POEM: One Dead Cat

It’s come to my attention that I’m doomed.
I heard that a cat was killed by curiosity.

I realize that I’m not a cat —
not even a hepcat,
which sounds like it would be a cat with hepatitis,
but it’s really the ringing endorsement of a 1940’s jazz artist.
(I learned the term from Looney Tunes reruns in the 70’s,
alas, too late for the hipster seal of approval.)

But, I digress.

My point is that I’m vastly more curious than a cat.

Cats are only curious about two things:
1.) where is my food?
2.) why does this human act like it’s the boss of me?

But I digress once more.

My real point is that if anyone has received a lethal dose of curiosity,
even given my large body mass and super-feline capacity to neutralize toxins,
surely it’s me.

Curiosity is my defining characteristic, the sine qua non of my life.

I’m curious about the arcane, the anachronistic,
and all the subjects typically maligned as:
“dreadfully boring,”
“painfully tiresome,”
“excruciatingly tedious,”
and “soul-crushingly ho hum.”

I have a Master of Economics degree, for heaven’s sake.

Even my “interesting” graduate degree, the one in International Affairs,
largely involved the study of the obsolete tactics of a collapsed empire.

I’ve spent hours asking, “Who am I?”
out of curiosity about whether Sri Ramana was right,
and eventually a meaningful answer would coalesce.

I’m curious about everything there is to be curious about.

Is there a god, and, if so,
-is she pretty?
-does it have tentacles?
-is it a lonely job?

What is consciousness? Where is consciousness? Is consciousness? Conscious much?
-And can one ever know a thing by using that thing as one’s primary tool of investigation? Or is it like trying to fully know a house while locked in one of its closets? Plato’s cave and all that jazz.

What technological advancement will blow us to smithereens?
-And will it be the same one that got all those alien races who should be billions of years ahead of us, but who are radio silent and whose suns aren’t even partially blotted out by Dyson swarms. Or is the road of civilization strewn with technological landmines — each unique, but deadly?

I’ve climbed to the top of a mountain just to know what was on the other side.
Only to be answered by the rows of ridge lines stretching out into the grey distance,
which said to me, “Even this little blip of the universe is too big for you to know.”