Socrates et Dreadful

I am on the 10:15,
Dying in the cold,
Or pretending to be alive too,
Like on a special quest,
Mr Somebody pulls himself up,
By the steel post, he finds the door,
Strokes his moustache, once, twice,
The doors hiss open,
He looks around for his coming prestige,
For evil ashes on his coat shoulders,
He jumps off the bus, into his world.

And I have no intention of chasing the sun,
The man, with his leftover newspaper
Rolled up neatly like an omen.
So I glance the WSJ arts section for daily bread,
Licking my fingers,
Tasting the pages,
Hungry for some widowed brother coming upon the wisdom of
Betrayal by untimely death, or the folly of absentee love.
Some editor-in-chief igniting the damp fire-hating minds of faraway thinkers and critics,
Some frozen artist dying for warm bread,
Writing with broken fingers,
His sweet sweet pain onto our regular pain.

But there I find a Socrates homage,
Dreadfully simple,
There is no pomp or festivity with him near,
He claws and scratches his way,
As is often the case with the good ones,
To breathe, to attend.
Rubbing elbows with a large ad
Preaching the gospel of a diabetes miracle pill,
Killing the general energy,
I bend to read his olden gumption,
Alas breakfast is served, I think.

When I am done,
I am torn to utter pieces, belly and lips shining,
Tears roll down my face,
I see we own common enemies Mr Socrates,
Poets are the dogs from hell you know,
Writers too.

It may perhaps do you something mighty Dear Reader,
to feast your vain eyes too,
For you were already ruined in history,
To have never pilfered this mind
One early morning,
On the 10:15:

“I examined the poets, and I look on them as people whose talent overawes both themselves and others, people who present themselves as wise men and are taken as such, when they are nothing of the sort.

From poets, I moved to artists. No one was more ignorant about the arts than I; no one was more convinced that artists possessed really beautiful secrets. However, I noticed that their condition was no better than that of the poets and that both of them have the same misconceptions. Because the most skillful among them excel in their specialty, they look upon themselves as the wisest of men. In my eyes, this presumption completely tarnished their knowledge. As a result, putting myself in the place of the oracle and asking myself what I would prefer to be — what I was or what they were, to know what they have learned or to know that I know nothing — I replied to myself and to the god: I wish to remain who I am.

We do not know — neither the sophists, nor the orators, nor the artists, nor I— what the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are. But there is this difference between us: although these people know nothing, they all believe they know something; whereas, I, if I know nothing, at least have no doubts about it. As a result, all this superiority in wisdom which the oracle has attributed to me reduces itself to the single point that I am strongly convinced that I am ignorant of what I do not know.”

― Socrates

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