Tony Gloeggler
One Wish Left

Paperback Edition
80 pages, perfect bound in a flat matte finish
6 by 9 format
ISBN: 1-886350-98-1

From an exclusive pavement saw listserve interview with Tony Gloeggler:

DB: Many people think you are the basketball poet of our generation. What constitues a great basketball poet?

Tony Gloeggler: "To begin with you would have to rather play basketball than write or read poetry even now when you are old and slow on the court. It would help if you wanted to be Dr. J, the Dr. J when he was flying through the ABA with his pumped up Afro, when you grew up and then you have to play, write a lot."

"A good basketball poet can go both right and left and can break down his man. He plays tough, tight-to-the-skin D, boxes out well, rebounds in a crowd. He can see the whole court, find the open man and hit an open jumper."

"A great basketball poet is fundamentally sound, but shows you something new every time he steps on the court. He makes the people around him better and wants the ball when the game is on the line."

Some of these poems first appeared in Bogg, Bottomfish, Chiron Review, Coal City Review, 5AM, Graffiti Rag, The Ledge, Mangrove, Manhattan Poetry Review, The Montserrat Review, Mudfish, The New York Quarterly, One Trick Pony, Pavement Saw, Pearl, Potato Eyes, Puerto Del Sol, Rain City Review, Rattle, River City, Urbanus, West Branch, Wisconsin Review and Yellow Silk. The following were anthologized: "Rock N Roll" in Essential Love (Poetworks, An Imprint of Grayson Books, 2000), "One On One" in Full Court: A Literary Anthology of Basketball (Breakaway Books, 1996); "Quincy, California" and "Midnight" in SPLIT VERSE (Midmarch Arts Press, 2000); and "Lucky" in The Cancer Poetry Project (Fairview Press, 2001).

"Gloeggler's poetry is a harsh music, dissonant and true. These are rock 'n roll songs of love and lust, of the persistence of lonliness and the power of memory. A book with duende to spare, One Wish Left takes us into Bruce Springsteen's 'darkness on the edge of town' and offers us his battered valentines."
-- Kim Addonizio

A non basketball poem from One Wish Left:


I never told anyone
how you crept into my bed
when thunder cracked and wind
whipped wet branches against bricks
or when creaky pipes were burglars
sneaking up hallway stairs

How we hid under covers
held each other close
when daddy came home late
and mom called him a drunken bum
and he said he couldn't stay
in the damn house staring
at her fat face every night
and she screamed go to hell
and he yelled don't you ever
raise your voice to me again
and she cried let go of my hair
Johnny please don't hit me
and he said just shut up
you fucking bitch
and fix us some coffee

And you went back to your bed
started to breathe easy
sigh even sleep sounds
as that rich dark smell
crept under the door
and filled the bedroom

"I would love to keep these poems to myself, to clutch them to me secure in the knowledge that there is someone somewhere who gets it, someone who can translate the staccato beat of a basketball on the blacktop, the sweeping touch of a lover's hand, the sweat sparked by hard honest work, the myriad insecurities that rumble beneath the surface of our lives. Tony Gloeggler is that person. His tough, lyrical language stuns and excites. He's just too damned good to be a secret."
--Patricia Smith

"Tony Gloeggler's poems are full of wonder, good humor, and soul. They hold nothing back. They hit home, one after another, creating a world in full color, full volume, full sweat and tears, full court, full-tilt boogie."
-- Jim Daniels