Miller Park: A Reverie

You probably take the strange hyper-saturated light at Miller Park for granted.  It reminds me most of Oaxaca de Juarez, where strange birds dart in the branches and the Mixtec weave of cloth is worn by everyone – inimitable, the same but always different – and in the hair of the women, young and old – and the uniform of the men who are not working.  It’s a sort of zocalo I suppose, Miller Park, a town square, a little adjacent maybe, off-center.  The marvel is that it is so often out-of-doors light.  I don’t know anywhere else in Milwaukee where the light is tinged and intense as it is at Miller Park. 

On passing the turn-style for the first time the experience is what, if not a cinematic one?  From the first green glimpse of the playing field, a homing-in.  Like the famous shot in Vertigo.  The Dolly-Zoom.  But the camera never settles: it weaves its ambulatory way round and around.  The portals where we settle first are invariably the elongated mezzanine spaces where the game appears to be framed in wide-screen in all its grandeur, already under way.  You will forgive me, then, for focusing on the saturation of the light & the stirring currents within it: it’s an architectural feature of the place, deliberate, clever.  To linger at one or another of these spots is sport enough.  The spectacle fixes us: but it is early in the game . . .

    Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam’d wing!
    O! The one life within us and abroad 
    Which meets all motion and becomes its soul 
    A light in sound, a sound-like power in light . . .

Yes, we will take our seats.  But it is not obligatory.  It is never an exact or definitive allocation at Miller Park.  A subtler transaction.  Instead, this gyring round.  Good beer is hard to find.  We learn to prioritize adjacency.  There are several different and harmonious kinds of action to be found. 

And this is well.  For the game of baseball appears to this foreigner not so much in its immediate brightness and spectacle, but in its rhythm, in its peculiar duration, in its intervals.    But light is rhythm.  The wave-length of the game, the period, the repetition, the sustain.  The afternoon elapses slowly, and has no strict need of musical accompaniment because it takes this form in time.  But the organ player is our friend.  The punctuation of the score becomes imperative.

Robert Stark

About Robert Stark

Dr. Robert Stark is a poet and the author of A Middle North and Ezra Pound's Early Verse and Lyric Tradition. He is also a lecturer. Follow him on Twitter at @thosecreatures.

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