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[05] Rhythm-A-Ning E-mail
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Saturday, 14 January 2006 19:38
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#84

Rhythm-A-Ning

for paul lichter & the great ernie harwell


it's the top
of the 5th, two men
on & monk

on the mound
to face the meat
of the defending champion

new york tenors
batting order it's the
rhythm

inning, time now
to get something
going & at the plate

for the tenors,
digging in deep now,
center fielder sonny rollins

(also known as newk 
for his remarkable resemblance
to the great don newcombe)

is taking his cuts. rollins
checks the sign from arnett cobb at 3rd
& takes a called first strike

right down the middle. on the basepaths,
the leadoff batter,
johnny griffin, dances off 2nd

& james moody takes a short lead
off of 1st. on deck,
the clean-up hitter,

fellow native of north carolina,
veteran of many hard seasons
in the minor leagues,

john coltrane picks up his bat,
weights it,
& pounds the air without mercy.

monk
checks the runners,
shakes off the sign

from art blakey
behind the plate, nods,
stretches & delivers

a most wicked curve
& newk strikes air. the fans know
if monk can get past rollins

there ll be one down,
coltrane up & coleman hawkins
waiting on deck. so monk

looks in,
puts that rocky mount grip
on the ball, & sends newk back

to the bench
with a deadly screwball. trane fans,
& bean dribbles one down

to john birks gillespie at 1st. diz
steps on the bag & monk
puts another inning away

toward an eventual shut-out
of the defending champs. in the bottom
of the 8th, miles davis is hit

by a pitch,
steals 2nd,
bud powell draws an in-

tentional pass, & bird
puts the game away
with a 3-run homer. the series

goes to the challenger,
the bebop all-stars,
4 games to 3

& monk is voted most
valuable player
over dizzy gillespie

in the closest of votes. the year
is 1954, the legendary subway series 
is now history,

& baseball,
dear friends,
will never be the same



detroit
may 1, 1985
special thanks to peter klaver & martin gross



3.1.696
 
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