Contents

English 1130 (Academic Writing) ❧ English 1114 (Poetry) ❧ The Pulse (a sci-fi romance fantasy)

PoemsGospel & Universe (on agnosticism) ❧ The Confused Astronomers of Babylon

The Priest’s DilemmaStoriesThe Wink of the Simurg (criticism) ❧ PhotosAbout Me

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ENGLISH 1130 Contents - Outline - Higher Learning - SCHEDULE: Week 1-5Week 6-10Week 11-14 - The Academic Essay - Rhetoric Intro & 3 Aims - 16 Strategies - Samples - Lord of War - Calvino - Gandhi - Evaluation - Boston Legal - Samples - Research - Texts: Misc - Mad Men - Cox - Notes

ENGLISH 1114 Contents - Outline - Higher Learning - SCHEDULE - 6 Categories: 1 2-5 6 - Essay Structure - Essays - Commentary Samples - Readings: Week 2-4Week 5-6Week 8-10Week 11-13 — Worksheets: Romance - Ophelia - Ermita - Achilles - Rough Passages - Hallelujah - Lemonade

ADD-ONS - Music: DescriptionTerms A-LM-Z — Graphics: Boardwork

Click on the title graphics below for detailed tables of content.

The Pulse is an experimental novel about being, belonging, and the danger of talking to intergalactic strangers. Because it contains multiple narrative threads, is set in different locations, and dips into several genres, I’ve outlined its design in Contents, Maps, & Characters.

PART 1 - The Actress (Paris) -  Equations (Paris) - Di Parma (Italy) - On Lactar8 (Lactar8) - Dinner Guests from Baulis Prime (BC) - On Becoming Human (BC) - In the Dark Water: The Subcircadian Homework Blues (BC) - In the Dark Water: My Own Personal Rheinmaiden (BC) - Fairy Tales (Alberta / Fallar Ultima) - Quest (Alberta) - The Hidden Star (Soul Star) - Seduction (Alberta) - The Ascendancy of Baulis Prime (Baulis Prime) - In the Dark Water: J. Alfred & the Weird Sisters (BC) - In the Dark Water: The Prophecy of the Völva - The Academic (Paris) - Fractal Masters & Fractal Mystics (Baulis Prime) -  Probabilities (Paris)

PART 2 -  Di Firenze (Italy) - And Carbunkle His Eyes (Alberta) - The Stories They Told Themselves (BC) - Prophecy 1: The Political Climate (NYC) -  Lestatique (Paris) - Mirror, Mirror (Alberta) - At Sea (BC / Vicino Lontano) - Jason & the Diplomat: Part 1 (Florida & NYC) - The Outskirts of Rome (Italy) - Still Waters (BC) - Prophecy 2: Fax Americana (NYC) - Prester John (Alberta) -  Times New Roman (Italy) - Jason & the Diplomat: Part 2 (Florida & NYC) -  Madame Dupont (Paris) - On Becoming Alien (Alberta) -  Güsfreude (Alberta) - Virus (BC) - Di Roma (Italy) - Alien Extraction (BC) - Prophecy 3: The Storm Troopers Return (NYC) - All Shook Up (Paris) - Total Collapse (BC)

PART 3 - In the New Beginning (BC) - Les Mouches (Paris) - En Route to the Old Cafe (BC) - The Anunnaki (Vicino Lontano) - At First Sight (Paris) - Screen Time (BC) - First Contact (Paris) - The Condensation of Demon Saints (Fallar Ultima) - Dear Matthew (BC) - The Soul Star (Soul Star) - Au Bord de la Seine (Paris / BC) - The Crazy Diamond (Soul Star) - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive (Fallar Ultima) - The Ties That Bind (Alberta / Soul Star) - The Bind That Flies (The Soul Star) - In the Field of Flowers (Italy) - From the Battery (NYC) … in progress …

Poems to the Void - Living by the Numbers - 12 - 10+14 - 77 - two spinning tops - Night Flight - Dying by the Numbers - At the Funeral - From Diapers to Diapers, Dust to Dust - More Than Ten Years Gone; V is for Victory Gin - 93 - On Time - Crystal Ball - Father Than Haute Médoc - Karma-Samsara & the Bug - 75 Years - Alas, Poor Yorick - Species - Tinnitus - Final Frontiers - Cosmic Writ - On the Pageant Faded - Beyond Whose Bourne - Circle, Period, Dot - All Those Things the Wise Men Say - Water Spirits - The Moving Sky - At 23.5 Degrees - Gospel & Universe - The Garden of Paradise - Teacher - The Apple Cart Before the Horse - More Uncertain Than Socrates

The Precariousness of It All - Fry Day - Skipping School - The Unholy Haul - The Drowning Fish - Fins & Wings - Bad Friday - Between the Flippers - Thirteen-Year-Old at the Wheel - Three Strikes and You're Out - The Shadow & the Butterfly - Petals Fallen from a Wet Black Bough - Poetry - Petals Before the Garden Frost - The Flight of Nazguls - La Vielle Dame - Caritas - Khazaamistan Declared Terrorist State - After Reading The Master and Margarita - The Next Generation - The Fire That Still Burns - Techo Buzz - Amore - The Double Prism - iPhone Six Plus - Techno Burn - Baubles - Teddy Bear latte - Ice Dream -The Ancient Fleets - Addictus - Devil May Care - Dependency - Pauper Lear - Fire Down the Hole - My Three Uncle

Doubt’s Dominion - Rapt Angel - Bodhisattva - The Beach of the Dead - Doctrine - Pascal Revisited - Intentions - La Stella Della Danza / The Star of the Dance - Star Struck - Notes & Scales - More Circles - Veils - Amore - Ra - Cosmic Writ - Doubt's Dominion - Zhuangzi’s Butterfly - The Doors - The Secret - Reveries - The Sum - The Deadly Force of Chance - Species -The Force of Chance - devil my care - I Know Not Seems - Lear - Khayyam - Like Flies to Wanton Boys - Theodicy, 2008 - Butterflies - Rumpelstiltskin - With Flu, at 100 Degrees - Teacher - The Apple Cart Before the Horse - More Uncertain Than Socrates

Travel - Travel Poems - Black Florentine - Buenos Aires, 9th of July, 2011 - Currency - Non Capisco Più Niente - Flowers - Mexican Samadhi - La Bellezza - Ars Poetica - To His Coy Mathematician - Only Connect - Whirlpool Cosmogony - Mexico - Howling at the Moon - Don Julio & the Señorita - Cuba - Asylum - Ambos Mundos - Memories — City of Light: Paris & France - La Vie en Rose - Black Coffee - Fleuve National - Life in the Provinces - Pyramids - Day of the Oyster Shell - A Day in the Life - From the Top Floor of the Floating World

GOSPEL & UNIVERSE explores agnosticism using a variety of genres and disciplines — prose, poetry, art, history, autobiography, astronomy, religion, philosophy, etc. It explores how we got to not knowing an ultimate truth, what it's like to not know, and what follows from not knowing.

1: The Sum of All Space contrasts our limited human perspective with the grand claims some make about universal Truth. — Location Cubed - Third Spinning Rock from the Sun - Location x Location x Location - The Moving Sky - Jet Lag 1 - Competing Explanations - At 23.5 Degrees - Ptolemy - Gospel and Universe - The New Almagest - Cities of God - Geocentrism - Khayyam - Dogma and the Stars - Dogma - A Convenient Narrative - Jet Lag 2 - Notes and Scales — The Paradox of Infinity - The Chinese Sky - Li Bai's Milky Way - Digits - Tang Astronomy - May Be - The Outer Reaches 1 - Orders of Magnitude - The Apeiron - Universes - The Outer Reaches 2 - Hubble Volumes - Infinite Space — Two Poems - If Only 1: Bruno & Yeats - Hubble & Yeats - Giordano Bruno - If Only 2: San Francesco d'Assisi - Rome: Campo de' Fiori - Assisi: The Tomb of Saint Francis - The Lower Basilica - The Upper Basilica - Pound: If Only

2. Religion explores the development and diversity of religion, monotheism, and Christianity. — In the Beginning - Myth and Religion - Sun Gods - Mesopotamia - India & China - Zeus & YHWH - East & West 1 - An Eastern Flow - The Classical Break - East & West 2 - Monotheism - Definitions & Anti-definitions - Que Scais-je? - The Currents of Sumer 1: The WhoreThe Currents of Sumer 2: The Flood - Borrowings - Arks - Systems of Dread - The Dreadful Truth - Systems of Hope - From Dread to Hope - Western Isles - Abraham's Vice - The New Chosen People - Singular Peoples Christianity - Agora Phobia - Do Not Inquire About Their Gods - The One & Only - Alexandria, 415 AD - Currents of Christianity - Influences - Greeks and Romans - The Multiplication of Truth - Selective Grace - Universal Judgment - Dante's Difficult Grace - Aquinas & Dante - Summa Theologica - The Divine Comedy - Primum Mobile - Cherubs & Nitrogen - Beatrice Portinari - Walt Whitman - Our Primum Mobile - Don't Forget the Miller - Chaucer & Dante - The Miller's Tale - Boethius - Summa Post Theologica - The Accumulation of Facts - The Possibility of an Explanation

3: Agnosticism argues that the open doubt formulated by Thomas Henry Huxley can help us to avoid dogma, both in religion and science. - The Problem with Explanations - Zhuangzi's Butterfly - Thomas Henry Huxley - The Sum - Two Sides of the Fence - Bee Lines - Life on the Fence - Secrets and Mysteries - Huxley - The Learn'd Astronomer - Moments - The Secret - Agnostic Geometry - Triangles - The Doors - Circles - More Circles - Pascal’s Sphere - The Crystal Ball of Science - Scientific Philosophers - Man's Best Friend - Veils - Theists, Atheists, & Agnostics - Proving the Unprovable - Spectra - Veils - Gods & Souls - If Only the Atheists Were Wrong - The Force of Chance - Oh, Well - Mere Religion? - Religion as Hope - Laws on Earth as They Might Be in Heaven - Churches of Thought - Critical Thought -The Metaphor of Churches - Core & Secondary Messages

4. Saint Francis contrasts positive and negative aspects of Christianity. - San Francisco - The Beach of the Dead - Do Unto Others - The Baby and the Bathwater - The Bath Water - Intentions - Keeping Baby - Deeper than Dogma - Water Spirits - Believe It or Else - Threats - Metaphor & Dogma - The Cosmic Casino - Pascal's Trap 1 - Without - Pascal Revisited - Pascal's Trap 2 - "Open Your Heart" 1 - Reasons - Beach Scene 1: A Friend in High Places - "Open Your Heart" 2 - Practical Reasons - Beach Scene 2: - 1: Sand - The Sands of Time - 2: Salt - "Open Your Heart" 3 - Reasonable After Lives - An Open Door - Caritas - Caritas - Avenida de los Presidentes - The Hotel Nacional - Makoko - Guilt on an Oversized Sofa - Currents - The Readiness is All - Holy Dreamers - Reveries - Bit Torrent Dream - Dreams Without Belief - Dreams - The Sanctification of Dreams - From Kerry to Crete - Killarney - Xaniá - La Pace di Santa Maria - Gods & Souls - Versions of Deity - Beyond Whose Bourne - Wheels - Mudroom of the Psyche - Waving Goodbye - The Garden of Paradise - Canticle to the Stars - Sorella Luna - Quadrant by Quadrant

5: Almost Existential explores the precarious freedom of an agnostic perspective and the challenge of finding meaning in an existential world. - Poor, Bare, Forked - Unaccommodated Man - Lear - Outing the Brief Candle - Uncertainties - Doctors of Revolt - Adam and Evil - Sartre: Existence Precedes Essence - Camus' Revolt - A Revolting Man - The Status Quo - Chaos, from Ages to Age - Existential Origins - Backwards in Time -- Theodicy, 2008 - Hitler's Perfect World - The Best of All Possible Worlds - Pilgrimage to Birkenau - Berlin Underground - Ontology Precedes Epistemology - I Know Not Seems - Jean-Paul Revisited - With Flu, at 100 Degrees - This Quintessence of Dust - The Permeable Self - Karma-Samsara and the Bug - Sartre, Camus, and Gnosticism - Petals - The Civic Architecture of Deities and Men - Romantic Revolt - Farther Than Haute Médoc - Relativity - Starbucking - Moksha Latte - At Starbucks - The Readiness is All - Flight 666 - Solving the Problem That Can't Be Solved - That Undiscovered Country

The Confused Astronomers of Babylon is a comic, fictional account of Moses in Babylon. Moses and the Apple Merchants of Babylon - Free Trade - Olive Branches & Holy Mountains - Ra - Shesha & the Lord Shiva Golden Calves - Apple Tarts & Klepto Snakes - The Saga of Shamash - The Holy Bin - Author! Author! - A Better Way - Alternatives on Offer - Final Judgments - Swapping the Euphrates for the Nile - One God to Rule Them All - Aziz & the Crimson Goblet - He Is What He Is - He Did What He Did - The Confused Astronomers of Babylon 1 - Flying Plates - Base Sixes - The Confused Astronomers of Babylon 2 - Theogony - 3 = 1 - Snakes and More Snakes - The Fiery Pit - In the Beginning - Before There Was Anything - Of Dust, Clay, & Silk - Adam and the Snake - Primus Inter Homines - Semjaza the Snake - The Journey West -- Imaginary Forebears - The Lost Tablets of Ramses II - Honest Abe

The Priest's Dilemma is a fictional account of a Parisian priest's struggle with the facts of science and history — in particular, the discoveries of evolution and cuneiform in the 1850s. Rivers of God - Presbyteros - L'Écriture Sainte - La Géographie - Pinpoints of LightThe Golden Triangle - Les Anglais - Threat # 1 - Threat # 2 - The Precambrian Crust - Nineveh - Dates - 612 BC - Que Sais-je? - What We Knew - What He Knew - Eucharistia - Priest & Pastor - Bread & Wine - In Switzerland - Highland Dream - Champs-Élysées

The Italian Who Was at a Loss for Words is set in Palermo, and contrasts the obsessions of a geologist, a student, and a professor. - 1. Pietro Parlante2. Claudia3. Clark Kent 4. Vita la Dolce.

Miscellaneous. Proust in the Morning is about billable hours and transexuality. - Cloud Illusions is about sex, drugs, illusions, and rock and roll. - The Girl Who is about spunky girls and butterflies - Girls - The Girl Who Wrote a Book About a Girl Who Wrote a Book About Some Other Girl

The Wine-Dark Sea and Roma can be read as separate stories, yet they’re also part of extended narratives in The Pulse.

The Wine-Dark Sea alternates between romance in Manhattan and a family holiday in Florida. Reworking the Greek tragedy Medea, it explores decadence & decency, betrayal & loyalty. - 1. Jason 2. Medea

Roma explores the curiosity of a student visiting Rome - Campo de’ Fiori - Le Differenze - The Gypsy - Mei-Lin - Zigana

The Wink of the Simurg is a critical study — in progress — of Salman Rushdie's early novels, focusing on his use of mythic and religious paradigms such as as the flight to Attar's Mount Qaf or the union of Parvati and Shiva on Mount Kailasa. I argue that Rushdie uses paradigms like these not so much in a consistent way, but with a consistent aim. He may respect paradigms or turn them on their heads; they make clash or they may fuse. Yet his aim is almost always the same: to encourage an open, secular, liberal view of the world.

Preface & Contents

Timeline A: 2500 BC - 1300 ADTimeline B: 1300 - 2020

Plot Boxes & MapsBibliography

Introductions - An Inaccessible Circumference - Other Worlds - Cosmology, Mythology, & Mysticism in the Sundarbans - Fusion & Clash - The Rise of the Simurg - The Huge Scenic Background - Attar's Valley - 4 Points - Grimus: Simurg with the Letters All Mixed Up - The Return of the Simurg - The Simurg Eclipsed - The Simurg Returns - Four Points - Secularism - The Road to Hell - A Noticeable Shift - A Disturbing Conflation - When Worlds Collide - Iconoclasm - Doubt & Belief - Spiritual Flight - Disruptions of the Sacred - Hierophanies - Polytheistic Polysymbolism - Hinduism & Daoism

Grimus (1975) - Introduction - Multiple Journeys - Attar's Qaf - Beginnings - The Chameleon Flies the Coop - Virgil & Eliot - Iconoclastic Initiations

Midnight's Children (1981) - Introduction: History & Myth - A Different Type of Novel - Racing Against Time - Family Lines & Mythic Cycles - The Road from Kashmir - Attar & the Loss of Eden - Plot Box: An Anxious Saleem Writes about his Grandfather's Return to Kashmir - Plot Box: Attar's Journey & Midnight's Children - Mystical Gems - Amina & the Silver Spittoon - Plot Box: Amina & Nadir - Lapis Lazuli and the Free Islam Conference - Amina & the Monsters

Shame (1983) - The Layers Beneath … in progress …

About Me — Chronology: 1960--1980 - family in Alberta & Saskatchewan; Calgary, Paris, & Geneva - 1980--2000 - marriage, Asian travels, & Vancouver - 2000--2020 - family, friends, languages, & travel

Poems to My Dad: Teeing Off - Batter Up! - Bases Empty (2017) - Diamonds - Cooper Glove - Sky Train (2004) - Dying by the Law - (2015) - Ristretto - Dusk - Post Scriptum, Postmortem, Agnosticum

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