false start

March 27, 2012

i heard someone say…
so many things.

and so i decided to add something pointless:

if you tell the truth…
do people see you as fragile
though we are taught that the truth is strength
is pure – will set you free
does it back you into the corner
leave you without options
pigeonhole you
does it depend on what your truth is?
that’s funny.
if you tell the truth
are you naked and alone – exposed, exiled
without that hidden weapon, that final trump card
of the truth
(does it depend on how many clichés you use)
(or if people agree with you – your disagreeable truth?)

the truth just is
the truth is just
it is unassailable
it is black and white
it is grey
and fragile –

the truth is the dodo bird
flightless, without protection
walking around in plain sight
picked off one by one
until its extinction
beautiful, strange old sketches exist
and a rumor of it
now and again as a possibility passing into myth

is this supposed to rhyme or not

the truth is rhyming with itself
oh (common) come on – that doesnt mean anything
it just sounds like its supposed to mean something
tell the truth
because the truth comes in pieces
some assembly required
an apologetic
for an apology
apoplectic that it takes so long for me
to get it together
to finish anything – ever

the truth is the bison
million strong
shaking the earth with its passing
and then gone
leaving guilt and blame
a romantic image that is no longer even a part
of our public conscience but still left for our imagination
no longer necessary to our survival
in fact the last time we thought about it
it was kind of in the way
and then used as an ironic weapon
to eliminate other inconveniences

oh, now youre really pouring it on

the truth is kind of terrifying
most of us just shake our heads in wide-eyed wonder
and at best picture the darkness
at the back of a deep cave
just past where shafts of light stream down from the ceiling
and make it all the darker for their light
or deeper where the light just cannot reach
cannot touch
slowly filtered through the darkness until it is gone completely
my eyes never adjust

what does that mean

can you blink and miss it
is it blurry at the edge of your vision
turn your head quickly
and nothing is there?

the truth needs no metaphor
but is like a matador
swinging his red cape as a target for the bull

honestly, that should be a truism (cocky)
does something smell funny
cause the truth only smells good

truth inspires fanaticism?
turning a blind eye from the truth?
does the truth bring:
or humility
or confidence
or arrogance
or does it depend on the truth
and why
when people are so completely convinced
that they know the truth
do they seem so delusional

delusion: the nature of truth = philosophical contingency

ugh!…i’ve made myself tired

the strength of your conviction
in your opinion
does not make it any more true

tautologically speaking of course

boy, we really picked a hard topic today didnt we
over my head – truth – overreaching
overarching . over-arcing . over arsing . overreacting . over oneself
and one’s self (myself mostly)(mostly moistly)

do you know the truth?
yah, i’m full of it.

truth is like memory
never entirely accurate
always completely dependent on your perspective
and the situation in which you are trying to recall it
it never stops shaping you
as you get older it grows
simultaneously more vague and more important

truth is like playing hookey
everyone knows the phrase but no one knows where it came from
every culture calls it something different but it all means the same thing
no really, its truancy.

it really does seem to depend on what we’re talking about
so many different kinds of truth(s) – so open-ended
and i dont know what or which or why im talking about
apparently i associate truth with darkness and not light
with the unknowable and not the known?
proofs and feeling, spoken and unspoken, individual and eternal
it all seems true and not true
truth: a compromise
riding into the sunset, writing into the grey

i just set out to say that we are made of many truths
many of our own creation
and no One completely defines us
but im only speaking for me
it all came from introducing someone new to: myself as written here
just thought he’d like the song: fresh bread
didnt think until i walked away of all the rest
or i did but didnt think of the consequence
to our relationship or his view of me (and i got nervous)
it felt like he would have power over me or treat me with kid gloves
i should have just trusted him – he’s bigger than that
but instead i vomited the above (too much – sorry)

can i ever speak truth for/of myself
when i question it in myself so often
so much self-doubt
what if im just full of shit
but i am not so grand that i could of been fooling everyone for so long
i am loved – thats true
i want to be known but not diminished
nor treated as a person with illness
given extra consideration and gentleness
pitiable, misunderstood, depressed, dismissed
but i cant even decide what i believe from one moment to the next
(let alone what is true)

it changes and is overwhelming
and all that is certainly only a small small part of it – of me
truthfully, not much of use here

I hope the truth of you brings you strength.


8 Responses to “false start”

  1. Jim D Reppart Says:

    Read this while in Nairobi struggling to find truth from tax agents. Truth is taxing. Your continuous metaphors of truth were fascinating. Truly! JimmyD

  2. Shawn Says:

    my holey truth metaphors…
    as i wrote this stuff
    i kept thinking of a line from Alice’s Restaurant –
    “…you got a lot a damn gall…”
    what was i thinking to even skim this subject?
    i certainly wasnt trying to give any definitions
    or pretend some new profundity
    anyway, glad you enjoyed it. (i kinda felt like i should apologize)
    truth according to 3rd world tax agencies?
    that would be a good article:
    “The Disappearing Truth”
    “The Fickle Truth – but yesterday you said…”
    “Truth Comes at a Price – Truth for Chai”
    “Truth: What’s the Exchange Rate?”
    “Truth? – here, money can even buy you love.”
    “Truth is a Rubber Stamp”
    “Truth is a Journey –
    but the guy at THAT desk told me to come to THIS desk”
    great, now I’m becoming a jingoist.

  3. Gail Brown Says:

    God knows the truth about each of us,
    the good, bad, the ugly truth and He still loves us/you.
    We are all different with different mistakes in our lives,
    And yet, He sees what we can be when it is all put together for good.
    We can make new truth if we have a new day.
    The truth about me, I’m not prefect but I’m trying

  4. brbarnacle Says:

    Shawn….the stream-of-consciousness style and pouring of thoughts was really compelling and thought-provoking. It reminded me of one of my favorite poems written in that fashion.


    Anyway, I appreciate the multidimensional spin on the idea of truth. This chunk was great:

    the truth just is
    the truth is just
    it is unassailable
    it is black and white
    it is grey
    and fragile –

    Lovely to think about and to realize none of us has a corner on the Truth Market. The personification makes it tangible. I’ve read this a few times now, and the overall impact caused me to reflect quite a bit. Oh, and this part was cool too……

    the truth needs no metaphor
    but is like a matador
    swinging his red cape as a target for the bull

    So thanks for posting this. I’m a little late in my response, but the truth is…..it was a catalyst for reflection.

    Truthfully yours,


    PS Maybe we should have a truth fairy for our kids. Now what would THAT look like?

  5. roling@matcmadison.edu Says:


    I’m w/ Brian. The best line for me was when you said the truth needs no metaphor and followed that up w/ a simile. So funny are you!

    Without trying to be punning, it truly was thought provoking. Not sure I agree w/ it though.

    Love to you bro,


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