XGames / found poetry

When you’re five feet tall at the Aspen XGames, you might not see much!

Holding up my phone, I could capture a bit of the slopes. At one point, I felt bold and knifed through the crowd declaring, “Five-footer coming through!” But I didn’t stay up front for long. Some ditzy woman high on something waggled and hooted and flung her arms about in a way that made me fear for my safety. Gawd.

Even though I couldn’t see much, I’m glad we went. It was an experience. Maybe not an experience of viewing elite snowboarders doing astonishing things, but an experience nevertheless.

You watch these tricks (when you can at last see them watching YouTube from the couch) and wonder: how? Not only how is such a feat possible, but how does one practice it? There are precipices involved, speed, and heart-stopping defiance of gravity. You gasp. And since records keep being broken you also wonder, is there a limit? Three spins, four. Is five next?

But I’m not here to discuss sports. I’m here to appreciate vocabulary, in particular the kind of specialized vocabulary that grows around something unique and novel. It’s musical even when you haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about.

I recorded some announcer comments one evening. It’s a found poem of sorts.

My rules for found poetry (I’ve posted some here before) are: no added words and words must be in the order that they were uttered. Enjoy!

XGames 2023 Found Poem

I guess that was a drifting back rodeo?

That was the definition of air awareness!

He’s going way too big and yet somehow he’s still alive.

Sometimes you get away with it.

Total destruction.

Does a butter.

What’s he got for Run Four?

Ooh what?

Who needs a grab?

You heard that collective groan.

‘Course he’ll get another chance.

Backslide 180.

That’s the great thing about Knuckle Huck.

This is overall impression.

I like the hand touch behind the back.

That’s my favorite part, the sway.

Almost a double clutch.

We’re under the two minute warning.

The beauty.

Contest period.

Double tango from the Icelandic legend there.

Just to take a regular run on a forked bird is haunting.

Being the dude at the bottom.

I woulda rolled out of the way.

Cap off Chipotle Knuckle Huck with Marcus Cleveland.

That’s a 1440.

That was absolutely ridiculous.

If you want to gasp yourselves, YouTube has tons of footage.

** Erasure Poems are a form of found poetry that start with a source document. I used a letter from Eliza Lucas Pinckney to her father HERE to create a few variations.

And here’s a poem made from football game commentary.

7 thoughts on “XGames / found poetry

  1. Nancy

    Experience is surely the word!
    We heard “dancing through the raindrops of accountability” on the news when a lawyer said this about trump never being held accountable. I bet you could write some interesting poetry from some of those news stories! ha

  2. Faith

    Ooooooh I should try this with soccer games. There’s one commentator who uses the most colorful phrases. I might have guessed the boarding poem source, but not the football one. I lso like the idea of the erasure poems. Hmmm . . .

  3. Liz A

    Faith – as a recent soccer aficionado (now that Austin has a team) I agree that the commentators are far more interesting than in some other sports

  4. Liz A

    And Dee … I can relate … even at 5’6″ I couldn’t see a blasted thing whenever we went to live music venues that were SRO …


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