Game with Variations

All Of It (1972)

Nancy Shiffrin

The Puzzled enter the game
Not quite knowing why but caring;
Unable to tease or to perform with
Pleasure, the Puzzled submit,
With each debasement somewhat pleased.

To be clever is to tease lewdly
All meaning from the game;
Reluctant to commit or to pretend with
Conviction, the Clever mock
Each position contrived and measured
For easing satisfaction from the act.

The Master plays first of all with
Abandon, with submission and commission
Where they're good; testing every variation
Designed to gratify, and finding
Fresh tensions in forgotten places.

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