To Razor Shines Dear Mr. Shines: Razor, do I have to live a life others want for me, just because they’ve chosen it for themselves? When I look at your baseball card, I see the back yard of the house I grew up in, where hubcaps bloomed beside black-eyed-Susans. I see myself sitting at a round, burgundy spray-painted wooden table, slurping a glass of iced tea as I read and memorize the names of ballplayers and the various cities and towns they hail from. For instance, Razor is your middle name. Durham, North Carolina, intrigued me: it was somewhere and something different from what I knew; hundreds of miles away from the constant yelling, screaming, kicking, and punching; from the rubber boots, pumps, and knives the adults in my family hurled at each other as well as me. Your name; your career in The Show; your time as a Montreal Expo became a hope that I could make a different reality for myself; that I could find my own way to be present in the moment without knowing precisely how things would work out. And I am grateful to have this card, this marvelous window, where I can still see and hear some chickadees, perched on a clothesline; their gold chatter cracking a concrete patio.
Joey Nicoletti is the author of four books and four chapbooks, most recently Boombox Serenade (BlazeVOX, 2019) and Counterfeit Moon (NightBallet Press, 2016). Of course we are partial to his collection THUNDERSNOW because we published it.