Twas once said so long ago in an unwise era of gender injustice,

a wise man knows the extent of his ignorance,

alluding no doubt to the clue left the Delphic oracless

by Xanthippe regarding her husband’s ostensive malady,

yet for me clearly and distinctly above all things perceived to persist within my semisweltered mind

ignorance of my own’s extent of ignorance known remains though sublime a complete unknown to me, within the realms of quantity or quality though, modesty with certainty permits me to confine my opines

to deft handling of mimes bent forward from the stage of life’s bright floor lights to with adamance confess the extent of ignorance my own be great,

to say without pretension to be extensive, though oft I’ve been known to disguise my meagre tries

at plying trade of knowing with much good acting and pretending more I knew than not, when forsooth in fact I know not how to distinguish teal from chartreuse, nor maroon from burgundy, nor dragoon from heavy cavalry, nor miniature collie from sheltie, the names of countless plant species, flowers, or types of trees based on appearance of leaves; confused at times about clouds, whether cirrus, cumulus, or nimbus or the difference in lit betwixt Eliot and Sand, why Trotsky died or Dreyfus was hung, or shot.

Of these things once I knew a lot, or thought I did, having since forgot things like the diff

between Delacroix and David, the symbols for phosphorous, sodium or cobalt, if protons outweigh neutrons, and what Tesla really did.

Or if Rabelais himself was gargantuan, Hemingway hunted marlin, or Lee liked Longstreet better than Stonewall Jackson

—or which style came first, rococo or baroque? Or if the proposition “rosé d’Anjou comes from the peach,” originally is true

As it once was told by a Scotsman in a vineyard barn on the Mösel, the day he tumbled down a slope of slats and vines after being loaned forty marks,

so ignorant then was I after drinking neue wein with Bulgarian migrants blacksuited drunk standing on their heads

I was told, he had to rush home cuzis mother was dead.

Later near November’s end I trainsaw him then with two Italians bound for the Crete orange harvest having by then

done a stint with the tomatoes of Sicily, and when the train pulled to stop in a town south of Turin he jumped off and ran to a trackside foodstand excitedly loudblurting out of breath to its owner “hey-how-much-adda-slice-adda-pizza!” then quickbolted back on board as it left so although not knowing my quantity of ignorance’s thorough extent

I can safely submit there’s a quality control good will won’t admit…

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