Mood and Meter for Pulpy Poets

This is a guest post from a reader. Could he please get in contact with us so I can find out if he wants credit for the post and whether he would be interested in joining us on a more regular basis.

Need help getting the ol’ pulp vibe kickstarted? Do some poetry! No, wait! Come back! I’m serious!

All this recent talk here and there about the old role-playing games got me to feeling rather keen on the old, pre-CGI days of my mostly misspent youth. So today I whipped a neat couple and then after church quickly blew out a bunch of images.

The rules are simple:
1. Six lines, the last two being a repeating couplet. Or not!
2. Four solid beats per line, like a war chant. A must! None of that faux Greek 5 beats per line nonsense. This ain’t for your classics professor.
3. They don’t have to rhyme at all. Unless you want them to!
4. They don’t even require complete images. See 3., above!

Just let your imagination fly, and have fun. Here’s the stuff I just finished:

Dark clouds part on ivory sand,
Jungles wreath deep canyons walls,
Shadowed giants-stone in mist,
Deep and deeper floats a light
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Bright corona, circle gate,
Pinpoints flashing in and out,
Wheel and turn, bright field of stars
Frontiers beckon near the rim
Far beyond the Terran sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Six-armed goddess, carven jade,
Green swords flail, death she brings,
Slice and parry, weave and kick,
Closer toward the pit we dance
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Eldritch head and golden eye,
Teeth like swords that promise blood,
Scale and sinew, neck raised high.
Heft my lance and spur my horse–
Far beyond an unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Goblins gibber, bold knights yell,
Broken bodies on the plain
Armies pause, the Hunter sounds,
Armies charge beneath his horn
Far beyond the unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

Ship in spacedock, soldiers chase,
Be alert now; let them pass
Seven letters in my pouch,
Seven planets, seven kings
Far beyond my galaxy:
That is where I wish to be.

Down the hallway toward the gold
Mouth on pillar sings a tale;
Riddles warn and pillar shakes,
Thrumming echoes, distant drums
Far beyond the unknown sea:
That is where I wish to be.

–Knock yourselves, guys!

  • Lorenzo Fossi

    Perchance I’m an amateur
    in whom poetry could stir.
    Deluded like who
    writes English haiku.
    I’d rather Limerych, sir.

  • Lorenzo Fossi

    Ancient machines foretold,
    that peace was but fool’s gold.
    Worlds burn ablaze,
    for man’s old craze.
    “Each sword guard his household!”

    But statistic divinations fail:
    ~for want of data, run to no avail.
    Arcane science could not yet predict
    what the hearts of many would soon ~admit.

    That each world has a myth;, an old ~script,
    that heroes by passion will enlist.
    So that bloody and screaming in travail
    history begets a bold new fairy-tale.

    So brave people by God’s sanction
    Love and Truth move to action.
    To restore what’s precious,
    win kisses luscious;
    Or least beat another assassin!

    …And that’s Pulp, ladies and gents!

  • Cameron Wood

    Asimov sat on a bucket
    And wondered what rhymed with Nantucket.
    “Luck it’s not dirty,
    And tuck it’s too shirty.”
    And so he decided to chuck it.
    . . . well, you try to do a clean Nantucket limerick.

    • Lorenzo Fossi

      Pretty Good!

  • O down in the deep, the dead must sleep;
    The dead must lie where fish can live,
    And stir no more from that cold floor,
    Though magic stir and try to give
    The bones the skill to rise and kill —
    The dead must lie that life may thrive.

    • Cameron Wood

      Like this: yeah. It’s the meter that breathes life into this stuff. There’s poetry for the eyes and poetry for the ears. Ears > eyes. The beat makes it musical, and more of the brain is involved when music is involved. Good stuff here. One expects that someone’s about to try a little of that ol’ black magic in about three seconds.

      • Lorenzo Fossi

        The rhytm is everywhere. Normal conversations follow the rythm of breath, metabolism follows the rythm of insuline and glucagone, life follows the rythm of the hearth.
        To hear It is to understand the need for superversion.

      • Well, at the moment, it’s starting accrete a story with the working title of “Down in the Depths.” We shall see.

    • Overgrown Hobbit

      Nice!

  • Lorenzo Fossi

    Uncharted lands Mu and Lemuria
    call foolish explorers to arms.
    Insane cultists in curia
    with manic laughter invoke their charms.
    Adventure finds you even unsought
    so grit your teeth and lead right out!

    Knights shed their armour, run nacked
    denied love, turn into wild men.
    Mysterious temples, of treasure packed
    despite the traps we’ll brave again.
    Adventure finds you even unsought
    so grit your teeth and lead right out!

    Treasonous oceans rage untamed
    as if brave sailors above all hated.
    Court wizard old, for wisdom famed
    teaches a boy, to power fated.
    Adventure finds you even unsought
    so grit your teeth and lead right out!

    Pious priests will spread the Good Word
    amongst silicate creatures kneeling.
    High nobles by cruel hate ever stirred
    in blood and stars will be dealing.
    Adventure finds you even unsought
    so grit your teeth and lead right out!

    • Cameron Wood

      There ya go!

      “Treasonous oceans rage untamed
      as if brave sailors above all hated.
      Court wizard old, for wisdom famed
      teaches a boy, to power fated.
      Adventure finds you even unsought
      so grit your teeth and lead right out!”
      –The farthest shore is where they’re a-goin//if I’m right and not mistaken.

      • Lorenzo Fossi

        No problem at all! I’m honoured!

  • Overgrown Hobbit

    (ttto that piece by Prokiev that Sting used)

    Wanted: Adventurers for a suicidal quest:

    Poppies are waving ‘neath Lucifer’s Light,
    Where the wind murmuring wanders and weeps.
    Where are the heroes, where the warriors?
    The wide fields are silent and destiny sleeps.
    Stands a white ship on the Seas of the Night
    To reknown sailing across the dread deeps!

    • Lorenzo Fossi

      Groovy. I’m in for the quest!

  • Overgrown Hobbit

    Dashing through the dark
    In a dungeon dank and cold
    Armour-clad feet crunch
    On skeletons of old
    Hearing monsters yell
    Makes us squeal in fright
    O what fun it is to sing a slaying song tonight!

    So that was 10 beats & 5.

    Never said I followed direction well 🙂

    • Cameron Wood

      Every month is the proper month for Christmas music.