Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, November 27, 2015

Kings

In chess Hiram doesn't
like to move his White king except
for castling. Otherwise the king
sleeps, oblivious and kind, waiting
for nothing as in checkmate or
nothing as in checkmate.

The Black king, Hiram knows,
had to learn to move,
dissemble, and adapt
so as to make up for White's
eternal advantage, its
unearned, privileged edge.

In the end, both kings bore
Hiram. But the Black queen
and the White queen enchant
him, goad him into fashioning
a fantasy. He dreams of an
extravagant, satisfying threesome
with two women magically
embodied from the symbolism
of chess, fully human
and yet mythically erotic.

Yes, it's all brought to life there,
albeit in Hiram's mind,
directed by Fellini,
narrated by Nina Simone.

Sometimes chess isn't
exciting enough for Hiram.


hans ostrom 2015



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