Poetry Archives Bio
February 26, 2000
4:08 PM
On Solipsism and Existence

With apologies to Dzienniki gwiazdowe by Stanisław Lem and Александр Пушкин [Alexandr Pushkin].

To Vicky Chui

I wrote some poetry already,
But—ah! Alack, today's the task
To use some rhyme and some beats steady
To try my brand-new style unmask.

To make my job a bit more tricky,
(As if the rhymes were not enough,)
I dedicate this one to Vicky—
She likes this kind of weird stuff.

* * *

Amazing thoughts we're all subject to
But one sometimes takes a new guise:
"What if we're really not existing,
But live and die by some device?"

Our brains are canned in metal cases,
A thought is nothing but a spark,
Electric eyes view vast blank spaces,
But rarely see a morning's lark.

Our ears can hear majestic music,
Our noses smell a bluebell's bloom,
As we perceive our thoughts and reason,
Not seeing all our final doom.

We travel fast to distant places,
Enjoying sunsets, beaches, sand,
But we don't really make ten paces
In that electric fairyland.

So break away from doors and padlocks,
Let the enslaved mind once roam free—
For all you know, it might be over
At any time for you and me.

The bearded man will then come slowly
Towards the cases with a smile,
And click them off without much feeling—
His precious time to reconcile.

The truck will come there in the morning
To load the remnants and depart,
And the old man, now satisfied,
Will his experiment
                         restart.