brief comment on truth

The following was written by me as a comment on this post at Peanuts and Bubblegum, a really neat and fun blog:

I look at it a bit like this — and of course, there’s no need for you to agree — we are each sending out spotlights to see what’s out there. If there were no truth (or reality) those spotlights wouldn’t reflect off anything. It’d just be a cold meaningless blackness.

But it’s not. Our spotlights pick up all kinds of wonderful, beautiful images when we look to see what’s out there. Only each spotlight is picking up but one narrow aspect of all that’s out there to be seen. And where we make the mistake is when one person thinks what his spotlight reveals is the whole thing, the whole truth. Even to the point of thinking someone else’s spotlight just can’t be right, because it isn’t his or hers.

If I say the world’s flat, there’s a little bit of truth in that, isn’t there? I mean it certainly looks that way. Just like no spotlight ever gets the whole truth, most of them are picking up at least some bit of truth.

I think artists are in the business of creating more and more spotlights. Highlighting this one or that one, fixing up this one, dusting off another, just trying to catch as much as they can of all the wonderful truth that is out there to be shined upon.

There are those practical people whose business is to determine which spotlight is best for which problem, and which spotlight is more limited than another, and how to classify spotlights and so on, but I don’t see that as the artist’s job, necessarily. The artists just has to keep revealing more and more, as much as they can, of all the beautiful and radiant truth that is out there to be seen.

Having written this much, I guess, I’ll throw this up at my blog …

Any opinions! Please comment.

a dream with aliens

I’m in high school again.
I don’t know how I got here
nor do I want to be here.

There are aliens all around
hidden from humans under masks
and I’m never quite sure
but think I might be one.

I move about the hallways
moving around the students
always wary I’ll be made out.

I stumble across a large room
walls that stretch up high
a wide open chamber
a trial is taking place
the purported crime —
this student is an alien.

Among the jurors
I recognize more than one alien
their masks translucent
these are b-grade movie aliens
large malformed heads and insect eyes
they bang their fists
ready to judge the accused
who
frankly speaking
looks
all too human.

There is an explosion
a slow lugubrious one
no one is even hurt
in slow motion people begin to panic
and to search for the nearest exits
everyone moving to leave
I as well
but first I want to go by school administration
where I find an empty office
and two large chocolate frogs on a person’s desk
one frog lops up the other
and smiles
feeling certain it hasn’t been seen
but it has.

I make my way outside
and find myself sharing a large train platform
full of students
only there is a problem
where the train tracks should be relative to the platform
there is only a small field of tall grass
there is no train coming
but everyone waits.

A sign on a column
in green, red, and yellow
is explicitly a notice for the reggae club
but actually
it is a secret code
telling me where I’ll find Telemachus
as he has infiltrated the school.

I ask one of the more intelligent students
school’s over, isn’t it?
he replies
yeah, I guess.

I step off the platform
into the tall grass
and make my way for the parking lot
then in the distance near the main road
I see two angels
standing by a slick red car
a well dressed man and a woman
sleek and beautiful people
they wave to me
and offer me a ride
I wave back
but decline
I’ve my own car
it’s then that I realize
I’ve forgotten where I parked it.

– matt at shadow of iris

I dream of a mouse

A mouse moving under the carpet
a small lump, cartoonish
a white mouse in a cage
always safe, well fed
but always restless
it sticks its nose between the bars
and rubs
till its nose is sore and red, even scarred
it gnaws on the bars of the cage
a grating sound
that won’t let you rest
until finally
not being able to bear it anymore
you take it out to the woods
and let it go …

Second thoughts overwhelm you
guilt
a white mouse against red leaves
a sore thumb
snake fodder
you reach out to grab it
because even if
you can’t let it live
you can’t let it die
but even as you move to snatch it up
it’s faster than your hands
and quickly gone
the deed done.

You’ve stepped out of time
into a small dark chamber
stony walls and dark shades
of fluorescent violet and green
time flows onwards
but only outside the cave
never within
you can watch friends, family, life
moving forward
leaving you behind
all through a misty door –
do you step through
back into time?
Or do you stay there forever
and watch?

Far, far away
in a passage through a cave
or on a trail through a dark section of woods
you spy an eerie wavering light
you halt
you are not alone
behind you stands an old guardian
a harsh face and an old stony voice
he promises you safety, honor
but only if you slay
the shadowy figure out in front
yet the shadow’s voice is soothing
and it beckons you forward
towards the shimmering light
with promises of flesh and power.

You are in a restaurant
clean, cool, and spiffy
you’ve order coffee
you sit with one friend
and another has gone to use the rest room
the drinks arrive
hot steaming drinks, one milky green tea
reaching for yours
you clumsily spill sugar on the table
you scoop some up
and place it in your absent friend’s cup
thinking it’ll flavor his tea
but your friend who is present asks
“why are you putting poison in his cup?”

– matt at shadow of iris

These dreams are flighty things.

These dreams are flighty things.

I awake
and wonder if I’ve had them
a puzzle
a box without a key
a single thought leads to a chain
then there is a string of memories.

I’m in a big white house
a familiar house
my house
yet I never lived there
a beautiful house up on a grassy hill
I’m just a boy
and I’m straying around places I shouldn’t be
I’m in my brother’s room
his private place above the garage
forbidden territory
but he’s been gone for days now
I’m looking for clues to some kind of mystery.

The dog in the room is glad to see me
and scampers about excitedly
the bathroom door
it drives him mad
so I open it.

The kittens flood out
fleeing like wild mice from a field on fire
so many of them
a flood of kittens
three stalwart mothers among them.

What’s my brother doing with so many cats?
Did he hide them here? Did he forget about them?
Is one mother perchance a father?
What have they been eating?
And what am I to do now that I’ve opened the genie’s bottle?

I scoop up the dog
less he gobble up a kitten or two
and hold him tight as he wriggles to be free, howling
I watch my feet less I should step on a little kitten
as they rub up against me, purring,
wanting me to pick them up.

Shifting, shifting, shifting
fast forward
fast reverse
I’m not really sure

I meet an old friend in a bread shop
oh what a bread shop
sweet pastries freshly baked
can you smell in dreams?
I’m sure I can.

Everything so clean, so neat
all the pastries with soft powder sugar sprinkled on them
my friend is talking about the Internet
he’s telling me there are places
places I haven’t been to
places I should go
I’m in rapt interest
I realize I’m in a hospital
a lonely one during the holidays …

I dreamed all night, I’m sure of it
my consciousness flittering in and out of images
a tiny fish among the wavering coral
always at play in the currents
yet this is all I’ve to show for it
how it greaves me not to know
where else I must have traveled.

– matt at shadow of iris

message to kitty

Kitty,

As you write so many kind comments on this blog, I feel I must share this with you. A lot of people who play with words probably think of themselves as expressionists. They are trying to reach down deep and describe what’s truly there. I would not begrudge anyone this effort. On occasion, perhaps I attempt this as well, however humbly. But what I really want to be is a creationist. I want to to create feelings and moods, tones and colors, images and pictures. Then if I happen by chance and fortune to create something pleasant, I hope it goes viral and spreads and makes peoples’ days a little more bearable or happy. :-)

– matt at shadow of iris