Dead Letter Game
October 30, 2003
forced awake at dawn, stumbling into the darkness where the cold meets the wet eyes, stinging -- the basement rigged with heaters so the pipes won't freeze, wood stacked by the stove in a nest of old calendars, good matches, the kind that light anywhere, light everywhere

and shapes just far enough out in the field, deer nibbling the lower branches, the lower lip of the sun, that kind of surprise, that leading, leaning appetite that would, by attrition, carve his features into a manageable likeness

no mystery : what with the care of the caretaker, the first clearing of the fields in spring, that far-off look in the eye of the self-censored, who looks to the books discarded by relatives come and gone -- by the biting moon, a turned page here, a yellow burn mark there -- the coal-crease of pure reason :

to shake these elements through the screen on the other side of which the ash burns unharnessed, the lighter orange consonants tethered to a dying flame -- shutting down old eye lids (that old wish ((indelible

common things, in pairs -- one would have to go -- and just like that, taking an interest in destiny, whose table had long since been set -- and not knowing which "who" in the dark morning goes out masked as "why," trampling the frost underneath -- shapes that bridge the casual glance at philosophy, that filed away first cause, now notable in the advancing sunlight
October 29, 2003
whose life? why that one, just back of you (how the dark catches just left of the oak tree) -- last night in a dream i kicked and recoiled -- a small comforting loop in one's circuitry, a jutting of force as if suddenly shifted

that bad habit of going off without a plan -- cover the eyes : a source fire (cedar) burning through "syntax, idea, and image" -- in a grid, on a whim, low muddle of sleep, mainframe leads (four symbols) -- eight trigrams : three continuous, six broken, upward cup, overturned bowl, empty middle, full middle, defficient top, broken bottom

an ethical standstill, so the meeting out of pieces, the mixed measure of present/future

into that "not quite sun over the ravine, but a good enough light to write by," while summarily tired of that o sweet braced ambiguity, the means of which tends to exhaust -- deciding in the night a field-digital "slider" to best the form/structure and, oh, some kind of keep ing some panell ing      of          the              p a g e

well i imagined the tags off my wings to call an experiment "done" -- a success, the difficulty, in being "sustained" sans controlling the engine, the dark catches, the road, the jest, the countryside, the cold grown out, the cheering, the light on its way, the rattle in these six (weeks ((time
October 23, 2003
reflections in a window, subtle annuities, a hushed lifting, flexing the gut, music and meaning, each humble themselves, a kind of centergy, a hush until the storm rolls by, lost appetite, romantic shredding, stand on it, speak anew (the slump of convention

but, through all of it, a willingness if not a willingness to... -- evolves (exchange currency language) despite the burden of practice -- hope? a distracting desire for pleasure? -- get real

but so, in the "eastern" sense of something continued, a soon-to-be established order, when it should decline, saying "power" or quelled by the ruling labor lords, to prevent the threat of hard work, develop a theory of class warfare :

(1) a work ethic whereby wages are honorable substitutes for "real power"

(2) an ethic reinforced by language (media ((image

sustains outside the identified natural course of change in a changeless (over-extended) Dear M : i'm in the middle, being a writer my approach to the project we take by some coincidence, [they] having begun to explore the implications of that shifting and sliding whereby, language never settles long enough, so to the question dropped like a brick to the pebbly depths "what next?" -- we are close, so close, if only we...

and so on -- the past ... is past forever ... and no power ... of the imagination ... can bring it back again -- still, the doughy din of "effort" alive in the ink, the dross of "productive sojourn"

bad dreams, i would learn, breed bad politics
October 21, 2003
in cyclical time, but not without dew drops ticking off the seconds -- i would, or rather did, risk the permanent, and that's okay when the road is frozen -- nothing scans (or prints) better than the myth of permanence, don't you think? (plus the change ((a kind of planned invasion on the banks of poor weather

a casual glance back, i know, can usher in the next leap forward -- an early draft, stored and inaccessible, occurring now back then : a blue jay bottled in a window -- long fields, worrisome wander

throughout, a secret pattern in time, a drawing in which the lines repeat themselves -- on stage, a primitive word-wrap machine, whose frame conspires -- circular labyrinths, that is, or a curious species of proof in forecasting the play of sparrows building nests in the bluffs

in short, this would be spring soon as an "early utterance" or "sweet thrust" -- outside, a cease-fire over the issue of exhausted supplies, the demons repeating their pleas -- a fear of release, or a form of (new pursuit ((as asylum

lake (tui) under
heaven (chien)

the day restless and darkening : an elaborate scene of innumerable reductive iterations -- time to inch the world worms forward, one by one
October 16, 2003
why go further? -- for the smell of surfaces, of course, and the reach of pieces -- as always, two contending forces, the STRESS equal on both sides -- a day coming up misty, sullen, a studied format for the work gone by -- much "cleaner" without the hum of the machine, but then a "glare" insisting the eyes must ache

and what else? -- gross buffetings of a figure i could not yet fathom -- the image of a "verse play" in seven sections

bees rat-a-tap on the window
their corpses their corpses

but what i needed was a rouser to flush the extremes, a kind of zero-thought salving the silence while buffing the ruddy waxless tabletop -- in the cartoon version a "boy plato" juggling pebbles on a bridge over the babbling brook, which came to this :

- - - - - - -
- - -   - - -
- - - - - - -

but against him (boy plato) seem to swarm a hundred dancing pebbles (are the bees, no doubt), so in the play of lines the diagram bottoms out, becomes gravity say or a force soliciting friends disbanding -- in the house, just then, a bubbling gargantuan smoke devil (at times the wind cocooned in there, the air of all things, one and who and all ((

so (1) the trigram, in the wake of some moral/histœrical census taken with the following in mind (for these are his constant companions) : original stillness (wu chi) and the first action (tai chi), for which sufficed two companion methods : echoic rhyme (memory patterns) + linear symbolic tracing (a kind of mock haiku)

cupped in the wicker, the scuttling essence of closure, the one (boy) emptied out, in the roaming -- not one day (even this one) could he suffer the glut of that need to complete, fold, erase, and be done

for every pulpit, a finger puppet (tap tapping away)
October 14, 2003
back then, reality favored summaries and slight evangelisms -- puzzling, for what i seem to have done by striving deliberately backward was double the reflective power of the mirror held up to "now" -- simple encyclopedia of waves facing the ardent action off in a cluttered distance -- and elsewhere: the reverse of me though, today's valentine of consecutive, contracted nights

two rules (on a tight string) from the anti-poet : offer nothing special, formulate no hypothesis -- i had given everything up to the horror of good intentions, waylaid by snow (feet of it), so i "colored the night with a dream spell etching," my beard bearding, and notes to that imaginary future falling like dead blue snow :

in that quiet reserve, to call up the day when the days were spinning, the heron en route to its nest in the barren oak by the pond, and back in the room a deep faith in the "dance of perception" -- imagine the ruddiness and regionalism of the scene : the cord pulled to maximum tension, frost on the windows, the confessionalized "equipoise" of charged emotion -- it goes on, burrowing into its own tame, vanquished air

meanwhile, enough time (more than enough) to boil a cricket in the meandering melt of march -- then, and it would come without warning, the push to colonize a new machine, a "day on disk" in the guise of a "heart belied" -- mornings wasted in the din of that waiting, yes, but here, finally, was the wake-up call (that rule ((as brittle wind (((
October 9, 2003
to whom should i speak today? in this, my little tight room of doom -- in the absence of content, i had a chance to get healthy, and so my little problem of reflection

to err in the assumption that rules and objects do turn over (to ashes) when really the sad fact of repetition pulled a crazy haze across all mornings -- a system of restrictions

an early hour, like then and there, a dim yellow light, dust, a thin strand of web, the base notes and hum of electronic appliances -- looking for something to pull through the narrow channels of memory is too much the "elephant who brings death"

already, should you look -- to sounds, to heal the action (planting the garden to bring the page out of doors, out of fashion) as the child you could no longer be -- as if in your head you could wake to tomorrow's songs, as if in the sudden quiet shallow single signal

there is no intellectual exercise which is not ultimately useless (Borges) -- meanwhile, the groove readies itself for the one lately trying to perform one's way into that fun game [ writing, since thought was a kind of "eyes shut for a change" : or : the ERROR which tarnishes MEMORY ]

the rule itself makes real the model in anticipation of which (a music ((the acts which trigger unlikely fears
October 7, 2003
watching the ground swell after a deep saturating rain -- this god-voice from the one for whom the attitude is open

some of the things i'll take with : lines from a poem, the misery of winter, light across the river, amused by the suggestion (pomo is more glut than sequence)

i could only trap "the world's equation" in a slim slide -- facing east, one foot set, one hand sanctioned by a movement toward far light -- just one little adjustment and you're over it -- everythinge else, bad meandering

getting older was a discipline dressed in a snow blue under morning skies, or one way -- but the woods where the secrets backed up -- a day of walking as an early diet in reflexive and casual linking -- a plan of restrictions to rocket the meal into a forbidden orbit -- a set of lies, finally, under cover of a fine farce

as yet, no interest in ideology, but those days would come [to ashes]
October 2, 2003
a shadow figure, on a page more liquid than solid: i wanted to change but wasn't sure what the next step should be -- i took a walk, breathed, relaxed my way through that day, and the answer came before sunset : in the background, rooms share a pattern (of ((small (((

flies dead in the window wells warmed back to life when the fires got lit -- could make the house of your dying and the dying of all those eaten up (before you) -- i noticed, but the heavy whispering of their buzz concealed voices, large angry restrictions sprinkled at all four points of the compass

discipline that began as an earnest attempt to waylay method: "while here, conscious of here, while am-ing," and similar tireless passes (a dragon, a firm zero, the dream of leisure) around but never down into

by first light, wanting the all of mined data erased, eradicated -- dumb hope that a world of words is a spirited play (expecting it to be different), a light in the south on the neighbor's property as fixed point -- freedom as a "set of rules" or adjustment in the lower abdomen

soon the illness causing the blister to balloon, and from this the words fire
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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