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051597 (May 15, 1997) is written atop my very first poem. Since then, I’ve written a poem on that date every year on the same subject: Basketball… and where I'm at in my quest. I play professionally in Taiwan now, but I still remember that day. Here's my poem for this year. Thanks for reading.


I keep playing games
like I don’t know the score,
but what does age really mean?

Without my pain
upon the floor,
it’s not really a stage
to me.

I’d love to say it’s just a game.
I’d love to say
more important things
exist than to win and win then win again…
but I can’t.

Even if they’re things
that have got to be said,
I’d rather just play ‘til I’m dead.

Even if it’s just some rec center
in a small farm town
across the street
from some old, broken-down shed.
Even if arthritis wears me down instead.

I’ll play to hear the sound……

not the fans in the stands, with
their hands aloud.
Not for the sound of one
or a million crowds.

Not for the sound of change
as it hits the ground.
Not even for the sound of my soul
being found.

No, no, no!
I’ll play to hear the sound

of my blood drippin’ down
on the floor
“I don’t want no more!”
“I don’t wanna bleed!”
Then sweetly echoing,
“I don’t WANT anymore…
is what I NEED…”

I’d love to say it’s just a game,
but I can’t.
Like a dream, I hear ‘em scream
‘n’ chant.

But I only listen to my blood and sweat
POUND against the floor,
and pleading for more.

I understand the adage,
the maxim, the proverb;
Yea, the saying I see, but…
it was never just a game to me.