Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Burning Man


Burning man

He said that you should rule the nation
As you would cook a little fish
(I do not think he meant you batter it)
He said the wise are ruthless and they treat
The people as straw dogs -
Did he mean (as wood would)
Burn
Inside a wicker man?

John Rawls of Baltimore
In his Theory of Justice said
Choose, as from behind a veil of ignorance,
Not knowing whether
You are boy or girl
Young or old
Not knowing what
You love, or like, or hate,

Choose what is best for all
Indifferently
From the purity of ignorance
Not knowing whether you are in
The Summer Isles
or trapped inside a burning cage:
Would you still choose this sacrifice?
Still choose to sing?

They said it was impossible
To be free of particularity
Behind such rinsing veil
As behind a white waterfall
Of that river of forgetfulness
That rings the borders of hell.

But I think his ecstatic grasp
Includes the unity of self and selves
In ignorance:
Console me that I do not know
(or rather, that I do not understand)
That I am girl or boy
That I am old
That I do not know what I like
Or what I am like
That I am generous only from ignorance
That I may hope one day to forget myself entirely
To become like a small fish in a hot pan
Who sings 'Alas, alack'
Closes her eyes and sinks
(all battered)
Back.
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