Thursday, September 16, 2021

We Weren’t Put Here to Understand Here

Lem had an idea that the world was real.
Not that he knew what the world was. Not that
He knew it better than anyone else,

But that it was out there, reliably,
To be known as best as it could be known.
Proceeding from this assumption cost him

More than one relationship, more than one
Friendship. Lem was stubborn about knowing,
While many people prefer mystery,

Which is to say the mystery is real,
As in, there has to be one, and don’t ask
Us to swap dark certainties for bland ones.

His determination to know as much
About the world as such, as real, as there,
As could be known, became Lem’s defining

Character flaw. Nothing is so useful
To a storyteller as delusion,
And Lem’s partner was a storyteller.

When the book was published to some success,
The protagonist, who was finally
Compelled to acknowledge the fathomless

Mystery of subjective perspective
And who was obviously based on Lem
Annoyed him. Well, that’s the real world, eh, Lem?

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