Robert Joe Stout

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My wives appeared to be very modernArtwork by Gene McCormick
but they were old-fashioned.
They talked ‘women’s liberation’
but insisted that I provide
money like their fathers
had earned. I didn’t earn
much money nor did I like
eight-to-five office jobs.
I liked muddy streets in Mexico,
performing plays in basement theaters,
baseball in cozy class A parks.
I wound up without wives
but I have Pinter to rehearse
and tickets to next Guerreros game.

Seven-Year-Old, Eleven-Year-Old at the Old Ball Park  

The crowd, the vendors, crack
of the bat—

Isaac, glove in hard
(so big he can’t move
the fingers), “Too high up!”

Noah: “I like
it, I can see

Ball disappearing against banks
of lights—“Watch
the fielders!” Beyond the bleachers
neon throbbing through
Seattle mist—

“Get your malts! Malts
here!” frozen so had
the ice cream splinters
little plastic

Acrobatic fielder’s
backhand flip to second:
Safe! “What happened?” “Why
they shouting?” “I needs
to pee!” Hot dogs
dripping catsup, P. A. booming
—smells around us
of spilled beer—

the scoreboard’s lighted numbers
telling where we were.


Robert Joe Stout lives and writes in Oaxaca, Mexico. His published books include the poetry volume Monkey Screams, a non-fiction analysis of U.S.-Mexico frictions over immigration and narcotics commerce and three novels, Miss Sally, Where Gringos Don’t Belong and Running Out the Hurt.