FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: John Surowiecki

What I Know About Epistemology

by John Surowiecki


As the light goes, go.
Be the rustling in the grass, the fall from
convention’s good graces: learn, or someone
will have you filing files or writing writs,
demonstrating cutlery or selling knowledge

door to door; someone might even drop
your lovely life into a factory and have you
derusting rings on the coolant-spouting
turntable of a vertical lathe.
It’s best for everyone that what you know

is generally thought of as general knowledge.
You can find it in pool rooms and roadside bars,
in meadows as inviting as beds, in bedrooms
where it whispers like a ribbon untying;
you can even find it in schools. But be careful:

it’s dangerous, inescapable and exact
down to every atom of everything there is,
to every name each thing goes by and every
law each thing obeys. And the best part is,
you always know more than you know.


John Surowiecki works as a freelance writer from his home in Connecticut. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Author of six chapbooks and three books of poetry, his most recent work is Barney and Gienka (CustomWords, 2010).


[Image: White Noise/White Light, Athens, by Höweler + Yoon/MY Studio].

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One Response to FRIDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: John Surowiecki

  1. sivanpoetry says:

    My, but did I have to learn this lesson the hard way: “learn, or someone will have you filing files or writing writs”! This poem is very deep and invites a number of readings to fully inhabit it. But at first glance I do love what he has to say, as it has become the mantra for my new life. Thanks for sharing Lezlie!

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