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A poem starring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

I don’t know what exactly our teacher could have possibly said to inspire me to write this poem. Seriously, here is what must have happened that day:

Teacher: Okay class, you all have to write a poem today, the subject of which must be something you are passionate about.
Me: Does that include video games?
Teacher: Why yes, Cody, it certainly does! And be sure to include at least one writing technique, such as alliteration, in the poem.
Me: How about I include alliteration, but instead of giving it any context whatsoever, I just write a bunch of words in a row that start with the same letter but lack any coherent or logical flow?
Teacher: That sounds splendid! Please also do that with a part of speech as well, such as prepositions or linking verbs.
Me: I will do so happily, and then gallivant into the sunset!
Teacher: You didn’t even use that word correctly, but who cares? Go write your terrible poem!

That basically is what must have happened, because Science®. Anyway, here’s the result of this conversation:

A poem featuring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

A poem featuring forced alliteration, excessive prepositions, and Super Smash Brothers: Melee

Transcript:

Characters all around
25 all around,
Colorful characters quite abound
Every few and every pair
Have some sort of reason to be fighting there
Cartoonish they seem, yet I don’t quite care
It keeps things clean—for the Kids.
Contacts cascading, namecalling renaming
The therapeutic Theremin of Thespian thinking
A thing-in-itself
Which no-one seems to be seeing
Smelling the sweat, the substance of strife
Illiterate critics, illegitimate gimmicks,
Sucking the life out of
Into out of around near far abound
Train of thought
Derailed to hell
Away from the housetop,
Away from the roof
Now dash away, dash away…
Dash away all.

Ten years after writing this poem, I can explain almost every thought that went through my head. I have no specific recollection of writing it, but here’s how each part of this happened:

  1. I started writing about Smash Brothers. “25 characters” are in Smash Brothers: Melee, and the violence in the game is irrefutably “cartoonish” to maintain a K-A rating (Kids to Adult), which is the video game equivalent of being rated PG.
  2. I must have heard the word “theremin” somewhere and couldn’t think of anything else to write in Line 9, so I just grabbed a Thesaurus (or used any “th” words I could recall) and stuck them together incoherently, very likely thinking “I can get away with anything, it’s poetry” at the time.
  3. Line 13, “Illiterate critics, illegitimate gimmicks” undoubtedly refers to video game critics who invent facts to further their own political agendas (i.e. Jack Thompson, who at the time was sadly receiving media coverage) as I start to “zoom out” from Smash Brothers itself and start to examine the overall perception of it, and gaming.
  4. After writing Line 14, “Sucking the life out of,” I couldn’t think of what to write, so I just wrote a chain of prepositions, which were HUGE in the Latin class I was also taking at the time. I directly admit this in Line 16 when I say “Train of thought,” and concede that I couldn’t think of a coherent follow-up in Line 17: “Derailed to hell.”
  5. Lines 18 through the end are self-explanatory.

Is it frightening that I can deconstruct my own ten-year-old poem as specifically as I did? Honestly, you tell me. I like to think that some things never change, and that I don’t think that’s a bad thing. My writing was also pretty transparent, at least at the time, and at least to me.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this completely ridiculous poem! Looking ahead, it appears that I won’t have a great deal of notes/poems/stories for the next 10 days, but please stay tuned and there will be plenty more for you to analyze, criticize, or ignore soon!

—–
This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

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About Cody Gough

Cody Gough is a producer and host at WGN Radio in Chicago. In addition to producing the Brian Noonan Show since 2008, Cody co-hosts both Brian's web-exclusive podcasts and his own lifestyle podcast, Game/Life Balance U.S. Cody also moonlights as a commercial actor, video game enthusiast, and professional social media manager for a global firm.

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