“Exit From Hockeytown” by Matthew Olzmann

A new piece by alumnus and former Beebe Fellow Matthew Olzman (poetry, ’09) appears online in Some Call It Ballin:

Exit From Hockeytown

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Sometime early in my parent’s marriage, a “news” story aired on one of the major networks in Detroit. My aunts and uncles tell several versions of the story, but the one I remember best goes like this:

The reporter looks at the camera and says, Despite hockey’s popularity in the area, few people know where hockey pucks come from, or how they’re made.

They grow on trees.

Not many people know this but there’s a type of tree where the sap leaks out, drips from the bark, and collects at the end of the branches. As it hardens, it slowly turns into nearly perfect rubber discs. These are harvested and used as pucks on ice rinks everywhere. 

Continue reading online.

 

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