Superstition

For me, superstition is not characterized by choosing one metaphor over another labeled wrong, but rather in mistaking perception and metaphor for an objective reality; and to banish superstition is to realize this: that truth is never without subjectivity because any truth understood by a mind is conditioned by the limitations of mind, that metaphors and perceptions are tools of mind to understand facets of greater things beyond and bigger than the simple and flimsy container of comprehension. While I do really like my hammer, and it has served me well on many an occasion; it is merely one tool in my toolbox. While I treat my tools with respect, I do not worship my hammer or mistake it for the things I can build while using it, nor do I mistake my hammer as universally useful for all tasks no matter how handy and at hand it seems. Further, although I have a hammer, I try not to seek out only nails, rejecting all other methods of construction, but, and because, I rather enjoy the opportunity to use a screwdriver once in a while too. I recognize that I am enamoured with the possibility that what I think of as my tools have agency, and that I’m actually in relationship with them, but recognize this is also another metaphor. Finally, sometimes I like to try the ecstatic experience of working without tools, and instead rely on my own hands to shape and mould, though I recognize that even still my body is a kind of tool, perhaps even metaphor, perhaps with its own agency, of mind, but that there is a kind of noesis available through the personal and close acts of crafting and creating which is to be enjoyed for its own sake without hammers at all.

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