The Radical Free Agency of LeBron James

IMG_2056 (1)I spoke recently to the Department of Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College. I enjoyed reframing and revising the work on LeBron James’s “Decision” and “Return” that I published in Ball Don’t Lie! and also producing what I hope is an engaging visual accompaniment.

I hope you enjoy.




Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Headband

LeBron James

A poetic experiment, with apologies to Wallace Stevens


The cotton, nylon and spandex are blended

to provide superior softness, stretchy comfort

and to keep sweat out of your eyes,

so all you have to worry about is your game.


For eight dollars

you can own

your own NBA Logoman Headband®

that cost ten cents to produce.


Taut atop the 7’ frame

of the Big Dipper

the headband heightened

the threatened menace

of Goliath.


Slick Watts first

used duct tape

as a headband.


Big Ben was benched and fined

for wearing his headband

in defiance of his coach’s prohibition.


The rim,

the center circle,

and the headband are one


A laurel wreath,

a tiara,

and a headband are also one.


Caught in the hand of a young fan

a headband is a treasured relic,

cast-off effluvium

preciously captured and made holy.



the headband prevents

awareness of our own effort

from blinding us.


Absorbing the

sweat of your brow

the headband buys you time in Eden


Slipping ever higher, we conceal

the signs of time’s receding

with a headband.


On King James’ dunk,

the headband left him of its own accord,

knowing it was a redundant crown,

and that time could flow again.



How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Lebron


My title promises the story of a reason.  Of reason.  But there will be no reasons here, and less Reason.  Consider it more a chronicle of an evening adrift on a roiling sea of inclinations, of aversions and attachments, of affections and affinities.

Sometimes, I think that the whole teeming, cacophonous universe of basketball culture lives all inside me as in a lane tightly packed with jostling big men –  arguing with itself, voicing feelings it finds reprehensible, formulating analyses it finds arcane and over thought, impressed with its own subtlety, appalled at its own ignorance. Read more