Sixteen Bits is a collection of poems about old video games. You can buy it for the Kindle here. Don't have a Kindle? Buy the pdf here!
Poetry--like art more generally--is difficult to define, and any definition will necessarily leave out obvious examples. And I should admit right now that my personal education re: poetry is pretty thin. But I've found it useful to think about poetry as a form that anchors abstract and experiential concepts to concrete objects. And, in doing so, poetry both heightens the objects and makes the abstractions more familiar.
Poetry has got a lot of miles out of the natural object: the birches, the still lakes, the stand of avocado trees. And then there are the man-made but otherwise still satisfyingly poetic objects: the stone cathedral, the revolver, the cast-iron heirloom teapot. You know what I mean.
Sixteen Bits uses other, decidedly unromantic objects (consumer electronics of the 1990s!) and tries to well... make poetry out of them! To make them unfamiliar and push them to the boundary of sentimentality.
I wrote this collection because I wanted to combine something I love--words and sentences--with something I loved growing up--video games.
Of course, writing is hard. And it takes time. And your feelings have the nasty habit of changing on you when you sit down and actually take the time to explore them.
In the end, this book is several things. It's a chance for me to try my hand at an unfamiliar form. It's an attempt to capture the unique experience of playing games. It's an exploration of my own changing feelings about games. And it's a meditation on childhood and growing up.
I hope you enjoy it!