Mother2Earth: an instruction booklet | philip miletic

Mother2Earth: an instruction bookletcover draft background

by philip miletic


32 pages | $12.00 | 978-0-9940839-4-4


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The poems in Mother2Earth are drawn from both the Super Famicom game, Mother 2, and its North American counterpart known as Earthbound for the Super Nintendo. Although Mother 2 and Earthbound are the same game, intrinsically they are dissimilar. From the very small, to the very (oddly) obvious, the North American translation of Mother 2 transforms the game in many interesting and peculiar ways. When translating a video game, a translator not only has to translate but also rewrites the video game code. And then there are deadlines. With those, the translation of a game is rushed and poorly edited. Blemishes occur and details are overlooked. These poems (and you) revel in these errors and embrace the contradictions between translations.


The translation of Mother 2 to Earthbound is full of errors, so much so that there are websites dedicated to discovering them. Sure, these discoveries are funny, absurd, and sometimes ridiculous. But what is more important about comparing the two versions of the same text is discovering two ideologies, two cultures, clashing within one text, one system. Mother 2/Earthbound’s self-referentiality invites us to investigate the sites of its translation, mistranslation, coding errors, and content through poetry. Mother2Earth is made up of uncovered poems, lifted text, video game code, philosophy, meditations on the original and the translated game, translation errors of this here player (but not author), and some weird stuff.


“Waking up on the Wrong Side of Town”


i woke up and needed a drink

so i went to my regular bar

but it was a café


the same man who always

explained why he drank here

(because it’s just natural, he said)

says now that he just enjoys the atmosphere


some guy says

he accidently fell through

an occupied bathroom stall

during a caffeine buzz


and when I ordered a beer

the waitress said

that I shouldn’t be drinking

espresso this late at night


the drunk bum

cries into a cappuccino


“Getting Dressed for the Occasion”


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PHILIP MILETIC is a writer and vispo artist. His recent work has appeared in Poetry is Dead, (parenthetical), Outlandish, Cricket Online Review, Otoliths, Indefinite Space, and the Danforth Review. He has co-written the chapbook world 1-1 (Poetry will be made by all) with Craig Dodman, published a vispo pamphlet Silver (no press), and a short story chapbook And the Birds Sing (Ribbon Pig). He currently lives in Kitchener-Waterloo pursuing is English Ph.D at the University of Waterloo. You can follow him on Twitter @philmiletic.