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Quiddler Poem: a single 7-round game of playing-card word-game Quiddler used as random generator for poem development. The final round of 10-card hands begins the poem, moving backward through to the first round of 3-card hands. Quiddler words are all-caps.

Thanksgiving 2021. Game #2.

Slung over the table lamp, an UNCLEAN PEEL

Held a heady memory of TIP-TOE SEX.

Over the chairback a CLEAN FROCK

Gestured toward an ebony BRAID, seeming

Disembodied from the slumbering blankets, yet

Somehow SEXY in its foreignness,

Allowing a HINT of SIN that NO amount

of WIT could allay his urge to EAT.

His hand began to ROAM under the cover, sightless

And a real GOER, in the elements

Without a GLOVE, to SET

upon what felt a PERM with an

unset EPOXY, seaming smooth a languid QUAD.

Where could his hand GO next and not

BE THINE, heraldic HEN?

though yesterday’s spent appetite had turned to ROT.

Thanksgiving 2021. Game #4

WHY, as

His OLDER eye would LUGE against

the slow LUG of his dying eye,

a SQUINTER would shudder his vision

to a STEAMY SEA

and a WIFEY shape

a HINEY contour

JAM through is mind’s eye with a thought of “OUR”

and for every NINTH breathe GREW a SOB.

In his vision of “our” is a LAD,

A himself that could DINE over

SAGE conversation where THE ANSWER was

never offered, and luminous TATA beckoned

as a dessert following dessert.

His hand of thinning bones under parchment skin, a sudden

sense of metallic FOIL wrapped around

her still-warm course, that he promises

not to pick at or BUG as they GET ON

the trolley; long since dismantled: to their apartment;

long since dismantled: and a sense of warmth

in his hand that is hers; long since dismantled.

Thanksgiving 2021. Game #3

Spying It, his brother had tagged It

“a rude little DITZ-PETER”,

Opening an inopportune door, a sister’s friend cast It

“SQUINGE-BURIER”

To his shrieked “no-knock CHANER-QUIFE!”

He was ever an OGLER of EARTHY bits

Of VOGUE. a WAN offspring

of effete WRITERS

who would DINE on words by the TON.

He was a stranded JINX-PUBE;

he never could DOUBT the TRUTH of IT,

never SALVE the HEATY

animal NORM that seemed his only GOAL:

to stow away to the CAN

and resurrect his CLOD.

Thanksgiving 2021. Game #1

THE NINTH DAZE

convinced her of a BOAT

beached in a GAUZE of mist,

a scrim of misremembered QUOTE.

Her mind; a wretched VOYUER-EYE,

a myopic WAIF’s HOPE searching

for a KEY that in memory

had opened a SEAL to YOU.

a PANG at A TRACE, a glimpse

of a TOE.

SOW NOW RAIN. SOW NO RAIN. SO NO RAIN.

FLOATING on JUNK, RID of passengers

she sensed a GIST of some dark thing that forever

ATE,

and her hand cut water like an OAR.