Introducing 100 Lipograms

I don’t have very high expectations for this blog, and that’s fine by me. The fact that I haven’t had much to say these past few weeks shouldn’t be a problem, but when my “should I blog about this?” worries start interfere with the way I read about baseball, well, that scares me.

So I’m changing things up. I want to write lipograms, but I’m giving myself a very low word count limit (100 words, or a “drabble” in the parlance of the fanfiction crowd) to shoot for. The challenge? I’m going to write a hundred lipograms over the next few months/years(?) however long it takes. This is part of a large-scale blogging project involving lots of users writing 100 posts.

Of course, 100 words is just a lower limit so I don’t scare myself off, my first post was over this by some distance. Some of this series will be baseball-related, some might not be. If you have (sports or otherwise) requests/challenges/anything, let me know! Most of them will probably be here, but I might space some out on another blog.

Wish me luck!

ChiSox Win

Words count; or pairs of words at an instant, or words that you link with a dash until nobody can know just how many sit in a row.

With insults or put-downs, words push along in a train. Today you can say “Bob is an (a).” Tomorrow, “a” is out, it’s too hurtful. But to talk about a guy such as Bob, you call him a “(b)”. Until, with a not okay, taunting kids say, “oh, Bob is a b” with a wink. And so adults stop using “b” in a non-insulting way. Bob is, from now on, a c. And so on.

But for us with faith in a jinx, no such supplanting occurs. No, our substitutions occur through broad words. And now, in short spurts of words, information skips along quickly, without slowing down to watch grammar. On any random day, I could go “sox struggling to hit, chisox anyway, bosox with lots of runs but yanks catching up. that’s your junior circuit. also cubs won which was good. all-star ballot box is a thing right now and wait what. it’s april.” That’s stuff, that small a thing; it’s too long to fit as a twitting thought, anyway. It’s off of a cuff, on a fly, I wouldn’t stop to put in many dots or commas or capitals.

But now watch this, a bit of focusing: “sox Struggling to hit.” Just through typing, my nod is in my words, saying “look at this.” As data go flying, this is a saying with a saying: “watch this, now.” Possibly, if I do not do much talking to start with, anything I say is a sign.

Or not. But still, I pass my words along.

(Stick around for a follow-up post that talks about what I’m doing with this forthcoming string of posts.)

Liberal Arts

Arithmetic is a liberal art
Where all the rest of the statistics start.
Runs, hits, and errors. Averages. Fractions.
A boiling down of long hours of actions.
Memorizing records they thought would last.
Counting up to them…and then counting past.

So was geometry. Ninety feet square;
Sixty feet, six inches. Pentagons, there.
The distances to left-center and right
The arc of a parabola in flight.
Pythagorean “caught stealings.” The shift
As sunlight or as fielders slowly drift.

And music. “Take me out to the ballgame”
Makes sense on TV (we’re not those who came)!
The melody leading up to the “charge!”
A place for many to sing on a large
Scale. Even anthems, sigh or groan,
Have found a way to call the field their own.

Astronomy (not just the Houston type):
To gaze at stars in green cap or pinstripe,
To classify them and predict who’s next
Even if things don’t go as one expects
To play under the lights, have some eclipse
Of newcoming talent, cheer on your lips.

These were the quadrivium. Yet there’s more;
Grammar was one subject that came before,
The simple linkups of fielder and base,
The schematics with everything in place.
The count, the swing, the hit. The strike. The ball;
No wonder it might be first of them all.

Logic. Decisions on the field of play;
To pinch-hit here? To bunt or swing away?
To try the long ball? Play for ninety feet?
Looked back on, criticized after defeat,
Forgotten in the wake of victory,
With everything else swirling giddily.

And rhetoric. The DH, pro or con?
Are the good days still here, or have they gone?
Williams or Ruth? Or Bonds? How to compare?
Is there any metric that’s really fair?
What might different statistics have revealed?
When will our announcers look at the field?

But now the random questions one responds
To are more pointed than “Pujols or Bonds?”
It’s “do you recognize this obscure gem”?
If not, “so, why haven’t you heard of them?
You only follow MLB, as if
It was some “major league”? A swing and whiff!

There are other leagues, you short-sighted fool!
Oh what do they teach at your old-time school!
And I don’t just mean “A League Of Their Own.””
So while I, yes, have heard of Toni Stone,
I don’t feel like this line of questions suits.
These aren’t your normal trivium pursuits.