Makin’ Jump Shots

By Michael S. Harper b. 1938
He waltzes into the lane
’cross the free-throw line,
fakes a drive, pivots,
floats from the asphalt turf
in an arc of black light,
and sinks two into the chains.

One on one he fakes
down the main, passes
into the free lane
and hits the chains.

A sniff in the fallen air—
he stuffs it through the chains
riding high:
“traveling” someone calls—
and he laughs, stepping
to a silent beat, gliding
as he sinks two into the chains.

Michael S. Harper, “Makin’ Jump Shots” from Images of Kin. Copyright © 1977 by Michael S. Harper. Used by permission of the poet and University of Illinois Press.

Source: Images of Kin (University of Illinois Press, 1977)

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Poet Michael S. Harper b. 1938

Subjects Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities

 Michael S. Harper

Biography

Acclaimed poet and teacher Michael S. Harper was born in 1938, in Brooklyn, New York. Known his innovative use of jazz rhythms, cultural allusion, historical referent and personal narrative, Harper is “a deeply complex poet whose mission is to unite the fractured, inhumane technologies of our time with the abiding deep well of Negro folk traditions,” said John Callahan in the New Republic. Harper does this, noted Poetry reviewer . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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