29 May 2010

Knowledge, Politics, Poetry ~ Nick Lantz

List of Things We Know
Nick Lantz*

40% of all
births are
10% of all
are births.
is correlated
to detached
a damaged
a person’s
credit rating,
but in all cases
the direction
of causality
is unclear.
Chances are,
your husband
is lying to
you. Most
contract when
frozen, but
ice expands;
for this reason,
the oceans do
not freeze,
and we can
go on living.
If you see
a ripped pair
of underwear
in the bushes
by the bus
depot, assume
the worst.
Pollen leaps
from flower
to bee, but
this is only
static electricity,
not the work
of affection.
We’ve proven
that the mouse
feels fear (we
haven’t yet
devised a test
to determine
if he feels joy).
Donald Rumsfeld - with his classification of things and events into known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns - as muse! Who knew? In any case, the poem I've lifted here falls into the first category; no surprise given the title. And the book has a terrific cover too.
* Nick Lantz. We Don't Know We Don't Know. Graywolf Press, 2010, pages 15-16.

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