Little Rituals



As the Chicago Cubs get nearer and  nearer to the 2016 World Series I have been watching more baseball than usual. I have always identified as a baseball fan, but for me some of the most interesting parts of the game isn’t even the pitching or the runs. It’s the little rituals that the ball players perform before stepping into the batter’s box or before letting loose a fastball. Various patterns of tapping, patting, wiping, spitting, and swinging emerge.  The guys seem completely absorbed and unconsciously raise their hat to let in some cool air, or re-fit their batting glove for the umpteenth time. What is it about little rituals?

My thoughts turn to some rituals of my own. Getting up in the morning, making the coffee, driving to work, mealtimes. All preformed at least partially on auto-pilot.

I also have writing rituals. For example, I hand write in blank books using an ink pen and start from the back of the book, paging forward with my text. Weird. I scribble and re-arrange and draw arrows like a playbook. I prefer to have a tea or coffee at hand and work best in the Barnes and Noble cafe.

Not sure how all this fits together, but I do know when I break ritual I just feel off. My writing suffers and I get crabby.

Here’s hoping the Cubs players keep their little rituals together tonight. (But, I would love for the Cubs to break the ritual of never winning the World Series.)


Midwest October, Presidential Election Year

Found poem regarding Trump on tape. Read no further if words offend you.

Midwest October, Presidential Election Year

by Jen May

Scarecrow festival weekend, my home invaded
no getting away from reports that Donald Trump
would “grab them by the pussy”
those “hot as shit” women
on the eves before the second debate.

Brown marmorated stink bugs instinctively burrow
between cracks, invasive around the trim.
There are five nymphal instars before maturity, changing
color from yellowish red in the first and off-white
(off color) with reddish spots in the fifth.

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start…” “f-ing her.”
These chemicals are produced by dorsal scent glands.
The legs, head, and thorax are black. Hands are everywhere.
On the walls, in the window, and on camera.

Feeding on tree fruits such as apple, results
in a characteristic distortion referred
to as “cat facing,” that renders the fruit unmarketable.

How many sources will come forward?
Crushing Trump will result in putridness
all around. If smashed against exposed skin
recordings been reported to produce
dermatitis at the point of contact.

Better get this checked out.

“Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys,” Penn State Entomology Fact Sheet. Steve Jacobs, Sr. Extension Associate. October 8, 2016