POEM: Thinking

I think,
but without Descartes’ insistence that I am.

In fact, the more I think, the less confident I am about knowing what “being” means.

I think — without knowing,
and recognize the hazard of that condition.
It’s what got Socrates killed.

A smart person who claims to know may raise hackles,
but is dismissed as arrogant.

It’s the smart person who admits he doesn’t know…
[let’s hope I’m not wrongly classed among them]
… that’s the one who arouses murderous intent.

For what hope exists for priests, professors, or politicians —
or any of the many oracles of our age —
when the most astute confess that uncertainty is inescapable?

What airy sands are our castles built upon?

And, yet, I think.

POEM: Nullius in Verba

nulliusinverba1

Said Socrates, “Oh, those poor bastards, for they think they know.

“I may be an ignorant slut, but I know I know not.”

[I paraphrase.]

My point, if I have one, is that “know” is an overused word.

Stinking up the discourse, like a bloated, floating pig turd.

[Remember Jim Carey, in the movie “Liar, Liar”]

“I object, Your Honor”… “Because, it’s devastating to my case.”

It’s a refrain seldom stated, but oft implied.

It works quite well, if you only talk to one side.

Fault us not for we’re wired to be certain.

If the cave wall shadow might be a tiger,

you don’t wait to see whether it’s a mouse.

That said, we’ve evolved these huge honking brains.

Our prefrontal cortexes might withstand the strain–

of asking:

How do I know this?

What if I’m wrong?

Might my mind deceive?

Facts: cherry-picked or  strong?