Saturday, November 23, 2019

Our Novelty Is Our Myth

What if we’re really, really,
Really, really alien,
Not just to other monkeys,
Not just among lives on Earth,
Not alone only
Within this solar system
Or this galaxy—

What if we came from other
Physics, other forms of chance
And necessity?

Some sort of hole was punched through
The brains of early bipeds,
Or not their brains, their cultures,
The intrusion of language
Capable of narrative,

Not just anticipation,
Reportage, and emotion,
But storytelling?

Consider the clues,
The need for meaning,
Our one fundamental myth
That this world could be other
Than the way it always is,

The refusal to accept
As the law, except
For refining predictions,

Our instinct for beginnings,
For believing all middles
Have ends, for believing ends,
When we can see and comment
How things are always going—

We, not these beings of course,
Which are ordinary beasts,
Not the words these beings share

As substitutes for grooming,
Or not the words alone, but
Us, metaphysics of myth,

Stories ourselves alien
As stories of aliens
Penetrating these membranes
Of this myth-less universe

Where the only thing
New must be a myth.

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