Copyright 1994 by Loss Pequeño Glazier

The Card Players

                  | for One |
                  | to Four |
                  | Players |

         _Grammatici certant et adhuc
             sub iudice lis est._
         _Digo, paciencia y barajar._


        1.   Never play cards with a man
             called Doc.
        2.   Jam to-morrow and jam
             yesterday--but never jam
        3.   The rules are always subject.
        4.   Literature's always a good
             card to play.
        5.   When in doubt, win the trick.

        But do they cohere?  A collapse of
        intersections traces the path etched
        in copper intaglio.


        A small shrine freezing behind an
        unused barn.  Pedestal, stupa,
        cracks in stone glint with ice


        Late hour dogs bark--rusted gates
        rankled by squall.


        Grandfather clock crowns narrow
        stairs.  Dank house in sequestered


        Avocados and oranges not allowed
        across the border.


        Wires triggered by rectangular holes
        in a revolving iron disk.  Chordal
        music spills from antique case.


        In response, I devise my own deck of
        cards.  Composed of paragraphs that
        cartoon when they are flicked.


        Gully through the trees auroral at
        dusk with its snow-polished grades of
        rose and kangaroo.


        Miniatures spring from one pixelled
        cloud to the next.  Clouds drift
        explicitly with no hand in sight.


        I will sit next to you with a fresh cup
        of tea.


        It was in the cards--fanned,
        distanced into glossy arrays.


        Thankful for some consciousness of
        me as I draw cards in the dark.

        On an flickering throne, king
        elevated in alleged control of the
        chaos of letters.


        Robe bursting open in electrified


        A keyhole, in case you need it.


        Pair of aces, animated, of
        approximate height.  A store,
        supplies, instant art.  Just add


        But they do not cohere.  Unlike those
        coated with plastic, when shuffled,
        the edges fray, buckle--unstable in


        As suspected, I was stuck with the
        can of Folgers.


        The way you tell the story, I see
        them at one end of the house eating
        and playing cards while you sit alone
        at the other end.


        Shoelaces drop lazily onto an finished
        dais, oiled and uneven.  Are there
        flammable liquids?


        Curled next to me in the stabbing
        dark.  Shampoo fragrance molds itself
        to crease in unseen sheets.


        Sun peels ribbons revealing grass
        nested in dissolving stripes of snow.


        Palm trees slant, border of parade.
        Miami route iced with skyscrapers,
        colored lights.


        Suits reveal full cuts of light.  Long
        limbs intend, protracted and flush,
        contour of serrated shapes.


        A yelp--took every effort of the
        muscles to bring it up.  Shards of
        clock-glass splayed in card player's


        Metal prongs clap edges of cards that
        slap in succession.  Each image,
        snags, resists--then slides into the
        sputtering blush.


        Yes, but were the windows framed
        with ligaments of colored lights?


        Scented but alone you enter your
        chamber of sheep.


        I won't go to bed if you don't ask me.
        This doesn't happen if you're asleep.


        Palm trees in emitted flux, flick in
        time to their 8-bit beat.  Desert
        electronic, lurid sands lure
        struggling feet.


        Only the fore edges of each card are
        needed; keeping the insert off will
        only require endless overtyping.


        Cards spread in a circle of light.


        In the spectered, hollow church,
        scenes of torment char the child-like


        A pimento scarred me once.


        Field is carmine, a wazir crawling
        with ease through a rainbow wheel of
        icicles and cloud.


        The "voyage of discovery" incised in
        pastel.  Pencil line precise as long as
        card is not turned.


        Identical en visage but one with
        fronds more attenuated.  Vivid
        greens of leaves stirring step.


        The postulant's arrears--brazen
        snapping on the glass table.


        Below which is a banner, frayed at
        edges, lacerated tongue.  Scepter
        balanced between two fingers.


        Shaky because she is late.  Stockings
        the astronauts touted on the new
        moon of the 8th.


        Wild card from the cantina with its
        many supple creases.


        Egyptian frond's de-centered light.
        Trey-balancers with perfect pitch.


        I count them--one, two.  Obliged to
        stand side by side in the player's


        Frond on the crown of the circles of


        Tomorrow the card players depart.
        The house a draw except for the
        creak of occasional sleep.


        Branched their roots writhing on
        bare rock--etching saffron winter.


        Minerals rise from hunger riddled
        tang of acids.  Rings of seclusion
        sting familiar strata.


        The vulnerability that bends in the
        middle when not expected.


        Spilling from my hand there are so
        many of them they curl as I try to
        hold on.


        Card trick for those for whom
        luxuriant dining has lost its thrill.


        German deuce, the model, hungers
        wide-mouthed.  Der Spiegel on the
        Moroccan throne.


        Invent a deck to evade the clamor.
        First, vanadium streaks between
        burned trunks.  The second
        completely black.