Everyone wants to be right and it’s the most important thing in the world. It feels exciting and invigorating. But this hardly resonates.
To be right has become the most banal aspect of contemporary existence.
It’s enough to make you feel done with language, with writing. To give up everything. To just give up. Because to write, to use your words – this involves taking a position. Do I need to be right, to write? Because there is more to life than being the one who is right.
We’re dealing with an actual detachment from reality. Because truth is not only what we are speaking at any given time. We’d like to believe that it is, but truth changes as quickly as we figure it out.
Truth is a phenomenon created by the sum total of an infinite multitude of ideas and perspectives. Truth is a multitude. And this is why we need poetry.
Poetry calls us to remind ourselves how foolish we are in being so right. In pretending to have all the answers. In our righteousness against the assholes.
We don’t need to be right. And we can’t give up writing (especially not poetry). There’s people out there who really wish we would, just give it up. And we can’t help but disappoint them. Truly. And this is okay. In fact whatever we do, it will disappoint someone. And that’s marvelous. Imagine. If we existed only to please, then nothing original would ever get made or done; if we compromised on everything, then nothing would ever change. And we could not dare to hope for a better world.
But this does not mean we are the god of intelligence. Is our opinion seriously, honestly, the highest intelligence possible? Please.
We’ll do better, in today’s climate, to celebrate how wrong we can be.