Arthur Parsing by Stephen Hastings-King

The fields that Arthur Parsing parses are frames and variables and motions.  Organization is how Arthur’s parsing parses. First he notes insects clouding grasses and that the sky is bereft of birds.  Then the wind comes with a transparent cheering.  Blushing, he notes the alternating bands of colors that are held together by surface tensions.  From there he intuits the continuous danger of everything flying apart.

When Arthur parses he hums to himself: “What is he looking for? What is he looking for?”

It is hard to monitor the surface tensions that subtend a composition.

Sometimes Arthur Parsing’s parsing pulls the past into the system of the present.  Geographies become multiple: a hill stops being a hill, becomes a junction between time-spaces.  His pulling-in unfolds around an invisible intentional line that difficulties endanger by changing.

When difficulties arise—and they do—-he picks up his Fischer-Price telephone and says: “Party’s getting rough.”  This secret code springs an imaginary combine.  Messages hurtle through metal tubes and trigger actions which are undertaken by agents who sit in offices waiting for messages to strike them like billiard balls.  Balances are restored as cumulative effects of these actions.  It doesn’t matter what the actions are.

Arthur Parsing parses the universe of a five year old.  In that universe when Arthur Parsing parses he does not need to parse Arthur Parsing’s parsing.  Arthur, parsing, is an observer. Arthur Parsing is transparent.

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6 responses to “Arthur Parsing by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. guy

    Arthur Parsing ponders the displacement of parsley.

    I think this very good.

    I like that you’re able to point to imaginary institutions with a kind of child-like world play. I think the formation of those structures develop just as children are playing with the language. Revisiting this intersection of language games & modes of being/faire/understanding would seem to be a place to go back to if you want to think about bending those structures.

  2. I agree. The word play fits the theme perfectly. Nice.

  3. That last para is just brilliant. Peace…

  4. stephen

    thanks for reading & the comments. this was a fun piece to make. here’s the loopy backstory:

    It all started with a meeting about a data transform project. Inside of that, author parsing became Arthur Parsing because an associative network that is not mine but which superimposed Arthur (the name of the father) onto author (you get the picture).

    Then Arthur Parsing became my uncle Arthur who lived in the world of a 5 year old all of his 80. Party’s getting rough was a mantra.

    Then Arthur Parsing who is also my uncle Arthur became a character who imagines himself performing abstract surveillance operations that monitor the surface tensions that hold together a composition. What he sees is a composition of course. What you see is another one that is about the first one. In this was there’s an author parsing Arthur Parsing. La la la.

    I took union in the set-theoretical sense.

  5. Kelly Grotke

    very nice, and I like the backstory

  6. Pingback: #10 – Union of Opposites « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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