Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Sunday, July 10, 2016
the word for ball

the afternoon's incessant chatter from mikey delgado on Vimeo.
"In the language of the heavily-armed state, the word for ball is the word for bullet." ---
The wretched of the earth, blithely dismissed. Soundtrack download here

the afternoon's incessant chatter

Fanatics discuss matches in memory
and Marjorie watches the football float slowly
across the pale blue eggshell of sky,
above the straining hearts of the hand-holding lovers,
past the tightened throats of stranded defenders
betrayed and adrift in no man’s land.

Marjorie talks to herself about how the ball
never came down, about how in the time
it takes to light a cigarette it has transmogrified
into a dark bird, with a delta, and swift,
and has ascended above the stadium’s rim,
fleeing the afternoon’s incessant chatter.
Marjorie holds her hand flat across her brow
to block the glare, to see the bird buffeted into tumbling
by the frenzied air, like sweet papers, like a cellophane bird
in the wake of a train. The ball itself, but for its plotted line,
barely registers. It skips the way a flat stone might skim
above a green smooth ocean after leaving the arm
of a boy on the shore. The body of the crowd,
a raucous channel packed with boats bobbing at anchor,
in slow motion twists and gasps to see
the same ball do the same thing again and again .

At half-time talk is of the shadow of the stadium roof,
of how it leaves one small oval of the crowd golden
in the last light cast at sunset. Marjorie imagines
hearing him speak of how in the language
of the heavily-armed state the word for ball
is the word for bullet, and how the poor deserve
their misery. The striker – “he’s gone down
like Capa’s militiaman for a penalty”
holds their attention instead. No-one links
the shot of the dead ball specialist rebounding
from the marshalled wall, and the fusillade
which felled the puppet emperor Ferdinand
as he held the hand of his white-shirted general.

spain v spain (Cerro Muriano, Sept 1936)

mexico v mexico (June 1867)

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