Still With Me

I met a drunken philosopher
at a tavern atop a royal mount.
We were high up, but he was higher.
He babbled about “what is truth?”–
Pilate’s ancient inquiry–and that reality
is one “big fucking lie”–his words.

I stopped his rant there asked
him to elaborate on that statement.
This is what he told me:

“Some say our experiences are real.
I call bullshit. Experiences are tainted
by our perceptions–our opinions–
of them. Example: you eat an apple.
That’s an experience. But no one
just eats a fucking apple.
We add our opinions to it:
was it sweet? sour? ripe? too ripe?
Was it good? Did it taste bad?
Shit like that. You following me?
I mean, what the hell is ‘sour’?
There is no universal sour quotient;
if there is, I haven’t heard of it.
Hell, is an apple even an apple?
My apple could be your goddamn orange.
You still with me, my man?
To sum it all up–everything
I just fucking said–is this:

"we are not the sums of our
experiences; we are the sums
of our perceptions of our experiences.”

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen