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(05-04-2011, 09:59 PM)
iavi's Avatar
The NeoGAF Poetry Corner - Challenge #: 25

Theme: Futurism.

Forgeting the old with a dash of violence. Focusing to the times ahead. Interpet the theme as you wish.

Secondary Objective: Avoid Technology.

Even though the admiration of technology played a major part in the movement that was futurism, we're going to try and avoid it here. To focus on such an easy target would almost feel like cheating.

Poetry thread Rules version 1.2:
1. This thread is not merely for winning or losing, but for critiquing and improving your own craft.
2. This poetry thread 'contest' will end on a Friday, and voting will last until Sunday at midnight. You cannot win unless you vote. Although you don't have to submit a piece to vote.
3. The winner must then provide the next challenge theme for the following two week period. Some weeks like during E3, this may not be possible, so we will have an interim one week period until normality is resumed. As a general rule, we like to keep this on the alternate week to the Creative Writing Thread.
4. There are no word count limits, make it as long or as short as you want.
5. Optional secondary objectives are not mandatory, you can include them or not.
6. Further addition to rule five: you can also try the secondary objective as a secondary piece. Just make sure you label it as such.
7. Vote for your favourite poems. Voters should award first, second and third places to their favourite three poems. Don't vote for the same author twice. And watch out for pieces that are labeled ineligible - comments on these pieces labelled as such are welcome but you just can't vote for them. Incidentally, feel free to vote even if you haven't submitted a piece - the more the merrier :)
8. During the count, First place is allocated three points. Second place is allocated two points. And third place is allocated one point.
9. In the event of a tie, the tally will be counted again with first place being allocated three and half points. If it isn't resolved then, it will be up to the OP (most likely the previous winner) to decide to how to go about things.
10. Winner gets a round of applause and will have the records stating it as such. After which Rule 3 is in effect and we start a new thread.

Submission Deadline: 11:59pm (PST) Fri, May 13th

Voting Deadline: 11:59pm (PST) Sun, May 15th


The NeoGAF Poetry Society: Previous Challenges:

Poetry Challenge #01: Reflection
Poetry Challenge #02: Making the Blind See (+ 5W poems)
Poetry Challenge #03: Interior (+ Incorporate a song or album title)
Poetry Challenge #04: History (+ Dream Song poems)
Poetry Challenge #05: A View From Afar or Within (+ Clerihew poems)
Poetry Challenge #06: The Surreal and the Fantastical (+ Haikus)
Poetry Challenge #07: Expectations versus Reality (+ Ode)
Poetry Challenge #08: Mirror's Edge (+ Rhymes)
Poetry Challenge #09: Look on the Bright Side (+ poem must end with _________________ as it's last line)
Poetry Challenge #10: Obsolete (+ Ink)
Poetry Challenge #11: Pride (+ Kanye West)
Poetry Challenge #12: Passing By (+ Allegory)
Poetry Challenge #13: Take this Society (+ Ballards)
Poetry Challenge #14: The Dark (+ Add Zombies to taste)
Poetry Challenge #15: The Great Winter (+ Elegy)
Poetry Challenge #16: What Nature Reclaims (+ Lay)
Poetry Challenge #17: Storm Clouds Rising (+ First Person)
Poetry Challenge #18: The Phoenix (+ Enjambment)
Poetry Challenge #19: Psychopomps (+ Assonance)
Poetry Challenge #20: Death in the Family (+ Limericks)
Poetry Challenge #21: A Night on the Town (+ Didactic Poems)
Poetry Challenge #22: A Letter to the World (+ Inside Outside Poetry)
Poetry Challenge #23: The Blues
Poetry Challenge #24: Space, Above & Beyond (+ Prose Poetry)
(05-04-2011, 10:01 PM)
iavi's Avatar
The NeoGAF Poetry Society: Alumni's Archive
(05-04-2011, 10:39 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
In the nick of time, my man. In the nick of time.

edit:Cool theme, but I wish more people would pick a poetry form for the secondary obj more.
(05-05-2011, 06:07 PM)
AnkitT's Avatar
A cadaver spurts out blood feigning life
Still warm from last night’s nuke fright
The hands clinging on to a phantom gun
No legs present, so probably not a Russian
The perfect dead body, free from mutilation
Only the gun stolen, still has his TAG token
I pick it up and scan it under the microscan
Tears down my cheeks, it’s my son from Pakistan

They nuked us in 2012 high on post-Osama testosterone
Within a few weeks Russia became our foster home
Then nukes 2 and 3 fell and most of us died there and then
No one knows who sent those, but it must have been them
We approached the north, pressure from all the borders
Radiation crossed the barbed wire and command orders
Entire Middle East evacuated and then we were bombed again
The special interests were taken care of, but just to be certain

4 nukes later, we made our journey to the northern promise
My wife and kid got weaker and weaker and started to vomit
“We’ll be there soon, I’ll keep you safe, and you have my word”
A few miles ahead the ground was covered in dead birds
We crunched through hollow bones and accepted the warmth
“Just a few steps and we’ll be there son, be strong!”
I watched as the bleak sky turned pitch black with locust swarms
I held on to my wife but I couldn’t grab hold of my son’s arm

We looked around and couldn’t find him or even his dead body
“We have to leave soon; we can find him better after surviving”
She was angry and I was sad, but we had to move on
The sun was setting and there were rumours of another bomb
We dragged our feet and finally made it to the guarded border
People were entering through a system of trade and barter
Didn’t have anything to give, but my wife knew what was to happen
She gave herself up and said, “Make this count and find our son”

For 10 years I wandered around the border looking for him
Every dead body could be him, but the chance were slim
The night before, there were reports of a 5th nuke in store
And the fact that Pakistan would forever close its doors
I scouted the borders and remembered my wife’s words
The notion of crossing the lead walls was yet absurd
And that night I saw the warm cadaver melting the snow
“I found my son dead, and now have nowhere else to go”
(05-05-2011, 09:39 PM)
iavi's Avatar
That's a damn powerful tale, Ankit. Great showings.
Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
(05-06-2011, 06:48 AM)
WanderingWind's Avatar
When tomorrow's sun is set
Faded ash, we all will be
Another cycle of death and life
Breaking ever turning monotony

When castes are broken
The black blood all spent
We weep for futures bartered now
Our brows beaten, bruised, bent

We raise one eye skyward
Keep one on our neighbor's kin
The future is always a step away
And we'll never see it again
(05-09-2011, 08:35 PM)
iavi's Avatar
Don't forget that this is here, guys. I'll have mine up in a bit. I finally thought up a solid concept.
British Monsoon
(05-09-2011, 08:37 PM)
British Monsoon's Avatar
Oh thanks for the bump, I forgot all about this - great theme Miri, looking forward to reading everyone's entries.

Also, I noticed you've set the deadline to Wednesday - unlike the creative writing thread we usually set the deadline to Fridays with the voting deadline on Sundays, as it takes less time to read through the submissions than it does with prose :)
(05-09-2011, 08:44 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
Yeah, thanks for the bump.

The voting deadline should be Sunday as well.

On topic, I have been thinking about the theme, and am thinking of trying for a more colloquial take. Like that famous Philip Larkin poem about parents fucking you up.

The poem is still in copyright I guess. Here's a link to it:

This Be the Verse
By Philip Larkin
(05-09-2011, 08:45 PM)
iavi's Avatar

Originally Posted by Bootaaay

Oh thanks for the bump, I forgot all about this - great theme Miri, looking forward to reading everyone's entries.

Also, I noticed you've set the deadline to Wednesday - unlike the creative writing thread we usually set the deadline to Fridays with the voting deadline on Sundays, as it takes less time to read through the submissions than it does with prose :)

Yeah, I was thinking that it was a little more generous than needed. Think I should move it back a bit?

EDIT: I completely misread what you had there. You want it moved up. will do.
(05-09-2011, 08:57 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
It's basically to keep the poetry and creative threads on alternative weeks, and still retain the two weeks period for getting your entries in, on top of what Bootaaay said.
(05-10-2011, 11:53 PM)
iavi's Avatar
I KNOW HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER! You don't know how long I've been stuck on how to start this thing, lol. My last entry strayed towards the more 'organic' side of the imagery coin, this one will dabble in the industrial.

This is totally working as a bump too. All of you who are always dropping in saying that you wanted to participate but forgot that this was here, no excuses. Lets see some of those great entries. I'll have mine up in a few.
(05-11-2011, 02:32 AM)
iavi's Avatar
Saboteur. Society. Cycle.

Looking from his window, and not an ounce of sunlight would hit his eyes—dark days, allowing him nothing but the sight of seemingly impenetrable concrete, gate’s a plenty: society’s building—stories-high. Its shadow swallowing him whole. Its shadow sipping at his soul—it wouldn’t take enough to eat the whole of him, but enough to enrage the anger in his eyes.

So, he grabbed his hammer, and swore to himself that he’d tear it down a size; swore that he’d build from its debris; swore that in his name, a new one would soon rise—house at the top of all that cool: him—the one who's signifigance they refused to realize. Society was now coming down, and the Saboteur cares not who dies.


That... I hate GAF. That looks so much shorter here than it does in word.
British Monsoon
(05-11-2011, 09:02 AM)
British Monsoon's Avatar
Death Rattle

Glistening shards of metal and glass
that perforate the clouds like masts
of a thousand silver ships, rising
above the bustle and the hustle
as people scurry about their lives,
ants locked in a never ending tussle
until the day of their inevitable demise.
Fallen leaves rot on the forest floor
crunching underfoot as cold tides draw
across the earth and above into the skies,
land gripped in a steel and stone vice
that constricts and consumes all it surveys
nature awash under a technological daze.
Yet the people, they ain't at all fazed
as they deal with their own pains everyday,
lives too short to take a glance
no time to spare a simple thought
for the world around them as it breaths it's last.
A death rattle too laborious, the people retort.
(05-11-2011, 09:13 AM)
"maybe tomorrow."

she said she thought
where she'd be
I said not to worry about it
But she said
How can't I?
with everything that's going on
that went on
that might go on
I said not to worry about it
raised glass
the music is too loud to hear her
because it was karaoke night
She said, what will I be?
Where will I be?
Will I still be with that miserable sonofabitch?
3 kids?
A fucking housewife?
I said not to worry.
She said it was 2 in the morning and she should be getting home.
Okay, I said.
I'll take you home.
When I dropped her off, she asked me
What do you think the world will be like tomorrow?
I told her I didn't know
But don't sweat it
nobody does.
The zoos will still be open and the bars will still be serving.
She said she should probably go to bed.
a kiss goodnight
She'll be around next week
if I wanted to call her.
I went home and smoked a smoke and jerked off and went to bed.
She wouldn't be a housewife
if she kept on like this
and I had to smile.
(05-11-2011, 09:17 AM)
ZephyrFate's Avatar
Cold latex clinging to erect flesh
And the reproductive pelvic thrusting of two masses of flesh
But there was a quickness to their escapades
Fast as bullet trains
And as the spermatozoa burst through in a final, painful thrust

They're left cold on a piece of tissue.
And the fantasy dissolves.

Nothing left but spent feelings and spent energy

It'll happen, won't it?
(05-13-2011, 02:52 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
Last day to get your stuff in.
(05-13-2011, 03:21 PM)
Salvor.Hardin's Avatar
Beyond the Horizon

We looked to the West
With dreams afresh
'twas a pale blue afternoon

She lowered her gaze
One last time over the range
Streaks of tangerine darted
Muddied and frayed

We looked out across
Our earth bound shores
We ran our fingers
through murky rivers
And dug into the mud
Into soft grains of mother

I have evolved beyond
Your purpose, mum
And now I must leave
To a planet for me

Oh child, said she
I'm withered and worn
The steel that you wrapped
Across my body is bronze
But you take care
As I tremble and die

With a pat on the mound
I got into my ship
And I sailed into space
As I looked to the West
(05-13-2011, 08:03 PM)
Ashes's Avatar

Time, my best friend

I feel like a kid still,
though I'm half way to thirty.

One of these days,
the music is going to stop playing;
and like the fool I am,
I will dance to the tune in my own head;
drunk, disheveled, fully confident,
that I alone am the life and soul of the party.

And that crowd out there,
with collective eyes,
and community frowns,
I hear them laugh behind my back,
and of course it depresses me,
but sigh, I was never good enough;
the bar was always too high.

Look at that drunk idiot,
low life loser,
if only he could see himself.
Oh but I do; I do.
I'm not good enough,
and I lie to myself. I get it.
And don't look at me like that,
Sarah, not you. Please not you...

Empty bottles leave no traces
of tenderness in the air;
nobody cares, it's not their affair;
the cobbles are my friends,
the walls my au pair.

Schadenfreude, rejoice,
I'm giving up my heavy words;
my past is like a humming bird,
trapped in a bird cage;
open the door, set it free.
No, its like the teardrop,
rolling down the Myna's cheeks;
and I am like the owner,
who mistakes that tear for something,
that requires a vet.

If my future were a piece of paper,
I'm the one holding the lighter.

Where's my friend,
where is she gone?
Thirty already;
Gawd damn.
(05-14-2011, 05:54 AM)
iavi's Avatar
awesome! Seems like we've got ourselves a good amount of entries this challenge. There's still time too! If you're still procrastinating, or just plain nervous, don't be. Lets see if we can get even a few more.

and Ashes, if you wouldn't mind, could you get the compilation post together when the deadline has hit? I only ask because you seem to do it pretty well for both writing threads, and I won't be able to.
(05-14-2011, 09:34 AM)
Ashes's Avatar

The Nominations for Best Poem on the 25th Anniversary of The Poetry Thread are as follows:

"It's personal"
By AnkitT

By Wandering Wind

"Saboteur. Society. Cycle."
By Miri

"Death Rattle"
By Bootaaay

"maybe tomorrow."
By disappeared

By ZephyrFate

"Beyond the Horizon"
By Salvor.Hardin

"Time, my best friend"
By Ashes1396


Get your votes in by the end of the weekend. PST Time.

Thank you for entering. Good luck!

(05-15-2011, 01:28 AM)
iavi's Avatar
I find the fact that most of you focused on negativity kind of fascinating. That’s actually what I had in mind when picking the theme; on which side of the positive/negative meter your interpretations of the future strayed.

Anyways, some great entries this time around, guys.

My votes:

1. Ankit – “It’s personal” – As I noted before, there’s a fucking ton of feeling in this one. Granted, some of the word choices feel a bit funny—as if you chose them, if only to rhyme—but that alone doesn’t diminish the luster of the piece. Great goings this time. Try to work this same amount of emotion into your short story challenge entries. You’ll get votes.

2. Ashes – “Time, My Best Friend” – There’s a lot of feeling to this one. And I appreciate that you brought the creativity in metaphors to the table this time. They’re always so baddass, and really seem to do you best. It’s something that I’ve noticed in both writing threads. The pacing of the piece felt a little off though. It jumps around a bit. That may just be me though.

Thanks for that awesome compilation post too! It really does look kinda fucking amazing haha.

3. Bootaaay – “Death Rattle” – You’re imagery is always, always, always, so fucking on point. Your consistency in this thread is kind of amazing, truth be told. I did feel however that your piece lacked on the intimacy this time around. It looks like that was intentional, due to what you were trying to portray, but it couldn’t stand against the onslaught of emotion that the other two brought.


Salvador. Hardin – “Beyond the Horizon” You and bootaaay’s interpretation of the theme is seemingly identical, and identically awesome, but your imagery wasn’t as strong. I should actually say that yours presented the concept in a fashion a bit more developed too! It just wasn’t as fun to read. Similar to what I told Ashes last challenge; Strengthen your actual writing, keep the strength of your concepts, and you’ll hit diamonds. I’ve seen great ones from you before, so it can be done.

ZephyrFate- HEY! HEY! WHY DID YOU LEAVE THIS UNTILTLED!!!!!!!! Especially since there’s so many potentially awesome lines in your piece just waiting to give off the halo effect. Anyways, your idea was interesting, and portrayed with depth, but still; felt a good bit miniscule in comparison to the others. Tackle an idea a bit more grandeur next time.

No HM, and needs work, but was funny as shit:

Disappeared – “Maybe Tomorrow” – Those last few lines cracked me the hell up. There nothing that say: “this day was fucked up” more than heading home to light up and jerk it – (which feels fucking awesome, btw—just saying) Other than that, I honestly couldn’t get your point in this one. Clarity, work on it.

No HM, needs work:

Wandering Wind – The cycle of life is about as easy a target as technology. Dive head first into the most wacked out idea you can think of next time. If there’s a way to portray it without confusing the shit out of everyone, you’ve got gold.
(05-15-2011, 06:06 PM)
AnkitT's Avatar
1. Ashes1396
2. Salvor.Hardin
3. ZephyrFate

We're a depressive bunch, aren't we? :P
(05-15-2011, 09:23 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
Is zephyr your third place choice?
(05-15-2011, 09:32 PM)
AnkitT's Avatar

Originally Posted by Ashes1396

Is zephyr your third place choice?

Yes. I got it confused with the voting system in photography contests.
(05-15-2011, 09:35 PM)
Ashes's Avatar

Originally Posted by AnkitT

Yes. I got it confused with the voting system in photography contests.

ha ha. That's a great thread. Wish I could take a photograph like they do.
British Monsoon
(05-16-2011, 03:18 AM)
British Monsoon's Avatar
1. Ashes1396 - very evocative, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and has a nice escalation of pace, although I'm not entirely sold on the abrupt ending.
2. Salvor.Hardin - you have such a great command of words and get your message across perfectly, but something about the ending was off imo.
3. Miri - excellent rhythm, it seems to flow effortlessly although I'm not keen on the formatting.

HM; AnkitT & WanderingWind
(05-16-2011, 03:31 AM)
Ashes's Avatar

Originally Posted by Bootaaay

1. Ashes1396 - very evocative, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and has a nice escalation of pace, although I'm not entirely sold on the abrupt ending.
2. Salvor.Hardin - you have such a great command of words and get your message across perfectly, but something about the ending was off imo.
3. Miri - excellent rhythm, it seems to flow effortlessly although I'm not keen on the formatting.

HM; AnkitT & WanderingWind

I guess the plan didn't work then. I'm not so great at this inner scheme stuff. I've done it before, but now I can apply proper linguistic terms to my madness.

Read the above on inner schemes, then, if you're not bothered by having the answer just given to you, here it is:

He is 25 at the start, and five stanzas later he is thirty. Five years between the beginning and the end. Which was supposed to infer, along with other things about the past and what-have-you that he is still thinking about the past as if it had just occurred. All of sudden, its dawns on him that it's actually been five years.

edit: on that note, I should get started reading some poems myself.
(05-16-2011, 10:07 AM)
Ashes's Avatar
1. AnkitT - something just clicked with me. I've been writing about sons my self all week; wish I'd read this earlier now, as I've already written my piece for the week.
2. Bootaaay - the poem is great. I keep thinking about the last line... How come everything is clustered together? People in the city?
3. Disappeared - I kept thinking about affairs? Hope, I'm right. Has a lovely flow to it.


Salvor.Hardin - while I thought it was good, it wasn't up to your usual high standards. Clarity would help.

Zephyr - really liked the creative fidelity, and it was pretty close between this and the other three. I can see this being a winning entry on another day.

Wondering wind - I liked it, but I wonder if you could have been more creative with the imagination...

Miri - I'm with bootaaay with the form part. I did enjoy reading my way through the poem though. Actually, thinking about it, I actually really liked it.
(05-16-2011, 10:12 AM)
ZephyrFate's Avatar
1. WanderingWind
2. Bootaaaay
3. Salvor.Hardin

As per the 'miniscule' comment about the theme... if you know the concepts of futurism (technology, violence, speed) coupled with the scientific nature of the language, dashed into a blend of fantasy-created sex... there's quite a bit more underneath it than what is there at first glance.
(05-16-2011, 07:11 PM)
iavi's Avatar
Let's push the voting deadline out for another day. We've got a few challengers who've yet to vote, and we might even pick up a few passer bys. Last day, guys.

And Zephyr, I could see that you took the theme into an almost direct interpretation, and I actually dug your doings a lot, thing is; at the end of the day, it put me, the reader, into a moment that felt minor in comparison to earth-abuse or quickness of time. If there's truly more to it that I'm not seeing with a good few reads now...then clarity is another critique of mine.

Ashes, so that's why it jumps around? It's intentional... that's a damn creative use of the medium. Try to package it a bit better at the end though. It would've given the reader an actual idea, rather than expecting they get it. It's kind of abrupt as is.
(05-17-2011, 06:32 AM)
iavi's Avatar
A little reminder: I pushed the voting deadline back due to the challengers that've yet to vote. Not much time left, guys.
(05-17-2011, 11:48 AM)
Salvor.Hardin's Avatar
1. Bootaaay
2. Ashes1396
3. WanderingWind



On the move right now. I'll probably add some comments in a bit.
British Monsoon
(05-18-2011, 02:19 AM)
British Monsoon's Avatar
Are we going to call this Miri?

I make the totals;

1. Ashes1396 - 10 (2)
2. Bootaaay - 8 (1)
3. AnkitT - 6 (2)
4. Salvor.Hardin - 5
5. Wandering Wind - 4 (1)
6. disappeared - 1
6. Miri - 1
6. ZephyrFate - 1
(05-18-2011, 02:25 AM)
iavi's Avatar
Alrighty! It's been about long enough.

And with a damn fine entry, we have Ashes1396 as the champ of GAF's 25th poetry challenge. Congrats! I actually enjoyed even more after learning the workings of it.

The rest flow as follows:

Ashes1396 - 10
Bootaay - 8
Ankit - 6
Salvor. Hardin - 5
Wandering Wind - 4
ZephyrFate - 1
Disapeared -1
Miri -1

Thanks for entering guys! And thanks to all those who voted, cause in the end that's about as monumental as your entry itself.

Your move, Ashes.

E: Beaten! that's what I get for being distracted, haha.
(05-18-2011, 03:53 AM)
Ashes's Avatar
Thank to you everyone who voted. Shame on you folks who didn't vote!! smh. Well never mind. There's always next time.

I'll have a think about the next theme in a bit. Feel very indecisive at the moment.
(05-18-2011, 06:39 PM)
Ashes's Avatar
Thanks y'all.

It is time that we moved to pastures new.

The next Poetry thread is up and away.

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