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Syndic Literary Journal

Deep Chess

Narrated by Nitin Jagdish




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 




Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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