Thursday, September 6, 2012

Games in Verse: ‘Altered Beast’ (1988), Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

The World's First-ever Game Review Poetry Column:
Classic Games, Classically Reviewed—as Only a Fop Could
The Fop’s Rating: ★★★★ (Out of Four Stars)

Golden in an Iron Age

Up and out the craggy dirt,
Phalanx eons passed, Titan standing,
‘Rise from your grave’
Like a heather-ton sandaled foot.
Dust, granite, souls as satyrs:
Blood-purple higher skies
Snap as Zeus’ hurling hand,
Twitching, never glitching,
As god-makers wile and compass you.
‘Bigging balls’ make you strong.

They glow blue-white, waft and weave,
And out the mouth of a she-wolf
If you hit her right.
A power no lesser gained at Remus’ sup
Than three in hand, muscles bulging.
Take ’em on,
And be a man no more.
Be a god, a beast—
A ’tweener hybrid, Golden Age chimera.
And all for a girl.

No marble, stone or mortal prone to fail
Could bear so high and hot a power.
Knossos and Rhodes dare only watch
And the Gemini writhe and dream
At your roaring, Vesuvian grace.
O god,
O beast—
Fired as a knave, cuirass bursting—
Athena calls your name
As a hieron sybil: ‘Press start and continue!’

Still Hades’ halls teem, have at you.
They break and twist, fluted Grecian,
With a Phobos stare, harangued and deadly.
‘Welcome to your doom!’
This is it.
No gorgons great, cyclops tall or hydra,
Neither Apollo and Phaëton, trident or Triton,
Nor Artemis’ crescent, or the great Zeus above
Could ever so challenge
So altered a beast. ❂

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