Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Saturday, 3 April 2010



File:Karpacz Samotnia sniezyca.jpg

Now that a blizzard of idiocy has buried the world, logic must take care of itself.

Everything that is possible at all, is also impossible.

"Goofy is Pluto" is nonsense.

It is impossible to go wrong in logic unless human beings are involved.

Any sentence that makes sense is bound to be mis-heard.

Now that logic must take care of itself, can we trust it will be clothed, warmed and fed?

Can we identify the individual signs of idiocy in the midst of a blinding snowstorm?

If the signs can no longer be made out, why is it we must have signs?

If someone were to have torn down the signs in the night, would we know the difference?

If Pluto is Goofy, it may be Pluto who has torn down the signs.

Are those glimmerings we see through the blizzard the headlights of the logical snowplows?

The turnings in the road are dangerous in zero visibility.

Pluto would never be caught dead out on a night like this without the snowshoes of logic.

Were Pluto to be found dead in a snowdrift, would Goofy be more likely to lament or to celebrate?

Can logic be attributed to a system of thought that exists in defiance of logic?

When the drifts rise to cover the tops of the buildings, will the muffled cries of Pluto continue to be heard?

File:Karpacz Samotnia sniezyca.jpg

Samotnia Shelter, Karpacz, Karkonosze, Poland: photo by Klapi, 2006


~otto~ said...

Pluto definitely tore down the signs, outraged at neither being Goofy or a planet.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it depends. Are Goofy and Pluto part of a hypotaxic relationship, or do they perform as a parataxic act?

Or they might be an protasis/apodosis pair. But I doubt it. Because Goofy is...well, let's face it: not too bright. But Pluto is another story: although he has elements of goof, he is not anthropomorphic, and his essential dogginess places him beyond the reach of the Goof Troop.

When Pluto and Goofy try to relate, it is an aporetic nightmare. Who will lead the inquiry and who will follow?

These are the things that keep me up at night. Sometimes, you'd think I'd been reasoning. But really, I'm just waiting for the dreaming to begin. Or the nothing. I'm not picky.

But every time I think I'm close, I hear Pluto crying and I feel an overwhelming urge to dig him out. Then...and this might only be true for me...I feel like I need to fire up the snowplow, and the whole night is shot.

I would like to know who tore down the signs. That is anarchy. Perhaps after a rigorous elenctic dialectic, I might rip down some signage myself, provided the non-answers we have generated are satisfactory reason for doing so.

Anonymous said...

just fantastic!

Curtis Roberts said...

Adding to yesterday’s lovely weather and Easter egg pleasures were the three new Beyond The Pale entries and readings on apodosis, protasis and parataxis. (Haven’t gotten to hypotaxis yet.) I love this poem. It routed me back to Henry Green, particularly: “Any sentence that makes sense is bound to be mis-heard.”. Thank you Anonymous for your appreciation and discernment of Pluto.

TC said...

Otto, B, Curtis,

Many thanks.

Yes, poor Pluto. Maybe in the next lifetime, fella.


I am delighted that you have caught me at my little game of classical coinage, I had no right to hope for such an eventuality. Your brilliant analytic response has redeemed for me my hapless nocturnal wanderings in the dim snowblind attic of Disney Logic.

Ah, truth. Parataxis or Protasis? Pluto or Goofy? Truth or dare?

On first consideration, Anon, one must admit, a simple paratactic tactic, of lining up the little-soldier sentences one after another without subordination or preordination or indeed ordination of any kind, into a simple list, would seem to have offered the most prudent and appropriate course, in any attempt, such as this one we are here discussing, at comic interpretation.

My problem on that score however had to do with the fact that lists involve categories and it is hard to make out categories inside a blizzard of idiocy. Well, no, I take that back. There were the categories "Disney characters" and "blinding snowstorm". But I found those lines led around in circles, and quickly enough the tracks in the snow could no longer be made out, returning upon themselves, over and over, as the light ebbed.

And further, nobody could could reasonably deny that any syntactical tactic -- tasso, to arrange, with, of course, a guilty bit of syn mixed in -- must always imply, of and by its grammatical nature, a certain degree of purposiveness. And I felt a bit short on specific purpose, in making such a list, really. As if caught in that blizzard, going around in those circles.

Talk about your moments of Aporia.

Para (aside, beside, next to, beyond & c.) would certainly appear to designate the relation between Goofy and Pluto, who do indeed stand side by side forever, as Platonic ideas, equal in glimmer, unsubordinated, in the eternal comic pantheon that exists in the dim Disney attic of the mind.

But I wanted a different term. Not quite parataxis. Something with a bit of the rub of it perhaps, but...something a bit more... aporetic?

Paratasis, Anon, was what I wanted. To use it, though, I first had to invent it.

I don't know how it is with you, Anon, but though I am obviously no narrator in Beckett, I myself have suffered this sort of loss of the consequent clause on more than one occasion. A perfectly good conditional clause, or protasis, will occur to me, but then, before I know it, the apodosis will have escaped me. The apo, from, away, and the dosis, giving, slipping away from one another, all too commonly. The flexible elastic distance between the pro, before, and the tasis, stretching, from teino, becoming more and more elastic, more and more flexible, elongating as in some surrealistic taffy pull, all too commonly.

What then to do?

It came to me that if I were to invent a bit of pseudo Greek, no one might notice.

But ah, there you were, lying in wait, the ideal reader, ready to pounce upon my sneaky Greek neologism.

I suppose I would possibly have been able to simply and without controversy call this piece Protasis, and get away with whole business, scot-free, as they used to say.