Roger McCloskey

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Artwork by Gene McCormick

Snap the pig skin, #42 Fullback Draw, cleats digging the turf, attract 
a crowd of yellow jackets, take a head on hit, it's just a face, don't worry
if you gain a thousand yards, maybe they'll get you a new one That's the way to stick 'em, Clyde Bust his ass good Show them who the boss man is Half back sweep, #28 running wide, pulling muscle beach guards, miss
a crucial block outside, a blindside, clothesline tackle That's all right, #28 You'll be back in no time It's just a broken neck You only got what you deserved You're lucky you didn't make him mad Mr. Clyde, he pretty bad tonight Drop back eight yards and pass, time the wide receiver's pattern down field
one half a second late, create a collision course in the seams of the defensive zone Stick that boy in the ribs, Clyde He's got no business on your side of the field These boys gotta learn they be in your league now Fourth down seventeen yards to go, sign up for the suicide squad, chase
the punted ball toward the return man, don't worry about what might get
in your way, if it doesn't move knock it over, make Astro turf out of it, if
it's alive and it's not wearing the same colored jersey as you make sure as
hell he's much better off dead anyway Show them nice fans at home who's number one, Clyde You're on National TV Smile your ass off, baby Show them pearly whites They cost enough to fix Good thing you can write them off Cause you’re a C LEB RA Tee Whistle blowing dead the play, flying yellow penalty flags on the play That's a personal foul #27 Defense Flagrant face masking That's 15 yards and an automatic first down.
When play resumes it will be red ball on their own 45 yard line play will
resume when they're done strapping that man on the stretcher, these things take time, they're worried about the spinal cord, one
paralyzed guy a game is more than enough already Tough break, Clyde I guess you showed that sucker who's boss Now you get back out there and kick some real ass Show those mothers what this game of football is all about Whatever you say, man, you're the coach


Spinning wheels, choking hot exhaust fumes, dull roaring engines, bumping fenders, the smell of burning rubber

Sweating in the cheap seats, cut off white paint smeared blue jeans, pale blue polyester tank top, brown bagged Budweiser quarts, redlined, bulging egg yellow fish eyes

Cheap crashing shots, breaking glass, hanging fenders, gasoline dripping on the wreckage bearing roadway, hot black oil sputter­ing, spattering, dripping

Fat middle aged rolls, exploding purple blotching veins, yellow K‑Mart shorts, ketchup and cooking oil stained, pink tank top, sagging stretching bra, hard packs of Marlboro, Cricket lighters, missing front teeth, near sighted black velvet eyes

Steeled meshing gears, screeching bald tires, sliding out of control, out over the roadway, the gas,  the smoke and the flame

Fourteen years old, bare chested, denim vested, smoking unfiltered Camels, handmade blue tattoos, Born to Raise Hell stoned eyes, no shoes, no socks, hunching forward squinting

White helmeted drivers, black sliding plastic face shielding visors, thick leather gloves, hot clinging asbestos jackets, tight strapping seat belts, thick medal roll bars, splintered, shattered windshields

Black printed 4 out of 5 doctors and dentists recommend Oral Sex custom designed t-shirt, the fat flapping day-glo tongue, the unwashed, stringy, shoulder length blonde hair, torn too tight jeans, flip flopping shoes, hickey spotted neck, pouting red painted lips, crazy tainted eyes, maybe 15, 16, 17 years old

Boiling, steaming, spitting radiators; spilling car guts, hanging bumpers, dragging mufflers, sparking, clanging metal dragging against the dead gray and black stained concrete

Squirming, yelling, fighting children, strings of fire crackers exploding beneath the bleacher seats, drugged mother slapping loud children, fathers fingering their thick Jack Daniels buckled belts, motor grease grime, dirty faces staring back, grim, determined, defiant

Twisted, ruined metal, deflated tires and burning rubber, car graveyard wreckage, over the garbled loudspeaker system : Car #26 looks like a winner

The sweating, clustered crowd, penetrating Raceway lamps, rank smells of rubber and filtered cigars, of gun powder, leaking gasoline, spilt beer, the poison clouds of hot exhaust fumes

Roger McCloskey’s latest work in progress is “The Race Car Driver’s Anxiety at the Pace”.