Posted on April 13, 2012
Atari Poetry: Snack Time Is Over
Snack Time Is Over
“Hey, that’s cool! ColecoVision looks radical!” Alex said.
I held the magazine with both hands, scanning every word on the pages
Greg and Alex looked over my shoulders
“What’s the 5200?” Alex asked, pointing at the next page
“It’s Atari’s new system. It’s supposed to kick the 2600’s butt”
I turned the page.
I was sitting on the square planter near the quad
Christine and Laura were on the other side, ignoring us
Handball was being played all around me
I was reading about Tennis by Activision
Alex and Greg hunkered down around my sides, trying to read the pages
“Demon Attack looks bitchen!'” Alex Said
Kenny and Jeff joined us.
“I asked my dad for River Raid and Vanguard for Christmas” I said to everyone
“Cool!” Alex replied
“You guys wanna come over and type a game into my 400 today” Kenny asked everyone
“Sure!!” Jeff and I both replied at the same time
“My dad is getting us the new Intellivoice games from work this year” Greg said to everyone
No one said anything back
“My dad thinks the Apple II is enough for us” Alex said to everyone.
“The Apple II is awesome!” I told him
“Yeah, but you can’t play Pitfall! on it” Alex replied
“But you can play Artworx Strip Poker !” Kenny said
“Not with my mom around” Alex said
I turned to the next page.
It had an advertisement for Zaxxon on it
“Zaxxon has the best graphics in the arcade” someone said
From the other side of the planter I heard girls talking
“What are they looking at?” Christine asked Laura
“Some video game magazine” Laura replied
“Oh Gawd, what dorks” Christine said back
I kept reading the magazine until the bell rang
Snack time was over
Note: In college at CSULB I took a poetry writing class with Raphael “Ray” Zepeda. He was (and is) part of the” Long Beach Poetry Scene” of the 80’s and 90’s. He specialized in (and still does, I believe) what he called “stand-up poetry”: funny little “poems” with lots of dialogue and few adjectives that chronicled his life growing up in LA and beyond. He received some acclaim years ago for a poem he wrote named “Cowboys And Indians“, that drips with atmosphere of LA in the 60’s and 70’s. I recall that he liked a poem I wrote for his class named “The Gunslinger” about my dad being upset when our family cat getting mauled by a neighborhood dog. Anyway, yesterday I saw that Zepeda released a book of his poetry in 2009 ago named Tao Driver, and I bought it on Amazon. My recollection of Mr. Zapeda inspired me to write this piece about a day I recall in Jr. High.
Note: Featured image on this post is from Electronic Games Magazine, December 1982, page 34