2015-04-08

The need to know too much

Another oldie, this time from 2010.


This is an attempt to talk about raw experience at its most fundamental level.  How can I know that what I experience is the same as you, even if we have nominally been doing the same thing?  Is "red" the same for you as for me?  How about "blue"?  How about "blue" for music?


So if we extend that to experiences I haven't even had; especially if we mean experiences that a highly privileged Western, 21st Century inhabitant is very grateful not to have had...


This is a poem from 2010, and possibly today I might have written it more subtly.  On the other hand sometimes a sledgehammer works better than subtlety.




The need to know too much


"There are some things we're
      just not meant to know..."

Aeschylus in overdrive, tragedies he wrote
and left them here to linger in the now. Was I wrong
to ask your story? You did not answer,
but held out the unsteady hypodermic.
I hear when you do not say: Friend,

you cannot read this in a self-help book,
or watch it with amusement
playing out in other lives.
You cannot trek for years to seek it



—and I do understand. There is nothing to discuss,
no elephant in this room for us to face.The only way to learn this
is by injection straight into my brain.

It is cold. I remain. Understanding nothing,
I resolve I will in future know one truth.

Sisyphus must still endure, but I was only told that.
I have stared, unmoving, at too many sunsets,
roses, match-books with the cover slightly torn...

Ready your needle.

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