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A Philosopher’s Life

by Dylan Skurka

The first sip of coffee this morning had a metallic taste to it.
He grimaced, intolerant to the bitterness on his tongue.
Looking on at the blank page on his computer screen,
the philosopher wondered what on earth he had become.
Doctors cure, lawyers litigate, businesspeople sell,
so who exactly is the philosopher who cannot write?
The rest of the world, it seemed, did as they were told,
carrying on in a straight line, linking arms
and singing in unison, while the philosopher lagged behind,
hoping to catch up for a while, only to come up short every time.
They lived to make money, he lived to philosophize,
they talked in cliches while masking true feelings,
he couldn’t be anything other than feeling if he tried.
A human synthesizer, the philosopher absorbed
existential information at a blurring speed,
reconfiguring it into philosophy to digest its intensity.
He couldn’t fit in, so he carved out a lonely piece of land,
a lowly cottage, on the outskirts of societal acceptance, for a while
seeing his place in the world as a hindrance, until he could appreciate
his strangeness was not something he ought to hide.
Was it ever going to help him thrive or at least survive
in the hostile kingdom of the likeminded? Maybe, maybe not,
but for now at least he could retreat into inner space
and write his pain away, safe in Creativity’s embrace,
even on his most metallic-tasting, creatively empty days.

© Dylan Skurka 2024

Dylan Skurka is a Philosophy PhD student at York University in Canada. His research focuses on the phenomenology of altered states of consciousness.

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