Comp Sonnet Thread

PaulS’s review of Dream Pieces reminded me of Kate Sherrod’s excellent sonnet reviews, which sadly have not become an annual thing. If an idea’s worth doing, it’s worth stealing and doing badly. But I am far too lazy to write thirty-five sonnets, however wretched, so let’s spread the load. Come one, come all! All forms of sonnet accepted! Crimes against scansion grudgingly accorded tolerance! Or, okay, limericks, villanelles and sestinas are fine too. No terza rima, because fuck those guys.


So what is horror? Is it when a grue
Creeps from the night and bites off half your face?
Or when the world that we believed was true
Is torn away, and darkness fills its place?
Or mundane wrongs, strange to be felt anew -
Coloratura brings three kinds of pain.
Were I a psychic acid synaesthete,
That ululates on the abyssal plain,
I’d rise, and count the blind ones’ clamour sweet,
But to see Glasser make such games again.
(My lesser song, to make its form complete,
Must now waste time to patch up its refrain.)
A million million slimy things cannot
Be dark as living while the oceans rot.


A twist, a turn, a gimble in the gyre;
To summarize: all y’all have lost the plot.
Thus Vulse does not to clarity aspire,
And if 'twas ever found, it’s long forgot.
From shit apartment to a guilt-wracked town
Our hero vulses up some vague disease;
And staggers, sick and angry, down
To thrash and choke 'neath porpentinious seas.
Fuck, it’s the pigs; now here’s some dude you hate;
A crap old mix-tape plays songs no-one knows,
Much like your flat, this game is in a state,
Too hot a mess to be saved by the prose.
If art’s how you get your emotions out,
It helps to show what the fuck they’re about.

Very nice!

A villanelle (I think!) since you said it would be OK:

Their angelical understanding

[spoiler]The choice is yours: will you set out and fight
or stay in safety, lost in self-denial?
A falling angel, flaming in the night

has seized the innocence that was your right,
disfigured inner self, ripped off your smile.
The choice is yours: will you set out and fight.

Resume your own true self, and seek the light
(the true, the inner light). While you revile
a falling angel, flaming in the night,

consider how you came to face this plight –
whose “helping hands” helped whom – till, sick with bile,
the choice is yours: will you set out and fight?

You will, with firm resolve that you’ll indict
those weak accomplices in their denial!
A falling angel, flaming in the night

may shriek and tumble. You are holding tight,
pouring yourself into a sharp red tile:
the choice is yours: will you set out and fight
a falling angel, flaming in the night?[/spoiler]

You’re not the boss of me! Er, ah, 100,000 years.

[spoiler]The game isn’t as long as this review.
It’s a small twine piece. You go back and forth,
100,000 years with every click. But you

have no more commands. No look, no north,
no inventory, no higher-level acts.
It’s just a static plot, for what it’s worth.

What is it worth? Bland chronicle of facts;
much like 2001 without the hope
of rising to a new plane. It reenacts

a cycle as seen through a telescope.
It might work better as a zoetrope.[/spoiler]

Aw, I was thinking 100,000 years might be more of a limerick. Something like:

A planet of primitive men
Slew and looted Space Masters of Zen
Thus uplifting their race
To grow feeble in space;
Aw, crap, here we go round again.

(Not that that actually works as a review, as yours does.)

Final Girl:

When London fell it left a well-known trail,
But Final Girl tries something else instead;
It doesn’t worldbuild, and while it doesn’t fail
At prose, it’s to be played more than it’s read.
It’s slasher-horror; it doesn’t redefine
Or cross-breed genre to get something new;
It shapes new bottles for an older wine,
“Let’s see what 'Nexus can be made to do.”
Corpses pile up; girls flee through deep dark woods
From mask-clad psychos with a staple-gun;
You’re less tough if you’ve given up your goods,
But either way, you’ll die before you’re done.
So while it’s fun, and of ambitious scale,
I’d love it more if its tropes weren’t so stale.

Oh very nice, and I think the last line does work as a review.

Of course my thought process was “I have to write something in terza rima just to show maga. Um, what can I possibly write about?” Trying to write terza rema in English it’s pretty easy to get trapped with words that have only two real rhymes (I fudged my way past north/forth, dropped something about choice/voice, and indistinct/hyperlinked/succinct or extinct never got off the ground).

Any games that involve broth, froth, cloth, and moth? Probably a My Shitty Apartment job.

Hey, if I forbid poetic forms people will do them out of perversity? Eeeeexcellent. Hey guys, NEW RULE: under no circumstances will dróttkvætt or Sapphic stanzas be permitted.

I really didn’t like a House on Rosewood street, and here’s why:

There was a man who lived on Rosewood Street,
whose actions were doomed to repeat,
he delivered some papers,
then delivered some papers,
oh, his actions were doomed to repeat.

Sapphic stanza? Challenge accepted.

Sam and Leo Go To The Bodega

Sam and Leo go to a store to buy some
stoner snacks. The parody bears a certain
craving for substance even greater than our
titular heroes.



This game's secret is the whole point of playing. I won't spoil it, even a hint could destroy it. It's a crossword, barely at war with a story. I like good crosswords.

(Code tags for indentation only.)


Man vs Unicorn

[spoiler]Foul art thou, o Father who hates his poor kid –
weak and wet child, placidly moping – abused,
still he hopes. He’s hungry for love, which does not
enter your pea brain;

and for this, we heartily hate you Father.
But, son, you are flabby and wet, a door mat,
lacking any personal traits, you seem like
nothing but “victim”,

not attractive. And really when the horned horse
hastens its hooves, vaulting the hedgerow, enters
proudly, stands, then rapidly strikes … we don’t care
which of you gets it.[/spoiler]

Pah! I only communicate my thoughts in the most noble form of verse, the clerihew:

Dad Vs. Unicorn

Dad vs. Unicorn
'Bout two guys who get pierced by a horn
To be honest I thought they were both on spectrum
If that’s not the point then the author oughta have his head drummed

Bell Park, Youth Detective

Bell Park, Youth Detective
A CYOA game that’s most certainly not defective
Has a stoner guy, but the critics thought the plot twist was much, much “higher”
If they thought that was too ridiculous, I’d hate to see their reaction to the work of one Robert Kanigher

Blood on the Heather

Blood on the Heather
Loves hot vampires in leather
I probably wouldn’t give it half a chance
If it didn’t have that description of the world’s least sexy dance


Gave me all of the feels
But what was not disclosed in that couplet so rad
Was that all of the feels were very, very, very, very bad

Machine of Death. (Mostly-bacchic tetrameter, for some reason. I think Healy’s horrendous clerihews are having an effect on me.)

When I die, will my death be both strange and ironic?
And shall I be slain, or trip over my pants?
I’d rather not die of a condition chronic,
Nor be torn to bits by enraged cormorants.
Will my deathbed’s bedsheets be awkwardly tented
(It would cause my poor relatives infinite woe)
By sexual practices yet uninvented?
The Machine of Death is quite certain to know!
It will know, but not tell, for it’s such a wanker,
A Delphic PyTHONess in other array,
That if I am ever to live without rancor,
The Machine of Death should be taken away.
Oh, the game; it’s not bad, but no dromiceiomimus.
Still, not every comp entry needs to be timeless.

I have informed Kate of the existence of this thread. To say she was pleased would be an understatement.

You have neglected the most elevated of all forms of poetry: the “ollekebolleke,” or as it is called in English, the “Higgledy-Piggledy” or double dactyl.

Dad vs. unicorn

[spoiler]Dad versus unicorn!
Deep penetration by
dick-headed monster horse
isn’t much fun.

You get to choose whether
claims as its victim the
father or son.[/spoiler]

9Lives (double-dactyl):

9lives by Various:
five monolemmas that
make little sense;

Depicting samsara
isn’t an easy task,
in its defence.[/spoiler]