For Dawn R. Jackson
Playing dead must be one of the best oracular games. The surrealist poets, who invented the exquisite corpse, knew how to play by the rules, yet allow chance to speak its intelligence. All beyond the grave, of course.
Reading cards is about fun. The fun in knowing that no matter what we know, and how much we know, chance will play a game on our time. So here we are, a few card readers, who decided to take the Lenormand cards for a ride. All very apt, as the first card in the deck is called The Rider.
I assembled the cartomancers, as another enthusiast said about what I was doing here, and gave them a task. Each of the people involved was dealt 3 cards from the Lenormand pack. The cards fell entirely at random and were given to the cartomancers according to their assigned number in line from 1-10. None saw the others’ cards. Then they were asked to produce a line based on what they saw in their cards. As the master of the ceremony, I assigned myself the task of beginning and closing the game. I wrote my line before I got the others’ in, in fine traditional exquisite corpse style. Here’s the result. All oracular, grand, flamboyant, intentional, suggestive, spontaneous, playful, and above all poetic. All true and accurate too. All in line with the true and accurate fortunetelling tradition. In this classroom, we like tradition.
A word of thanks to the team, and especially Fortune Buchholtz for inspiring this game with her ‘Hölderlin Lennie,’ which she sent to me this morning as a sweet waking-up gift.
The corpse is now released. You are welcome to comment on the larger set, or the square in which your cards appear. The public at large is also welcome to join in.
THE EXQUISITE LENORMAND CORPSE
Her grimoire of treffle trust
ill, a mint nun wrote, “we row to woe.”
Desire elaborates the naiant heart.
Tender bonds split where kinship once stood.
Warblers chirped in the mind of the Son as he rang the bell of his ancestral home.
For lack of a cat, the rodent was crossed out by a snake.
Flowering reeds hid the voracious bird of good omen.
The yogurt’s bacteria refreshed his love, indefatigable and edible.
The same old wish was being spread by his Lords as they watered their heads that – “the King, oh the King is Dead”
under vigorous compulsion to gather up the dreams,
emerging from the cave of slumber, dream vessel, thief of productivity . . .
addicted to hedgewythchery.
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
To the assembly of cartomancers: as you know, the surrealists never credited the individual contributions to the exquisite corpse, but I want to let you know who got what pictures and wrote what line. The fun increases that way. So the order was this: 1 myself, 2 Enrique Enriquez, 3 Fortune Buchholtz, 4 Ryan Edward, 5 Andrew Kyle McGregor, 6 Bent Sørensen, 7 Bent Sørensen, 8 Paul Nagy, 9 Joeanne Mitchell, 10 Ross Caldwell, 11 James Wells, 12 myself. The reason for this disclosure has to do with the fact that I’d like to see how you interpret the squares. So, fling your master sentences, and let’s continue the fun.