23 October, 2005

'Deep Chess' by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Life itself like championship chess
dark players jousting
on a checkered field
where you have only
so much time
to complete your moves
And your clock running
all the time
and if you take
too much time
for one move
you have that much less
for the rest
of your life
And your opponent
dark or fair
(which may or may not be
life itself)
bugging you with his deep eyes
or obscenely wiggling his crazy eyebrows
or blowing smoke in your face
or crossing and recrossing his legs
or her legs
or otherwise screwing around
and acting like some insolent invulnerable
unbeatable god
who can read your mind & heart
And one hasty move
may ruin you
for you must play
deep chess
(like the one deep game Spassky won from Fischer)
And if your unstudied opening
was not too brilliant
you must play to win not draw
and suddenly come up with
a new Nabokov variation
And then lay Him out at last
with some super end-game
no one has ever even dreamed of

And there's still time-
Your move

-- Lawrence Ferlinghetti


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