Pataphysics!

I’ve been really bogged down by university with essays this week.

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This essay revolves around the informal, joke-like theory of the “pataphysical,” a realm beyond physics, and beyond metaphysics. Applied to language, what that means is looking at a word and seeing its physical aspects, then using that as a vehicle for poetry. Example:

Significance
Sign if I can ce
Sign if I can see

My essay argues that that can make for great puns, and then goes over some examples of people (Paul Dutton and bpNichol) who have actually applied “pataphysics” to their poetry.

If that interests you, or if you’re unsure, read on. If not, well, don’t worry, I’ll post something more interesting in the future.

Multiple Meanings in Pataphysics

Poetry is different than prose because it is more playful with language. Epics and sonnets are defined by certain structural elements such as length, meter, or rhyme. Some poems deviate or actively avoid structure. But a general statement could be made about most poetry, which is that it focuses on words, sentences, maybe verses. bpNichol took interest in a realm beyond, or perhaps below that, the place below the level of the word. He was interested in creating poetry by examining letters and the sounds that they can create. Nichol named this Pataphysics, the realm beyond physics and metaphysics that both does and does not exist. This led to poetry that focused on creating multiple meanings for a single word, and poetry that drew words out of other words. This essay will be focusing on the former, using the pataphysical to create multiple meanings within one word.  bpNichol and Paul Dutton have used pataphysics to create words with multiple meanings within a poem. Continue reading “Pataphysics!”

Sunchaser

We live on a boat that sails across the sea. The ship is called the Sunchaser. I consider this to be a lazy name, because it’s simply a description of what the ship does. We follow the sun around the world. I used to wonder how we could follow the sun all the time, so I asked one of the captains.

He told me, “the ship is powered by wind blowing in the sails.” When I asked where the wind came from, he said, ” the air moves from cold places to warm places. So, when we see the sun, the ship moves slower, and our ship starts falling behind. Then, when it’s dark, we get caught in the winds that blow from behind us, where it’s cold, back towards the sun. This gives us a burst of speed, and we eventually catch back up to the sun and to the slower moving wind. This is how night and day work on the ship.”

We have been following the sun for many years. There are families, plants, and animals here too. In fact, I was born on this ship. Occasionally, we encounter other boats who sail alongside us. We meet new people. Sometimes, I wonder about the islands and lands that we pass. I decided to ask the other captain what’s on the land.

She told me, “on the land are other people. Many years ago, the other captain and I decided that we wanted to ride on a ship that would chase the sun. We wanted to take control of our abilities and use them in a productive way. So we learned how to sail, and found others who had the abilities and wanted to come along. Living on the sea is a lot more work than living on the land, but the reward is the sun.”

I asked her why we don’t ever stop on the land.

She told me, “we have stopped, when you were much younger than you are now. Some of the eldest of our group were unable to keep up with the tasks of sailing. We had to wait a very long time for the sun to return and bring us wind again. When you stay at harbour for too long, people get out of practice, and lose the important routines needed at sea. Some of our people gave up during the wait and decided to stay on the land instead. It’s easier to live on the land than here at sea. The ground isn’t made of ever-shifting waters. There were people living on the land, however, who were interested in taking the place of those who left. We were grateful that they would come help us follow the sun.”

I asked the captain why the sun was so important if we could never truly reach it.

She replied, “keeping up with the sun is a very difficult task, but the reward is that we have more frequent exposure to its light than those who don’t. We are able to see it by applying our own efforts. Instead of waiting on the land for the sun to come to us, we go to the sun.”

The other captain overheard us, and as we spoke, it came time for the two to trade duties. He told me that he could take a short break with me, and that I could ask him questions. So, I asked him if the people on the land were different.

He told me, “as you know, some people can’t sail, so they have to stay on the land. Some have decided that they would rather not take the effort to learn, so they remain on the land. Others realize that the effort needs to be maintained even after learning, while sailing, so they stay too. Others still never hear of life on the water until later in their lives, and they decide to train then, and join a ship.

“There are also those who were sailing that tire of the life following the sun, and decide that the rewards aren’t worth the effort any more. Others are pessimistic, and choose to believe that it wasn’t worth the effort in the first place. On the other end of the scale, some people were lucky enough to be born sailing, and learn the ropes as they grow up. Some people sail all the way until they die.”

The captain gave me a chance to think through what he had said.

“But, to answer your question directly, the people on the land are different, but not in the way you might think. As an example, you might find someone just like yourself living on the land. Outside of those who are simply unable, anyone can train and become a sailor. Anyone can learn, and practice the skills.”

He scratched his chin thoughtfully, then said, “as my partner said to me, the real difference between the people on the land and the people chasing the sun is the level of discipline and the kinds of habits they maintain.”

I asked if habits really was the only difference.

He told me, “yes, and the discipline to maintain those habits! Now, with that in mind, I think we both have duties we should be tending to, is that right?”

I hopped up and nodded. I headed to the area of the ship that I was responsible for. While I was working I thought back to what I had believed about the ship’s name. Was it a lazy name?

Inspired by the words, “ever receding horizon.”

I’m struggling to create narratives with underlying meaning. I know that this piece might be a little overt about the whole process, but it’s a first step, and I’m really happy about it. Once I get a solid grip on all this, then I can play with subtlety.

Daniel Triumph.

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Sword Training (The Solune Prince ActIII, Si)

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Chloe and Lillith sat at the breakfast table, eating in silence. They eyed each other, each wondering what the other was thinking.

Lillith wondered if Chloe would show up to the gymnasium for practice as she had promised, or if she would forget and wander into the city like she had the day before.

Chloe wondered if Lillith was doubting her, if Lillith believed her word, her promise at all. They had both come to the agreement that she was to train from morning until early afternoon.

And so they sat in anticipation. Chloe’s eyes darted to Lillith’s plate. She tried to pace herself so that Lillith finished first. Lillith didn’t notice at first, but eventually it was clear that Chloe was eating at an extremely leisured pace. And then Col re-entered the room. Having finished serving the meal, he sat down between them and, oblivious, began to speak.

“No, no, I told him, I don’t own the building, I just live here, and work here! I told him. And he looked at me suspiciously! I can’t tell if he was stopping me because I don’t look like the kind of person who would live here, or if it was my missing teeth, or what. How would he have seen my teeth from where he was? I wasn’t talking, my mouth was closed. So I guess wasn’t the teeth, huh. I just don’t understand. I tell you, the officers around here are getting more and more paranoid. It’s like they’re looking for something. Or maybe they’re just looking to pick a fight? I don’t know, I don’t know.” Col shook his head and then began to eat.

Distracted, Chloe had unconsciously finished her food. She gave a half frown, stood, said thank you, and then exited. She stopped in the hallway, looking left and right. She couldn’t remember where the gym was. She thought, maybe I should have stayed at the table and waited? That would have been polite too.

“Ah,” she exhaled. Too late now.

Chloe went to the ground floor to look for the room. She tried a few doors and eventually found the right one. She opened it and peered inside.

“Ah, so you found it,” Lillith rounded the corner, “well, don’t just stand there, go in, let’s get started.”

“Sure.”

They entered the gym, and Lillith headed to the left wall on which hung her sword collection. She took a couple of thin, edge-less swords off the wall.

“These are training swords. They have no edge, and weigh less so that cutting is safer. And they flex more and have this roundly folded tip, so that thrusting is safer. We’ll use them while you’re learning so that we don’t have to call for the Servant of Duels every time, but still don’t cause too much accidental injury.”

“Okay.”

“We’re going to start with some exercises, because I don’t think you’ve enough strength to wield a sword properly.”

“Well, I fought okay on my way here…” Chloe said.

“Was it a quick fight?” Lillith asked.

“Quick? I fought a whole horde of wild Riley people.”

Lillith tilted her head to the side, “consider how many cuts you actually threw.”

Chloe thought back and tried to form an estimate, “I guess around seven or eight.”

“Right, and you said they were wild, which I’m assuming means untrained. Should we have to retaliate against an army, or battalion, or whatever is thrown our way should the situation in the city turn dark, you’re going to need to be able to throw out more than seven or eight. And, since we’re expecting trained guards and officers, you’ll need the strength to pull your weapon back.”

“Pull it back?”

Lillith handed Chloe on of the training swords, and then stood beside her.

“Throw out a cut, and then pull it back. At the same time as me, ready?”

They both swung forward. Lillith’s sword cut down faster, but she waited for Chloe to finish cutting. Then, she returned to her starting position. The gap between the two women’s return was noticeably larger than the gap between their cuts.

“Hey,” Chloe said, “that’s not fair, you have more training than me.”

Lillith nodded, “You’re absolutely right, but that’s not the kind of argument you can make against an enemy. And, I didn’t show you this to compete. I’m showing you that you need to build a kind of strength that most people haven’t.”

“What’s that?”

“Strength in your forearms. A lot of hand movements are controlled by the wrists.”

“And the wrists is controlled by tendons attached to muscles in the forearm. And swords are heavier than everyday objects, so those muscles need to have more strength, right?”

Lillith nodded, “Err, right. Yes. So, what you need to do is exercise those muscles. For today, that’s all we’ll work on. Then I’ll start adding more in training.”

So, under Lillith’s instruction, Chloe spent a few hours throwing her weapon out and pulling it back in. Lillith made her focus on the speed of her pull back.

“You want to have your sword in a position to defend or cut again as soon as possible. It’s easier to attack, both through your thought process and by how muscles work, so for today we won’t focus on that.”

As she made cuts with the weapon, Lillith added diagonal cuts, and made her alternate. The work seemed to be easy at first, but eventually it began to wear on Chloe. She began to sweat, and her arm started aching. Lillith allowed for some breaks, and gave her water, but they kept going until Chloe started to feel pain.

“Al right, we’ll pick up tomorrow.”

“I think I can keep going through the pain.” Chloe panted.

“That’s admirable of you, but if you damage yourself, then we have to wait for you to heal. You still need to come back tomorrow.”

“Right.”

“Well, we stopped early today, but that’s fine. I’ll get Col to prepare lunch. We can eat when it’s ready. And don’t forget, you’re going to feel this in the morning.”

“Ah…”

Daniel Triumph.
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First draft disclaimer: This narrative is a first draft, and is therefore subject to grammar errors, repetitiveness, lack of clarity, repetitiveness, weak character voice and other issues. Later drafts will smooth such things over, but for now they remain.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

Internal Dialogue (poem)

I don’t have time
to do this and that
I have to study

But I read too slow
so studying takes
all of my time.

I’ll learn
to speed read

Speed reading reduces retention.
It’s just skimming.
Tai Lopez doesn’t read a book a day
he just skims.

Looks like reading faster takes practice
like any other skill

The only way to speed up is
to read a lot
of difficult texts.
For months!

Which means I have months
maybe years of slow reading ahead.

At least I don’t have to worry
about trying to read faster
I read university textbooks
It will happen on it’s own

Maybe.

So, class, studying, and on top of that
I want to maintain this blog

It’s my longest lasting project
I wouldn’t have worked so hard
If it meant nothing.

I guess I have no objections

At the moment.

But if I’m reading
all the time then

There is no free time.

Write into the night.
Then just
write into your sleep!

I of all people should know that when I don’t get enough sleep, I read slower, retention drops further, I can’t focus in class. That means studying cuts into, or erases, time for the blog, or the quality of the blog.

Okay.
I was wrong, I need sleep.
Otherwise I get like that.
But then what?

I’ll figure everything out with
time management using
the agenda
Then I can see what’s going on
and make room for everything

Oh look, the agenda’s full.
Now I have actual proof
that there’s no time.

I don’t know what to do about this.

Uhhg. You know this part of the mind
doesn’t like doing actual work,
Just criticizing!

Anyway

Why not put the blog into the agenda.
If it’s important, it should hold
equal footing with anything else.

That’s genius
Man I’m so smart

Yes I am.

Agreed

Wonderful.

Wait, if it was full before
I still have to make room.
By dropping something.

No no, it’s cool look
I had full days dedicated to things
that only take maybe half a day

I need to get used to this
I’ll have to adjust to managing time
I have time to do something else
after I’m done the first task

Instead of slacking.

My time has been getting choked off by a lot of things. I’m travelling this weekend, and I don’t know how that will go. Then I have a couple of essays to work on next week. On top of readings.

But, despite the drop from daily to a sort of bi-weekly posting schedule, I have managed to maintain this blog, so, hopefully I can keep it up during the next two weeks… and then into exams come December.

yep.

Anyway, for those following the Solune Prince, I have started the next chapter. I might also make an update post, or maybe a post on plot motivations or something. Either way, that particular narrative is a bit of a mess and fixing will take quite a bit of work. For now, it goes on as it is.

Although I have been outline and planning scenes and even acts since I started putting names in the titles (Act II, Scene xi), so at least I’m not just blind-writing like was the case with Evidence. (Kind of scared to go back and edit that one to be honest.)

Sometimes I think to cancel it though

But what I’ll learn through the process and by finishing is worth the fight!

Daniel Triumph.

You can follow me:
For updates: Facebook, and Twitter

for art: DeviantArt and Instagram.

If you want, you can help me out on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/DanielTriumph)

P.S.

I think the reason I’m doing poetry so much is because I’m reading poetry so much :[