Friday, May 22, 2009

A Note on the Sex Life of Chironomus Plumosus

Brian Doyle is my abstract writing mentor. He is the esteemed editor of the University of Portland Magazine and the author of several scrumptious books. I met him when studying at The University of Portland. I admire him immensely and am sooo honored he tossed me a scrappling when I told him of my blog idea.


A Note on the Sex Life of Chironomus Plumosus

Now here’s a tale. A young pitcher for the New York Yankees,
Untouchable during the season, is on the mound in the playoffs,
Facing down the heroic men of Cleveland , that gnarled old burg
On the shores of vast Lake Erie . A warm night, unseasonably so
For Ohio , and out on the sea of the lake the midges gather, alert
To this last heat before the long sleep of winter. It is the custom
Of midges to swarm while mating, and to swarm in the brightest
Light on the hottest night before the off-season, and the ballfield
Is brilliantly lit, so into the stadium they flood by the thousands,
And it is their ancient habit also to gather at the highest of points
In the brightest of lights on the warmest of nights, and said point
Tonight is the young pitcher, Mr. Joba Chamberlain of Nebraska ,
Around whom they swarm so thoroughly that he completely pops
A gasket and fires wild pitches and walks guys and is pummeled
By the heroic men of Cleveland who win the series and the news
Papers are filled with bleating and wailing about insect invasions
And grim omens and the dereliction of duty by indolent umpires,
But even as I am delighted to see the satanic evil spawn Yankees
Dismissed from the playoffs, and even as I relish and savor Joba
Chamberlain saying soberly afterwards yes, they sure bugged me,
I find myself thinking what did the midges think of all the hoopla,
You know? I mean, it was the highlight of their year, they’re all
Dressed for a wild night out and there’s lust in the air, they zoom
Off to the brightest light they have ever seen, conditions are ripe,
There’s even a lovely erect hill interestingly wearing number 62,
And things go so well that after forty minutes the swarm retreats,
Everyone grinning and exhausted and maybe craving a cigarette.
I mean, the midges will buzz about that night for years, you know?

-- Brian Doyle

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