Archived: March 31, 2000

INTERVIEW      Anne Sexton
Anne Sexton was named field manager of the Vestal Virgins, CBA's team of interesting women, on October 3, 1999 (see the News Archive) Sexton, associated with the "confessional" school of American poets was a former pitcher with the Virgins (1996-97). We caught up with the busy manager on Saturday March 25 for this brief interview before her team was to play the Wonderland Warriors.

Cosmic Baseball Association  How does it feel to be back in a cosmic baseball uniform?

Anne Sexton  Well, you know, it's just as exciting now as when I was a player, although the stress of baseball field management seems greater...I don't remember being this anxious as a player.

CBA   You had difficulty functioning as a mother of two young daughters. Are you concerned that managing intelligent strong-willed women will be too much for you to handle.

AS   That's a fair question and it's one that [Vestal Virgins team owner] Ms. [Yoko] Ono asked me right after she bought the team. I think I've resolved some of the issues that tormented me as a parent. I'm sure deep down in the dark drawers of my soul there are still issues frothing and churning about. But I think I can handle the players on this team. Also, the medication I take helps.

CBA  It must be nice to be reunited with your friend [Vestal Virgin starting pitcher] Sylvia Plath.

AS  Oh yes. Of course our relationship precedes our time playing cosmic baseball together.

CBA   The two of you originally met in 1958 when you were both in Robert Lowell's poetry class at Boston University, right?

AS  Right. We both shared a mutual obsession with death, so it was natural that the two of us would be drawn to poetry and each other.

CBA  Sylvia went 10-11 last year with an excellent ERA of 3.33 but she pitched 249 innings, are you worried her arm will collapse.

AS  I'm concerned. I told Sylvia that I wanted to reduce the overall number of innings she pitched this year. She's got to think long-term. She's such a competitor she never misses a start.

CBA  Anne, if you had to sum up in a few words the major themes of your poetry what would you say?

AS  Oh my, that's difficult. My work is about religious quest, transformation and dismantling of myth, the meanings of gender, inheritance and legacy, the search for fathers, mother-daughter relationships, sexual anxiety, madness and suicide, issues of female identity. Things like that.

CBA  For obvious reasons, you have never commented publicly on the controversy surrounding the publication of Diane Middlebrook's 1991 biography of you. You are aware of that controversy, yes, where your psychiatrists files detailing aspects of your psychotherapy were made available to Middlebrook?

AS   You know I don't want to get into that in any detail. Middlebrook quoted Voltaire when discussing her reaction to the controversy, "We must respect the living, but only truth is good enough for the dead." I'll let it stand there.

CBA  Thanks for your time, Anne. And good luck this season.

AS  Thanks. I enjoyed talking with you.

Other Field Manager Interviews

by Anne Sexton

    When Man Enters Woman

When man,
enters woman,
like the surf biting the shore,
again and again,
and the woman opens her mouth with pleasure
and her teeth gleam
like the alphabet,
Logos appears milking a star,
and the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate
and the woman
climbs into a flower
and swallows its stem
and Logos appears
and unleashes their rivers.

This man,
this woman
with their double hunger,
have tried to reach through
the curtain of God
and briefly they have,
through God
in His perversity
unties the knot.

New Season 2000 Cosmic Player Plates
Three new cosmic player plates describing second-year pitchers for the Paradise Pisces have recently been published at the Cosmic Baseball Association's website. The new plates provide some information and external links for a dancer, a judge and a putative lawman from the wild west.

Cyd Charisse is a second year starting pitcher for the Pisces. Charisse made a name for herself with her beautiful legs and dancing abilities. She was Gene Kelly's dance partner in the famous dancing scene from the movie Singin' in the Rain. Charisse, now in her seventies, was during the 1950s adored for both her dancing talent and her sexual appeal

Robert Bork is widely known as the U.S. Supreme Court nominee who got rejected for a seat on the bench because liberals thought he was too far right. The concept of "borking", to reject someone on purely ideological grounds, originated with him. Bork is also a second-year pitcher who came into his own during the 1999 Cosmic Universal Series.

Wyatt Earp, legendary lawman and gunslinger rounds out this group of second-year Pisces pitchers. Earp achieved fame (or infamy) at the shootout near the OK Corral in Tombstone in 1881. The forces of good and evil met on an overcast October afternoon but who was good and who was evil isn't all that crystal clear. Despite his often violent life-style, Earp ended up passing on peacefully in 1929 in a rented cottage near Hollywood.

Want to know more?

Website Reviews

We looked at four above-average Beat-related sites on the Internet. We used a triad rating scale to determine the overall rating for each site. Values between 1 (worst) and 10 (best) were assigned to each of three categories: Content- How much original content is available at the site and how well-written and edited is the content. Design- How does the site look and how intuitive and/or interesting is it to navigate through the site. Linkability- How many and how useful are the external hyperlinks to other related sites.

Literary Kicks
By now this is the grandaddy-o of Beat Generation sites. Levi Asher put the site up on June 23, 1994 making it probably the oldest Beat site on the World Wide Web. In an interview almost two years ago Levi said the site was receiving between 4000-6000 hits per day. The strong point of Literary Kicks is its content and the easy-going clear writing style of Asher. We rate it a 9 for content. It is not a glitzy site and it doesn't make use of frames or other fancy web design features. It rates only a 4 on our graphic design scale. The site includes only a handful of external links so we give it only a 3 for link usefulness. But for the individual new to the study of the Beat Generation this is one of the best places on the Internet to get started. Overall rating: 8

Beat Generation Archives
Webmaster Colin Pringle put this site up in 1995. It includes over 40 links to related Beat sites. There are several special pages worth checking out like the review of the Herbert Huncke Reader. This is a good site to find other links and we give it an 8 for linkability. It doesn't shine graphically, we rate it a 3 for design. While there isn't much original content at this site what there is is interesting and well written so we give it a 6 for content. Overall rating: 7

Beat Generation Resources
We aren't sure how long webmaster Marcus Williamson has had this site on the Internet but we first saw it about two years ago. With each visit the site gets better. There are up to date "News" and "Events" sections and a variety of links to different types of Beat sites. For example there is a section with links to "Chronologies" and "Bibliographies." There are 26 links to webpages about specific Beat personalities (16 of these take you to Literary Kicks, see above.) There are links to Beat-related newsgroups (but not mailing lists) and links to publishers and booksellers who specialize in Beat publications, videos and films. There isn't very much original content, we gave the site a 3 in this category. The design isn't spectacular but it is practical and fairly well organized; we rated this site a 5 for design. The site, as it's name suggests, is very useful as a source of access to other Internet Beat information; we gave this site an 8 for linkability. Overall rating: 7

Beat Generation News
Mary Sands is fast developing one of the best Beat sites on the Internet. Her site includes dozens of up-to-date links to other resources and current news of interest to Beat fans. She has also created some excellent original content including the wonderful Kerouac Diner Menu page. She solicits work from others in the Beat community, such as the respected Kerouac scholar Dave Moore and Beat wise-man Adrien Begrand who have contributed well-written book reviews. The site is well-designed using frames and menus and is kept up to date. For design we rate this site an 8. For content we rate this site an 8 and for linkability we rate this site an 8. Overall rating: 8

March 2000 Archive
  • Cosmic Game Report
  • Season 2000 Player Plates
  • Website Reviews
  • Vestal Virgins Sold to Yoko Ono
  • Reich Rocks Ionians
  • Kerouac Memorial Game
  • Link to News Index
  • Link to News Archive
  • March 27
    Hancock Replaces Franklin
    This young season is full of surprises already. The Washington Presidents, who faltered out of the gate this season going 1-4 have fired longtime field manager Benjamin Franklin. John Hancock has been named to replace Franklin. Franklin had been the only manager the Presidents ever had. The Presidents were created in 1982. The rules governing who can manage the Presidents stipulate that only original signers of the U.S. Constitution can serve as field managers.

    The Presidents have faltered in the last three years failing to break .500 in the win column. The team also had to weather the "Clinton controversy". (Starting pitcher Bill Clinton was suspended for the 1999 season because of the Oral Sex Scandal in the Whitehouse.)

    Many were hoping the beloved Franklin would last one more year before retiring but owner George Washington and his wife, Martha, the team's General Manager decided not to wait.

    Hancock, 31 years younger than his predecessor is a wealthy merchant from Boston. He is most noted these days for his right-handed holographic signature displayed prominently on the Constitution. He served as a president of the Continental Congress (1775) and was a longtime governor of Massachusetts (1780-1785; 1787-1793). The Presidents' management team will be busy this season as they evaluate the candidates for the next rookie position opening in 2001.

    March 25
    Personal Cosmic Game Report
    The Kill Valley Killers met the Morguentown Victims on the cosmic baseball field and guess what? The Victims had their way with the homicidal maniacs. Want to know more about the game?
    March 24
    Team Access Standings
    This table shows the number of times the cosmic team rosters have been accessed at the CBA's website for the period March 15 through March 24.

    March 22
    Reich Stirs Up Clubhouse
    He left the Mindland Brains because he had trouble getting along with his teammates. Now ace pitcher and psychologist Wilhem Reich is having problems in the Alphatown Ionians club house and the new season is barely a week old. Reich got into a shouting match with fellow pitcher and philosopher of education John Dewey. The specifics of the argument were not revealed but inside sources say Reich is peeved at Dewey's aloofness towards him.
    March 15
    Season 2000 Begins
    The Cosmic Baseball Association's 19th playing season began today. The Season Opening game saw the Ionians beat the Pisces. 24 teams in three leagues consisting of over 500 players are involved in the generation of this season. Three new teams are competing in the Underleague: The Allahville Shabazzers the Numeral City Numbers and the Speed City Velocitors. The 162-game regular cosmic playing season concludes on September 23. Want to know more about Season 2000?
    March 12
    Jack Kerouac Memorial Cosmic Baseball Game 2000
    The Jack Kerouac Memorial Cosmic Baseball Game is played each year on the birthday of the American writer Jack Kerouac. Had he not died in 1969, Kerouac would be celebrating his 78th birthday today. For this game, members of the Kerouac Family traveled to Arizona to play a team made up of individuals involved, directly or indirectly, with the infamous 1881 shoot out near the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp and his brothers and the Clanton and McLaury brothers join forces on the cosmic baseball field in a matchup against Jack and assorted family members including his mother and father and three wives.Want to know more about this game?
    March 3
    Vestal Virgins Sold to Yoko Ono
    In a surprising move with less than two weeks before the start of the 2000 cosmic season, long-time Vestal Virgins team owner Xanthippe has sold the club to avant-garde artist/musician Yoko Ono. It was a stealth deal that came out of nowhere. The specifics of the transaction between the ancient Greek Xanthippe and Ono were not made public. In a brief statement released by the team Ono was quoted as saying she is "delighted to own this cosmic team which I plan to make competitive." The Virgins finished third in the 1999 Overleague with a 79-83 won-loss record. Long-time field manager and ancient Greek poet Sappho retired at the end of last season and was replaced by the modern confessional poet Anne Sexton. (see news item)

    Yoko Ono was born February 18, 1933 in Tokyo. She came to the United States as a teenager, attended high school in Scarsdale, New York and attended college at Sarah Lawrence. In the early 1960s she became involved with the avant-garde Fluxus art movement in New York City. She burst upon international consciousness in 1969 when she married Beatle John Lennon (Lennon manages the Psychedelphia Woodstockings, CBA's Middleleague team of 1960s personalities).

    Ono joined the Cosmic Baseball Association in 1995 when the Vestal Virgins drafted her as an infielder. In four seasons she produced a .260 batting average and was considered an above average utility thirdbasewoman. The Virgins deactivated her after the 1998 season. As a cosmic player Ono brought a distinctively feminist perspective to the field, sometimes alienating team mates but more often rallying them to defeat the more masculine teams in the Overleague like the Wonderland Warriors and Dharma Beats.

    In a 1999 interview Ono reflected on her feminism: "On the level of society it is important to be equal, but otherwise I wouldn't want to be a man. Simply because women are more intelligent than men. We have to be more intelligent because we create human beings and take care of them." It is likely that Ono will bring her provocative style to bear as the team's owner. How she balances the masculine quality of competitiveness with her feminist orientation in the running of the team will be interesting to observe.

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