Issue 1.1 

Summer 2021
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Lisa Marie Brimmer

Reflection:

There is no skip protection for memory! I was so healed by basketball culture in the late nineties. The adoptee/card-collector/artist I was couldn't play the game. In the day of this poem I would borrow R & B albums from the library.  My aunt affirmed this interest when she gifted me a signed copy of the My Name is Joe CD. In '98 my favorite album was actually Boyz II Men Evolution—another gift from a kindred. 

 

Cultural kinships were portals to me then (and now). Blessings to the albums, bowling alleys, and books that tethered me to this earthly realm. Blessings to ancestor and native keepers of the lands of my old home. Thank you spirit for protecting me! Now I look back and see with older eyes. The needle of time wiggles a bit as I come to the conversation of Black pleasure, belonging and diaspora. I see queer survival. I see steel ribs holding in more than just some old glass panes, but supporting the school as yet another lung of the nation-state.

b team

tip off / no ankle tape needed / an opus of layups / grins dripping

of all stars / a family outing / quick drill caught on tape

 

on trophy watch / the scout the break / floating hanes tees

rolled sleeves / near neenah in ninety-eight/ each body a scuffle

 

of sweat / a signature / grape gatorade stained teeth / salty leather

bounce pass to bounce past / behind the back / wrinkled cotton / cheap

 

gods / jog backwards / bob / mesh covered cross / metal slapping glass

ribbons / masking / beaded braids thrum necks / a bulging jersey scrim

 

a game hiding in ritual / material / hunt down the video / blockbuster

origin / the bubbler / how quickly it all turns / we can kill you 

 

from we can have this / you can’t / mine / we can member you / apart

benched browsing / scavenged / east bay catalogues / finally subbed

 

after a late scoring game / fake passes opined on the pine / veins opened

across the grain / but the bullets don’t carry / they make better guards 

 

i could only defend / not feed the mill / my squeezy bottle / and hardly

a fingernail engraving / to prove i’m here / for jokes and a whopper junior

 

vigilant / blues varsity / sweat shared in headphones / joe’s i wanna know

quality skip protection / back row dodge floorshow love / a soft sunset

 

pink / rewound winter / our bodies technical fouls / enclosed dungeons

out of bounds / each child a free throw / shaking a fragile net / let it out

 

here / let it out / around the world is one big jump stop / a tear in the clinic

in the field / sutures / make your thatched metal bands / secure glass

 

every rib / a partition a time out / what old high school isn’t a prison 

clock ticking / good game good game / did you see that exposed rib  

Lisa Marie Brimmer is a writer and educator whose work has been published in The Public Art Review, Gasher Journal, and is forthcoming from The B'K'. Brimmer lives on Dakota land in so-called Minneapolis, MN and is a recently committed MFA candidate at Randolph College. Online @leesuhmaroon & lisamariebrimmer.com 

Lisa's Recommendations

Boyz II Men—Evolution, 1997

Joe—My Name Is Joe, 2000

The Last Dance —Netflix, 2020