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#1Let's play the game of
no one ever tells you the rules
so the audience can laugh
while you fumble helplessly
in the dark,
a harlequin with a painted smile,
the mute pain clenching
your mouth in a line
that will only relax
when the curtain falls.

OR

#2Let's play the game of words,
and bathe in the spill of the rant with no end
and no beginning -
and all leading back
to the word before words
and the word outside words
and the river and cloud and body
that is word within word
encircled by word
play with me
play with
play

OR

#3Let's play the game of
trails that lead under railroad trestles
to internet assignations,
walking after midnight (no eye contact)
in the circle of the suburban enclave,
counterclockwise to banish pain
bisected by water captured
in pvc down the monkeyhole
with the step-on counting-1/2-miles lid,
and off to the side:

the discarded femur of an unknown animal,
the bitter kudzu seeds and itchy eyelids,
the greedy snatch of blackberries,
the blessing way of the manx cat,
the bamboo thicket drainage ditch,
the don't-cry-for-me figs,
the hive in motion
swirling angry shouts
at careless drivers,
deserted swings, and
inherited daylilies.

Gliding through lightpools.
Counting luckystars.

OR

#4Let's play the game of
nothing means anything -
it's all pure chance -
and belief systems are only
arbitrarily self-assigned
security blankets clutched to
nervous over-the-shoulder glances
in a dark-alley universe.

OR

#5Let's play the game of
everything means something.
Like the fact that the garden
produced two rosebushes this year
when none were there the year before.
Like the fact that one was red
and one was white
rosered and snowwhite
lancaster and york
wars of the roses
war and peace
and everything going two by two:
where there's one, there's more -
or at least another -
two hostas,
two teddy bears,
two birthday balloons,
two cats named Blue,
two backyards with moss,
two roots to be dug,
a blue Pacific juniper
and a blue Alaskan basil,
and that's only in the last week,
ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

OR

#6Let's play the game of
you make up your own rules
as you go along,
willfully disobedient
to all authority
except the one that resides
in your own heart.

OR

#7Let's play the game of
chance, drawing life
at random out of a fishbowl
(gotta take whatcha get)
or purchasing life like a
lottery ticket:
can you afford one this week?
And what are the odds?

OR

#8Let's play the game of
love: Not the strain bred
in a petri-dish illusion
of fairytales and pheromones,
but rather the sure current
that survives timeslips
to surge forward.
Triumphant. Focused. Eternal.

Karen decided to play game #8 -
which game do you play?

Copyright 2001 Karen Thompson

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