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No one can

No one can quite visualize just what
quantum mechanics looks like—
“particle or wave, wave and particle”
Yet its equations accurately predict
future states—“Shut up and calculate”

We flirt with mysticism but
it’s not a serious part of our thinking
We try to stay close to the core
“We won’t just shut up and dribble, you
noxious right wing lady TV troll

You shut up with your white
supremacist utopian bullshit”
“You shut up, callous Kentucky
fucktard, with your cowardly
horrific, racist assaults”

When mom had a hysterectomy in
order to mitigate the noxious effects
of out of control breast cancer, our
friend, Gene, told us “This isn’t like her
gall bladder surgery and there won’t

be anywhere near a complete recovery”
Love can be generous and calculating
like the love of reason dedicated to
insight and not some tribal intoxication,
that churns us towards a byway of hate

Our method requires tests that might
refute the theory tested though no test
can forever establish a theory
“I try to console myself but the
grief of your death conquers

every lasting consolation”
If we give up eating chickens
and their eggs, how many chickens
will we cultivate and how many
chickens will live? The old-fashioned

way: that old timey mix of partisan
argument, political maneuvers and
rancid propaganda—freedom more
vital to them than equality—“The freedom
to use your fist ends where my chin begins”

She’s alive in my mind all the time
Newton preferred his own company,
the better to work without interruption
“I can’t believe in masses of people
I can only know them one at a time”

Newton compartmentalized—a part
of him required unrelenting empirical
testing for insights where all
other moves are forbidden—no
magical aesthetics, no sky hooks

But beauty generates ideas and provides
for delight, sterling colors in a private
autumnal world, life’s contradiction of the
nothing from which we stem and finally go
Beauty is, however, ineffective thinking

We hate most in others that which most
reminds us of our own sickly, vile foibles  
They take pride in a hate that should
shame them, shroud it in fine words
that are nothing more than words—

Propaganda with its blend of genuine
insight and malicious gibberish, societies
that normalize dehumanizing behavior,
murderous acts committed, not by outliers,
but by so many mediocre, ordinary people

Our illusions create our relationships
She holds the sick swan in her left hand
covered in her jacket while she props
up her bike with her right hand
That’s the kind of person she is

Can we ever count on good will
and good faith? There was Gene, bent
over, crying so hard at my mom’s funeral
She was gone forever and no one like
her would ever be with us again

-November 14, 2020-