Vol. 2, No. 4: Malice at the Ice Palace photo

2 PoemsMatthew Johnson

When The Harlem Globetrotters Come to Town

For Curly Neal

I heard that Sweet Georgia Brown is sweeter than sugar cane,

And that Wilt Chamberlain himself, the manmade mountain,

Said that no one plays basketball better than Meadowlark Lemon.


Some say they’re just the Indianapolis Clowns,

Staying in shape and playing a new game in the offseason.


Others say that they’re the only undefeated team in the history of American sports.

But how do you figure that, especially when the Celtics and Yankees don’t always win,

And who’s better than both of them?  


I just know that the two-word phrase, Harlem wins, 

Is the greatest, combination of letters in the English language,

And to listen to those words in person would be quite special to hear…




Pops Plays Pickup Ball


Pops, trailing behind on fast breaks, all game long,

Plodding along with an enlarged heart,

Pulls aside a younger teammate, 

In-between gasps for breath

And during a dead ball,

And asks if he could help him stretch.