March 30, 2005
Former Cosmic Player Robert Creeley Dies
Massachusetts-born poet and former cosmic baseball pitcher Robert Creeley died today at 6:15 A.M. in Odessa, Texas. Creeley, born May 21, 1926, left behind his wife of 28 years, a son and a daughter. He was 78 years old. A graduate of the progressive Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Creeley, lived in Buffalo, New York and was a former Poet Laureate of the State of New York (1989-1991). A recipient of numerous awards and grants, Creeley was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. And he was a poet of remarkable capabilities.
Creeley was a member of the Black Mountain Mountains, a cosmic baseball team made up of individuals associated with Black Mountain College. Black Mountain was an experimental insititution of higher learning that is now out of business. The Mountains and Creeley played one season before being deactivated on December 15, 1998.
"Why poetry? Its materials are so constant, simple, elusive, specific. It costs so little and so much. It preoccupies a life, yet can only find one living. It is a music, a playful construct of feeling, a last word and communion" --Creeley (Selected Poems 1945-1990).
Career ERA: 3.35
March 27, 2005
Cosmic Game Report: Dragons @ Poetics
Ernie Gehr and Hollis Frampton, two stars of the avant-garde film wave known as the "New American Cinema" combined to defeat a determined team of musicians. The Bolex Poetics, CBA's team of experimental filmmakers, beat the Delta Dragons, CBA's team of musicians, in a game made close by filmmaker and Poetic firstbaseman James Broughton. Broughton produced his second error of the game in the top of the ninth. Avant-garde composer Philip Glass slapped an eminently playable roller up the firstbaseline. Broughton, "a la Buckner", let the ball roll through his legs. Two runs scored bringing the Dragons within one run of the Poetics. Thanks to some clutch pitching by Andrew Noren, creator of the superb Kodak Ghost Poems film, the Poetics prevailed.
Link to Game Report
March 21, 2005
Cosmic Game Report: Ionians @ Beats
This was a great game for so early in the season. Despite the five errors between the two teams, there was plenty of exciting pitching, batting and fielding. Philip Whalen, Beat poet and veteran Dharma Beat player hit a pinch hit homerun in the eighth, scoring two runs and knotting the game up until the top of the twelfth. In the twelfth inning the Ionians manufactured a run, thanks to a fielding error by Beat second baseman Levi Asher. There were a total of 25 strikeouts in the game, with computer scientist and Ionian starting pitcher Robert Atanasoff charging up 10 Ks all by himself.
Link to Game Report
March 17, 2005
Former Superba Robert Blake Acquitted
Former Telecity Superbas second baseman, Robert Blake, was acquitted yesterday of the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. A jury of twelve of Mr. Blake's peers also acquitted the former television star of soliciting a former stunt double to kill his wife. Judge Darlene Schempp of Los Angeles County Superior Court dismissed a third charge because the jury of seven men and five women were deadlocked.
It was a four year ordeal for Mr. Blake, 71, and one that may have affected his status as a cosmic baseball player. The former star of the ABC television series Baretta (first episode: January 17, 1975; last episode: June 1, 1978) Blake was accused of murdering Bakley who was shot on May 4, 2001 outside a restaurant near Los Angeles in Studio City, California. Felled by a gun shot to her head, Bakley had just finished having dinner with her husband. The two met in 1999 and apparently fornicated the night they met. In June 2000 Bakley had a daughter, Rose. Characterized as a woman of suspect moral character, Bakley had amassed ten ex-husbands before meeting Blake in a jazz club. Blake's defense lawyer, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, portrayed his client as trapped in a loveless marriage by a gold digger. The prosecution used that idea as the motive for the murder. The jury was not convinced.
The gold that Bakley supposedly was digging for came from Blake's acting success in Baretta. In 1975 Blake won an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series category for playing the tough unconventional police detective Tony Baretta. The show was rated the ninth most popular during the 1976-77 season. Prior to Baretta, Blake was best known for his portrayal of murderer Perry Smith in the movie version of Truman Capote's book In Cold Blood (1967). Born in 1933 with the name Michael James Vijencio
Gubitosi, Blake's show business career began in 1939 when he started acting in the Our Gang comedies. The name change to Robert Blake took place in 1942. As a result of his legal problems Blake claims the "gold" is all gone, he's broke. Outside the court after his acquittal Blake said, ""If you want to know how to go through $10 million in five years, ask me..."
Blake was an original member of the Telecity Superbas. The Superbas, a team of television personalities joined the Cosmic Baseball Association in 1983.In ten seasons he compiled an above-average .269 batting average with 91 career home runs. As a second baseman, Blake was considered somewhat of a fielding liability.
Blake was deactivated after the 1992 season and replaced by TV host and entrepreneur Dick Clark. In 2000 Blake petitioned the CBA for reactivation. However a panel of Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance (COBRA) Scholars had pre-concluded that Blake probably did kill his wife, thus weakening his case for reactivation. Now that he has been acquitted of the crime, Blake would likely have an easier time in his bid to be reactivated. However, the Telecity Superbas were deactivated at the end of the 2003 season.
Robert Blake Official Cosmic Baseball Batting Record
March 15, 2005
CBA Season No. 24 Opens
CBA's 24th Cosmic Baseball Season opens today. Twelve teams in two leagues are competing this season. There is one new team.
There are 254 players, including fifteen rookies. 62 cosmic baseball players are women; 41 players are non-humanoid.
The CBA plays a conventional 162-game season. The regular season concludes September 30 and post-season playoffs, if necessary occur during October. The Cosmic Universal Series, played between the best teams from the Upper and Lower Leagues, is a best-of-seven series commencing on Thanksgiving Day in November.
March 13, 2005
Philip Lamantia, Surrealist Poet, is Dead
Phillip Lamantia, one of the poets who read at the famous Six Gallery on Friday October 7, 1955, died on Tuesday March 8, 2005 in San Francisco. Born in San Francisco on October 23, 1927, Lamantia died of apparent heart failure. He was 77 years old.
The son of Sicilian immigrants, Lamantia grew up in San Francisco's Outer Mission district, an area described as an early refuge of gentility for successful Italian-Americans fleeing their traditional quarter of North Beach. He began writing poetry as a teenager, and became interested in the surrealist art movement. This interest was inspired in part by viewing paintings by Salvador Dali and Juan Miro, among others at the San Francisco Museum of Art. In 1943 he dropped out of Balboa High School and moved to New York City. In New York he met with Andre Breton, a leader in the surrealist movement. Breton published some of the Lamantia's poetry in the magazine VVV and declared the young poet from San Francisco to be "a voice that rises once in a hundred years."
Levi Asher of the Literary Kicks website writes that Lamantia is often mistakenly categorized as a "beat poet." This mistake arises from the fact that Lamantia was one of the poets who read poetry the same night that Allen Ginsberg first publically read his poem "Howl" at the Six Gallery in San Francisco. Lamantia, the first of five poets to read poetry on that historic Friday night, did not read from his own work. Instead, he read the poetry of John Hoffman, a poet who had recently died in Mexico. About Ginsberg's remarkable reading of "Howl" Jay Stevens in his book Storming Heaven quotes Lamantia as saying it was like "bringing two ends of an electrical wire together." In his novel, Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac writes about the Six Gallery reading. Lamantia is Francis DaPavia in the novel. If not a Beat poet, Lamantia did influence the movement. City Lights publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who first published "Howl" says it was Lamantia who first introduced Ginsberg to "Surrealist writing. Then Ginsberg wrote 'Howl.' "
Lamantia had at least nine books of poetry published, beginning with Erotic Poems in 1946. City Lights published four books of his poetry, including Selected Poems 1943-1966 (1967) and Bed of Sphinxes: New and Selected Poems: 1943-1993 (1997). His work also appears in a variety of avant-garde journals including VVV, Visions, and The Circle. In 1978 he married Nancy Peters, a co-owner of the City Lights Bookstore. They later separated.
Lamantia, 1987 (photo by Rob Lee)
Michael McClure, another of the poets to have read at the Six Gallery on October 7, 1955 described Lamantia as one of the most beautiful poets I've ever known. He was a poet of the imagination. He was highly original -- I'd call his poetry hyper-personal visionary Surrealism...The flow of his imagination was a beautiful thing. ''
Lamantia played two seasons at shortstop for CBA's team of interesting Beat personalities, the Dharma Beats. He was deactivated after the 1985 season. He was a good fielding, fair hitting infielder. The reasons for his deactivation from the Beats may have something to do with the resistance to his being classified as a "Beat poet."
March 12, 2005
2005 Jack Kerouac Memorial Game
Jack Kerouac was born March 12, 1922. Had he not died in 1969 he would today be 83.
Each year the Cosmic Baseball Association plays the Jack Kerouac Memorial Game (Index) to honor this American writer and avid fan of baseball. This year's game is between the books comprising Kerouac's "Legend of Duluoz" and Kerouac biographers/family members.
The Kerouac's win, 6-4, after staging a late game rally. Kerouac biographer, Dennis McNally, hit an important triple in the eighth inning to secure the victory. Leo Kerouac, Jack's father, closed out the game for the Kerouacs by throwing three pitches (in relief of Jan Kerouac, Leo's granddaughter, whom he never knew) to retire the Legends in order in the top of the ninth.
Research for the simulation of this personal cosmic game moved to the surface the consideration of just which books of Kerouac's belong to the Legend of Duluoz. for example, Kerouac's first novel The Town and the City, while on the game roster as a pitcher did not get into the game.
March 1, 2005
Cosmic Baseball Game Index
Over one hundred and fifty Cosmic Game Reports are currently available online at the Cosmic Baseball Association's website. In an attempt to organize the access to these game reports the CBA has overhauled the Cosmic Game Index. Available cosmic game reports are now organized by season, game type, and by home/away team. The Personal Cosmic Game main plate has also been reorganized.