This poem is taken from Stand 215, 15(3) October - November 2017.

Alex Wylie Three Poems
Knowledge
 
Nobody likes a smartarse.

Let it be said

I know this, and I know it knowingly.

Now when I say I know it knowingly I mean  
I know it for what it is,
self-evident as the self’s evidence of itself,
true as truism,

self-fulfilling as a repeated phrase,
repeated as a self-fulfilling phrase.

Childhood’s knowledge isn’t knowing knowledge.
Childhood doesn’t teach you this. It can’t.

Teachers teach
the facts of life and not the fact of life
that nobody likes a smartarse.

Take this as direct unadorned instruction.

Repeat it after me.

Memorise it,  
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