Sunday, June 26, 2016

Ethnographically Speaking, This Is Inaccurate

"But enough of phenomenology: it is nothing more than the solitary, endless monologue of consciousness, a hardcore autism that no real cat would ever importune."

A boy I remember read Zen
And the Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance with wonder, some years

Before he encountered any
Actual metaphysical texts.
A fundamentalist Christian

Kid without sense enough to see
That in the fight between Plato
And Aristotle, encountered

In that paperback the first time,
He should have rooted for Plato,
Not thrilled to the moment they both

Were swept aside by the author
In favor of Presocratics.
A certain vulnerability

To mysticism and gnomic
Metaphors infected him then
Without him realizing it.

He rarely returned to longer
Philosophical arguments
After that, although he studied

What he felt he needed
To prove himself intelligent
And at various times came round

To Aristotle and Hegel
For a little while each. (Never
To Plato and never to Kant.)

Hume he genuinely admired,
Sensing as he did personal
Preference, more than reasoning,

Determined one's choice in these things.
Phenomenology, briefly,
Felt true in a general way,

But god, the writing was awful
And taught him there's nothing to learn
From brooding over any truth

In hope of vivisecting it.
Right or wrong, the truth is simple.
It can be pummeled, smeared, spread thin,

But it won't surrender further
Conclusions past what's evident
From bald statements in which it lies.

It's petrol. It's not the pistons
Thundering long, withdrawing roars
Of obnoxious facts down blue roads.

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