Ex Basketball player

By John Updike

Poem: text

Pearl avenue runs past the high school lot,

Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off

Before it has a chance to go two blocks,

At Colonel McComsky plaza. Berth's Garage

Is on the corner facing west, and there,

Most of the time you'll find Flick Webb, who helps Berth out

Flick stands tall among the idiot pumps-

Five on a side, the old bubble-head style,

Their rubber elbows hanging loose and low.

One's nostrils or two S's, and his eyes

An E and O. And one is squat, without

A head at all- more of a football type.

Once Flick played for a high school team, the wizards

He was good: in fact, the best. In '46

He bucketed three hundred ninety points,

A county record still. The ball loved Flick.

I saw him rack up thirty-eight or forty

In one game. His hands were like wild birds

He never learned a trade, he just sells gas

Checks oil, and changes flats. Once in a while,

As a gag, he dribbles an inner tube,

But most of us remember anyway.

His hands are fine and nervous on the lug wrench.

It makes no difference to the lug wrench, though.

Off work he hangs around Mae's luncheonette.

Grease gray and kind of coiled, he plays pinball,

Smokes those thin cigars, nurses lemon phosphates.

Flick seldom says a word to May just nods

Beyond her face toward bright applauding tier

Of Necco wafers, Nibs, and juju Beads.

Main Idea

The main idea of this poem for me would be that all around the world you have people with talents greater than the talents being currently spoken. But we all come from different threads out of the shit and sometimes we don't all end up with the same opportunities that others do. Yet you have to move on and do what you can while you can because tomorrows not guaranteed.

Connection

My song across 110th street relates to my poem because it talks about all the struggles that comes with life. Life moves forward not backwards though. And this song sort of has a happy tone although it speaks of a depressing lifestyle.
Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street

Reason of Choice

I chose this poem because I felt like it really applied to me. Someone with athletic ability does mean that their life is already paved. Yes their is opportunity but nothing in this world is guaranteed and sometimes it takes others longer to realize that.

Lyrics: Life Goes On

I was the third brother of five
Doing whatever I had to do to survive
I'm not saying what I did was alright
Trying to break out of the ghetto was a day to day fight

Been down so long, getting up didn't cross my mind
I knew there was a better way of life and I was just trying to find
You don't know what you'll do until you're put under pressure
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that's weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won't let the junkie go free

Across 110th Street
Woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street, oh

I got one more thing I'd like to yell about right now
Hey brother, there's a better way out
Snorting that coke, shooting that dope man, you're copping out
Take my advice, it's either live or die
You've got to be strong, if you want to survive

The family on the other side of town
Would catch hell without a ghetto around
In every city you find the same thing going down
Harlem is the capital of every ghetto town
Help me sing it

Across 110th Street
Pimps trying to catch a woman that's weak
Across 110th Street
Pushers won't let the junkie go free

Oh, across 110th Street
A woman trying to catch a trick on the street, ooh baby
Across 110th Street
You can find it all in the street
Yes, he can

Oh, look around you, look around you
Look around you, look around you, yeah



Read more: Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Reminiscing

Thinking back to when I used to ball

There is some things that I recall

Growing up without it all

All your friends and family gone

A life with many wishes

Too only deal with what is dishes

Really hurts when life hits you

So young so bills get you

But the harder it is the more you strive

If only we could go back to our basket ball lives