Putting the Lou Gerhig in the Lou Gerhig’s Disease

I’ll write a mark, a letter, any number on my left hand

something, anything to remind me

of what I need reminding

could be anything

from as trivial as: get soap

to as important as: call mom

thank God for this pen to flesh

and the word becomes flesh

like a tattoo

is physical memory

to those who can see such melodies

off their arms

in such inspirational

off the cuff moments

that make up the cosmetics industry

that make us more beautiful

so that the abstract can be abstracted from reality

so that reality can be seen from our pretty dreams

how art can be both surface and symbol of what we have seen

for the symbol for


now reminds me

of an Asian superstition

4 meaning death

while in Yankee baseball lore 4 means Lou Gerhig

who lives on in folklore and statistics

the iron horse torn down by the disease that bears his name

and still it took 56 years

till anyone could pass the 2130 games he played

in a row

to know such luck to keep playing

even though everyone around you falls away

and the flesh becomes word

and though your soul is in heaven

your statistics are in Cooperstown.



5 thoughts on “Putting the Lou Gerhig in the Lou Gerhig’s Disease

  1. steve

    With no disrespect to Lou Gehrig and family, it’s almost fitting that the iron man would suffer from muscle atrophy complications like what is this body, but decay anyway. There’s a heavy irony or something in his life.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Life lives in the spotlight of the shadow of death, sure. An inherent satire, absolutely. Still, more often than not I see we pick our diseases and the fall of Lou Gerhig is even stranger than Jackie Jensen giving up baseball a year after leading the league in RBI because of a fear of flying. He was already soaring, how could he not see that?


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