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Leaves Of Turf: Thirteen Ways of Looking at an NCAA Investigation

Leaves of Turf is a game-by-game, season-long series of football verse by TWER poet lAUreate Amorak Huey. His first poem can be found here, his second here, his third here, his fourth here, his fifth here, his sixth here, his seventh here, his eight here, his ninth here.

In troubling times (or at least, potentially troubling times), turning to verse can help. This week, it’s Wallace Stevens offering solace.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at an NCAA Investigation
Game 10 vs. Chattanooga, November 6, 2010

Let’s be clear:
If there turns out to be dirt
all over my orange and blue carpet
whoever tracked it in
is dead to me.

A sandspur –

incredibly irritating in that moment
when it attaches itself to your foot
but easily plucked free
and not what you remember
about your trip to the beach.
Here’s hoping.

[expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]

Part of me feels guilty
for always thinking
this was all too good to be true.


In case you were about to let
the majesty of autumn –
this autumn –
sweep you away
here is a brilliant fall leaf
coated in dog excrement.

I know it’s a sleazy game.
I had hoped
to pretend
it might be otherwise
just this once.

I don’t think my hero
did anything wrong.
How naïve
even to bother to write down
such a thought.

Say it ain’t so.

Have you seen him play?
Could anyone so beautiful
have such a heartbreaking flaw?

The worst part is the headlines.
The worst part is all of it.
The worst part is we might not yet know
the worst part.

If you are not prepared
to have your heart broken
you should never fall in love in the first place.

I believe in Cam.
I do.
I can’t help it.
I believe in Chizik, too.

I believe in Auburn,
and love it.
But, damn, people,
please let there be nothing to this.

Amorak Huey didn’t go to Auburn, but he did have a fake Auburn ID so he could sit in the Jordan-Hare student section throughout his college years. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Amorak spent fifteen years as a newspaper reporter and editor at papers in Florida, Kentucky and Michigan. Two years ago, he left his job as assistant sports editor at The Grand Rapids Press to take a position teaching writing at Grand Valley State University. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and his poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals. He lives in East Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife and two children. You can find him online at www.amorakhuey.net.

About Amorak Huey

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