I know my typical poetry audience doesn’t like pro sports very much. I know they think it’s not intellectual or creative or deep enough. I know they think its too focused on the achievements of the body instead of the soul. I know they think it’s loved by too many unextraordinary people, who would rather just mindlessly escape than actually try to save the planet.
But I love sports, especially basketball, and secretly on some days I believe LeBron James is more important than the mountains, the sun, ice cream, boobs, rock n roll, and even Poetry.
You’ve seen me out here reading at all the open mics, organizing events, coming out with books. I’ve got my Naropa MFA degree, you know I have a high regard for the art form. But the thing is LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio in the 1980s just like me and he is the most famous non-serial killer to come from our town and he plays again for our team and that makes him my 100% cosmos certified SoulTwin.
Whenever LeBron feels or thinks something I do too, and I assume it’s the same for him when I think and feel. He likes it when I give a good poetry reading. And when I watch him play basketball on TV I care about winning just as much as he does. And if we’re playing in the NBA Finals like right now I have to feel like it’s a matter of life and death. After all the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a championship in anything in over 50 years.
LeBron is the best in the league. He is so big, but also so fast. So aggressive, but so under control. So individually dominant, but so good at making teammates better. He’s a four time mvp, two time champion, so smart, so experienced, so cool under fire, such a leader, so good at the things that make people win.
Thank God LeSoulTwin was born on this earth with me, with the talent to actually accomplish our much needed world title. I would do it myself but LeBron got all the size, strength, skill, and confidence. When it became clear I would not become 6’8″ nor be able to handle even the most simple employment without panicking, I had to turn to the strange written-word coping mechanism known as poetry. It’s not a bad hobby, but despite all my and my allies’ efforts, it has not become the universal and ubiquitous cultural force that high level athletics has always been. On a good day I can move 5 people for 5 minutes with a piece about how cab driving or teaching English sucks, but not millions of people, not for millions of dollars, and not with millions of words written about. Perhaps one day, LeBron will be at the Laughing Goat open mic biting his finger nails as I read this line, but according to most measures it’s not this day.
Having LeBron as the other half of me is not always that great. We rarely get to talk. He doesn’t really share any of his wealth with me. And the glory is inconsistent. There are lots of bad guys standing in the way of our goals like the wicked and impossible Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. If it weren’t for LeBron I would never have encountered such a SoulOpposite, who is nothing like me, and comes from the strange lands of North Carolina, and plays for a team from the confident and prosperous and champion-satisfied Bay Area, and only seeks my total destruction by way off-balanced tightly-contested clutch three pointers, which never ever hit the rim when they go in.
Tough, high stakes times right now for me and I just haven’t had much time to do anything but go down to BW3s, get some chicken wings, and root hard. Certainly no time for poetry, we’re behind 3 games to 2 in the best-of-seven and you can’t slam dunk a poignant but funny story. Pretty words so often just get blocked. You know what I mean.
‘LeBron over poetry’ – These words will probably get blocked, by you poetry audience, and lead to an easy fast break layup, or at least get deflected out of bounds. But it’s my Truth at this moment. I was born in northeast, Ohio like hundreds of thousands of me and lebron’s other SoulTwins. When you’re born in the same place and time you really do think you’re the same thing, even if you don’t even live there anymore. And for us that thing has been losing for years. Losing games and factories and jobs. Losing the blue sky for months of the year. Losing our greatest children to the Denver Metro area. Losing our average dreams. Losing our art. Losing our minds. We need it to stop now. Let me add what word spells I can…
So LeBron > Poetry
LeBron > Warriors
LeBron > The Shame of Midwestern cities.