7-5 Back On The Grid

A confession: I have been obsessed with computer card games, first hearts, then spades and had to quit due to compulsive playing. The final straw of both was getting so mad at losing, I thought or blurted God —-. So, some weeks ago, I played chess. Hadn’t played it in some 50 years, never was any good at it. I played alternating between “normal” and “hard.” Over a week ago I quit for the same reason as the others. The poem is self-explanatory.

Back On The Grid


Even off the grid, during coffee,

bishops’ diagonal, knights’ jackleg and ripple

the black surface. The king bubbles on the bottom.


Not yet—later. Right. The queen,

graven on the cup, taunts, bares an ankle until


I robot to the screen, key “Expert.” 8×8 grid opens.

16 pawns genuflect; backrow regalia armed to pounce.

Black and white as there ever was.


The first pawn spawn’s today’s metastasis,

square to square, row to row, one by one they fall.


Beaten. Again. By Deep Blue’s kindergartener.

Damnit! Never     ever     resign—

X it off the grid. Start again. And again.


Win or lose, zero-sum outcome

Just a game. Live or die, for I,


the possessed. Just a game.