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The Man Who Knew Everything

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  • The Man Who Knew Everything

    The Man Who Knew Everything




    Once there lived a man who boasted he could know everything

    and the two brother gods, Remembrance and Forgetfulness,

    punished him for his pride by taking him down to limbo

    where nothing ever lives or ever dies

    and there they expanded his mind almost infinitely,

    and placed within it everything there is to know

    The position of every leaf on every tree,

    when and where that leaf would fall,

    knowledge of the tree when it was a sapling,

    a seed, and when it was a campfire,

    and then as ash, and to soil and back to a seed again

    What you had for breakfast yesterday,

    What you thought about the car accident you saw on the way to work

    and the ladybug stuck on the windshield of that car

    and what that ladybug had for breakfast yesterday . . .

    EVERYTHING there is to know

    right down to the position and velocity of every single particle in the universe

    throughout the cone of time

    which you might think is impossible

    due to Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle

    But somehow, he learned it

    Then they put him in a room with a bed, a table a chair and a locked door,

    and the two gods said unto him in their unison voice:

    “NOW YOU WILL LEARN THE BOON AND BANE

    OF REMEMBRANCE AND FORGETFULNESS!

    WE HAVE ONE LAST THING TO TEACH YOU
    THE DOOR IS LOCKED AND WILL ONLY UNLOCK

    WHEN YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN ALL WE HAVE TAUGHT YOU

    ONCE IT DOES YOU CAN OPEN IT
    AND GO ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE AT ANY POINT IN TIME.”

    Then the gods vanished, leaving the man in his room alone

    and the Man Who Knew Everything spent billions of years in this room,

    desperately trying to remember to forget

    But one memory he tried to write with his own blood on the walls

    a memory he felt terrified to forget

    He tried to scratch all important words of the gods into his skin

    but to his dismay he found that blood did not flow in Limbo

    nor could he leave any mark on anything

    He tried the door millions of times

    but still it remained locked

    and one day, after countless eons, the door finally unlocked

    Did the man ever escape the room?

    Was his fate was eternal?

    After he forgot the last thing that they taught him

    that the door would only unlock after he forgot

    the last thing that they taught him,

    what could cause him to try the door a final time?

    Only after he forgot all that the gods taught him

    and then spent further eons

    forgetting that the door was locked all the times he tried it before

    When he happened to try the door one time in curiosity

    and it swung open and he went through

    by then he had no knowledge of anywhere in the universe but his room

    and that's exactly where it led

    and on a guess he decided to go to the room at the point in time

    when he first entered it billions of years before,

    though he had no memory of that time

    There he met the gods just after they decreed their cruel joke to his past self

    and since the gods did not anticipate this,

    they became frightened and vulnerable

    For the first time, the god Forgetfulness knew what it was to remember

    and the god Remembrance knew what is was to forget

    The doomed men saw their one chance

    Working together, the two selves took hold of the gods

    the past self grappling Remembrance,

    the the future self grappling Forgetfulness

    and they threw the gods into each other, winking them out of existence

    forever freeing the universe from their pernicious games

    Then the Man Who Knew Everything and the Man Who Forgot Everything

    Exited the room together, and reintegrated into one

    and since the condition was now met

    since now he had forgotten everything, and at the same time knew everything

    he was free to go anywhere in the universe at any time

    So he went back to his home and family and computer

    and finished keying in this story at 10:07 pm, February 21, 2018.




    And the moral is:




    If you punish yourself long enough to forget what you've done,

    then you're doomed to punish yourself forever. Yet if you always remember what you've done, you may likewise never cease to punish yourself. To forgive yourself you must learn to remember and forget simultaneously.







  • #2
    Welcome!. Wow, what a start I tortured myself trying to keep up with this, very clever writing, congratulations!

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting premise, interesting poem, James! Quite clever, as mooneyblack said.

      Comment


      • #4
        Time and space poems
        mess with my head,
        just like yard gnomes
        hiding. That said...
        in this word gale
        you've spun some tale!
        First post earns boast!


        Welcome to the zone James Lemper . Starting off with a bang, I see!

        Comment

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