Not Knowing

I do not know what a poem is. I do not know how to not be inside a poem. What I do not know is a poem. I do not know how I know this.

I want to say I’ve made not knowing my religion. The bumper sticker on the car in front of mine reads “It’s not a religion. It’s a relationship.” I have a relationship with not knowing. I do not know what a relationship is.

The only thing I’m afraid of is people who know something. Animals don’t know anything. We are animals. If you know something you are digital. You’ve entered into a binary landscape of your own creation. I do not know this.

Before I did not know I committed ritual that I did not know was ritual. I do not know if I have been beyond this moment. In every poem there is an opportunity to know or not, to interpret a dream. I do not know this is not a dream. I do not know that I am inside my body.

I do not know how long I have not known. I do not know that I do not know. Before I did not know I began to feel a physical aversion to knowing.

The why is never explored, just the what: a phrase riding the knower’s wind. Knowers ride pedestals into the garden of knowing, of yes and no, on and off.

I do not know where I was for two years. I entered a tunnel of knowing the caul of cocaethylene and the slow creak of metal chairs. I walked out to find every surface of my home covered in empty bottles and empty bags.

I do not know where I went on a boiling June day in the Helderberg Mountains. I entered a forest with medicine in my body. I sat in a clearing by a creek.  I began to recite a mantra that I once knew.  Five years later someone I used to love was dead.

I do not know who I am. I have known myself to be many different forms of knowing. To not know is a mantra. I do not know the difference between a mantra and a poem.

I do not know if knowing and not knowing are in binary opposition. Before I did not know I entered a continuum of knowing and not, in my entrance, in birth.

I do not know if not knowing is a form of knowing. I do not know if this question is a question of knowing or not.

By Adam Tedesco

 

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