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

8 comentarios:

John dijo...

That is a nice game. Or is it a poem? I suppose it is both. Both are nice. I don't like complete sentences. I like them, but I don't like forcing my mind to think in them exclusively. The game reminds me of another game which a friend of mine invented.

And I will play it now. It is the one sound game. Each word can have just one sound. I play both games now. The word "sound" is a poor one sound sub for the word I want more. I hope you hear what that word is. My friend who made this game can't say his name in the game, not his first name or his last name. But I can say both of mine: John Shaw. I have a short name. I knew a guy with one sound in each name, and just two signs in each name. "Signs" is not the word I want but the word I want has two sounds. The word I want names these things: A, B, C, D, and so on. The guy I knew with one sound and two signs in each name, his name was Al. I won't write his first name because this is a blog and I don't know him now to ask him if it's fine to say his name to lots and lots of guys and gals that I don't know.

The game is done now. Both games are.


John dijo...

I meant to say that I won't write Al's *last* name.

He was a nice guy.

I did not know him well.

I knew him in high school, a long time past.

Peter dijo...

Wow. Love this. Whatever it is.

Annandale Dream Gazette dijo...

1. Who or what are you making fun of in this prose poem called The Complete Sentence Game?

2. Do you really use "quotes" when you formulate silent complete sentences?

3. Have you actually played this game to fall asleep? I find those moments right before sleep to be notably wordless, mostly made up of collages of physical sensations & only ebbing & flowing washes of hints of ideas. I like the wordlessness of just before sleep.

4. The questions above are actual questions.

Mark Granier dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Mark Granier dijo...

I don't think Jonathan is necessarily making fun of anything or anyone (other than himself, perhaps).

I presume by "silent sentences", Jonathan (and you) mean unvoiced, unspoken sentences rather than unheard sentences, since I have to hear sentence sounds in my mind in order to compose anything that might translate into written words.

If I compose complete sentences in my mind (as I often do) I might use something approximating quotes or other less easily reproducable effects (rising or falling intonation for example). Obviously, I don't need to visualise the quotation marks in the initial sentence, since that sentence is "heard" rather than seen.

I also find the moments before sleep largely wordless (and luxuriously so), but I wouldn't take the playful suggestions/advice in the "prose poem" literally, any more than I would see the suggestion to count sheep as a bar to counting (or not counting) other livestock.

Jonathan dijo...

I actually play this game so it isn't meant as making fun of anyone else, or even making fun of myself, since I think the game is pure genius.

Sometimes I visualize the sentences as words on the page, in which case there would be punctuation. That is a variation called The Complete Sentence on the Page game. Very difficult.

It may or may not be cure for insomnia. I find if I can't sleep anyway then if am playing the game it won't matter much because I am amused.

Mark Granier dijo...

"Sometimes I visualize the sentences as words on the page, in which case there would be punctuation. That is a variation called The Complete Sentence on the Page game. Very difficult."

Sounds difficult alright, like some Star Trekkish holographic 4D chess (or something). You sure you're a mere bipedal carbon based compound?