Analog Rust


Twenty-five years.
Twenty-five million specks of dust.
The flakes of rust
blew through plastic and boards:
life passed into Hardware and Headspace,
and linked cable and cord to my feeling of Home.

Super Home Boy 64 I was,
where I grew to love characters
saving kingdoms,
and I traced their pixels
or painted their dots
into the adventures I wrote.

The polygons materialized
and I felt comfort in but a tiny vector,
transforming models
to tell your story,
shaped by bits traced on a tube
in my earliest kiss with the Princess Artistic.

Princess Artistic was what moved me
when I responded to
button commands
to run and jump
beyond the platforms placed in front of me,
but I became part of their game.

To the flag I’d thought I’d fly
to reach 5000 points high.
The chiptunes should play,
but there was another level
and the scenery changed.
Their game debugs in only their way.


Inhaling the rust flakes,
I wake to escape
the boss battle of rural distaste,
hurling fire and hammers
into my skin and my face,
as the dreadful tune displaces me.

Happiness is in another castle,
so I broke that bridge
and dropped you
into your flame
because our temples disguise the Demon as King.
He holds the crest of our false futures.

World 2-1:
the scenery is different,
but the enemies are the same,
on their linear path to block me,
forcing me to leap higher
with nothing but death below.

A chain to the past
depicted lively villagers and bustling shops,
but I had to pull the trigger to the future
to be met with decaying foundations,
and the cursed creatures devoid of life;
they draw the circle of former dust.


Reptile kings watch in their towers,
breaking high scores to ruin the rest,
rusted on aging, printed circuits,
with memories on failing battery connectors,
all encased in frail plastic,
and covered by the facade of colorful characters.

It’s all handled by hardened hands,
needing coin for lives while the cheaters score big:
white-gloved, stealing tokens, and scalping
with secrets and shortcuts and cheat codes
valued only by high scores from hardware hacks,
because that’s the stigma of the “American Made” Hard Mode.

It’s that shell, pasted with art
that we define differently from the rest of the world,
drawn to our liking and packaged for our “best interest”.
We speak our own formats of exclusivity and distribution:
a charge of data defined by our Master System,


Author: Steven E. Croner

Hey, everyone. How are you? I’m doing pretty well. My name is Steven. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for a few years now. What sort of projects have I been working on, you ask? Well, I’ve assisted with several indie film productions in that time, mostly directly behind the camera or working with camera operations. It has been pretty fun. I’ve also been working on several other projects individually. This website is a collection of those projects that I do on in my spare time. Please click on the links above to learn about some of the work that I do in digital media and writing. I hope you enjoy my collection, which is a combination of old, archived work and new content I am compelled to share with you. Please feel free to interact, engage, and help me make some friends and colleagues in the creative media communities!

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