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The Way

White Cousin

On Names

A Dirge

 On Training

A Kiss

  Give and Go

                                                              Hall of Fame




                                                          Full Court Press

 Philadelphia 1997


"It was a simple give and go."

Oscar Schentzel


Time was a professor thought,

And he thought of the next generation of men, and the next century of men,

And he thought of past generations of men, back to the greeks,

And he realized the beauty and the value of the pastimes of men,

And he realized that athleticism was part of the way

And a ball, and a goal, and law, all part of the way,

And so he invented basketball.


White Cousin

I am White Cousin, so named by the brothers at 11th and Lombard Streets in
The City of Brotherly Love.  You know the story.  White boy makes the grade on the black man's court.  Took me four Sundays.  The first I had to wait four hours to get in a game, and by that time virtually all the real players had left.  Second I waited two hours—you know the story.  When I finally got to play I showed them I could dish and defense was something I took serious and I was swift and I hustled like I was delirious.  They saw my value, and accepted me, and on the fourth Sunday I got picked up right away by the best player, who was there the whole fours hours that first Sunday I was there, and who picked me up with the words, I got White Cousin.


You know the story. 

On Names

It’s funny about names.  Everybody in the world got another name than his or her own.  I believe everyone chooses that nickname, in one way or another, makes it for oneself.  Makes it for one’s self.  Get it?  If you don’t get it, think about it.  Figure it out.  For example, I liked White Cousin and I let it stay.  If I didn’t like it, I woulda made sure nobody called me that.  I woulda jus said Yo, that ain’t my name.  My name is So and So, so jus call me that.  There’s etiquette in the world, and a person has the right to be called by the name that suits him.  And the same is true vice-versa—there is reciprocity.  I know guys who legally changed their names.  You know what that means don’t you?  It means they changed their identities.  You might say, no they just changed their names, they’re really the same person.  But then that jus means you don’t understand.  When a man adopts a name he is saying to the world and to himself, this is who I am.  The guys I know done it were changing their Gods.  You think if you change Gods you don’t change identities?  Ha!  Anyway, I accepted the nickname, and that means I had a hand in it.


Everybody’s got one that fits.  If yours don’t fit—and like clothes, if you don’t like it then it don’t fit—if yours don’t fit, get one that does, or none at all.


My penname, or penname, aka pseudonym, is Bo Changson.  That is because my father is Bo Chang, and I am his first son.  He got his nickname from a variety of sources.  It’s like a good meal that’s got a couple main ingredients and then assorted spices to boot.  So, too, with Bo Chang.  The Bo comes from the first two letters of his last name, and the Chang comes from his being the first in his neighborhood to sport a goatee, which itself came from his study of Chinese wisdom, something everybody already knew he did.  He had been called Bo first, and then when he went to college and got interested in the truth and the way, then some people started calling him Chang.  So some were calling him Bo and others were calling him Chang, so it naturally married and he became Bo Chang.  Just as naturally, I am Bo Changson.

My real name is Kevin Boyle, and I like that as much as I liked White Cousin.  It indicates I am of Irish blood, and there’s just as much reason to be proud of that as is there is to be American.  I unearthed our genealogy and found our coat of arms was a tree, and I discovered that Kevin means Kind.  I went to Ireland and spent two days with the oldest of our own clan, Denny Boyle, who tearfully recounted his unmarried, childless life.  He died a month after I knocked on his door.  And walking the 7 mile road from Creeslough to Carricart, I stopped at a pub and unexpectedly met the octogenarian who had seen my great-grandfather off to America—contrary to her expectations, she never saw him again.  Yes I have taken pride in my name, and I think that everyone should do the same.  My pride bids me say it again:

My name is Kevin Boyle…

A Dirge

Allow me a dirge.


John Harnice, Henry Smith, Dennis McGettigan,

Do you know each other now?

Do you know each other now?

I think you do, in this dirge, in this book, in this other life.

Harno, Hen-Do, Captain,

We are together now---we only need a fifth----

Who else is there?  Magic’s still alive…That was Jordan’s father…

Yo, Harno, good call, we’ll have a draft

Yea, Hen-Do, that’s true, we be the only team draften

Yes, Capten, that’s it, we get the first and only pick

Among the dead.

We could pick a girl.

Right, not if we’re talken about playen the best hoop we possibly can.

Who are we playen against?


Yea, against afucken eternity!  I love it!

We’ll win every game.  We’ll go undefeated forever, for the whole

history of the future of time!  The whole future of the history of

time!  We’ll never lose!

If we choose the right dude.  Who’s the best hoopster dead?

Or better, who’s the player we need?

John, you’re 3, Dennis, you’re 2, Henry’s 4, I’m 1—we need a 5.

You always need a 5.  Who’s the best five man dead?


Yo, we gotta play with George Mikan!



And Now Derek Smith


On Training


Squirrel away.

Like the reclusive lovers

of churches and libraries

squirrel away for when they are dead.

Squirrel away.

Live in hiding.

Train unseen and be prepared

for eternity.

A Kiss

I have seen Michael Jordan catch it in the post
with his back to the basket, fake baseline, turn,
fade, and kiss it off the glass and in.


Give and Go

Oscar made the first NBA basket ever,

And when interviewed about it later said,

It was simple give and go.


He who makes the first pass, scores last.


Hall of Fame

I got this watch on tonight, first time I had a watch on in ten years. 
And the last time I wore a watch I wore it for like a week, then discarded
it, cause I didn't like having something wrapped around my wrist and I
didn't and I don't believe in time.  In fact, I consider time irrelevant, an
invention of humanity which has no bearing or relation to the essential
truth of god or nature.  In fact, I think that time is the opposite of the true condition of god and nature, that the true condition of god and nature is
without time, is eternal, is the opposite of time.  So it is unusual that I would
be wearing a watch.  Again, it's uncharacteristic not only because of my philosophical intuitions regarding the irrelevance of time, but also because
my physical nature despises having something strapped around my wrist. 
But tonight my father gave me the watch he was given to commemorate his inauguration into the Big 5 Hall of Fame.  And though watches don't mean
shit to me, this watch means a lot to him, and it means even more for him
to give it to me, so I wear it proudly, still indifferent to time, and now
indifferent to the image presented by jewelry.


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