The Designer of Games

So pleased to meet you, Mr Morte--just take
a seat. My work awaits your clear-eyed view,
your grasp of what draws gamers to the screen,
transfixes gaze, blots out all other thoughts,
and glues their sweaty palms to hand controls
for hours until the image smears, sound fades,
and sleep suspends their hard-edged second lives.

You'll note the bleeding edge of hardware here:
its humming cards draw Baghdad's cratered streets,
its dusty maze of lanes, in sharp 3-D,
then home in on the glistening splash of blood,
the rose that blooms when snipers hit their mark--
so finely rendered, no? Likewise the soundscape:
firecracker gunfire, mortar thumps, soft moans,
the groans of wounded foes, loud orders barked,
the rattle of a dying breath, perhaps.

I've put the player firmly on the scene,
to fill the boots of bold Marines who walk
those deadly roads, for--what? Some fifty bucks
at retail? Have I won you, Mr Morte?

by David Nourse

David Nourse is a retired Australian government administrator and former computer journalist who lives in Canberra, Australia's national capital. Dave has a university background that includes graduate work in English, linguistics and computing, and belatedly took up poetry as a pleasant contrast to writing officialese and software reviews. He has previously published poems in T-zero Xpandizine and Loch Raven Review.

After Reading the Latter Half
of the Fourth Edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry

A moose caught in the headlights of a bus.
20,000 dead of pronunciation.
The white rush of Leda's annunciation.
And what do Martians really think of us?
I heard a fly buzz, heard America singing;
The bitter crow perceived it all askance
While Sylvia and Ted did Papa's dance
And Ginsberg's cock and balls would not stop ringing
Inside my head, rousing my sapient slug
To steal the pipes of mad, goat-legged Pan
And mystically, become the leading man,
Assume a double part in London's fog.
This one particular to you I bring:
A green parrot imitating spring.

by C.E. Chaffin


1. Bishop
2. Dove ("Parsley")
3. Yeats
4. Craig Raine
5. Dickinson/Whitman
6 Ted Hughes
7. Plath and Roethke
12. Eliot ("Little Gidding")
14. Dove, Ibid.

C.E. Chaffin has been referred to as "a web phenomenon" (Savoy) and "the famous Dr. Chaffin" (Pink Puddin' Review), as well as being listed with other celebrities at the site, "Famous People Who Have Experienced Manic-Depression."
A physician, musician, amateur naturalist and father of four, he is happily married to a better poet, Kathleen Chaffin, and lives on the redwood coast of California. He has never been published in Poetry, Ploughshares, or The Paris Review. On disability for manic-depression and intractable spinal pain, he strives not to complain but to give thanks, writing and gardening as he is able (but fishing too little). His main ambition is to be a good man. He considers himself a Classicist in art, a Libertarian in politics and a Lutheran in religion.
Favorite literary schools: Logopoetry and Retrogardism. Favorite poets: Eliot, Jeffers and Strand. His faux fame can be sampled at or his blog. Shoe size: same as mouth.

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