had logo

Dream shake is the biggest

crossover between poetry

and basketball—crossover

like an overlap,

not like an ankle breaker—

because, see, on the way 

home after the game the night before,

I realized I whipped out

a dream shake on a guy

and got the bucket

but then had four turnovers

after that trying to do too much

that I can’t do anymore and I 

shouted at myself

All you gotta do is dream shake

some motherfuckers!

I still talk to myself

like I’m 21. Aren’t we

always 21 or 12 in our minds?

Never 37. Never 49. Never 64,

but I wasn’t wrong—

all you gotta do is dream shake,

(It’s almost better if you have no idea 

what I’m talking about.

Invent your own dream shake.)

as if it’s easy

to shake a dream, to shake

a linger, a hanger-on, a won’t-leave,

a spirit in the kitchen

who greets you at eggs

every morning, stuck to you

like The Glove and you can’t

drive the lane let alone

get to the toaster without

it—that spirit’s up in your face:

life, a squad of haunts in your face.

You can’t shake

every dream.

All you gotta do is 

dream shake some motherfuckers!

You can up-and-under

your life a hundred times,

yes yes you gotta dream shake—

life works out if you up-and-under,

if you show-and-go—spinning &


foot grows roots while

the rest of you, spins & spins & spins.

You gotta lose the life.

You gotta make it dizzy,

life like some memory

who thinks he can stop you,

who thinks you’re no shot.

You turn and face.

You spin.


Spin back.

Hold it out, a MacGuffin

in a half-moment,

pull it back in,

reality in your palm,

slipping from your sweat,

and they tell you to always

go hard,

to always be 100, to

never give up—

but what they don’t tell

you is that

the opening

for the shot comes

when you face up

to your opponent

and the basket beyond


but then you fade 

just a little bit