Showing posts with label revisionism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label revisionism. Show all posts


NaPoWriMo - 2017 - April 16th - Language does not exist…

Language does not exist…

Language does not exist…
not in the sense of something we can touch,
engineer, pass from hand to hand, feel the grain.  Language…
the shared delusion is an illusion.  We understand chocolate cake,
a concrete thing: we agree the broad idea
but only one of us recalls Paul, at two years old,
smothered in the stuff.

Less agreement with abstractions: my love
is not your love; and my sovereignty
doesn’t exist at all.

How much worse when we get to something you don’t know.
You mention that you like to go kayaking
but I have never experienced the sudden cool
of near ice water running from a paddle into my sleeve
or the semi-resonance of millimeter-thick fiberglass
rebounding from submerged geography.

Language does not exist…

although the dictionary says otherwise.
The words in the book of lexical lore
will claim to, with precision, pin a meaning on every
possible utterance. They do not and cannot;
Dictionaries do not exist…

Language isn’t definitive or declarative,
it isn’t even functional at heart. It’s metaphorical.

Let’s get high!

We can do that here on the hill,
with the stepladder,
and you are very tall;
and the guitar solo goes up and up;
and you've been promoted, by a higher power;
your salary is now so much,
but this meat’s off;
the electricity is strong;
your church is formal;
and your fashion sense is very sharp today.

All these things are someway “high”
but the only way in which three octaves above middle C
is like a piece of rotten meat,
is buried deep
in our psychology/neurology.

Language does not exist…

not as something fixed
which you can grasp with thought or pen.
Continual flux is all there’s ever been:
spellings, meanings and usages
shift beneath our tongues
like extreme sushimi.

You, I hope, understand me.
Shakespeare, however, would get me less
and Chaucer might think I was speaking
a foreign language.

I take my words back,
I take them back in time until,
somewhere maybe in the 9th or 10th century
there comes a point where they have no meaning at all...

because language does not exist.
Not even in the other direction.
My words are of course
recorded for posterity, but after I die and as they age
what anybody understands fades out.
Until there comes a moment
when my great, great, great, great grandchild
factoring, loneish in the interspace
wonders what planet I was from.

If I was truly great,
people would update me
once per generation,
but we can't all be Shakespeare
—if nothing else Shakespeare's already done that.
So there that's us evolving once again.

Language does not exist…

Je suis un éléphant.  I might say,
I was French,
and an elephant
. Those who are the sort
to understand French elephants
would shrug
and wonder why I stated the obvious

but my words would be gibberish
to the differently linguistically endowed.
English exists,
French exists,
and they’re langages…
but they’re not language itself, which does not exist.
English/French dictionaries, in particular, do not exist.

Language is a maelstrom, language is a storm.
People think they pin it down, control it...
define it;
but they may as well bottle the hurricane.

Grammarians will claim they can explain
and lay down every part of speech in grammar books.
Grammar books do not exist
and as for the people who write them:
I've never met one.

Language does not exist…

so set yourself free!
No ploddy, tetrapody emphraslement for me!
No momentary ding.  Talk toboggan listen
all everness towards myself true wordy
and ultimatum infiltrate the thing
of do magnificence, superlative, and evermore unstopped.

Nobody can stop me doing this
and nobody can touch me for it...

because language does not exist.


Bootstraps (revised)

Why would I post nearly the same thing twice?

To demonstrate the creative process, of course!

Also to show how the only constant is change, nothing can be taken for granted, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and we are our own worst enemies.

But mostly because I am not a revisionist.  Events are events and even if we subsequently forget what they were, they still are what they were.  Similarly history is written by the victors, and thus not real; but it is what was written and always will have been... I can't simply replace the previous post and thus erase the historical record (I only do that if I make an embarrassing mistake.)

Let's call this the history of the World, v0.2-patch-level-1...


First floor survival gear: axes chipped
from patient flint; animal skins stitched
with skill and bone needles;
tribal leaders
arguing beside the standing stone;
berries gathered in the sun; fires kindled
in the gloom to keep the toothier beasts at bay; going up...

Second floor farms and agriculture; cats to keep
the rats away; dogs and scrawny goats; the spinning
year and fleeces; fleas in every rush pile
bed; people sleeping on a platform,
animals beneath; pots built from the local clay and fired
by the clan who have the knack; orange/yellow copper
in the kiln ash, a young man prods it thoughtfully; going up...

Third floor city states: law and orders;
walls; gates; men with wise beards,
meet, casual in the forum; politics; decorum, until
the food gets scarce; princelings swapped with
worldly powers to guarantee the peace;
philosophers on temple steps; priests
at watch, nervously; a man who writes everything down; going up...

Third floor mezzanine libraries and scriptoria: days
spent, short and candle dim; rude notes
illustrated in the margin, to the greater glory; a story
captured and defined, here and there a line
of mystery; history, on the lectern, written by scribes
in the chapter-houses of the monasteries of the victors;
a new fear of fire; books from half the World, traded, copied; going up...

Fourth floor industrialism and empire: men
in clever top hats; lines on maps or diagrams which change
the game; labourers becoming craftsmen, speaking plainly
of pounds per capita per square imperial inch;
unflinching duty; railways; educating lesser races;
ignore their anger, they are children; government buildings
in grandly inappropriate style; social reform; going up...

Fifth floor total war: wondering what it's all about in a foxhole;
shells; war poets; dysentery; seven new kinds of mud
to drown in; gas, artillery and wire; cunning inventions
to burn up everything you've known;
fragments of bone in your hair; high explosive
which de-constructed your buddy, hearing, presence of mind;
ACHTUNG MINEN! no leaves on the trees; rumours of a treaty; going up...

Fifth floor mezzanine teenagers and youth: sex and drugs;
hugs and messages of vague well-being; seeing things
in new lights; days lost in what used to be reverie, but now
is chilling out; tearing down old certainties, while still
within them; distant mystics, sexier than the local ones;
rolling the stones; liberty, equality, hints of progressive policy; going up...

Sixth floor technology: machines for making machines that make
decisions; tension round the rate of change; every day strange
and bravely whirled; Internets; commerce; the people, connected
and loving and arseholes, in equal measure; treasure
sieved from big data; advanced manufacturing facilities
and people drawing squiggles
to sell them on-line; connections for the World, for your mind; going up...

Seventh floor...

Top floor future: worlds beyond number;
World without end; machines that think
they are men; vice-versa; change here for: space
elevators, interstellar colonisation, Dyson spheres, generation ships;
the stars like sand upon the beach of every island paradise the mind imagines;
there is no ceiling...

...I'd put your head between your knees,
it takes some folks that way Sir. If I were you
I'd wait
until it all stops spinning
then take the other car.

Everybody else: please hold on tight...
this lift