Bowling Is My Life

Bowling Is My Life

Showing up at the lanes every day,

resolutely, I imagine that with experience

and a little luck, I'll figure out this game.

I put on the goofy shoes, select a ball,

and begin my approach, trying not to foul

or otherwise incur embarrassment.

Got to stay out of the gutter, I tell myself,

while always in fear of the dreaded 7/10 split.

I've nailed it, though always just by chance.

A 300 game won't happen, but I'm living

for the occasional, surprising strike and enough

spares to avoid those humiliating open frames

that so love to contaminate the score sheet

projected brightly overhead, inviting all to see

and pass dismissive, smirking judgement on.

George J. Searles

Originally from Jersey City, George J. Searles is a community college teacher in upstate New York.  He came to higher education from an earlier career in social work (max security prison, public assistance, state mental hospital). Writing textbooks to pay the bills and poetry because he has no choice, he is a former Carnegie Foundation New York State "Professor of the Year." He has published in 80+ lit mags, including The Alembic, California Quarterly, Chiron, Coe Review, Concho River Review, Footwork, Lynx Eye, Mad Swirl, Main Street Rag, The Potomac, Red Rock Review, Seneca Review, Southampton Review, Taproot, Third Wednesday, Trajectory, and others.


  1. I heard your publication had a broad view but bowling, man, you are brave.

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