Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion

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Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion

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by Pasha Malla & Jeff Parker

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The content of postgame interviews and sports chatter is so often meaningless, if not insufferable. And yet there are athletes like Metta World Peace who transcend lame clichés and rote patter, who use language in surprising ways, who can be funny and shocking and insightful and alarmingly sincere—pure poetry. Muhammad Ali offered dazzling displays of lexical wizardry, and Allen Iverson’s infamous “practice” rant shifted the postgame press conference from the banal to the absurd.

Featuring an introduction by award-winning sports writer Bethlehem Shoals, Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion is a celebration of these rare and exceptional moments. Various poetic forms and line-breaks highlight—or, in the words of Deion Sanders, “deem to set a candor on”—the sophisticated, sublime, and surprising performances of language made by professional athletes.

Pages: 142

Size: 8"x5"

Publication date: November 17, 2015

ISBN: 9780983186342


Praise for Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion

There are many who refer to sports as poetry in motion, and there are some who argue that all conversation is a living form of poetry. These are both imperfect metaphors. But here is a book that takes the literal language of sport and converts it into the actual structure of poetry, and—sometimes, almost by accident—the result is actual perfection.
— Chuck Klosterman, author of I Wear the Black Hat
Athletes speak in their own language. In the hands of writers Jeff Parker and Pasha Malla, those words become poetry. See for yourself.
— Ben Osborne, Editor-in-Chief, SLAM Magazine
Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion swept me off my feet. I love poetry and sports, and what sports fan doesn’t want to relive Allen Iverson’s ‘Practice’ rant? What poetry fan doesn’t like a skillful rondeau? But you don’t have to share my enthusiasm for verse and the athlete’s vocation to absolutely adore this book. Parker’s and Malla’s poems smack you in the face, challenging our fascination with fame while showcasing the lyricism of our language as it makes, and loses, meaning. Thoughtful and hilarious at every turn, this book scores off the charts. It’s perfection.
— Erica Dawson, author of The Small Blades Hurt

Table of Contents

  • “I Shook Up the World” by Muhammad Ali
  • “Darkness to Light and My Eternity Was Sealed” by Tim Tebow
  • “I Love Me Some Me” by Terrell Owens
  • “Never Run From History” by Doc Rivers 
  • “If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It” by Yogi Berra
  • “Let’s Get Something Straight Though” by Tie Domi
  • “This Is a Dirty Box Out” by Metta World Peace
  • “Knuckleballer” by R.A. Dickey
  • “Coming Out” by John Amaechi, Jason Collins, Martina Navratilova, Sheryl Swoopes, and Kwame Harris
  • “One Big Lie that I Repeated a Lot of Times” by Lance Armstrong
  • “It Might’ve Even Been Chinaman” by Dennis Lillee
  • “Hey Let Me Tell You Something” by Travis Browne
  • “Q&A” by Gregg Popovich
  • “Professional Fisherman TV Bloopers” by Bill Dance
  • “The Gonz (Blues Remix)” by Mark Gonzalez
  • “Backdoor to Chyna” by Joanie “Chyna” Laurer
  • “Rajon: Rondeau” by Rajon Rondo
  • “Abuse of Racquet” by John McEnroe
  • “The History of Western Civilization” by Bill Walton
  • “We Don’t Do Things We Aren’t Good at by Nature” by Danica Patrick
  • “My Name’s Tony Hawk, I’m a Professional Skateboarder” by Tony Hawk
  • “El Villano” by Dave “Tiger” Williams
  • “I, Best” by George Best
  • “The Deiliad” by Deion Sanders
  • “Soft Like Charmin” by Nick Young (aka Swaggy P)
  • “Russia Better Canada” by Nail Yakupov
  • “Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust” by Woody Hayes
  • “Maple World Pasta” by Metta World Peace
  • “Very Hard Words” by Zinedine Zidane
  • “I Don’t Eat Hair” by Pete Rose
  • “Kerrigan v. Harding” by Tonya Harding (ft. Nancy Kerrigan) 
  • “High School Blitz” by Apollos Hester
  • “Good Game” by Rasheed Wallace 
  • "Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion" by Metta World Peace
  • “Sixty Minutes of Pure Chaos” by Ray Lewis
  • “I Am Beautiful, Famous, and Gorgeous“ by Anna Kournikova
  • “You Would Still Look at Me as a Scumbag” by Mike Tyson
  • “If I Was Eloquent with You” by Mike Tyson
  • “Practice” by Allen Iverson
  • “Rickey Henderson for Mayor of Oakland” by Rickey Henderson
  • “The Five Elements” by Rodger Schmidt, Wally Henry, Phill Drobnick, and John Benton
  • “Ford Tough” by Don Cherry
  • “My Weapon Is Me” by Alexander Ovechkin
  • “What Is Defending?” by Johan Cruyff
  • “From the Planet Lovetron…” by Darryl Dawkins
  • “Open Secrets” by Venus and Serena Williams
  • “G.O.A.T.” by Sudsy Monchik
  • “The Enforcer” by Georges Laraque
  • “Cement Doesn’t Give as Much as Snow” by Shaun White
  • “101-Decibel Grunt Haiku” by Maria Sharapova
  • “The Gonz” by Mark Gonzalez
  • “Well I’m Feeling Very Happy Today” by Jahangir Khan
  • “Multiple Herschels” by Herschel Walker
  • “Bats and Trees” by Brad Keselowski
  • “The Great White Hope” by Larry Bird
  • “Slaughterhouse in a Blouse” by Ronda Rousey
  • “Carl Lewis” by Ben Johnson
  • “Ben Johnson” by Carl Lewis
  • “World’s Youngest Monster Truck Driver, Age 7” by Kid KJ
  • “It Is What It Is” by Charles Oakley
  • “How Beat Up Are You?” by Kevin Garnett
  • “I Wasn’t Going Very Fast, But Unfortunately I Hit a Few Things” by Tiger Woods
  • “Hindsight Is a Wonderful Thing” by David Beckham
  • “Call Me Muni” by Munenori Kawasaki
  • “Let the Thugs Play” by Dean Cromwell, Jimmy the Greek, Don Imus, Jose Antonio Reyes, John Rocker, Sid Rosenberg, Daniel Snyder, Donald Sterling, and Fuzzy Zoeller

About the authors

Jeff Parker’s books include Where Bears Roam the Streets: A Russian Journal, the novel Ovenman, and the short story collection The Taste of Penny. He teaches in the MFA program for poets and writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he lives.

Nathan McKee is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. McKee’s illustrations and paper cutouts utilize simple lines and flat color, and are inspired by comics, sports, music and other elements of popular culture. His works have been included in exhibitions in Portland, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Boston and Switzerland. He runs the websites fakeyrowndeath.com and makemtakem.com and has studied at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Read Jeff Parker & Pasha Malla news

 

Pasha Malla is the author of four books, which have been listed for or won the Commonwealth Prize, the Dublin-IMPAC Literary Award, the Giller Prize, and the Trillium Book Award. He's the winner of two National Magazine Awards for humor writing and an Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction. He lives in Toronto.

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