We often talk about the impossibility of being a poet without a cat, but how can you be a poet without QAT?

So lately I've been playing Scrabble (well, Scrabulous) on the Facebook with poets.

I prefer to play open-dictionary Scrabble, which rewards the suspicion of words rather than the strict understanding of what counts as a word and what doesn't. It seems more poetic.

I prefer to play SOWPODS rather than TWL, which is to say, to play using the international wordlist rather than the American wordlist, because SOWPODS contains more words (including a few that are patently real words, like DA, and words that are really useful, like ZO [a variant of one of my favorite words, DZO] and CH and ST). Also, I might know a certain word is acceptable, but forget whether it's TWL-acceptable or not. That is not as much fun. Crazy words are fun. So I prefer SOWPODS.

Also, I am pretty good at it. My rank (which is done chess-style) on Scrabulous is currently a respectable 1561. If my chess ranking (which, when I was playing much more often, peaked nervously somewhere around 1350) were that high, I'd be pretty content.

I've only played against maybe three or four poets (most of my poet-games have been with Kasey Mohammad or Michael Kelleher), which is clearly not an adequate sample size for me to have much to say about the Scrabular poetics of those who identify as poets compared with that of those who don't. Also it's only led to one poem (that I've kept) so far. So I encourage others to hit me up with a game. Remember, "regular" (not "challenge") game, SOWPODS dictionary, if you don't mind -- though I'm not the type to turn any game down.



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