up out of my seat again

looking at all my invisible friends



and then i went to the fridge for a fresh, cold beer.

and i still can't believe it

how billy collins and kay ryan could be on the same team?

who's the owner? who's the coach? who drafted this woman?

but then i read her poem titled hide and seek

and changed my mind.

realized that sometimes even the greatest players have off days.

that ultimately, the u.s. wins.

and that when it comes to the requirements for the poet laureate of the united states of america; manners is not one of them.


At 12:18 AM, Blogger eric1313 said...

**Jaw drops**

She what?

That's awful! She could have at least chose another selection and read that, then the spirit of competition would be alive and well, but without the need to stomp a guys toes.

I would say she's the Colorado Avalanche's Claude Lemeiux slamming from behind into the boards the Detroit Red Wing's Kris Draper, causing Kris to have a broken face that requires total re-constructive surgery to fix, as actually happened several years back, touching off a war between the 2 teams than last for 5 years, until virtually all the players from each team were gone or retired.

Dirty play!

Good analogy. You did just fine!

At 7:56 AM, Blogger she said...

1313/mr poetry: thank you my fellow poet/blogger friend..

grateful for your help & LOVE your story here

i can easily picture you on the team one day -of u.s. poet laureates

and will remain one of your greatest fans

love, ~s.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Jim Ott said...

In the business world we often use sports metaphors to describe our battles with competition and to depict the success of a product or campaign ("that loan promotion hit a homerun, folks!"), but never have I seen sports used as a metaphor for a discussion of poetry. I love it! This is so creative, Sandra, so clever! A real touchdown of a post! :-)

By the way, like you, unless my kids are on the field, most sports are a yawn for me. Okay, maybe not the Tour de France, but traditional team sports...

At 8:25 AM, Blogger she said...

thanks ren man! -appreciate that coming from a past poet laureate of pleasanton & english professor

and speaking of touchdowns, and homeruns

LOVE the thanksgiving greeting on your blog!

-all smiles here,

love, ~s.


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