Featured poet

Marty Gervais

Marty Gervais is a poet, photographer, journalist, and historian. He is the author of the Canadian bestseller The Rumrunners and has published more than two dozen books of poetry. Gervais is Windsor Ontario’s first Poet Laureate and was the recipient of the Queen Jubilee Medal as well as the Harbourfront International Authors’ Festival prize for his work on mentoring aspiring writers. His photography has been exhibited in France, Ireland, the U.S., and throughout Canada. Gervais is also the publisher of Black Moss Press, one of Canada’s oldest literary publishing companies.

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Featured poem

Mickey Mantle’s Last At Bat at Tiger Stadium

I remember that day, Sept. 19, 1968 —

I was sitting at a lunch counter at a Coney Island joint

on Lafayette in downtown Detroit, just minutes

from Tiger Stadium and the radio carried

the mellifluous voice of Ernie Harwell — one out

and nobody on the bases. Tigers in the lead 6-1 

top of the 8th inning and coming to the plate

the great Mickey Mantle, and on the mound

the cocky Detroit right-hander Denny McLain

who was cruising to his 31st win

 

and what happened next nobody knows for sure

except maybe McLain, but Mantle signalled

for a fastball, letter high, and McLain standing

tall on the mound — his cap yanked down

shading his eyes, and peered up to get a better look

like someone wearing bifocals, and nodded slowly

 

and the next thing you knew was the delivery

of a tailor-made pitch, and the ball sailing

like a rocket into the right field seats —a spoon-fed

535th career homer, packaged up with a ribbon

laced around it and a message loud and clear

Here you go!  You don’t need to ask twice

 

Years later, I talked with McLain at a Detroit

radio station — he was nearly 300 pounds

his famous right hand now like a machine crushing

and slamming one tin coke can after another

into a nearby pail all through the broadcast

and I spoke with him another time right

after he got out of jail and was slinging, not fastballs

but slurpees at 7-11 and once more I asked 

Do you remember that  day with Mantle?” And again

he smiled,“C’mon, I was 24!” But not before

simultaneously and quietly flashing that steely gaze

of a pitcher, chin tucked down, and his big

right hand in slow motion lobbing a fake pitch

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