Friday, January 4, 2008

Hideo Nomo signed to minor league contract

don't care
what they look like.
-- Issa

The poet Kobayashi Issa dedicated those lines, written relatively late in his life, to his young wife, Kiku (which means chrysanthemum), who was twenty-four years his junior. The marriage was gratifying enough, though tragedy so pervaded their union as to make their lives seem as some grotesque, cosmic comedy attended by the universe's most inscrutable Senseis: Kiku gave birth to four children, none of them surviving more than a year and a half; after delivering her fourth child, the macabre flower too succumbed to the tug of the other world, which, as Issa reminds us, is terribly close at all times, separated only by our ability to sweep aside our inner, constantly clashing urges to express ourselves in cynicism or submission in order to perceive beauty, however ephemeral: "In this world / we walk on the roof of hell, / gazing at flowers."

In that spirit, this poem, composed with the lead-in "Fiftieth birthday," is preferable when analyzing the Hideo Nomo signing: "From now on, / it's clear profit, / every sky." Let's look ahead and let in the light with both eyes.

POSTSCRIPT: Remember when Nomo-Mania swept across the nation and even found its way to Nike offices?

Poor Cubs. It's as if they're trying to hit the gyroball.

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