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Poetry about hell… and Roy from Smash Brothers

I’m not sure how or why this happened, but apparently I penned a few poems about hell. The first poem is my “main” hell poem, followed by a poem that is about both hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Melee, equally. Let’s see how dark my high school mind could get:

A poem about hell, followed by two poems about hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Brawl

A poem about hell, followed by a poem about hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Melee

Transcript:
The descent.
Through the cloud;
Off a cliff;
Into the needles
—Of a blackberry bush.
The voice of death
Whirring in your head
The descent into hell—
You know that you’re dead.
The same from all places
The distance of the journey is
For central the location be
Of Auburn’s room 296.

Wow… talk about anticlimax. I’m guessing that my creative writing class met in room 296. Anyway, that poem is followed by a rough draft of the next poem. Moving along, here is that second poem:

Gripping, masculine, muscular hands
In hell, no-one can hear you—
Play Smash Brothers—
I guess Roy really IS flaming!

A few things:

  • Roy is a character from Super Smash Brothers: Melee (originally from the Fire Emblem video game series), and I never liked him. His sword often bursts into the flame in the game, so I liked to call him things like “flaming idiot” and “flaming loser.” At the time, “to flame” someone meant “to insult” someone; I often had “flame wars” with my friend Captain, who of course LOVED Roy.
  • The imagery of tightly gripped hands could apply to Roy’s very heavy in-game sword, but it ends up implying the grip used to hold a controller. This gives the Smash Brothers poem actual poetic validity, which both annoys and pleases me.
  • I wonder why I specified “blackberry bush” in my first poem?

I like that my seemingly serious attempt at a poem about death/hell devolved into a stupid comment about my high school creative writing classroom, but my stupid anecdotal poem about a character I hated in Smash Brothers resulted in the creation of some actual legitimate poetry.

I’ve always been told that the best material comes from your passions. I was VERY passionate about Smash Brothers in high school (and college… and now), so I guess it makes sense that some semblance of creativity would have come out of me when writing about Roy.

…still feels totally ridiculous, though.

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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!

Aphorisms!

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, an aphorism is kind of like a proverb. You know, stuff like “patience is a virtue,” “stupid is as stupid does,” and others like that. Here is a list of aphorisms that I wrote:

Can you spot the not-so-famous one I included?

Can you spot the not-so-famous one I included?

I didn’t invent any of these, but here are my favorites:
“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.”
“Condoms don’t protect the heart.”
“Candy is dandy – liquor is quicker.”

And, of course, the one I slipped in from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. But I’ll leave that one up to YOU to identify (if you can read my high school handwriting, of course).

So if I didn’t create anything original, then why am I posting this? As a precursor to tomorrow’s poetry, of course! Stay tuned.

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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!

Greek philosophy and a poem about semicolons

Whether or not you like my (10-year-old) poetry, you will likely find something you enjoy in this post! That’s because the top half of my page of notes contains timeless quotes about life from Greek philosophers, transcribed here:

“Actions always planned are never completed.” -Democritus
“Old men were once young, but it is uncertain if young men will reach old age.” -Democritus
“The path up and down is one and the same.” -Heraclitus
“Nature likes to hide itself.” -Heraclitus
“The world is change; life is opinion.” -Democritus
“Theraclitus said that a man’s character is his fate.” -Stabeus (?)
“[Parmenides] speaks of perceiving and thinking as the same thing.” -Theophrastus
“All things were together. The mind came and arranged them.” -Anaxagoras
“Worlds are altered rather than destroyed.” -Democritus
“Dark and light, bad and good, are not different, but are one and the same.” -Heraclitus

Whoa, we’re starting to get deep, aren’t we? I have no clue how these quotes tied in with the poem I wrote below them (if at all); nonetheless, here it is, transcription following the image:

Top half: the ideas of great philosophers. Bottom half: my poem about semicolons.

Top half: the ideas of great philosophers. Bottom half: my poem about semicolons.

Transcript:
Poor, deprived semicolon
There isn’t even punctuation in Latin
So then, why, Anaxagoras?
The mind came,
Arranged everything
So then, why?
Punctuation, arranged for granted?
Taken for granted?
Taken at all?
The mind needs a mean
By which it can arrange;
How, then,
Is the semicolon neglected?
Rejected?
Disrespected?
Why, Anaxagoras? Why?
…why?

A few things:

  • Did Anaxagoras invent written language? No[t that I can find using Google]. Does my poem suggest this? Yes. Do I know what to make of this discrepancy? Hell no.
  • For the uninitiated, Anaxagoras was a Greek philosopher best known for having a totally badass name.
  • I took a Latin class my senior year of high school, and that is directly responsible for my use of the phrase “by which,” as we used a LOT of prepositions in that class. As a result, we learned to write by means of many prepositions (see what I did there?).

I used to LOVE writing semicolons in high school and college, but lately I’ve become a huge fan of using colons. Not just to introduce lists, mind you; my use of colons is much more advanced than that. Of course, right now I can’t think of how I could purposely write a sentence to utilize a semicolon, but that just means you’ll have to keep checking my web site for more updates so you can spot ’em when I write them!

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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!

An abstract poem

I have no back story on this poem other than the obvious fact that I wrote it ten years ago today. Let’s see what I devised:

This is a bit more abstract than my other high school poetry

This is a bit more abstract than my other high school poetry

Transcript:
Antithetical,
Monkey thought.
Thetical,
Jerk thought.
The greedy discussion
Blood red checks to get in
Stained with pain,
Written in vain
Thoughtful thinking
Never ceasing
Until it do.

I can’t say much about this poem other than “until it do” is a blatant misuse of correct grammar. Some of my classmates in certain high school classes didn’t talk very goodly, so I’m sure they inspired that line. Other than that, I don’t have much to say about this. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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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!

A really good poem with sexual undertones

There’s a bunch of crap on this page that you can probably ignore, followed by a poem that I actually kind of like a lot. More specifically, the top part of the page is probably some sort of word association, as I wrote about memories like “Forest City Invitational, senior year” (a cross country meet I ran) and “Picking up Dorothy and spinning her around” (I played the Scarecrow in “The Wiz”), and the middle part of the page looks like some disjointed stream-of-consciousness-type writing.

I’m only going to transcribe the poem that follows those thoughts, however, because frankly, I think it’s actually worth reading:

February 5, 2003: Poem

Transcript:
Rest
Relaxation
Muscles loosened
Body stopped
Staring at the closet, the closet staring back at me
One last movement – cuddling
One last thought – sex
One last sigh –
Finally.

It has pretty strong implications, but it’s also open to interpretation. You could even say that it’s… poetic. Maybe my creative writing teacher got to me after all. I just hope this poem was as good for you as it was for me (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

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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!

Writing exercise: writing a poem using similes

We did a fun little writing exercise in class on February 4, in which we completed some sentences to create similes. I feel like I wrote some pretty cool similes! But then, we were supposed to use them as an inspiration for a poem. Let’s see what I accomplished:

This poem uses a lot of similes! Which goes to show that a poem that uses a lot of similes... is still crap, if it's a terrible poem.

This poem uses a lot of similes! Which goes to show that a poem that uses a lot of similes… is still terrible, if it’s an awful poem.

Transcript:

Pouring coffee down his throat
As if he hadn’t had a drink since last night,
The honor walked down the plank
Towards the ring
Towards his title shot
For the WWE Undisputed Championship
The puffy clouds in his glass of wine
—Last night—
Had been like the jagged clouds in his opponent’s bag of cocaine
The clouds rolling like dice out of a cup
Like his mother’s fist did to his face last night
And as the honor saw the hydrochloric acid at ringside
He knew it could solve his greatest problem:
Zombies.

A few things:

  • This is terrible… except for the last line.
  • I don’t know what an “honor” is, in this context. Obviously I know what honor is, but my use of the word here baffles me. It’s not capitalized, so it’s not a judge… any ideas?
  • At least it’s coherent?

This just goes to show that there’s more to writing than just using literary devices. I think I probably took the assignment too literally, but I came up with something that at least told a coherent story, so… it could’ve been worse? Either way, let’s hope it doesn’t get much worse.

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” project, 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!

The Super Bowl: Raiders and Buccaneers vs. 49ers and Ravens

I’m not excited about Super Bowl XLVII. I don’t really follow football other than watching the Packers play, and I usually watch all the best Super Bowl commercials online before they air.

Apparently, I wasn’t really interested in the Super Bowl ten years ago, either. The following is a printed out page from my web site, featuring a post that I wrote on January 27, 2003 – the day after Super Bowl XXXVII. I printed out this page and turned it in to my creative writing teacher, since we were required to write outside of class.

it appears that my teacher only had one comment, and that was to underline a phrase that I wrote that was not politically correct. I hope I don’t offend anyone with it, but frankly, I didn’t remember the name of the guy I referenced, so I wrote what I wrote. But I do think he’s awesome and rocks as a commentator. More or less politically incorrect in 2013? I don’t know. Just please try not to freak out: remember, I wrote this when I was 17.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on Super Bowl XXXVII (expletives deleted, for the most part):

I apologize for the political incorrectness of the underlined phrase... but I really DO like that one African-American NFL commentator, he's awesome!

I apologize for the political incorrectness of the underlined phrase… but I really DO like that one African-American NFL commentator, he’s awesome!

A few things:

  • “Buccaneers” and “Raiders” ARE both rejected versions of the word “Pirate.” I bet that would be all over the Internet if it happened today.
  • Jimmy Kimmel isn’t so bad these days. No more hate!
  • I still don’t like anti-drug commercials, but at least they’re less patronizing than they were ten years ago.
  • I’d never heard of Sting prior to this Super Bowl. After seeing the halftime show, I wish I had still never heard of him.
  • It’s funny that my teacher took exception to calling that one African-American commentator “that black guy” but she had no problem with me calling Terry Bradshaw “that pissed off old redneck.” Also, what is that guy’s name?!
  • “It made me miss Independence Day on FOX” is one of my favorite lines I have ever written.
  • To this day, I STILL think it’s incredibly bizarre that the Patriots won the first Super Bowl after 9/11.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down Super Bowl lane! I frankly don’t care who wins today, and I’ll be doing a radio show during the game anyway. Maybe I’ll watch next year.

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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!

Writing exercise: writing similes and completing sentences, 2003 vs. 2013

Yay, a writing exercise! My creative writing teacher provided phrases ending with “is/are like…” or “as if…” and we had to finish the sentence, thus forming a simile (although it looks like some of these are just sentences needing completion, but close enough). We were giving this exercise on February 4, but I’m posting it on February 2 because we then used these similes as inspiration to write a poem, and I plan to post the poem on February 4.

I’m going to actually do this exercise, meaning that I will type all of her “set-up” phrases and complete them on my own. Then, I will supply my original 2003 answer, and then we can all compare. And please note that no, not all of these will end up being “similes” strictly by definition. Let’s do it:

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

Similes:

A spider on an old man’s beard is like…
2013: a scorpion in a tumbleweed.
2003: a woman in an older man’s bed.

The oars on a boat rowed as if…
2013: they had no other purpose.
2003: pushing away an annoying little brat.

Nothing was the same now that it was…
2013: Friday.
2003: Halloween.

The Wino took to coma like…
2013: a Russian going to bed.
2003: a student after school.

The dice rolled out of the cup toward Len like…
2013: an avalanche of rocks spewing from the peak of a mountain.
2003: his mother’s fist did last night.

A child in _____ is like a _____ in _____
2013: A child in peril is like a princess in the dungeon.
2003: A child in need is like a stripper in jail.

Puffy clouds in your glass of wine are like…
2013: balls of lava in a lava lamp.
2003: jagged clouds in your bag of cocaine.

A _____ is like muscles stretched taut over bone
2013: canvas
2003: hug

The fog plumed through the gunshot holes in the train windows like…
2013: a creepy pedophile sneaking into an elementary school.
2003: water pours out of Daffy Duck after Elmer Fudd shoots him.

The grey honor (honor?) walked up the satin plank as if…
2013: he were going to receive a medal for exceptional swordsmanship.
2003: on his way to the ring for a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship.

Cancelled checks in the abandoned boat seemed…
2013: like an impractical waste of space.
2003: almost as confusing as this awful analogy.

If I should wake before I die…
2013: then I should celebrate life.
2003: put me back to sleep with your warmth.

Illanah poured coffee down her throat as if…
2013: she were a robot that needed oil to continue to function.
2003: she hadn’t had a drink since last night.

Up is like down when…
2013: you’re in Dante’s Inferno.
2003: you’re completely insane.

You mine rocks from a quarry. What you get from a quandary is…
2013: a lot more difficult to understand.
2003: able to rock your mineshaft. (lol)

Marlene dangled the Parson from the question as if…
2013: I have any idea what a Parson is. (and yes, I know I ended that with a preposition)
2003: she actually made sense.

She held her life in her own hands as if it were…
2013: a chip on a roulette table, optimistically willing to let its value be determined by the arbitrary spin of a wheel.
2003: a feather on a windy day.

“No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…
2013: balling into a fist and preparing to strike.
2003: wrapping more tightly around her waist to keep her close.

The solution was hydrochloric acid; the problem was, therefore…
2013: finding a plastic container that could contain it without dissolving. (Thanks, Breaking Bad)
2003: zombies.

Love is to open sky as loathing is to…
2013: being tightly bound and unable to move, barely able to breathe.
2003: cuddly rabbits and teddy bears.

A few things:

  • Why so many drug and alcohol references? I was in high school!
  • Here’s your homework: please explain to me how a child in need is like a stripper in jail.
  • I actually really like the Elmer Fudd / Daffy Duck line… frankly, it’s completely appropriate. Well done, 17-year-old me!

I was struck by the similarity in my responses for She held her life in her own hands as if it were…; in both of my responses, “she” left her life completely open to chance, leaving fate to decide its outcome. Conversely, my responses to the very next entry, “No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…, were polar opposites, one ending in a fist and the other ending in an embrace.

It appears that over time, people are capable of changing in some ways, but not others. Or perhaps as a writer, inspiration strikes differently at different times? Perhaps some writers have killed off characters in some drafts, but saved them in others. I guess there’s only one way for me to further explore this theory: write more!

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This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” project, 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!

Uh oh… a serious poem?

Well, this is going to be challenging.

In a culture over-saturated with irony, it’s hard to say something serious and leave yourself vulnerable to criticism, judgment, or even simple interpretation. That’s why I’m at least a bit reluctant to post this poem, because although I did indeed write it ten years ago, it’s strikingly devoid of the irreverence typical of the rest of my work. Was my teacher somehow successful in motivating me to actually attempt a serious poem?

Fortunately, the fact that I wrote this poem ten years ago is akin to a famous actor posting a video of the commercial he did for a local insurance company in Kansas when he was 16, so let’s face it: I can’t be too sensitive about any feedback I receive from anyone. So without further ado, let’s see if I was able to muster any poetic talent after my first couple weeks of a creative writing class (note that my actual poem attempt appears at the bottom half of the page):

 

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes... there's really no way to tell.

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes… there’s really no way to tell. Either way, feel free to ignore it!

Transcript:
Darkness, stars, shattered dreams
Golden Idol among blindfolded denial
Cry of the Lifestream
Bloodshed of war
Fall of the epic hero
Hardcore
Body falling endlessly
Fallable, Falling, Failing
Hopeless destruction
Ultimate end
Hopeless failure
Goodbye to a friend.

A few things:

  • “Lifestream” is a Final Fantasy VII reference, and knowing me, I used “Hardcore” in the context of professional wrestling. So I guess I did go a LITTLE “inside” with this poem.
  • I feel like this poem would be awesome at a beat poetry open mic, probably because it doesn’t have an obnoxiously generic rhyming scheme.
  • Is this perhaps some kind of analogy for the life of a video game character?

You know what’s weird? I wanted to write some commentary on the poem, so I scrolled up to read it. And seeing it written on a blank white screen in sans serif, Italicized font… well, it made it un-readable to me. Am I totally crazy or what? But seriously, I feel like I can only read this in its original hand-written form, or I’m not able to really “get into it.”

Anyway, what do you think? Is this any “good” or is it just mindless high school drivel? I took the creative writing class to learn how to be more poetic (whatever that means), but I think that at the conclusion of the class, I never really learned whether I was any good at it or if I just got better at feeling like I knew what I was doing. Does that even make sense? Probably not. But I’m going with it anyway.

Clearly, I need to practice writing some more… good thing I’ve got this web site! Thanks for joining me for the ride. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share my project with anyone you think may be interested. More posts to come soon!

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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!

Free-flowing thoughts of a high schooler

And now for something completely different!

Apparently, we listened to music in class while writing down a free-flowing stream of thought. I don’t remember what music was playing, but that kind of makes this page of notes more awesome; in fact, go ahead and try to imagine what kind of music I was hearing at the time I wrote this: I’d love to hear your theories!

Actually, I’m very interested in whether you find this interesting at all. When you read the lucid thoughts of a teenager below, are you able to paint yourself a picture of anything? Does it outline any sort of character for you? Or is it all just completely nonsensical?

I understand most of what is below on some level, whether because I’m familiar with the cultural references I make, or because some of it just makes sense on its own (i.e. the part about Irish girls). But do you? Please send me a message or let me know in the comments how you respond to this – I’m quite curious!

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy the free-flowing thoughts of a 17-year-old high school student in a creative writing class:

The free-flowing thought of a 17-year-old. What I wouldn't give to know what music was playing during this writing exercise...

The free-flowing thought of a 17-year-old. What I wouldn’t give to know what music was playing during this writing exercise…

Transcript:

Suikoden
Captain, making fun of Suikoden
Final Fantasy 6 opera
Celes, Setzer, Gau, Terra,
Locke Edgar, Strago, Relm
Strago / Relm / Shadow connection?
Why is the tape so quiet then
so loud? Crappy player?
Is it the school’s or the teacher’s?
Want to practice with
All-City Musical Orchestra
What the hell is this from?
It’s not very good
Almost sounds Irish, only bad
Brynn’s Irish
I LIKE Irish girls
Now it REALLY sounds Irish
I want to marry an Irish girl – probably a
redhead
I hate Captain’s watch
Why did that just cut off?
What the hell (once again)
It WAS like Ty Cobb
This is like Linkin’ Park
Nice saxophone, nice beat
Cool band, I like it
I need to ask what this is
Who was that woman
singing?
I bet she wasn’t Irish
This sounds like something
off of a soundtrack
Specifically, Lord of the Rings
Gosh that movie sucked
War, blood, violence
I never think the IMAGE
of blood, I usually picture
grey swords clanging together.
This is from the 20’s
I wish I was in love
I kind of AM in love, but in
an ambivalent, restrained
kind of way
I knew that would end
right there
This HARDCORE sounds
like Final Fantasy
That one song… either “We
Three Kings of Orient Are” or
“Tuxedo Kamen Piano Suite”
from Sailor Moon
Really sounds like 3 kings
Too bad that had to end
Secret of Mana time
Very nice… wish I was more
proficient at the piano
It stopped
“Creative juices” made me
think of sex right away

The only things I’ll point out are that “Captain” is the name of my best friend, who took the class with me, and Brynn is the name of another close [always platonic] friend who sat next to me in that class. Their names will come up several times in the future, I’m sure, so you may as well be aware of their existence now.

Please let me know whether this is all completely meaningless to you, or if disjointed personal writing like this sparks something in your imagination! I feel that so many things online today are cut-and-dry, spelled out for you, and not really open to interpretation. I want to know if I’m adding something deeper, or if I’m just adding nonsense to the noise. And please feel free to share with friends if you think any of them would like to add their thoughts!

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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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