Pop Culture
Aug 07, 2012, 09:40AM

I'd Rather Be Playing Bocce

Tuning out: the Olympics, the slaughter in Wisconsin, the rumors (shamelessly exploited on Huffington Post) of Macaulay Culkin’s imminent death, ridiculous right-wing smears of Obama, ridiculous left-wing attacks on Romney’s character and the entirety of the latest Harper’s magazine...

More after the jump.

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Teresa Kirby Smith

Instead, a bocce game for six on a late summer afternoon (watch the sun) and an intense competition that’s forgotten once the matches are over.

Here’s Luke Johnson’s poem, about the minor sport that can accommodate all sorts of behavior and observations: 

"The Heart, Like a Bocce Ball"

The jack sits low in the grass. We’re dead drunk, cannonballing across the lawn, gouging
handful divots, each of us still nursing
 a tumbler of scotch brought home from the wake. We sons and brothers and cousins. I spin
my ice and let that black-tie loosening
 buzz swarm. The others choose the sky, looping
pop-flies that swirl with backspin, an earthen
thud answering grunts while the soft dirt caves. I bowl instead, slow-ride hidden ridges—the swells buried beneath the grass—carving
a curve, a line from start to stop, finish.
 The heart, like a bocce ball, is fist-sized
and firm; ours clunk together, then divide.


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