25 sept. 2007
The Complete Sentence Game
I will now play "The Complete Sentence Game." The idea is to formulate silent thoughts as well-formed, complete sentences, thus slowing down the speed of thought to that of (silent) speech. The sentences of the game can be about anything, though usually they end up describing the rules of the game itself or exploring its inner meaning. You will notice, playing the game, that other, quicker thoughts clamber in the background waiting to get into play. One part of the mind seems to be charged with the selection of which of these thoughts will get "the complete sentence treatment." Another part of the mind formulates the thoughts in slow sentences. What of the mind that generates the thoughts in the first place?
This is my reproduction in written form of the Complete Sentence Game, an approximation of a "typical" game. While I have played this game for many years I am not sure what its "purpose" is. It could be a writing excercise or a remedy for insomnia, since the forced slowness of the thoughts is conducive to a state of relaxed lucidity that often precedes sleep. When the mind can no longer formulate completed thoughts the game is lost and you have fallen asleep. I find it difficult to "write" a bad sentence while playing. I invite you to play too.
This is the second section of "The Complete Sentence Game." Here I will continue to play, in written form and speaking less about the game itself and more about other implications of its playing.
Why do people think the unconscious is so interesting? Surely consciousness is far more interesting than some state of stupor. After all, it is only the conscious mind that can be interested. I know: I am supressing other thoughts in the back of my mind raising objections. What is interesting is hidden, enigmatic, unexplained in conscious terms. Now the unbearable slowness of the "game" takes hold. I want to able to think in sentences as fast as I can think in other, less well-formed fragments. The speed of writing also comes into play since, as noted above, this is only a simulation of the game itself--although in order to simulate it I have had to play it as I was writing.
My hand hurts, ink-stained. I don't have to tell you that this is the third section of the prose-poem "The Complete Sentence Game." I really think the point of this poem is to teach you how to play it, since the sentences I am writing, though well-formed, might just as easily have been other sentences. I am giving you permission to pay attention to your thoughts. While this poem seems inadequate in many ways, I think that it is not the words on the page, but the game itself that these words and sentences instantiate. This fluid, thought-based poetics might be of use to you, at some point, whether you want to fall asleep or reach a state of heightened awareness