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Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Enlightenment Game (for Jack Kerouac)

This poem is for Jack Kerouac, written on the occasion of his 98th birthday today.  The events described in this poem are based on a dream I had the night before.  In the dream, I'm sitting in the front seat of my car in the parking lot of our local library.  Jack is sitting to my right in the passenger seat.  I'm thinking to myself, this guy always writes about being on the road, so how come he never drives?  And then I turn and pitch him on this idea for a new business venture that we can go into as partners.  And that's where this poem kicks in ....

Today I had this idea
I wanted to pitch to you --
You and I could go
Fifty fifty partners on it

Let's make a board game
Called Enlightenment
Which would be modeled
On the old game of Life

Roll sevens you advance
Box cars you're out
Sit lotus style or
Stand on your head
You skip a turn
Don't follow leaders
Watch your parking meters
A koan answered
A prayer returned

No winners
No losers
Only those that love the game
May ever hope to attain
The next level of play
Hey Jack
What do you say

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