Poetry or Freecell?

Yesterday I read a few poems at this event, at the Expressions gallery in Berkeley near the Ashby BART.  It included several poets from Squaw Valley Community of Writers poetry workshop.

I’d decided to accept all invitations to read; I enjoy reading and it’s a way to test how a poem holds up. For joint readings, I usually stick to short poems with some humor. I read a few poems from Jade Suit, and a few new poems, including one I wrote yesterday (in keeping with the Squaw tradition).  I was editing right up until I read it, and am sure it will change further, but here it is in the form I read:

Ode to Freecell

According to my computer
I’ve played thirteen hundred and thirty-six games of Freecell
and won eleven hundred and eighty-seven.
I’ve gotten better over time.

It’s calming to watch the cards fit together
in a way the world never does.
Sometimes I go into a sort of trance of Freecell
each move the perfect sequential unlocking of the puzzle.
Other times, I just give up.

How can the world contain
debt as uncountable as the stars
and the golden hair of young corn
that glistens even in fog?
Rhetoric and bouillabaisse?
Scientists and Sharia law?

No wonder my fingers seek the keyboard
again and again
to watch
one more time
the cards stack neatly
one on top of the other
as if order were possible.