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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Poetry & Lyric
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Super Mario Bros.

Matthew Sewell

Ode to Mario, by Sebastian Alappat

Among forty-one hovering coins,
The only moving thing
Was the platform of clouds.

I was of three minds,
Like the warp zone
In Level 1–2.

The Koopa Troopa whirled in the shell.
It was a small part of getting a 1-UP.

A man and a mushroom
Are one.
A man and a flower and a star
Are unstoppable.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of the marine waltz
Or the beauty of the funky underworld riff,
The smashing of the brick
Or just after.

Cannons filled the landscape
With armed missiles.
The shadow of the Lakitu
Crossed it, to and fro.
The traveler
Found in the Spiny
A never-ending adversary.

O green-shirted Luigi,
Why do you attempt those tiny hops?
Do you not see that you can sprint
Over the gaps instead?
Why must Player 1 do all the work?

I know hidden power-ups
And invisible blocks;
But I know, too,
That Bowser is involved
In what I know.

When the vine climbed out of sight,
It marked the beginning
Of one of many alternatives.

After the Hammer Bros.
Near the Piranha Plant,
The B button
Became squishy.

He stomped Goombas
In groups of two or three.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
An ethnic slur
For entertainment.

The screen is scrolling.
The swimmer must be quick.

It was pipes all afternoon.
The princess was in another castle
And she was going to be in another castle.
The plumber leapt
Onto the flagpole.

Matthew Sewell lives in Minnesota. He is intolerant of lactose and penicillin, among other things.