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Literary Prestidigitations on Display

Wednesday's Poem | Playing Chess with Marcel Ducham

 

Playing Chess with Marcel Ducham

Playing Chess with Marcel Ducham is a poem dedicated to Marcel Duchamp. Using chess and experimental forms we present a poem of nonsensical gibberish that explores the rhythm of language through the moment and movement of two great minds locked in a puzzle. These poems appeal to the aureate sounds upon the ear and the repetition of the words in their act of play open up new experiences to the eye. Retinal to the last move, this poem neither wins nor looses, its endgame concludes in a draw. 

 

Playing Chess With Marcel Ducham - Photobook

Method

 

THE CHESS GAME:

 

The poem uses the actual gameplay by Frank Marshall verses Marcel Duchamp at the Chess Olympiad held in Hamburg Germany in 1930. The whole game is listed below in algebraic notation.

 

Frank Marshall (Playing White) - M. Duchamp (Playing black)

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.c4 e6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nc3 Bb7 6.Qc2 d5 7.e3 O-O 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Bd3 h6 12.a3 c5 13.dxc5 Rc8 14.b4 bxc5 15.Rc1 Nd7 16.Ba6 Rc7 17.e4 Bb7 18.Bxb7 Rxb7 19.bxc5 Qxc5 20.O-O Qxc2 21.Rxc2 Kf8 22.Rfc1 Ke7 23.Nd4 Ke8 24.f4 Rab8 25.e5 Nf8 26.Rc5 Rb1 27.Rxb1 Rxb1+ 28.Kf2 Rb7 29.Rc8+ Ke7 30.Ra8 Ng6 31.g3 Kd7 32.a4 Ne7 33.Nb5 Nc8 34.g4 Rxb5 35.axb5 Kc7 36.g5 hxg5 37.b6+ Kb7 38.Rxc8 Kxc8 1/2-1/2

 

 

Each square and chess piece is assigned a word. I placed that word on the chessboard as well as a word on each chess piece. The lines of the poem follow the lines of play in the Marshall Duchamp game. The words were chosen from the current list of the one hundred most commonly used words in the English language. Each piece’s word begins each line of the poem. The lines of the pieces path crossing the board follow how the rest of the line of poetry will construct. The language of movement can never be checked, never be mated. The game ends in a draw, as does the poem. How can it not be nonsense for the sake of the mirage that is art? The imagination is waiting to play, White to open.

 


 

 

Playing Chess with Marcel Ducham

 

 

 

1. Opening Game

 

 By eye be take

 Under you the early next

 

 Small world week say do

 On few try

 

 First child fact know

 Great same large

 

 Right year eye have come work

 Beneath as same

 

 Old person part problem fact

 Into I few

 

 Big way child

 Last bad call find

 

 For place have

 After not as you, above this you as

 

 First know [takes] last find

 Under next large call [takes] first find

 

 Right work next [takes] beneath same

 Over it [takes] right same

 

 Old fact know use [takes] under find

 Into few leave [takes] old find

 

 Different think place be

 New and young


 

 

2. Middle Game

 

 

 Good hand point

 With public leave use

 

 By take [takes] with use

 Above as not it I

 

 In part problem go

 On try [takes] by use

 

 Other time person year

 Out that few public bad

 

 Different be know give feel

 Above I public

 

 For have see

 Into find leave few

 

 Different feel [takes] into few

 Above public takes different few

 

 In go [takes] in use

 Over same call [takes] in use

 

 High day thing would, to life would thing

 Over use know fact [takes] big child

 

 Other year [takes] over child

 After you as

 


 

 

3. Endgame

 

 To thing day way year

 After as same

 

 Small do come see take

 After same not

 

 Little work do come

 Up a that

 

 Few see tell

 So about bad it not as

 

 Other child fact know use

 Above few try give go problem part person

 

 To year [takes] above person

 Up that few try give go problem part [takes] to person [check]

 

 High would work

 Up person part problem go give try few

 

 Other use leave public I

 After not same

 

 Other I that a

 About as you the early

 

 At week say

 After same bad

 

 Good point make

 About early the able same

 

 Small take find use give

 About same not it I


 

 

 

 

 At say think

 Up few try [takes] small give

 

 Good make [takes] up give

 After bad public

 

 At think work

 New young [takes] at work

 

 Good give try [check]

 After public few

 

 Other a that [takes] about I

 After few [takes] other I