Saturday, January 16, 2010



In the gallery, completely
ignoring poor Alice Neel,
Richard’s at it again –
bouncing from wall to wall,
arms flailing, voice wailing
about Kasparov’s loss to
IBM’s computer, Deep Blue.
It cheated! He screams.
I want to shake him and say,
Come on Richard! Get over it!
It was just a freakin’ chess game!
But, he won’t listen to me.
He wouldn’t understand
what I was saying, anyway.
He doesn’t speak or hear in
English anymore. His language is
expressible and understandable
only by algebraic notations
and Boolean ones and zeros.


Coffee with Clark said...

Terrific. I was just going to play chess with my chess partner...a retired optometrist that I play with about once a week over barbecue. I've printed this out to share with him. Ah, the humor. The frustration of the author. Great graphic too. He studies chess. I don't have time, but have several games going in a tournament on line. But I play for fun. The closing lines are classic.

Thanks my friend

Aniket said...

Us software guys are blessed with the power to suck all the fun from the world, right? :D

I feel so sorry for him. :(

Anonymous said...

Kasparov was fatigued and grumpy, while Deep Blue was upgraded between games; hardly a fair match, and Kasparov managed to almost win. (He recognized immediately when he had made a mistake that cost him the game.) That kind of emotion and intuition is something Deep Blue will never have.

...I hope.

Rick said...

Wait. Chess is serious. Boris Spassky was beaten by Bobby Fisher. Boris said, "Chess is like life." Bobby corrected him by saying, "Chess is life." Of course, Bobby went nuts...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Terry, Sounds like you are a serious player, having a steady chess partner, and all. :) I don't play, I just observed a poet friend going a little crazy talking about Deep Blue's winning over Kasparov - years after the fact! Glad you liked it enough to share with Doc! Thanks.

Aniket - Well, I wouldn't say that... Look how much fun you are to be around cyberally!! ;D Thank you.

Joseph - For as much as I know, after a little research, you are completely correct about the circumstances. However, Garry knew that going in, right? He had won against earlier prototypes. Guess we will never know if Deep Blue had, or will ever have, humanistic qualitites, because after the match, it was dismantled, much to Garry Kasparov's chagrin. He wanted a rematch!

Rick - lol... well, there you go - Similes vs Metaphors! Sharon will be so pleased! Thanks!

Karen said...

I don't know enough about chess to comment intelligently about the Kasparov-Deep Blue game, but I certainly understood the speaker's reaction to Richard's riotous behavior. I love the setting of the poem and the way Richard has moved so far from human (you'd think he'd love Deep Blue). Great contrast, too, with the use of vernacular to contrast what Richard would no longer understand.

joaquin carvel said...

i don't really know anything about chess either, but i do know about the deep blue / kasparov match(es?) - and i love how you angle this one - the sense of futility in it.

not that deep blue wasn't an amazing piece of programming - but if it's man vs. machine, what chance does a machine have to win? what is victory without joy? "algebraic notations" i guess!

catvibe said...

Like Karen, I just don't know enough about chess or this game to be able to relate to that part. But the Richard character in this is interesting. I love how he dwindles into only expressing in math.

Ghost Dansing said...

do you want to play a game?...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Karen - I know nothing about chess -and nothing about that particular match. The poem is my response to a fellow poet who, upon regular intervals, goes mad by over analyzing EVERYTHING. Thanks for your thoughts - I always appreciate them.

Joaquin - EXACTLY! - thank you!

Ghost - yeah - "no winners" - I got that.... great to see you, as always.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Cat - You would like Richard - I think. He is a great poet and expressed himself in very different ways. Thanks, Cat. :)

Sarah Hina said...

Loved the very human, and emotional, tantrums in contrast with the cool, blue logic. :)

Your voice in this really made me smile, Kaye, but at the same time, I felt a twinge of compassion for poor Richard. My brain short-circuits on many occasions, too. ;)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hi Sarah, lol...thank you so much for that great comment! Don't feel too sorry for Richard - he enjoys being manic. ;))