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Steven D. Schroeder

The Gaming Group

The Gaming Group

To become our heroes again
in The Game of Playing the Way
We Did as Kids, we completed
status reports on what we would do
if we weren’t who we were,
the way we didn’t as kids. After months
of multilateral chats among stakeholders
and subject matter experts, we settled
on a timeline to add an agenda item
to plan a study to discuss to schedule
an hour or so to perhaps reboot
our adventure. Meeting notes
we reviewed in a pre-meeting meeting
about how very very much
wonder we must have mustered
last meeting communicated only so so
looking forward to meeting.
On a laminated reference chart,
handshake ratings for grip strength,
pump vigor, hold length, approach angle,
sweatiness, seated reach, contact
with the left hand, stratagems segmented
by gender, total leverage, etc.,
scored who won greeting dominance,
thus maximizing fun. Each decision
routed through several levels
of disapproval for thoughts and caveats
and hypotheticals and questions
without attribution until the whole
idea, forgetful there was a quest,
routed right back where we began.
As our opening move, we stopped
moves we hadn’t made in the middle
of action that hadn’t happened yet,
imitating echoes of selves we imagined
we felt we believed we recalled
we knew. Long story short,
we were playing Too Much Work to Do
to Ever Make This Work.


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Steven D. Schroeder’s third book of poetry, Wikipedia Apocalyptica (swallow::tale press), is forthcoming in 2022. His second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press), won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. He edits the literary magazine $ (Poetry Is Currency). His poetry is available from New England ReviewCrazyhorseMichigan Quarterly ReviewPleiadesThe Cincinnati ReviewCopper NickelThe JournalDiagramThe Rumpus, and Verse Daily, and has also been featured in city parks, public transportation, and business waiting rooms. Long a resident of Colorado, he now lives in St. Louis, where he works as a Creative Content Manager for a financial marketing agency.


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