Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tom Sterner writes and shoots

cats' eyes

(introduction to cats' eyes)

~my brothers & I were ashamed & afraid~

~living in the west Denver housing projects in the sixties~

~it wasn’t the taunting of turf bullies that scared us~

~we were poorer than the people there~

~hiding out~

~living with our auntie~

~had to keep our noses clean & mouths shut~

~if someone snitched us out for being there~

~we’d be tossed out~

~then what~

~cats' eyes~

~cats’ eyes stare~

~from under cars~

~I used to shoot them~

~when I was a boy~

~rounds of four-hole~

~& poison when you reached it~

~five-pot in the middle~

~I remember circles~

~drawn with crooked sticks~

~in fresh summer dirt~

~steelies & aggies~

~hot sun & glass orbs~

~ball-bearings far from the wound~

~of their greased sleeves~

~pockets worn into holes~

~bare feet & stone bruises~

~wrestling in the housing projects~

~with brown children~

~beaten for a dime~

~proud as a piss-ant~

~& twice as hungry~

~cats’ eyes tied~

~into knots in a bag~


~a box of old shoes~

~spider bones & ashes~

1 comment:

  1. Marbles are games that employ small spheres made of steel ("steelies"), agate ("aggies"), clay, plastic, or glass (often called "cats' eyes"). Poison is a typical game for two or more players, alone or in teams. The playing field is a dirt area with a small hole in the middle and a starting line on one end. The playing order is determined by a practice shot from the line towards the hole; whoever is closest or makes it into the hole is first. Them one at a time, each player shoots a marble toward the hole. The first shot is from the line; all other shots are taken from where the marble lands. The player who makes it in becomes "poisoned," but only one player can be poisoned at a time (unless playing in teams). The poisoned player gets another turn and tries to hit other player's marbles; if he hits someone's marble, it is out; and he shoots again until he misses. When someone else gets a marble in the hole, he becomes the new poisoned player. Other players may hit each other as a part of their strategy, allowing them to keep shooting, but no one is taken out as a result. If he hits another marble twice (if it hits and then rolls up a hill and hits the same marble while going down) it's called "Double Shots" and he gets to shoot two more times. If a non-poisoned player hits the poisoned marble, he is out. The last marble in play is the winner and gets to keep all the marbles that were played.


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