George Brecht:
Dances, Events, Puzzles

The original English version of a collection of poems
edited and translated into Hungarian by Márton Koppány.
Hungarian text in: Valami kevesebb (Something Less), Kalligram Publishing House, Bratislava, Budapest 1999


The poems were taken from the following editions:
George Brecht and Robert Filliou: Games At the Cedilla
(Something Else Press, 1967)
George Brecht: Dances, Events and Other Poems
(in: David Antin: The Stranger at the Door; Genre, 1987)
Fluxus etc.
(The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection, edited by Jon Hendricks, 1981)



The Game of Definitions

The first player writes, on a slip of paper, "What is _____" and he completes the sentence. The second player, without seeing what the other has written, writes "It is _____" and completes his sentence. The two players then read their sentences in order, making any necessary grammatical adjustments.

    For example (played by Donna Jo Jones and George Brecht)
    What is a factory? It is the manner in which George Washington's men rowed him across the Delaware.
    What is well dressed? It is the space between the top of the water and the bottom of the bridge.
    What is an answer? It is five ice-cubes melting.
    What is a question? It is a method for drying wet matches between the toes.
    What is whortleberry? It is smoking under water while sexually excited.



19 quantities of Time

(for G.B.H.*)

a heater of time
a cigarette of time
a window of time
some soups of time
now I go to the bathroom
why am I leaving?
the sweet orange
the pencil
covers turned back
la lune dans le ciel (the clouds seen twice)
fireworks underground
the hair
the fingernail's containing
everyone's wish
it was not the moon, it was a street light
the re-wired marquee
moldly noodles
a tack in my shoe

* I don't remember who or what G.B.H. was. But it propably relates to James Waring, who once made a lot of soups.



Answer to Ben Who Asked Me What Was Important
Exercices 3 and 4.

     Consider something "important". Call what is not "important" "unimportant".
     3. Take something which is "unimportant" and find a way to consider it "important", adding it to what is already "important". Continue in this way until there is no more "unimportant".
     4. Take something which is "important" and find a way to consider it "unimportant", adding it to what is already "unimportant". Continue in this way until there is no more "unimportant".



Excerpts from
Gloss For An Unknown Language

Tablet 3

Line   Character

17     9    Image formed by a moving object for the duration of one breath.

31     7    An object formed by the intersection of an imaginary sphere with
               objects of the reference language. (Here used to desribe
               a plano-convex section of flesh/earth).

31     8    Used by an observer standing at the edge of a body of water
               to denote an area of water surface in front of the observer
               and the area of earth of equal size and shape behind the observer,
               considered as one surface.

Tablet 10

6      4     Everything within the bounds of an imaginary cube having its center
               congruent with that of the observer, and an edge of lenght equal to
               the observer's height.

23     9    A werb apparently denoting the motion of a static object. (The
               meaning is not clear.)

Tablet 13

19     3    A unit of time derived from the duration of dream events.

45     2    The independent action of two or more persons, considered as a single



Three Yellow Events

I     yellow yellow yellow
II    yellow loud
III   red



Three Window Events

opening a closed window
closing an open window



Three Lamp Events

on. off.
off. on.



Two Elimination Events

empty vessel
empty vessel



Word Event



Six Doors

*   exit

*   entrance

*   exit




Two Durations




Determine the centre of an object or event.
Determine the centre more accurately.
Repeat, until further inaccuracy is impossible.



Symphony No. 5

I. before hearing
II. hearing
III. after hearing


Three Dances





Three of them were the same size, and two were not.



Swim Puzzle

Red plastic box with label on the lid containing clam shell and the score printed on card stock:
"Arrange the beads in such a way
the word CUAL never occurs."


Fordította: Koppány Márton.

Tört és Redukált Nyelvek Intézete
(Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages)

Light and Dust

English text copyright © 2000 by George Brecht

This is a cooperative project of
the Institute of Broken and Reduced Languages
and Light and Dust