Wednesday August 5th, 2009

The exercise:

Inspired by a series of more and more random emails exchanged today at work, today's starter is: going off on tangents.


I'm having trouble staying on topic.
Perhaps I need to be more myopic,
So that my thoughts have less room to wander.

But you know what really makes me ponder?
How is it that some people are fonder
Of money than being philanthropic.


Greg said...

Nice, even your poem went off on a tangent! Something about work does produce a lot of material for inspiration; must be all that interacting with people :)

Going off on tangents

Mum was tucking me into bed when she noticed them. She caught sight of them out of the corner of her good eye, and paused, then carried on tucking me in as though nothing had happened. She stood up, and I thought that maybe she'd not realised what she'd seen. Then she looked straight at them and sighed.
"How long?"
"What, mum?"
"Don't play games with me young man. How long have they been there?"
"They showed up last night, mum."
She sighed again, and sat down on the edge of the bed. I tried to scooch over a little to give her room, but she'd tucked me in too tightly to move.
"Do you know what they are?" she said, reaching out a hand and stroking my hair.
"A bunch of old men with beards," I said.
"They're a Brechtian chorus," she said. "They used to follow me around when I was a girl, and they did the same to all your aunts, and your grandmother too. All they'll do for the next four years is distract you and try to drag you off on tangents."
"As if you weren't enough of a mooncalf already, Billy."
The chorus leaned forward at this point, and intoned deeply, "Beware! Beware this cassandraic hag!"

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

I love it when words have more than one definition. I also love it when nouns can be used as names.
- - - - -
Dot sighed, completely and utterly bored. "This circle," she thought, "is all I know. All I know is the thin strip of black that happens to revolve around the origin at a radius of five units. Whatever that is." Thousands upon thousands of small black specks, identical to her in appearance, had traversed this path before her, thousands upon thounsands traveled it with her at the moment, and thousands upon thousands would go on to journey on it after her.
"What a boring existance!" Dot cried in despair, stopping dead in her tracks at (0,5). "I can't stand this anymore! I'm getting out of this circle!"
The points in the immediate area chuckled at this absurd idea. "Where do you think you'll go?" one asked.
"I'll hitch a ride on the next passing line," she answered easily.
More laughter followed. "Lines don't just appear out of nowhere!"
Dot smiled. "Then I'll just have to make my own line, I guess." Before anyone could protest she went to the farthest edge of the circle, and concentrated, "Extend, extrapolate! Extrapolate, extend!"
Out of thin space, appearing as if by mathematical magic, a line shot out in both directions. Everyone in the circle gasped in shock. Dot grinned wildly, taking off on the line.
"Where are you going?" someone called.
"Off on a tangent!" she cried back, giddy with glee. "I'll be back once I see both ends of this line!"
- - - - -
It may not be the best piece of literature in the world, but still: the joys of being a geek. ^^

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I honestly couldn't have stopped that tangent if I had tried. And working with people is great inspiration :)

A most enjoyable piece of writing that was, good sir. Had me looking up Brechtian chorus to boot. Great final line too :)

g2 - a bored dot breaking free of a circle by going off on a tangent? That's so much awesome I'm not sure I can handle it!

Great idea, wonderfully executed :)