Literary Yard

Search for meaning

An English major’s guide to attending baseball games

By: Nicholas X. Bush


The plan is
to recognize the setting,
the earlier, the better.
Early autumn’s crisp air is
a foil to the willing suspension
of objectivity. And midsummer
brings nightmarish heat.
May is the kindest
month, followed closely
by April.

The plan is
to know the antagonist
before the Star-Spangled preface.
The team whose hat matches
the one you overpaid for—
that’s your protagonist.
Subjective criticism is a must,
Save the Formalist analysis—
for postscript box scores.

The plan is
to understand you’re free
to mix your metaphors.
Teetotalers can top off their beers,
vegans can very much munch
their hotdogs. Pacifists can cheer
pugilistic mound chargers. And pastors
can praise thieving pinch runners.

The plan is
to learn your math,
56 and 1986, 60 and 61*,
108 and 1919, 42 and 7,
27 up and 27 down, four-for-four,
ground rule doubles and
unassisted triple plays, seventh
inning stretches and ninth inning

The plan is
to never get in the habit
of leaving the text unfinished.
Start with Gibson’s Rise and Fall
of the Oakland Athletics. For a primer
in Deus Ex Machina study
The Joy Luck Cubs,
the Big Red Time Machine is a classic
still taught. Learn these works, and then
you’ll almost be ready to attend
A Brave New World Series.


Nick Bush is an associate professor of English at Motlow State Community College and an English PhD student at Middle Tennessee State Univerisity as well as an amateur standup comic in Nashville who writes fiction and poetry when he’s not watching the Titans or cooking low carb meals. He co-hosts the “Nick & Garrett Get Serious about Jokes” podcast and co-edits the Mosaic literary magazine.


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