Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Experience of Paradox

What is it about koans,
Aporias and paradox
That excites us,

That feels clever,
Like wisdom, like insight
Into this world,

Which calmly refuses
To understand or reconsider
Our frequent requests?

Sophists, taoists, buddhists,
Mystics of every
God-besotted institution

All get off on paradox,
As do grads and undergrads
Of the commonest college

Denominations. Why?
It's not as if Cretans
Are really all liars

Or one hand can't keep on clapping.
They're just pretzels of meaning,
Confections of recursive syntax.

But there's a rush that comes
From painting our brains
Into corners they'll never crawl

Free from without 
A little levitation,
The light-headed sensation,

When the voice that is small
But insistent within us
Reminds us how pleasant

It is to know nothing,
How real it can feel to suspend 
Intuition, to reject

The airily apparent
Facts ranged around us,
Innumerable, insufferable,

Where arrows fly, time passes,
And everything is something
Or other, in the end.

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