by Eric Luft
“The future does not exist to be known!”
On that most dread, most sure, and solid reef
Of sound epistemology alone
Must founder all pretense and false belief
In the assurance of the coming world.
It brings the whole occult fast down to grief.
Each i-ching thrown, tarot dealt, tea leaf whirled,
Palm read, die tossed, vague mystical manure
To permanent oblivion is hurled.
Each seer, diviner, medium du jour
Is mocked; and Nietzschean recurrence dies.
We learn that any declaration sure
About the future is a pack of lies.
Yet hope remains, and dreams, to make you wise.
Comment: The first line is a frequent slogan of one of my favorite former professors. The rest of the poem is not a rebuttal or even a modification of this concept, but an exploration of it, to see what its practical ramifications might be.