tourist

your bible-thumpery is thwartsome
and is as in need for jestery poking
as any archetypal old bat
in Sunday dress and flower hat
who can’t keep her nose out
of other people’s business
that you don’t see that
is evidence of a character flaw

that need for a truth you have
to use as a crotchety crutch
you desperately cling to
in your vaudeville act
until you’re using it as a slapstick
like an indignant and loud
mother hen squawking and pecking
which then you seem to stand
well enough to wield it
begs for someone to kick it
out from under you each time
you lean on it for support
to leave you flailing
melodramatically
from truth to truth
until you learn
to stand on your own
without props
and leave behind
in a moment of rare clarity
and character arc
hypochondria
and pinocchio-nose poking
around other people’s behinds

because truth is really a choice
about efficacy and meaning
made by those seeking it
and is neither the grail
nor the stripper pole
neither unified theory
nor monopole
but rather is useful
to describe phenomena
as experienced
in particular ways
and to speculate
on noumena
through noesis
and that’s a personal journey
each person takes
for themselves
with some useful truth
as a map for that territory
but which map is for them
is for them to choose

and the only crime in that
worth getting flustered about
is if they travel like tourists

but that’s your schtick:
an esoteric version
of a stupid American tourist
talking trash and trashing
everyone else’s country
oblivious to any plight back home
while haughtily heaving
your bulky belly around
in loud hawaiian shirts
and greasy stained chinos
talking s-l-o-w-l-y
taking pictures
of every exotic thing
trying to capture
the spectacle
in a slideshow
but really missing it all

instead use your senses
to experience the real
right before your eyes
or abandon senses
to the many and the one
noumenal moment

spend your time
on your own journey
instead of criticising
to the exclusion
of experience
of the excursion
because you’re disturbing
both the natives
and the other guests
and giving the rest of us
a bad name