Dead Letter Game
September 30, 2003
up early, nattering into a bucket, which passes for a typewriter for a time machine -- in the arch-reservations of vainglory, the buddy-buddy "necessity" of filling in gaps -- all of these were pages, and in that still quiet preserve, nothing would ever come of it : except :

the smell of electricity -- i did look the part of the caretaker but stop, reverse direction, review the rules, carry on -- the rush to project mental spaces onto a waiting page "at work in my body"

consider this an opening, a venturing out -- the water in the pot kept coming out black -- and yet, I never left that place, scuttling chairs from room to room, that very moment (all of them) a dance of little appeals -- some days, it takes longer to admit...

i liked the hunger best, the fear of the flame before the ashes, the occupied diversionary transition as ploy, as seasons apply, writing to know just prior to recognition, before appropriation -- or the frame "we construct from your body," the face in the air, the heavy scale of winter
September 25, 2003
My Picks for the Week (winners in bold)

avoided at embraced
fragments at casual links
field at house
move at capture (shut-out)
explained at that reversed
surfaces at surfaces (rain delay)
articulation at play
"Moments of conviction" at Do/Make
escape at missing words
September 10, 2003
Dead Letter Game: User Manual (notes for assembly)

1. Rules and Objects [past...] (review/context/obsessions/concerns)

- What were the rules? (did, did not, could, could not, you would, you might have, avoided, embraced, must have, could have, ...)
- What were the objects? (to..., the first to..., ...)
- What were the objects? (local things, pieces, "fragments," "casual links," "secrets" (Hocquard)

         [to ashes]

2. Equipment [present] (derived from R&O)

- Surfaces? (board, table, court, rink, ground, field, room, house, neighborhood, town, city, space, memory, head, data, ...)
         [what comes up / emersions]
- Pieces? (manipulate, move, choose, direct, exchange, capture, trade, value, fetish/extension, sign, symbol, substitute)
         [free radicals]

3. Preparation [present / future]

- What to do before play begins? (established, laid out, clarified, explained, or that reversed)
- How arrange pieces (equipment) and on what surfaces?
- How prepare surfaces?

         [realm of question, caution]

4. Play [future +]

- To play, as play, in play
- Articulation of a secret
- No turning back, just gathering
- "Moments of conviction" (Hocquard)
- Do/Make

5. Keeping Score [(free tense)]

- How list? How escape? What list? What escape?
- What learned? (as missing words)

September 1, 2003

Memories are words, phrases, spoken things. Not the past nor pieces of the past but language and pieces of language in the present.

Contrary to the nostalgic elegist who proclaims his longing for the golden age, innocence and paradise lost, the reverse elegist, who loves to laugh, study and play, makes a deal, trading ennui and a serious spirit for play, work for study and sadness for delight.


"I'll do what the others do, but backwards. I'm going to rifle through the trashcan of my past and the waste of history. With this miserable material, disparate and anecdotal, in other words, very private, I'll see what footage can be saved to edit. Yes, I'm an editor."

Now, scrutiny will reveal nothing in particular if not perhaps an above normal rate of past tense. It is, in fact, quite unusual to find verbs in the future tense in an elegy. And when there is one, it is generally in the form of a negative. E.g.: I will never see you smile at me again. The elegiac poet is a resolute pessimist.

The reverst elegist flees representation ... plays with things as they exist ... with language as it exists ... does not turn back ... does not dig ... gathers ... .

The Recipient the Messenger the Letter.
Three maps.
A game played in fifteen rounds.

Let us say period. Let us not deplore the slow-
ness of the mail.

A small enterprise of assembling loose pieces
and its network of distribution in spaces we call

The messenger delivers his message to the
messenger opposite.
The message contains the words that cannot be

Grammar and fiction are one.


[Emmanuel Hocquard, This Story Is Mine (Instress '99), A Test of Solitude (Burning Deck '00)]

Round One: Ex Nihilo [06.05.03 - 08.22.03]

Round Two: Futures [09.30.03 - 12.27.03]

Decom(press/posit)ion [01.01.04 -

Flip the Page: the body of the assassin {blog}

06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 / 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 / 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 / 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 / 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 / 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 / 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 / 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 /

An experiment in memory excavation and obsessive existentialist detailing, Dead Letter Game is ideal for one or more players ages 12 and up. The game once started plays indefinitely. Players will soon recognize that the end is in sight but ever receding on a horizon replete with potential outcomes. This is not a continuous present so much as a persistent continuum. To stop and start again is to play the same game only differently. Do not be startled if patterns emerge, which is normal under ideal playing conditions. The game as played here is neither the all nor the part of it. Down to the very letter as well as out beyond its margins you will find the dead letter game, whole and in progress. An open-source document, DLG automatically self-absorbs upon completion, returning to the epistolary commons from which it came.

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