Wednesday, September 18, 2019

To Know What’s Next

Never mind what time means. What does it mean
To predict things? Sit in a box of light
Surrounded by open windows. Listen.

Consider the ways lives anticipate.
Consider the ways beings make mistakes.
What is the future that we can know it,

However imperfectly, from the past,
From experiences, our own or those
Of ancestors, of civilizations?

What is this nothing nothing much conjures,
Selfsame nothing much conjured from nothing?
The nature of next is mysterious,

A weakness that gathers strength to greatness—
Each thing arrives from nothing, appearing
As nothing much more within nothing much.

Nor is next any human invention.
Microorganisms long since condensed
What’s next from diurnal oscillations.

Next is as much of the nature of life
As are eating, growing, and excreting.
Behavior requires anticipation,

Whether of motions, mornings, or seasons.
Any phenomenon that shows no signs
Of anticipation is not living.

The future’s a presence within living.
It exists in the acts of prediction,
The behaviors of anticipation,

But does it have any further meaning?
Twitch. You can’t think without thinking what’s next.
No matter what system you believe in,

No matter with what convictions you dream
Timelessly symmetrical equations,
No matter what faith in eternity,

Omniscience, or destiny you may place
Within a timelessness of religion,
You’re jumpy with imperfect predictions.

And what is the nature of prediction,
Itself, what actually is prediction?
Nothing is living free of that question.

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