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Guest Poetry: "Box Score" by Michael Gossett


Editor's Note: What better way to commemorate this occasion, the trade of Rudy Gay for Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis, and Austin Daye, than with a poem? And so here's one from my friend, the poet Michael Gossett. --KL

If you're feeling underwhelmed by the lack of razzle-dazzle coming in from this trade, remember that with Rudy's leaving go too the dozens of bricks, forced jumpers, and missed opportunities in the paint for our bigs. As the great Geoff Calkins once tweeted: "Dealing Rudy isn't "blowing up" anything. He's been terrible. It's removing an imagined upside Rudy who has never existed." Though his play has won several games for us (including a memorable one in 2011 against his future team), I'm pretty sure it has lost some important ones too. Lest we forget:

Box Score
a villanelle to welcome Austin, Tayshaun, and Ed

Rudy Gay: 3-17 from the floor
last week at the Forum: falling to N.O.:
three assists, one block, five boards,

four turnovers, and ten points in thirty-four
minutes of play. * Brick from the elbow
by Rudy: he shoots 3-17 from the floor

as the Grizz fall to the Hornets: final score
83-91. * Gay in the lane, high floater...won't go:
he'd finish with three assists, five boards:

each jumper, including this one, falling short.
* Start of the fourth, Grizzlies keeping it close,
Rudy looking to get something from the floor,

frees himself, catches the ball in the corner,
trying to back it down into the post,
forced fadeaway clanks off the backboard.

* Recovering from a loss to the West's worst (N.O.),
Memphis now faces the Thunder on the road
but without Rudy Gay, 3-17 from the floor,
without those three assists, one block, and five boards.

Michael Gossett is pursuing his MFA in poetry at the University of Maryland, though he considers himself a lifelong Memphis native and friend. He writes about basketball, video games, and basketball video games, and can be found on Twitter at @michaeljgossett. His work has previously appeared in ONSQU/Washington Square Review, The Country Dog Review, and Glass.