Busts of Greek philosophers

Two Poems by E.M. Schorb

The Careless Man and the Philosopher

The careless man heard the philosopher and said, But you see you have a problem with your premise. No matter where you stand, everything you say comes from that direction. I could put you on the moon and get a different argument from you. And you, said the philosopher, where is what you contend coming from? It is coming from accident, said the careless man, and I am making a huge and logical structure out of the accident of being here, or there, which makes me the philosopher and you the careless man. I am the careless man, said the philosopher, and I have a problem with your premise. It was then that the careless man and the philosopher became blood brothers. Aside from its premise, I like your huge structure, said the careless man, and I like your nothing, said the philosopher, giving each other a hug and a pat on the back.


They found their ideal in the rain forest of the Amazon, these scientific photographers from National Geographic; they found a tribe of twelve scarred and bitten people who lived naked and ate monkeys which they shot out of trees with blowguns. They knew that they had finally found the Noble Savage. But romance backs away from finality, and they took their pictures and returned to their dry homes in Georgetown, deploring the modern urban life and declaiming for all to hear how they had found the perfect life and left it behind in order to bring it to the public.

E.M. Schorb’s prose poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Quick Fiction, The Mississippi Review, Illuminations, The Chariton Review, Mudfish, The Asheville Poetry Review, Slant, The Potomac Review, Gulf Coast, The New Laurel Review, The North American Review, and Gargoyle. These and about fifty others are included in his new collection, Manhattan Spleen, just published by Aldrich Press. 

Lead image“A row of philosophers” (via Flickr user Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. )