January 4, 2016

A Poem By Gerard Sarnat: "Orestes Of Theses, Not Thebes"

Gerry and his wife of 45 years live in the room above a daughter’s family’s garage. Grandkids wander in and out all the time. It’s great! When we’re not there, we live in a yurt where our son’s family lives off the grid between the Klamath River and Marble Mountains.
Gerard Sarnat MD received his education at Harvard where he was the editor of the freshman literary magazine The Yardling, and Stanford.  He established and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and was a Stanford professor.  


Gerry is published in over a hundred journals and magazines and is the author of three critically acclaimed collections:  HOMELESS CHRONICLES from Abraham to Burning Man  (2010), Disputes (2012), and 17s (2014) in which each poem, stanza or line has 17 syllables. 
For Huffington Post reviews, reading dates including Stanford, publications and more, visit GerardSarnat.com.  His books are available at select bookstores and on Amazon, and his work appears in literary magazines stocked by Barnes and Noble among other distributors.
Gerard has been featured this year as Songs of Eretz Poetry Review’s Poet of the Week with one of his poems appearing daily. Dr. Sarnat is the second poet ever to be so honored. As well, he is a featured poet in Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems, which is leading its weekly publication with Sarnat's poems for the month of July.

 





Orestes Of Theses, Not Thebes    


    “Minnie Minoso, the hugely popular All-Star outfielder from Cuba who became the major league’s first black player out of Latin America and a treasured figure in the history of the Chicago White, died on Sunday in Chicago.”
    -- New York Times, March 2, 2015


    Tip of the cap, if pepper chatter’s correct
Minnie’s real name was Orestes, but this odyssey
isn’t about Homer’s fleet son of Agamemnon
who left Perico outside Havana in 1922
to catch gappers in New York’s Negro League,
but rather Chi-town’s love of immigrant verve
-- even though most restaurants wouldn’t serve
his blue black ass despite Minoso making it
to the monied majors.

      Now that his tobacco-chawing
teammate Nellie Fox, the diminutive
farmboy second baseman who made us think
we had a chance, and archrival Cub shortstop
Ernie Banks are gone, realizing the greatness
of baseball on our Southside turf,  it is time
for the US to grow up and stop the Cuba boycott.
                            
                    Still what I recall fondest
beyond Minnie’s white-striped uni jacking
balls over Comiskey Field’s fence is the vagabond’s
“hit-by-pitch” record and that he played in four decades
-- the same it took my wife to get her Ph.D.
while raising three kids in our homefield dugout.

~Gerard Sarnat

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