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Tag Archive | prose

Poem: The Konami Code

If you want to test someone to find out if (s)he is a “real” gamer, then ask about the Konami Code. It’s a cheat code used in several Konami games, but for whatever reason, it became so iconic that other video games also started to utilize it, and has become so prevalent in pop culture that ESPN, Facebook, and Google have featured it in Easter Eggs on their web sites. It’s kind of a big deal.

The Konami Code, by the way, is up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, usually followed by start or select and then start. I did that from memory. Be impressed… or don’t, since I just talked about how familiar every gamer should be with it.

Anyway, I wrote a poem about it. Please enjoy it.

I only had to use three continues before finishing this poem!! ... which... doesn't even make sense

I only had to use three continues before finishing this poem!! … which… doesn’t even make sense

Transcript:

Look at you!
Look at me
Look at you
Looking at nothing
BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST?
What’s it to you,
Super nerd?
I don’t think so—
Not this time—
So let me look around,
Look inside,
Pretend I believe in your fictional lies!
I’m gonna flip,
Iron Will;
Shoot to thrill, play to kill!
Stolen line just like the rest,
Unoriginality’s always been the best,
So do it sideways, up,
Up, down, down,
Left, right, left, right,
B, A, B, A,
Start the fight
Cause I’m gonna win,
Your chance was gone when I turned you on,
And now you’re gone, worse off than Pong,
Made obsolete by myself the 1337,
And when you scream I flip the switch
And live to fight another day.
Game Over, bitch.

Analysis:

  • This is awful.
  • Yes, I realize it’s not really about Konami. Or the Konami Code. Or anything.
  • “1337” is pronounced “leet” (like “elite,” but without the “e”), in case you aren’t nerdy enough to immediately realize that.
  • “And live to fight another day” is what the major bad guys (Bebop, Rocksteady, The Shredder, Krang) yelled all the time in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. So yes, that’s stolen, too.
  • This… wow, this is awful.

I hope you were mildly entertained by this. Just remember: you can write better poetry than me. Sometimes I write decent stuff, but with this, I have officially set the bar so low, you can’t possibly do much worse. I’m gonna go punch the Konami Code into a controller for a while now.

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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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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!

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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 Poem: “Bad Poetry Gone Worse”

AN ASSIGNMENT! Looks like we had homework in my creative writing class. And this also looks like a semi-serious attempt at a semi-serious poem. I’m going to post the transcript first, and THEN an image of the poem, so that you can read it (if you’d like) without my teacher’s commentary first.

Just as before, I’m reluctant to post one of my actual serious attempts at poetry, because who wants to feel vulnerable ever? And yet I must, not only to grow as an artist, but because I wrote this ten years ago and really have no business feeling self-conscious about it in the first place. So here you go:

Bad Poetry Gone Worse

Warmth and safety –
Temporary, not contemporary –
Brought about by softly stroking,
Holding close who means the most,
To feel warmth and safety.

A delicate caress, and a moment trapped in time
Forever – an eternity – can never last that long
The feeling held, the moment constant,
Infinity within a single embrace
Yet no time, no numbers, no measurements
Can quantify my Happiness.

Supporting Me, supporting You
Like two, like one; like one, like two;
Together at last, together forever
Together forever… but only for a moment.

One last look one last sigh
One last hug at the end of the night
One last peck – unless we’re just Friends –
One last grin as if keeping things quiet
One last touch to ensure that She’s there
One last heartbeat—
The everlasting hug… Gone.

Don't let the title fool you: it's not actually that bad. Maybe.

Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not actually that bad. Maybe.

A few things:

  • We studied Emily Dickinson quite extensively in English class; this led to a substantial use of “random” capitalization in my poetry, often somewhat mockingly. In this case, however, it looks like my teacher (and I, ten years later) was pleased with how I used it.
  • I can’t decide whether I agree with my inclusion the line “Temporary, not contemporary” that my teacher circled. It kind of doesn’t fit, but I feel like there’s a case for it. Thoughts?
  • This poem doesn’t suck, so that’s kinda cool, right?

I wasn’t what you would call “good” at things like “turning in assignments on time,” so I’m sure the check with “-20%” at the top of the page means that I turned in my assignment late. Oh well, I still graduated!

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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!

“Bad Ernest Hemingway Movie” Notes

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, I wasn’t a big fan of an Ernest Hemingway movie we watched in my sophomore English class in high school.

20001021 Bad Hemmingway Movie Notes

First of all, yes, I know I misspelled his name, but thank you for pointing out that mistake I made 12 years ago. But moving along, my teenage brain had some pretty hilarious comments about the film interspersed with my notes:

“A stupid bull was charging some ugly guy in a dream”
Love the specificity there.

“That guy ate bull testacles – what a stupid @$#?!!!”
And here I thought I was an adventurous eater!

“They burn all the mother*$?!@!ing s*@?!! after the festival”
I don’t even think I was complaining about anything… I’m pretty sure I just felt like using excessive profanity.

“Hemmingway [sic] was born & raised in Chicago
Called it a place of wide somethings
and narrow minds”
I’d never lived in Chicago, but at least now I know my notes are accurate: this city is, indeed, a place of narrow minds and – more than anything else – wide somethings.

“Ernie liked boxing, hunting, fishing & shooting”
This isn’t really that funny, but I’m mildly amused that I called him “Ernie” in my notes ^_^

“The crazy Brit bought Red Fox urine”
I’m sure there was an actual context here, as fox urine is probably a thing that has to do with hunting… but I’m not sure if I’m calling Hemingway or someone else “the crazy Brit.” Either way, I rule.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that our class notes were graded – including this class. So I have no earthly idea how this slipped through the cracks. Maybe I was really testing my teacher to see if she would actually read them? Maybe she didn’t care?

Wow! Now I know how historians feel about the great mysteries of history…

 

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