Sunday, August 24, 2008

Readwritepoem #41

and the skeleton became a...


I was dealt a cold hand, and forced
to do work with the deck
I aced, aiming
at an artist’s approach.
I perfected a mechanic’s grip of double shuffle.
Below heaven I have marked
the sharp tooth of a mistigris,
round and daub, and I kept it
like reference point in my mind,
that will quash the trick of the dealer
and his overhand shuffle
that never quite cuts.


[1] And the glossary says:
a cold hand is a hand that was ‘arranged’ by another player to be a losing one.
An artist, a mechanic, a painter – a player that cheats. While a mechanic is more likely to be the one that cheats by arranging the cards when dealing them; a painter is more likely to be the one that cheats by marking the cards.
To do work- to cheat
A mechanic’s grip- a professional way of shuffling cards that could indicate that the person dealing is actually cheating.
Double shuffle, overhand shuffle – two ways of rearranging the cards to your advantage when dealing.
Round(s), daub - marked cards
A mistigris –a joker, an wild card

[2] based on the skeleteton from Dave's original . there might seem a long way from a tree to a player that cheats its cheating game, but after reading the original I was thinking that legerdemain will be a good word hoice for describing my player.


gautami tripathy said...

I too took his skeleton. Isn't it amazing how all of us interpret in our own ways?!

I like it!

My offering

Nathan said...

This is great. To say that the speaker has marked the wild card against a cheating dealer -- what a metaphor! I enjoy this very much.

christine said...

I'm so impressed with how you weave the imagery of the cards throughout the poem. Because of the condensed language, you are able to create an amplified world within the framework of a brief poem. true poetry at work here.

Annamari said...

I think this poem owes as much to its skeleton, as said the bear bones concept is the same even though I had not read Dave's poem before completing mine: ("legerdemain" means sleight of hand, one that performs magic tricks with his hands ).
The poem also owes much to this poker dictionary: since I do not gamble, unless you consider the games I played as a kid on matches.I was amazed to find the exact terms I needed and wanted to use for this exercise in a poker glossary.I was so happy for finding "mistigris" ...

AmbiguityLotus said...

Thanks for explaining the card metaphor going on in the notes and comments section! It helped me understand the poem better! I can imagine that it must've been a challenge to be able to pick words with PRECISION as you modified this (using Dave's skeleton, of course).

Great interpretation, and I enjoyed reading this! Oh, and thank you for visiting! :)

Dave said...

I love the extended metaphor. Very well done. I'm glad my skeleton proved so useful.

Annamari said...

" I can imagine that it must've been a challenge to be able to pick words with PRECISION as you modified this (using Dave's skeleton, of course). "

Now, beyond a lotus' irony , I always take my homework seriously or otherwise I'd flunk my accounting classes. ;)
Just think
at the difference between :
"the sharp tooth of a joker"
" the sharp tooth of a mistigris", in my humble opinion the second sounds so much better though the meaning is just the same.

...deb said...

I was completely taken by the language (love your notes - thank you - learned new words)...thanks for sharing your process.

This is more than a fantastic exercise - it becomes a meaningful poem, rich and wild.

The language heightens the poem, of course, but the idea behind it - the spirit of the skeleton - makes the rich words the metaphor.

lissa said...

quite a different take, I also have no knowledge of cards so the notes are helpful to understand the poem

I think the person speaking seem to have gotten use to this life and even go so far as to perfecting his craft

thanks for your visit and your nice comment

Crafty Green Poet said...

I don't play cards so this was fascintating to me. I like how you used the skeleton

Annamari said...

Neither do I. I only play cards with my kids but not poker obviously.
That is what made it so more challenging and the fact that everybody seemed to like it is so much more rewarding.
I guess the upside of writing in a foreign language is that you are always open at looking for new words and meanings .What I loved about the poker glossary was the fact that the words were so suggestive, so rich that made building a metaphor around them an easier task.