Game Rules

WELCOME TO GAME RULES, where musicians stretch their muscles and athletes tune their instruments. Please wait to be seated.

The curtain opens like a candy wrapper to sweet words: GRAFFITI IN BATHROOM STALL IS CLOSER THAN IT APPEARS. Lose a turn. The bouncer requests proper identification as a respected member of society, only to get a pie to the face and a bill the next morning. The enemy is spotted at 9 o’clock, dalmatian-like, but without the makeup. SEC. 1771. It is unlawful to bear a clean face. Let’s face it, yesterday has passed, so tomorrow will fail. These are the wise words from a man that never existed. The editor rolls her eyes down a steep hill, chasing the prose into a corner. DEAD END.

Please stand. The antagonist gets his back-story–Humpty Dumpty’s. Whereas the protagonist gets her backyard converted into a graveyard. Trick question! The referee blows over into the neighboring city. Ingredients: wings, muscle power, NO TURN ON RED. Instead, raise the white flag, pluck the violet, and eat a blue-green orange. The antagonist takes the devil’s side, yet the protagonist takes THIS SIDE UP. Hint: use a can-opener. REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING THE DOOR TO STRANGERS. The antagonist is selling cookies. STOP AHEAD. Suddenly, the protagonist buys a kilo. STOP. Look both ways before cross-dressing.

HELP WANTED: Absurdist flash fiction readers. The tension builds when the protagonist discovers the antagonist’s antics. Spoiler: at the end, the protagonist dies of old age. Meanwhile, the antagonist pulls out an ace of spades which does nothing to the chess match, though the four-pawed opponent knows not any better. The checkered board waves fabric-like. Jackpot! The protagonist wins the race to the toilet. PUBLIC BATHROOM PERMIT REQUIRED. Call for a nurse. Will the protagonist’s essay, Game Rules, end with a bang? Cast in the votes. Then expect nothing. To continue, INSERT TOKEN.

NO VACANCY. Skip ahead with passport in hand.

Welcome to the next part. CAUTION: A chain of ducks have gotten loose, slipping out of the story. The four characters so far mentioned jump into their emergency duck costumes and dive into the pond, nearly drowning. NO DIVING INTO CONCLUSIONS. The lifeguard reveals the pond is a holographic representation of a court hearing currently in session. The four make their way out of their bodies and into the astral field. DANGER. How does the antagonist spell curse? The same way the antagonist spellbound the protagonist into this non sequitur. The audience in another story delivers a standing ovation.

ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. Cite the references, then–means next. Next in line is the protagonist, but that is of little importance. To confirm, SIGN HERE__________________________. The antagonist loses his pen followed by his arms and legs over a bet, except not really. BEWARE OF DOG. Having only taken Elementary Barking, the antagonist misunderstands the rules to hide-and-go-seek. Any questions? The protagonist asks the antagonist out on a date, today’s date. The following day is not here yet. SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.

If the protagonist’s Game Rules were a dish, what would it taste like? False. To retrieve water, turn the faucet handle as shown in Fig. 12 of the mind. The antagonist follows the instructions stalker-like. EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS, whereas those unemployed need not apply, ever. Regardless, the washroom remains in use despite its lack of faucet, toilet, and walls. ATTENTION: The fourth wall is broken beyond repair. Exactly this is written on a long aerial banner. The protagonist jumps out of its airplane without a hula hoop, but why have one in the first place? Those are only for second and third place winners.

Speaking of elephants, send this manuscript to at least ten trash cans, else toasted bread will be a thing of the past. The present tense is here. The winner is the player with the most fingers. Bang! Who shot the antagonist? EXIT.

Knots & What Knots?

Is this the beginning? The sun theoretically shines. Jeremy Knot’s esoteric name is Jeremy Knot, but without the first or last part. Autonym #1: One. He muses under that questionable sun, pondering over the axiom of if if is/isn’t if, then then is/isn’t then. The following day, Jeremy is charged eight hours of sleep for stepping in man(uer).  With heavy eyes, Jeremy retaliates by threatening to change into a banana tree. At once, the chimpanzees appear, but then leave shortly after due to unavailable parking. The former line is an abstraction and should be ignored.

Truthfully, the only truth is no truth, to the liking of Jeremy, whom likes like like like should be liked. That that that that (four that), Jeremy loses a letter grade. He literally learns to unlearn figuratively. He gives bitter nods to the nearby classmates, realizing they have always been cardboard cutouts. One by one, he throws them into a dwindling fire, then stirs the kettle for extra credit. The homeless await with soup bowls so large, they are questionable tubs. Jeremy hands them towel (but pleural) and a change of clothes. With striped uniforms, they are thrown behind bars, where they are to serve ten years of drink specials.

Autonym #2: English. In is in this line just as English in English is, and this is this is, and is is isis. The (w)all collapses out of (bored)om until the idea of collapsing collapses, forcing disorder to gravitate towards order. In order for Jeremy to (compreh)end this, he must first exist outside of fiction. Nine words (two being invisible): That which is knowable can only be fiction. Jeremy solves the puzzle, identifying two as a word, not a quantifier. Exercise 3-1: What is Exercise 3-1? Questions lead to questions about questions, whereas answers lead too many astray. These realizations hit Jeremy like a cold breeze, so he slips into clothes, having been exposed up until now.

What is the euphemism for euphemism? The unexamined life is to die for. Jeremy tries to catch the two hands in front of him. He catches himself in front himself, and tells himself truths/non-truths. If up goes down, both up and down go down, but if left goes left and left again, left gets left out. Left in charge, Jeremy resumes, but twice in size. Or did everything shrink? That is impossibly possible. Jeremy detonates his lunch box open. In one hand, Jeremy holds a large smallness, and in the other, a heavy lightness. Both taste like a brightly textured sound, but with salt added. Pepper is banned due to sneezing and its association with terrorism.

Caution: The simplest is the most (c)om(plex). To demonstrate, Jeremy flips a coin with determinism on one side and nondeterminism on the other. The chances of landing by chance are the same as being predestined to do so. The closer Jeremy gets to such truths, the closer he gets to the jester whom rides paradox like a unicycle. As a souvenir, Jeremy gets a pie to the face. He presents this at show-and-tell the next morning, impressing the business associates (parentheses). The resulting chart predicts a forty percent drop in chart presentations. Autonym #3: Inanimate.

Later that day, Jeremy chases after his impostor, believing himself to be the real Jeremy. When really, both are i(mpostor)s. Along the way, Jeremy trips and falls into debt, owing apologies to linear context. He assumes that assume means to assume, but he is greatly mistaken, for assuming implies existence, and Jeremy does not exist. Regardless, Jeremy (at)tends an evening party. What happens when the party gets angrily thirsty? (A pun)ch line. Jeremy laughs, having caught all four puns in that joke with his hands tied behind the wall.

A play onwards becomes a play on words. Autonym #4: Letters. The point is sharply blunt, hence trivially nontrivial. Jeremy dances on this point, having been coaxed into it. He dives into a see of chaos and (th)oughtless (th)ought. He is audience and writer simultaneously. That which can be written is essentially a plagiarism–plagiarism itself being a plagiarism from the dictionary and alphabet. Having nothing more lose lose (two lose), he hits the tuning fork which has a surface of non-surface. The soundless sound begins the ritual, so he drinks from the baseless cup. The brew of no brew grants him either impossible stairs or a motionless elevator.

The world moves by that elevator with Jeremy inside. He sees the dancing silhouette of a candle not lit. He thinks before he (th)inks, reminding himself of himself defining define. A distant nearness later, he hears a loud whispers (but singular) that motivates him against motivation. Is he awake or not sleeping? Let’s advance backwards. Jeremy steps upright onto his feet that point at the horizon. Are the birds stressing over the apple sauce which represents the future? Jeremy stresses over the future in the future, but never in the present. This line self-references itself.

Having passed the impassable overpass, Jeremy returns to the world of is is is, tucking non-world and non-is under his jester’s hat. He is the every-second stage performer, the laughing belief-juggler, skeptical of the skeptical, and skeptical of the of being used as the true of. He grins at frowns and growns at frins. He agrees to disagree to agree to bluff his way into legitimacy. Autonym #5: Itself. Jeremy approaches the completion of his metafictional work. He turns off the light and creates heaviness. His words, being heavy, slip off into abstraction.

Being & Serpent Words

Ignorance can be as fierce a venom as…

The word is a vehicle with a driver named Being. The word is a map created by a map-maker named Being. The word is a tool crafted by a craftsman named Being. We have a busy bee on our hands, a busy bee beeing. If B is for B-ing, then C is for C-ing. Seeing follows Being.

See to this. Being is here to spread the word that anybody can make the word. Build the word out of candle wax and watch it melt away, for life is a sand mandala, an intricate domino line, and momentary fruit. L is for language. Words are language. Throw language into language, and create worlds, for if L is added to “word”, a “world” is created. The serpent hisses. Words, being symbols, form groups of symbols, which if reminiscent of other groups of symbols, form analogies. An analogy for “an analogy” is “an analogy” like “an analogy”, and “like” is even an analogy for “an analogy”. Figuratively speaking, all speaking is figurative, but what is “figurative”? What is “speaking”? What is “all”? What is?

What a word breeds, a breed words. A word breeds more words until it returns to itself. “is self-referenced” is self-referenced. A mirror looks at itself in the mirror. The etymology of etymology is the greatest etymology of them all. If one agrees, one is only partially agreeing, for one man’s conclusions will only be a striking resemblance to another man’s conclusions. At most, we have puns–agreement puns. After speaking of exploiting others, what did the two business executives do? A greed. Greed can lead to letter Y if one wants an adjective. The serpent hisses. A man walks into a bar and tells a woman what he means, even though she only hears what she means. The means to an end is the better end. The woman reads from the script, but Being improvises its foundations. Dig down to the foundation, then dig down to the shovel itself. Beware of foundations. Beware of truths. Beware of beware.

Be where? Be here. Be. Be compassionate. To be fully compassionate, one must even be compassionate of the uncompassionate, even if she is the devil herself. Only by surrendering to all that is does one gain control. The only mistake is believing that mistakes exist. The serpent hisses. Consequences are everywhere, even nowhere, for the lack of consequences consequently have no consequences. If one understands consequences, they will turn into prosequences. Death is a prosequence of life. Death and rebirth is but a game of peek-a-boo played by our very selves like solitaire. I and them is but a variation on the same game. “I”, “I”, “I”, “I”, “I” am only “I” after stacking past “I”‘s together. To add to the I’s, “I” also has an endless number of possible “I”s called probability “I”s that have the potential of slipping on like a coat, even if wearing one at 102° F lacks practicality. But what is practicality but an absurdity repeated over and over?

God laughs worlds into existence. Note: God, Self, and Being are as different as contrary and dissimilar. God occasionally converts to Atheism in order to spice things up. Meta-Note: Describing divinity only bogs divinity down to mere metaphor. Holy wars are but metaphor wars! All this trouble over which crayon colors better.

The unnameable one is everywhere, even nowhere. Jekyl is Being and Hyde is Non Being. What do you get when you don’t get? Non sequitur. W is for whole and H is for hole. There is a w-h-o-l-e in one. In two, we see duality, and in “three”, five letters. In this line, we see four “four” words, each “four” containing four letters. In the next line, a man walks into a bar and loses his marbles, making room for new ones. A man walks into a bar and loses his marbles, making room for new ones. Likewise, a thinker breaks free from a self-constructed mental institution in order to break into another one. The serpent hisses. Who is nuts? Nobody, for we are but raisins and bolts. The writer’s I is modifying the audience’s I. I is for illusion, whereas we is for weening from I. To ween or not to ween? Either way, Being is playing in the sand. Or if that metaphor is not sufficient enough, try “knitting beside a fireplace” or “plucking guitar strings in space”.

If Being is good, then all is good, even evil. If Being is evil, then all is evil, even good. What this translates to is a loose canon rolling down a slippery slope. The bate is that which follows “being is”. From now on, “is” is “seems to be”. Does that mean that “is” seems to be “seems to be”? Seems to be. The serpent hisses. Seeking credit for what seems to be a good deed cancels out the good deed. To be tiny is to have a name, but to be large is to have no name. Anonymous is Being’s pet rooster.

Can observing whirling laundry be as fulfilling as observing quantum particles? All roads observed closely enough lead to the same clown school. All is humorous, especially that which is not humorous. “I” have all the answers because “I” have no answers. Even after stepping on an ant pile, “I” still have no ants, sirs. What do you call a joke without an answer? Nobody knows. If nobody No’s, then nobody Yes’s either. The further one ponders reality, the further it escapes grasp like grasping that which is grasping itself. Being escapes from his self-inflicted chains, only to find himself chained again–a dream within a dream, a string within a string, a speck within a speck. The serpent hisses. Don’t feed the hand that bites you. Wants breed more wants, whereas haves always have. Embark on the journey far enough and Chaos will show herself, either in a humorous or traumatizing fashion. So, play the characters of the audience, and “I” will play the character of the speaker. “I” am because you are because “I” am because you are. Forgetting that we are on stage does not mean we aren’t. So, who’s bluffing?

Who isn’t? Faking consistently enough is realing, reeling sucker fish. When all else is a cardboard cutout, what is real but Being itself? The very act of questioning Being answers itself like looking for a flashlight with that very flashlight. The serpent hisses. Here is another clever line, though “possibly” will go before “clever” just for modesty’s sake. Is modesty a modest way of lying or truthing? True and false arguments turn into comedy skits after knowing that truth and non-truth are but Being’s greatest pun. To pick one side is to choose between the kicker and the kicked. After stepping away or within, one will see a kicker kicking himself. After stepping even further, “him” will slide off of “himself” leaving just “self”, making the observer become the observed. But what is a game without two opposing sides? Let us call the game a game and play in it too. “I” am for it just as much as “I” am against it. The solitaire match is on!

On hold? Ignorance can be as fierce a venom as wisdom, though venom can be the sweetest nectar. Today, we not only lit the candle at both ends, but did so without fire. Symbols, metaphors, analogies, and words are but Being’s greatest clown suit. The serpent has returned to bite its own tail. Its greatest success is its greatest failure, for when meaning becomes too meaningful, meaning becomes meaningless. So be as one is, for what one seems to be or seems not to be is of secondary importance.

Or is it?

Lisa within “Elusian”

Her shadow shone of antiquity, a sacred
peak’s fog, Demeter’s breath, fate’s aroma―
magnetic impressions of cave descents.

One descent shall be two―a two that tastes
like one. Just as fire and water make magma,
so shall we mold inside and out.

Demeter’s breath is both seed and sickle, so
shall we open earth and expose neck, entwine
bodies―two halves of which touch water.

Two others touch earth. Together, we shall
see ourselves weaving life’s fabric, painting
the frescos, and plucking the strings.