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West 4th Basketball Court

Recommended by

Victoria Redel Author

on October 18th 2007

  • Info

  • Address

  • West 4th Street at Sixth Avenue
  • New York
  • NY
  • 10012
  • Greenwich Village
  • Opening Hours

  • Daily sunrise-1am
  • Directions

  • A B C D E F V to West 4th St
  • Map

  • Click to view Map


Victoria Redel Says

The Player

At noon I watched men playing basketball.
I hung against the fence envying them,
the way they didn't look at each other
but drove the rough ball up and down court
passing it through their ready hands.
I wanted to be these men.
They were not the bodies of soft edges.
It was vertical jump and wrist, their breasts
shook tensely coming down from a shot.
It seemed that nothing in the city loved a woman,
even the street where steam
rose through the black grates lifting up my skirt.

There's not much more from those months.
Yellow lilies arranged in Mason jars,
when the petals unhinged and fell--
little rafts on the furniture.
I lay around in front of a rotating fan, listening
to a woman close by practicing her opera scales.
Italian songs twisted in air currents through my room.

All around me the buildings were fat with women
singing about love or saying nothing for days.
I cared nothing for Traviata or Don Giovanni.
I wanted only to be a player
with a disciplined body;
to pass the ball like a globe,
easily and without looking
dunking that round world, hoop after hoop,
with no other ambition than to move

by Victoria Redel (from Swoon).

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