Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Outsider Poetry By Thomas L. Vaultonburg

It's early voting day here in Illinois. It's after midnight and I'm not nearly done with my day. I have yoga left and I'm waiting for the fantasy football waiver wire to come through and then I'll shower and get ready for bed. 

Later today I'll vote for Hillary Clinton. 

Earlier in the week I tried to organize all the poetry I had written since my last book, Submerged Structure, which I finished writing over ten years ago. I had to go through old computers and blogs to track down all the poems, and I'm sure I missed a few, but here are a couple I don't believe I have published anywhere on the internet.

On the Idea of the Perpetual 
Virginity of Mary

How satisfied Mary found herself
In the days and years after the son of
The only male lover she had ever known
Left to work in his real father's company
Having her virginity confirmed over and over
Before softball practice and after knitting sessions
By the respectful but cunning finger of Salome
While Joseph and his flock
Of bastards were out salvaging copper
And tin from the abandoned summer
Homes of the Pharisees.
How Mary trembled and convulsed each
Time her maidenhead was re-established
By Salome's expert fingers, and later in life
Her quick, darting tongue.
Meanwhile Joseph kept up the ruse by bedding
Every loose Jezebel in Nazareth and continuously
Adding to his construction crew of bastards.
They were by all accounts a model family
And fully comfortable knowing they were establishing the
Precedent for conservative family values
-Thomas L. Vaultonburg

Redefining Luxury

I shook my
Money maker
And your momma's
Hearing aid
Fell out

Made In Taiwan

as a poet 
i am a maker
of trinkets
but at night
the Chinese
see me working
under the light
of my green lantern
and pine

I don't know what any of those poems mean. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Outsider Poet's Thoughts On the 2016 Fantasy Football Season

The fantasy football season officially starts tomorrow night, but for many Americans the nightmare has been going on for weeks now. I promised myself I wouldn't do any early drafts this year after the Jordy Nelson fiasco last year, but as August got here it just became very difficult to think about anything else. Us outsider poets are funny like that.

Another complicating factor is that fantasy football had been made illegal in 23 states, including the one I live in, so the platform I have been using since I started playing fantasy, CBS Sports, wasn't offering games in my state. In the past I had also used CDM to do a few drafts just for variety, and because I liked their platform, but I chose to do all my drafts on Yahoo this year just so I could have them all in the same place.

I drafted in 12 leagues. or I will have after my final draft of the season tonight. Like most fantasy players, I decided to go wide receiver heavy in the early rounds, and Jordy Nelson was a big part of that push. I wasn't able to get Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Jr., Julio Jones, or DeAndre Hopkins at all, but I did upset the apple cart for some in my earliest draft by taking Allen Robinson in the first round, a move so audacious it upset many of the other drafters, even though Robinson is now considered a solid first rounder in most drafts. Lot of Jory Nelson in the second round. Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Brandon Marshall. followed in a lot of drafts by snapping up Lasean McCoy where I could get him, then back to the wide recivers with players like Jarvis Landry, Golden Tate, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker etc then stacking up a few bum running backs like Ryan Mathhews and Rasheed Jennings, though I started to feel really good about Melvin Gordon and Gino Bernard early on. 

In terms of quarterbacks in the half of my drafts that were live drafts I waited. A long time, and took a combination of Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, even Osweiller. It remains to be seen if this tactic will be successful, but it allowed me to add Delanie Walker and Zach Ertz in a lot of leagues where I might have taken a Tight End later.

My revelation this year was that auction drafts rock. In fact, after discovering auction drafts I doubt I'll ever do another live draft. Being able to bid on any player at any time allows you to really shape your team exactly the way you want it. For instance, I don't even like drafting in the first two rounds, and in an auction draft I don't have to. I can watch everyone else overspend (in my opinion) for players that aren't twice as good as the players I will eventually pay half as much for. Sure, they're better players, but not twice as good. It's just a blast to wait and have that bankroll when the players that pop your cork come up and no one can take them away from you just because it's their pick.

It remains to be seen if I do better in the live draft or auction leagues, although I suspect I did much better in the auction drafts. It was a fun drafting season, and I'm glad Yahoo was doing drafts, even though their platform is slow as molasses, and I know Sundays will be a nightmare if I have to do last minute changes. Such are the trials of an outsider poet playing fantasy football.