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Word Riot Inc.: Kicking Small Press Into High Gear
Poetry

Midway Women’s Bowling League by James Benton

Listen to a podcast of James Benton’s “Midway Women’s Bowling League.”

We didn’t call him “Stinky” yet; that came after
shore patrol shut the drunken picnic down
and he chose to dash naked across
eight lanes of hardwood, dodging
sniper fire bowling balls, women shooting
at this pink and fuzzy arcade target scampering
out the back door where Sanders was
supposed to be with the clothes but wasn’t
and the next move hadn’t quite been planned,
so he improvised, flapping
bare feet on concrete slapping,
before the women howling,
before the sirens closing in,
before-thinking naked was a joke
and failing to plan ahead-
he jumped the levee into the muck,
how they returned him to us:
wearing only his new hero’s name.

About the author:

At various times in my life, I have worked as a sailor, electrician, nuclear engineer (really), a bill collector, retail clerk, bank executive, night janitor, and private investigator. I live in Sacramento with my wife of thirty-four years. Tolkien was right: “not all those who wander are lost.”

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