Black Box

by Eric Chaet

Dawn: I’m driving too fast toward the Sun
& finally I remember:
Stop rushing to nowhere but another moment
just like this—of impatience.

Experience—no, I didn’t want it—
but whatever I or anyone has managed to live thru
however unwelcome it was when it was—
it’s my treasure now.

I can’t completely know humanity’s history
or the history of this or that tribe
to which, to others, I seem to belong—
or of nature, infrastructure, technologies, deals.

I can’t know if there is a creator
or, if so, if that creator correlates
with righteousness, wisdom, kindness—
mythologies won’t help me—
I’m raw in the raw world.

Output of inputs
function most complex of all
obscured by fireworks & battles
hormone-induced infatuations
conquests & empires’ collapses
extraordinary careers, accidental deaths
comets, storms, earthquakes—
so many factors interacting so many ways—
not yet completely—maybe never—clear to me—
black box, engineers call such.

Coal, oil, coffee, ink, wet soil
darkest Africans’ skin
theater before the show begins
bureaucracy—no one responsible for any wrong
those who have stopped caring to know what’s going on
yet insist, “I know”—
& are determined to get what they’re programmed to want
night—punctuated by the stars—
& by dawn, & the emerging road ahead.

I have time, yet
how much or little depends on the plans
& life-span of whoever is observing.

I’m indignant, frustrated, hurt, ambitious—
I’d rectify my own suffering
& injustices perpetrated on others, too.

Everything & everyone has business with me.
Who are they? & who am I—
who have have business with everything & everyone?

How often, impatiently
I’ve resented interruption of my intentions!—
intentions that cycle thru like days & nights
& the life-times of leaves & bugs & fish—
& here’s another day, emerging from another night—
so much I’ve tried has failed
yet somehow I drive into another black box—
I’m glad it’s full of light—but now I don’t forget.

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successive approximation series

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