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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Where have you been?
The mind races with possibilities
ripe with untrue juices
none the less savory and delectable
Spaces with prophecies
in the rear-view mirror can become
anything so long as they are closer than they appear.
Can I lie to you if it means that you will believe
something more true than
if I were honest?

Is that allowed?
Is the point of being honest
giving the right impression of events
or feeling guiltless in the fact
that you have successfully listed
every mundanity as it appeared
rather than as it was felt.

As a child I pissed myself
and in that moment Rome burned
on each of my cheeks.
I felt the ground rumble and dissipate
in an earth swallowing quake.
I knew that every pretension I had of being great
was a puddle beneath my shamed shoes.
Now is that true?
Is it?

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Gateway

It occurred to me
on a beach in Fiji
that perhaps I think too much.
Through the crystal waters
I could see everything
magnified. Color. Shape.
Everything was clear.
A chance you don’t get
very often in Worcester.

But why is it this way?
Why does water do this?
Why the colors? Why the eye?
Why does the world
rotate and the light bend
to create this
beautiful lie.

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The obstacle I
don’t see.
Don’t hear.
It don’t do anything.
The obstacle I
justifies
endlessly.
The obstacle I
answers
joyfully, proudly.
It don’t care
It don’t feel.
Not the obstacle I.
It exists to pad
changing forces
of sweeping earthquakes
called decision.
The obstacle I
makes sure you
don’t drown in
the boat you built
to keep afloat
in yourself.
But it don’t float
by itself.
Figure that out.

A truth that is stranger than any lie
a stranger to any truth is the Obstacle I.

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To Tell You The Truth

The mis-
take I make
is to summarize
anything. Everything.
Summary is dishonesty.
Honesty
uses lies
to plant
more words
in the head
than in the ear.

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The Queen’s Last Edict

The Queen sits
on a stack of books.
Gray eyes scan,
Years of green looks
having stolen
their blue away.

Through thick glass
those aged seers
follow long royal fingers
as they pass
unclear words. Her
digits fear the end
of turning.

Her people are outside.
Terror in its infinite softness
forces them to choose.
They cry like children
under darkness.
Gray sky replacing
the days of sanguine blue.

She doesn’t want to be
their mother, or their sun
She is a symbol,
the image they want to take away,
and in her eyes
there is no comfort
nor any solace,
only what is right
and what is true.

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I

I have never felt a baby kick
I know only my mother tongue
I have never lost a loved one to tuberculosis
nor a nation to exile
nor my life to myself.

I have lost faith to philosophy
only to arrive at a new faith.
My generation has never been tyrannized
or oppressed – despite my contemporaries’ belief.
I don’t understand how a tree or stream
Is more eternal or beautiful than a woman’s body
though I know very well that a woman’s eye
loves a flower because she can see herself in it.

I lie to get honesty. I am silent because I wish
to echo. I think speech is a symbol, humans are images,
and humanity is a metaphor. I think people are foolish to fear
what they do not know – but I fear death.

II

I like the smell and feel of dirt,
old newspapers and books, basements and babies.
I read Plato like the Bible
and the Bible like a dialogue.
I talk to myself in mirrors.
Sometimes I lie. Usually I just make sounds
I don’t let anybody else hear.

I love women but don’t understand them.
Though I think if I did, I wouldn’t love them.
Why such graceful ghosts would ever attach themselves
to this nitty gritty world is beyond philosophy.
Why these pure patrons would bestow on envious nature
such honors when waterfalls and whistling winds
cross within them more perfectly is beyond this world.

III

I have written. Now I am empty.
Having removed myself and others.
Again to the trough of reality
with my sister and brothers –
A waterfall of shifting mirrors.
Fullness calls, emptiness cries.
I claw the nitty gritty to be near her –
I wield fables and lies.
She doesn’t mind my voodoo
she likes to smell and feel
babies and basements too –
She wields satin and steel.
I write, she cuts paper to the floor
creators and creations never more.

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The unfortunate truth for those who hide themselves behind ration relativism is that what they are really looking for is justification, for ethical orders, for a completely irrefutable fact amidst a sea of turmoil – they are looking for truth. Oh sure, like the sophist they can speak around this issue but they cannot hide forever. They use the metaphysical nature of words against it. They turn her and make her cut her own arm off. They say she is limited because she speaks above the reality of the senses and then timestamp her body with the word “philosophy”. The one-handed, ravaged, dirty language of man is no longer something within herself she is nothing higher than a whore being used by every self-defined genius who aims to be novel by undermining all previous assumptions. They push her around a circle of bloated, unshaven, brutal men each taking there turn at removing her garments; imagery, metaphor, meter, rhyme, symbolism, and finally the jewel of her navel: poetry. They condemn her by calling her a liar, and justifying every vicious act they perpetrate on her with envious and insidious logic. Her once mirror-like eyes are too dirty to reflect the ugly faces of the darkened madmen who now parade her naked body through the streets calling themselves by the names of forgotten deities.

A boy sees her from the windows of his family’s house. He blushes and weeps for shame. In the innocence of his childhood he still knows to avert his eyes. But does he know to fight back? He blindly screams out the window to the crowd but their chanting is too loud. They carry her past the boy who never sees her go and to the church where they force her to stare at her shadow.

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Previous Entry Found At: http://veritasexlogos.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/stories-told-to-be-forgotten-vii-the-intruder/

The darkness was pierced suddenly by the sliding open of the channel between Clay and the father. Inside the cramped iron maiden the thick dust could be tasted but not seen. Clay let out a choked whispered prayer for forgiveness later rattling on uninterrupted about the plethora of sins both new and previously omitted or more likely forgotten. The father sat in silence out of disbelief or perhaps even shame over his fellow man’s emotionless enumeration of his adventures. When silence finally returned to the chamber the father groaned and pulled from his vocabulary the one word Clay did not expect to hear.

****

“No I shant have it, your my guest. Well, my father’s guest. Take a seat and I shall fetch the tea.” The foppish man waved his arms hysterically before retrieving his spectacles from his pocket. He seemed old in motion but youthful when still – his dress reflected something of a by-gone era but his angular features and beardless face made it look modern and stylish if not slightly outlandish. He wore a navy blue bowtie and suspenders over a plane white dress shirt. He had draped his sports coat over a antique looking chair before shooting off into the kitchen.

“I think we have some misunderstanding.” Elle pleaded while still standing.

“Nonsense. I see things all too clear. My father, like all men, has given into the nature of our kind and found himself a youthful mistress. For what other reason would you be in his study without a stitch of clothing on.” He paused as he fiddled with the oven. Elle searched for the proper words to say, to come clean, to admit to her sinful night and beg for this strangers forgiveness. But before her heart compelled her to speak, he continued.”

***

“You cannot be forgiven. What you have done is completely contrary to God’s will and you have done it more than enough times to make a habit of it. Until some way of education can be devised to purge from you the taste for sin I cannot in good conscious forgive your sins.”

“Is it a sin to give into your nature?”

“To be a beast?”

“To be too human?”

“You cling to your beastliness for justification but what of the other side… the higher side?”

****

“This explains why father was so happy before he died. Even as the Alzheimer’s gripped his mind he kept saying: My soul has ascended. The old man was all doom and gloom ’til that moment. He would shuffle around this house finding solace in antiques and books from exotic places. It was unnatural. A man cannot go that long without a woman’s touch.” Something in the way he spoke brought comfort to Elle. The man wanted his father to be happy, and if that belief kept this man afloat than why bother his bliss with such a trivial matter of detail.

“I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”

“Pierce Fletcher. Yours?”

“Elle Scardenelli.”

“A beautiful name, for a beautiful woman.”

***

“Even Adam, before sin gripped his bones, was undone by a beautiful woman.”

“You quote scripture to suit your purpose, but you throw out the rest. Even the devil can quote scripture for his purpose, Clay.”

“I need this.”

“For what, Clay? To write another one of your trashy novels.”

“With your grace perhaps I can make them more than trash.”

“You’ll have to ask the Lord about that issue. I have a higher side to worry about as well, and it will do nohting but poison my spirit if I forgive you on the grounds you have provided.”

“Then educate me. What is it that I can do to atone?”

***

“I write novels. Well, sort of. Father said it was always a waste of time, that I would never be like Homer or Shakespeare, so why bother? Unlucky to be born at such a point in history were all understanding of art has lost. It takes a civilization of immense culture to produce such a writer. By we’ll never know if we don’t try, right? I want to write something great, something sweeping, a definition of our time and place.”

“What will it be about?”

“Haven’t really gotten that far yet. I am taking a trip for inspiration.”

“Where to?”

***
“I know some monks that might take you in.”

“Monks?”

“Yes. They live a secluded life up in the mountains. They offer a retreat for spiritual travelers looking to come to the grace of God. I believe one of the brothers there was a writer like yourself. People go to him for teachings on the written word.”

“And if I don’t go. You don’t forgive me.”

“That’s the deal.”

“I suppose the fresh air might do me some good. Where is this place?”

***

“Kentucky.” The foppish man replied without missing a beat.

“Kentucky?” Elle prodded further.

“The trappists have a monastery down that way.”

“A monastery?” Elle tried to imagine this professorial type in robes.

“A trappist monastery. In New Haven. Its called the Abbey at Gethsemani.”

****

“You want me to go to a monastery. In Kentucky.”

“Only there will you find salvation.”

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Nature knew I would later write about her
in the context of some Mercurial poem –
One that before collecting some dust
just barely missed the trash barrel
that had collected the more ill-formed siblings.
It’s a rather Spartan practice I suppose
to dash such children against the rocks.
It wasn’t their fault their feet were uneven,
that they lacked sophistication
or intelligence.
But we can afford to be totalitarian with ideas –
they are just ideas
just words, just images, just fears.

Needless to say Nature knew all this
so she donned a newspaper gray dress
and unleashed a dull cold rain.
She knew that I would rather concentrate on her.
To linger in the land of inhuman objects
objects devoid of necessity or individuality.
I suppose that’s why I love words
more natural than every raindrop, every cloud, and her hair
far more natural than her hair –
where does she think she is going with that wretched hair?

It was one of those days, or perhaps one of those occasions
where human contact feels unnatural
as if this should all be endured alone like an apocalypse.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I suppose Art has her hand in that
because she knows it’s more meaningful
to have impalpable, unquenchable pain –
it’s more heroic when you do things alone.
Or maybe that’s just me.

Comedy is ugliness without pain –
that’s called philosophy my dear friends,
eloquence, meaning, passion, yet
in no way reflecting the actuality of things
this moment, her hair, the weather.
Perhaps its because we are false,
perhaps we are the untruths in a truthful world –
but no, such is not heroic, such is not natural.
We are the actuality, the history, the ugliness without pain.

Who does philosophy think she is anyway?
Not entirely unlike any other lover –
just more seductive.
The kiss she takes is always better than the kiss she gives.
Wisdom when possessed cannot be desired.
You can only desire what you don’t have.
Like time. We never have the time.

Her horrid beehive hairdo eclipses my vision.
I spent our time together writing poems
that will never be read. Trash – by all accounts.
I loved them all and wanted the best for them –
but desire does not always make something true.
If it did it would be sunny, this would be a birthday party,
the woman in front of me would have a long raven tress,
I would allow my wife to console me with her hands,
and their would be no such thing as poetry.

 

 

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“I do not forget the ill affects of such mistakes
I merely let my brain filter out Aztec pitfalls and much
of the year spent with malaria. You see a life is not spent in history
it forsakes plain facts in favor of context and narrative.
The mind makes pilfering into excavation using
the same justification as a priest at an alter;
a still beating heart aloft in his hand. Call it profane
if you must but do not assume you do not do the same
when you lie to your children. At least my adventures are heroic
and their name will spread as fast as its mystery –
that is to say, at least I tell the world my lies.”                               

“I disagree with your premise kind Explorer. Man has no uniform
to put on or take off. History is neither fact nor narrative
but pedigree and convenience. Lies are only vicious when there is a truth
no matter how you justify. It is a pity that your genius
was so exaggerated. You may know much of nature but nothing of man.
I attribute much of your errors on the misfortune you had
being entrenched in ancient texts devoid of recent advancements.”

“You say such words with some authority which strikes me odd.
Don’t we share things with those ancients –
enough that they may guide us?
We’re nothing but clay – free to take shape, no two the same
but still clay.
Dissimilarities can be found among all things
only by first assuming they are common in some way.
Take the pyramids for instance in both Egypt and South America…”

“Do not try to assert yourself as an expert on people because you have
examined the affect they’ve had. Have you explored the brain
have you number the electrons, followed the neurons, and surveyed
the remains of a man long dead. Have you divined how to detect
the quantity and quality of man? Then do not tell me how to weigh
genus, species, and family because they are nothing but convention –
words that would cease to exist if we did so also.”
  

 

“Well if you think such of words
then we cannot have this discussion. Toward what end
would we continue to pontificate if tomorrow
if we all died and took our words with us.
Such an absurd thoughts brings only sorrow
to anyone with children. What cause would bring
you to this hell? That you would sooner remove
the power of your tongue then admit
to something beyond you – whether the thread of history
the endless grace, timeless nature, or the promise of words?
Why do you even speak? Why offer such grief to those
of us who respect words enough to use them with responsibility
rather than selfish charity – giving away only that which
you wouldn’t keep in your own home.”

“It is my duty, as it is with all mankind,
to seek the true shape of things.
Then to emerge with it in hand to send to all too weak of mind
to discover the same.
Call it the burden to knock down the wall. Doing
so ensures that our progression from apes was not for nothing.
We have emerged to tare the heavens down and finally unveil
reality for what it is –
a sham the scale of which astounds me
even as I prepare for bed each night. For even in the midst
of my deepest mind the universe still tricks me into thinking
that something is out there.
That my bed is soft, that my wife is happy,
that my children enjoyed that bedtime story.
Such experience doesn’t belong to me no matter
how many times I recall them. 
Despite my longing for them to be true. 
Memories are just useful fictions to
allow for sleep at night.”                             

“Then why do my memories frighten you
and my refusal to forget them? Why do you
care if I fabricate some details for the sake
of a good story – if all are untrue?”                            

“Because I care for you, dear explorer.
We are all in this despair together
and what would we be if we didn’t lend
a hand to those less fortunate than us.
Besides I can’t have you spreading such lies
around impressionable children. Heaven forbid
my own children would fall for such a line. I would
further discuss this matter, but we’re out of time.
Perhaps we can continue this later over prime rib and some wine
I know this secluded place down by the docks
perfect for such discussions.
Perhaps I could catch you coming in from another adventure.
Until then, dear explorer, do not forget what I have told you today,
it might serve you well.” 

 

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