This poem came out of the December 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from moonwolf1988. It has been sponsored by technoshaman. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project, which you can explore further on its menu page. You can read about the card game Texas Holdem, the geometry of a tesseract, and Crayola's colored pencils online.
For a supergenius,
chess poses little challenge;
for two, it is downright pointless.
The same problem applies to poker.
One particularly boring Sunday afternoon,
Alex and Ash looked out at the pouring rain
and decided to do something about that.
They began by hacking open
a chess game on the computer
and cannibalizing its code.
Ash replicated chess boards
and fitted them together into a tesseract.
Alex hunted through color sets and ultimately decided
to use the 24-pack of Crayola colored pencils,
one for each board of the tesseract's many faces.
Game design went smoothly at first.
Each player would begin with one color --
the traditional white and black in a two-player game --
on randomly assigned faces of the tesseract.
From there they could advance to other faces,
chess moves lapping over the edges
where any two boards joined,
and the first player to enter each new face
gained control of that color.
They found it amusing to talk about
moving orange or aqua green or mahogany pieces.
Alex doodled on a napkin with her 24 pencils
while Ash twiddled with the code.
Control of a color could be transferred
by capturing its king.
The white and black kings --
or anyone's first king, in a game with more players --
could not be captured for control of their color,
and could only be killed after the other colors
were all claimed by an opponent.
Winning the game would require
capturing or killing every king.
Trouble arose when they tried to decide
how to manipulate the tesseract itself,
which needed to rotate through different configurations
so that it could close off access to some colors
while opening access to others.
They were still arguing over options
when they wandered into the common room
and noticed that Chris had left
his poker cards on the table.
So they added a round of Texas Holdem
between turns to decide who would gain control
of reshaping the tesseract.
Alex and Ash felt certain
that Texas Foldem would be
the hit at the quantum physics party
during the next Mensa convention.
When Chris wandered into the room
and innocently asked if they would deal him in,
Alex and Ash burst out laughing
and it took them an hour to explain why.