Atari Haiku Archive

We at created a bunch of “Atari Haiku” a few years back for a blog on     Since I want to start creating more Atari Haiku and other poetry (there is no explanation for it so don’t ask) I thought I would start by posting all of the Atari Haiku we wrote years ago, and then start fresh with new content. So, without further ado, here are ALL the Atari Haiku in our archive:

Breakout 2600

Hypnotic death notes
Each block wails an 8-bit tone
Blinks out then silence

Burrow A Hole Through
Your color-banded shield
Watch ball go ape-crap

Difficulty B
Paddle too tiny. Back to
Difficulty A

One last little block
Yes! I cleared level two
What? No Level Three?

(Author: Steve Fulton)

Lynx Console

Plays video games?
Strap two on and go skiing
Those babies were huge

Kicked Gameboy’s ass
Color graphics, stereo sound
But no one noticed

Too few game choices
No ads, no distribution
Same Atari Corp.

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Space Duel

Two tethered as one
Rhythmic double thrust and shoot
Climax together?

Floating though space
Double shields, double shots
This ship is bad ASS!

Shoot the big boxes
Shoot all of the small boxes
A rock hunt? No, not!

The green one is hit
Deceptive deadly spirals
Red one is slowed

Slowly my ships spin
The small green shots trickle forth
From tethered ship love

Oh crap, what is that?
Double Dutch saucer power
A gauntlet of shots

No match for Gauntlet
Red one sparks, Green one is next
Climax together!

(Author: Jeff Fulton)



Gave me 4 more K
Gave me a tape interface
Thanks, you gave me hope

Mind master mazes
Find the shapes, solve the puzzles
Was I a lab rat?

Frogger on cassette
Pummeled frogger on cartridge
Back to the stone age

A real RPG?
Dragonstomper came very close
But I could not save

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Behind Jaggi Lines

Behind Jaggi Lines
Not Rescue On Fractulus
That name really blows

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Mother’s Day

Electronic Games
A Mag Of Video Games!?!
Mom Was Not Amused

Can We Buy It Mom?
Waste Your Allowance On It?
Games Will Rot Your Brain

Tapes? No They Are Not
No tape what-so-ever in there
Mom, Just Microchips

My Mom Would Not Play
But Then She Tried Asteroids
Joystick War Ensued

For My 12th Birthday
Missile Command, Adventure
Mom Got Them For Us

(Author: Steve Fulton)


1450 XLD

My love grows for you
Day by day oh lovely one
You, forsake me not

Double disk drive love
Four function keys of pleasure
Help, reset, home, start!

Freddie chip on board
Three Hundred Baud Modem in
The White and black case

Oh talk to me sweet
With that built in sexy voice
Sweet nothings lie not!

Certainly they do
Vaporized oh no!

(Author: Jeff Fulton)


Asteroids 2600

Looking for computers
I see you under the glass
Evil Asteroids

Your brown box taunts me
Sixty-Six variations
Well worth the money

Asteroids float up
Nothing like the arcade game
Asteroids float down

A wave of nausea
Thigh stings from the pain of a
Hole burnt in pocket

Yet, I still play it
Home is not like the arcade
But I can reset

The beat transcends all
Hypnotic flashing space rocks
I give into it

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Asteroids – 5200

Prototype lifestyle
Sitting on a shelf somewhere
Waiting to have life

They programmed me to
Launch the 5200
Into hearts and minds

My graphics are great
As if you were in the arcade
But with no vectors

I am unwieldly
I cannot be controlled
I’m a maverick

I am still just code
A burned eprom demo
A shadow, a ghost

I sit in the dark
Longing for a shipping date
Not my destiny

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Baptism By Pixel

The back of the store
Right of the housewares

Next to the fire door
Heavy Sixer with Combat!
Two wide-eyed kids

Thumbs on the buttons
CX-40s in our palms
Hands and eyes in-sync

“This f-ing rules man!”
“cool-ass games on a TV!”
“Much better than Pong!”

Tanks, bi-planes and jets
Bouncing shots, racking-up scores
We play while mom shops

“This aint no arcade”
Yells the TV salesman in
The C&R suit

He says “That’s it boys”
He then hits the power switch
“Not get outta here!”

We skulk away
From the TV section, but
We will be back soon

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Raiders Of The Lost Ark 2600

Note: My brother and I attended many ‘gun shows” with our dad in the early 80’s because he was a Civil War relic collector – back when Civil War relics were dirt cheap and gun shows were only 50% crazy people. We went for the hot dogs and to collect army patches. However, this one glorious time in 1982, we found a guy selling Atari carts, and we spied one we had never seen before…)

Going to the show
Oh yeah, the gun show that is
Freaks with guns, how safe!

All day there with dad
Buying Civil War relics
Nothing here for us

What is this I see?
The Atari Fuji symbol?
Here with the zealots?

Beside the clips
Behind all the ordinance
A rack of boxes

Yes! Atari carts
One we have never seen
Movie license game

Indy on the box
A whip, A gun, joystick fun?
Not really, how lame

Scattered pieces
Of the Covenanent Ark map
Snakes and whips, what crap?

Buy a parachute
Jump off the menacing cliff
Float into the cave

I cannot make it
I could never get in there
Frustration swells up

Broken CX-40
Thirty-five dollars lighter
Ms. Pac-Man calls me…

(Author: Steve Fulton)


S.B.A.C.E. : Atari Users Group

Note: S.B.A.C.E. was the local Atari Users Group (Soth Bay Atari Users Group). They wre a bunch of old dudges who were annoyed that these little kids (us)were invading their hobby. It was still cool. SBACE still exists, although in a much different form. You can see what they are up to here: SBACE : South Bay All Computer Enthusiasts

Computers still a hobby
User groups flourish

We found our local
Set of fans in the back of
Antic Magazine

South Bay Atari
Computer Enthusiasts
A gaggle of geeks

Met in a small hall
Across from a gay bar in
North Redondo Beach

Lucasfilm once came
To show us their first two games
Before they were out

Atari ruled
No ‘Commode-Door’ 64s
Allowed anywhere

The high-tech lost cause
Relentless devotion to
A fading image


(Author: Steve Fulton)


Fire Truck ‘ Coin-op

On black and white roads
Through sleepy suburbs we drive
Must get to the fire

You sit and I stand
Grab your wheel and prepare to haul
The house is burning

Time is running out
Swing the cab over right, I will
Swing the ladder left

We never make it
The road is always too long
The flames burn forever

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Starleague Baseball ‘Atari 800

Every store sold games
I bought Star League Baseball at
The May Company!

Liners Or Sluggers
Choose from four different pitches
Such Simplicity!

Isometric view
The whole field on screen at once
Such economy!

7th inning stretch
Ads displayed on the scoreboard
‘Twas love at first sight

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Donkey Kong 2600

36 hours straight
Moving boxes so Grannie
Could live in Van Nuys

Dad took me to buy
Any Atari game I wanted
I chose Donkey Kong

Only Two Levels?
Nice sabotage Coleco
This game really sucks

Garry Kitchen did
A fine job programming it
I’m not sucking up

(Author: Steve Fulton)


NBC News Capsule

Atari on the TV
Yes, it did happen

8:30 PM
Monday Night news brief oh boy
Berzerk commercial

Atari paid for ads then
Too bad it wouldn’t last long
Sales had a huge price

Tramiels saved
Atari’s good name, Power
Without the big price

Never Atari
Was to be found on the tube
Not ever again

Power without the
Sales means your company won’t
Last a decade on

Promotion of some
Type would have helped a lot
But none ever came

The other machines
Won. I wonder what one News
TV Ad would have done?

(Author: Jeff Fulton)


Crush Crumble And Chomp – Atari 800

Crush Crumble And Chomp
You are a monster, you live
You eat, you destroy

Bash through the city
Police cars chase, shoot to kill
Yum! Very Tasty

Here come tanks and planes
You fight, the battle is fierce
Yet, you carry on

What, a scientist?
Is that his secret weapon?
Monster dead. Restart.

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Empire Strikes Back – 2600

In my Snow Speeder
Skywalker, is damned chump
Compared to me

AT AT’s aim for our
Last Power generator
They will not succeed

Tracking the walkers
I evade their laser bolts
My attack run starts

I swoop down at them
Aiming for the head, I fire
Their armor is tough

I spot a weakness
The metal beast’s neck flashes
I’m in for the kill

Metallic legs drop
Knee bolts crush under the weight
The body explodes

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Star Wars ‘ Coin Op

X-Wing battles fueled my
Seven year old dreams

Video games soon
Represented the far far
Away galaxy

But not exactly.
Space Invaders, Asteroids
And Galaxian

Every enemy
Was a tie fighter, every
Hero, an X-wing

Until finally,
1983, Star Wars
Got its own coin-op

Pilot an X-wing
The Hulking Death star awaits
Your vector attack

Dive into the trench
Fire the proton torpedoes
Goodbye exhaust port!

At 13 years old
My Star Wars dreams realized
I could now move on

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Pele’s Soccer ‘ 2600

A squad of three men
Are attached together forever
They have but one goal

Moving as a team
Kicking out towards the ball
Just like chorus girls

Totally in-tune
In-sync, attached forever
Complete unison

Their goalie watches
Mesmerized by our footwork
The shot comes quickly

Into the corner
The crowd erupts, the sky lights
With a fireworks show!

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Night Driver 2600

Ever winding road
The dwindling sunlight puts my
Life in grave danger

Paddle controller
Rests in my left hand, my thumb
Ready to hit the gas

Right hand steers the car
I can’t stray outside the lines
Certain death awaits

Time ticks ever downward
The horizon forever black
All an illusion?

(Author: Steve Fulton)

Note: At this point I could not think of any more Atari Haiku subjects, so I thought “why not write the entire history of Atari in Haiku format?”. Why not? The number reasons that piled up on the mere mentioned of the idea are overwhelming, but at the time I still tried it. It lasted for two entries.

History Of Atari: Part 1 : Discreet Logic Breakthrough

In ’71
Nolan Bushnell works all night
At home on his dream

His education
Space War on the PDP
CRT burn-in

Could he recreate
Million dollar computers
With a game to play?

A brilliant idea
No computer need apply
Only circuit boards

Minor technical
Step backwards, a consumer
Leap stratospheric

Logic chips placed
On a PCB, so cheap
Could this really work?

Bushnell’s game took shape
He invented a medium
Next stop, mass Market

(Author: Steve Fulton)


History Of Atari Part 2: A Trivial Pursuit

Computer Space, done
Nolan made it in the off hours
From his Ampex job

He sold his work to
Nutting And Asscociates
They made early games

Coin trivia games
Were Nutting’s forte before
Bushnell arrived

Their accomplishments?
Dual IQ ,Computer Quiz
Then Computer Space

They saw the future
In Bushnell’s gaming vision
Right idea, wrong time

They could not sell it
Arcades were not ready for the change
Pinball was the king

Computer Space rules
Were far too complicated
For a drunk bar crowd

Bushnell decided
To work on his own next time
Syzygy formed

Nutting kept going
They made games for a few years
Then they disappeared

First video game
Company, makers of quiz games
Became a footnote

Born on trivia
Coin-ops, Nutting ended up
Trivia themselves

(Author: Steve Fulton)


Dungeon Master (Atari ST)

The Hall Of Champions
Choose the four to venture forth
Go into the depths

Hey, are you hungry?
How about a few wormrounds?
Mmm, taste good don’t they?

Can’t solve a puzzle?
Try stepping backwards champion
Find the pressure plates

Need more ninja levels
Drop everything, start throwing
Down the hall and up

Repeat this for hours
Have I made neophyte yet?
Hey, I’m an expert!

I see the ending
Lord Chaos, teleporting!

(Author: Steve Fulton)








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