Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Observation, Record-Keeping, and Prediction

Humans are dynamic ecosystems,
Case by case, corpse by corpse, and group by group—

Our ordinariness, our specialness,
Echoing those same traits of our planet,

Our paradoxes, our ourobouros,
Our gardens of ephemeral delight—

And, as is the norm in ecosystems,
Species with the mightiest specimens

Are most vulnerable to extinction.
Prediction, apex predator, teeters

On the frail and cumbersome foundation
Of its awkward means of reproduction,

Needing continuous observation
And durable, meticulous records,

Stable many human generations,
To grow into the immense precision

Of its sky-swallowing imago stage,
In which it encompasses the cosmos.

Poetry skitters in the undergrowth
Around the toes of prediction at night.

Whenever disaster falls, and it will,
Prediction will fail and crash too quickly

To reproduce from fresh observations.
All the nurseries of records will burn.

Poems and songs will breed bacterially
And leave spoor everywhere in the decay.

All we need is for some kind of human
Ripe for paradox, puns, and confusions

To continue in the latest ruins,
Although we won’t make any predictions.

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