Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Magic, Most Scrupulous Inaction

The land is written by what lives on it,
Having been milled from underneath. May we

Tell you something about yourselves, about
People? If you already know it, please

Forgive us our excess explanations.
Imagine you made yourself business cards

Which stated your profession as follows:
Magician, Poet, Scientist. As You

Wish. Well, then. Scientists are admirable
But common. Poets are insufferable

And, as amateurs, even more common
Than the least interesting of scientists.

But magicians? Either illusionists—
Variably skillful entertainers—or

Grifters, cultists, and the mentally ill—
Non-exclusively—such are magicians.

But hand a stranger one of those strange cards,
And if they humor you at all, they’ll ask

For magic. And what is magic to make
Folks want it so, pay for the illusion,

Occasionally surrender reason
To allow themselves to believe, and yet

Remain so skeptical of it? A trick,
You think? Yes, but perhaps not what you think.

The world makes the rules, makes people make rules,
Who live off the land thanks to rules you’ve made.

You read the land carefully for the rules
You might have missed, which are all rules you’ve made.

You’re puzzled. The world can only have rules
If there is a frame to hold them, a world

From which the rules can be read and on which
And in which all rules persist as given,

Which means there is a world outside of them.
Magic! By their own definitions, rules

Can’t reach the world beyond them, can’t reach past
Us, your explanations. It is written.

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