There’s really precious little
Secret knowledge that is both.
Knowledge kept esoteric
Is mostly gormless nonsense—
Philosopher’s stones, potions,
Homemade glyphs, funny handshakes—
While knowledge of any worth
Makes itself known as weapons,
Swiftly reverse engineered,
Dragged out by espionage,
Smuggled out in long-sleeved robes,
Spreading along the trade routes.
There’s a small in-between space
Where mice of real knowledge nest
And sing work chants and hone tools
Made out of the robe’s excess.
This knowledge is not so much
Hermetic as traumatic
And, while highly predictive,
Predicts what can’t be altered,
And is therefore not valued,
Facts only mice can’t forget,
Say, the wickedness of death.
Shake your sleeves. Take a deep breath.