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Compendium for New and Returning Online Gamers

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“I really think that the political responsibility of fans is to love themselves more than they love their icons.”
— Hanif Abdurraqib

Alberto Sveum is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Indiana Review. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of Northern Iowa.​

Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Alberto, what poems have you brought for us today?

 

Compendium for a Room of Childhood Musings

I sit alone in my four-cornered room

starin' at candles

—Geto Boys

 

A musty window bears down on this room like the grill of a cement truck,

it reflects the thick flicker of a tube tv and an N64’s hum.

 

50 Cent and Eminem lean awkwardly in a poster, thumb-tacked to the eggshell wall,

they reflect the content of the deck of stolen CDs hidden in the top dresser drawer.

 

The floor of the apartment above, with maybe the same tawny carpeting as this one,

it reflects a young boy’s skull, as his father knocks him about most nights,

 

and back sitting in this apartment, on this twin-size bed, is another boy, about the same age,

too afraid to reflect on any of this.

 

Under this bed, a stash of Oreos and Pringles, to cram in fits of hunger,

it reflects an angry mother and shame.

 

There is one door to enter and exit this quadrilateral, dark and dented in its corner,

it reflects no light. It locks only from the outside.

 

Compendium for New and Returning Online Gamers

 

a mountain dew fueled demon

tepid in its bulwark of sleeping cards

and ports until tedium jabs

the power button and it’s wasd∞

 

surely the keyboard is backlit

like fourth of july

and even those adept at cable management

end up looking like webelos

 

caught in peripheral knots teamwork

is as scarce as vitamin d

poets are the type to lose a borrowed book

and spin lyric about it

 

fiber optic foes will deface the cover

and grieve you of each line word by word

but for every cabal of caustic mouthed

14 year olds there are new or returning

 

friends benevolent and free on the weekends

waiting in a crunchy voice channel

to celebrate headshots and curse

recurrent disconnects like the sun crushed underfoot

 

log in to this competitive cascade

 

burn the book

 

Discard

 

Last night, playing Uno

with a friend,

all I could think

of was the lone

Polaroid of my father

my mother filed away, shuffled in

with birth certificates

and social security cards.

No noted occasion, just

him in some gymnasium,

cross-legged on the floor,

contained within the snapshot,

like a Draw Four in the deck,

tiny enough to hold

in my hand. A Wild Card to toss

and shout out a meaning for.

Yes, the color is           !

My color is                   . My father

is

 

You've been listening to the poetry of Alberto Sveum on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.

Backlit computer keyboard

(musiccrue, pixabay)

“I really think that the political responsibility of fans is to love themselves more than they love their icons.”
— Hanif Abdurraqib

Alberto Sveum is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington, where he also serves as the Editor-In-Chief of Indiana Review. He received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from the University of Northern Iowa.​

On this edition of the Poets Weave, Alberto reads "Compendium for a Room of Childhood Musings," "Compendium for New and Returning Online Gamers," and "Discard."

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