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Nat Lipstadt Aug 19
Alaska:
“though the whole world should be mad at once
though the elements should be changed, though the angels should rebel: yet verity (irrefutable truth) cannot lie.”  
                                                         ­                  Erasmus of Rotterdam

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for BJ Donovan, a fine, fine poet
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verity, irrefutable truth, cannot lie,
or belie it’s non-contradictory nature,
even, in a small airport, a one runway affair,
somewhere in Alaska
ribboned tween icy crags and dagger-ous peaks,
low cloud coverings of sub-zero visibility,
that inquire, in an indigenous tongue
of the flying fool pilots,

“really?”

if I or you ask me why I’m here,
Alaska,
the answers come in only three Heinz varieties,
true or false positive, no differentiation needed,
the other, is called
“one who doesn’t know how to ask”

you know him,
the simpleton, the simple one, me,
who can’t frame the question without

risking that he frame himself

betraying and displaying his woeful ignorance,
a veneered confidence of knowing so little about much

in the shed, a/k/a
‘the terminal,’ we wait,
me and an ex-Buddhist priest,
head stubble shaved, of course, round horn rimmed glasses wearing,
stone washed jeans blue, the color of his eyes,
reflecting mine as well as the blue glacier ice
surrounding us both, we,
the extraneous human eagle interlopers

showed him the Erasmus quote, provoking one of them,
thin lined, whimsical, eye-glinting smiles of those
who know the answer
to the knotty ones, or,
know better, that knotty questions one asks himself
when high up in the mountainous glacier ranges,
get answered just by silent patience

he smiled for an eternity of
at least five minutes,
my heart pulsating big time,
this modern man anticipating, in his calm, dulcet two tones,
his understanding of another ancient translating another,
even more ancient, speaking:

”the world is indeed mad,
through neglect letting the elements warp, glaciers melt;
the angels have indeed rebelled at the
foreseen fated falsehoods perpetrated,
verity,
torn asunder,
and the line between balance and imbalance,
so jaggedly ripped in too many places that verity a victim
so badly assaulted, its face is no longer identifiable by AI, worse,
so covered, dying, undiscoverable.

but you ask!
ask of yourself, asking of others, and tolerating
uncurled, uncut uncertainty, you retreat and reconsider,
this then is your answer!
it is the
ASKING,
that is verity, itself! there can be no lying thing in the
quest of questioning
that accepts, rejects, and unceasingly asks again^

this is a the only irrefutable truth and what it asks of you:

never accept the illogic of belief, let your own eyes be the best judge;
ask and ask thrice, be satisfied that being disastrously dissatisfied
is the norm, the mean,
the line toward a perfection that may not ever exist(ed)
for our flaws define us, thus so much greater is our truths when we
we reshape them, ourselves, for verity itself is not so hard to find,
but the finding of one self is too difficult for most


for asking is too painful,
too primordial, and why I am no longer a priest nor teacher,
but a simple observer of the answers that can be found in the
silences of places,
the Alaska’s inside of us,
where nature’s sets
an open table for anyone
wiling to just ask...”
8/18/19
S.I., N.Y.

^”It is not in the asking, but in the searching and wrestling that we gain clarity.”

— The End —