poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Brett Fletcher Lauer received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in 2007. He is the author of the memoir Fake Missed Connections: Divorce, Online Dating, and Other Failures (Soft Skull, 2016) and A Hotel in Belgium (Four Way Books, 2014). Lauer is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor of A Public Space. He lives in New York City.

Sports History

I understand what
a jump shot is,
certain mechanics

of the body, hand
positions, elbow
alignment, follow

through. Enough
player names to
mention around

the imaginary water-
cooler if I found
myself there. A body

at rest still needs
to hydrate. I cried
watching Bird

and Magic in that
documentary and
own a small collection

of expensive high-top
sneakers in various
colorways—used

exclusively to walk
my pets or to the
coffee shop for

an almond croissant.
Fresh to death. On
my mantle, four second

place trophies from
intramural wrestling
all before fifth grade.

Pitter patter sprawl.
I can’t remember
swimming. I mean,

I can’t swim. I can’t
drive. Sometimes
I miss a high five,

the pat on the ass.
I swung and missed
at tee-ball, golf. Traded

cards for the love
of the potential investment.
George Brett, I’ll always

love your name.
I appreciate highlights,
trick plays as much as

the next: The Statue
of Liberty, Flea Flickers,
The Changing Light

at Sandover. I was
born in the suburbs
of the city of brotherly

bullies, poor sports,
famous boo-ers and
stadium court houses.

I was the only boy
cut from my seventh
grade soccer team.

It’s in my blood to lose
at all games, even Uno,
especially Monopoly,

and when I do, I spit
into my palm or refuse
to shake hands.

Copyright © 2015 Brett Fletcher Lauer. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. Used with permission of Prairie Schooner

Copyright © 2015 Brett Fletcher Lauer. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. Used with permission of Prairie Schooner

Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer received an MFA from Saint Mary’s College in 2007.

by this poet

poem

In this room, hours pass, a slight
corruption of each previous
allotted time block—and probably
confirm failure and humiliation,
which though not ideal, I accept
as historically accurate. I’m sick
of lifestyle music, the thing between
awe and detachment which Hazlitt
defines

2
poem
I cut the orange in two 
  and the two parties 
are not equal. I watch 
  the driveway, study 
irregularities in market 
  fluctuation, the bird
humming at the feeder. 
  It’s colder than yesterday. 
Very dark. I’ve been here 
  now two years and 
haven’t received a letter.    
  One hour of sleep 
before