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Teaching reality

2013/02/10 in Uncategorized

Photographic by De Waal Venter*
* A “photographic” is an artwork that started life as a photograph and which is then manipulated, mostly electronically into its present form.

Unreal, man

Many people think,
Professor Vaghue said,
that reality exists
as an entity
that is definite and circumscribed.

And it isn’t?
asked a student,
a heavy industrial boot,
one of a twin.

No, Professor Vaghue answered,
reality is in reality sets of perceptions
that pass through your mind
and is never the same.

Does that mean last night wasn’t real?
Another student, an exquisite red-haired girl,
asked wistfully.

Only in the sense that last night
occurs in various forms
in the present actions of your mind,
smiled Professor Vaghue.

With all due respect, Professor,
another student, a rhino bull, said frowningly.
He shifted in his seat
which creaked painfully.
I was shot at last night
and lightly wounded –
he rubbed his left shoulder –
and to me last night is very real.

I am sure it seems like that to you, Theodosius,
Professor Vaghue said sympathetically,
but what you are now experiencing
is your wound, and not last night.

So reality keeps shifting?
another student, a stainless steel saucepan,
asked and shifted his lid
with a small, but sonorous clang.

You still think of it as an entity, Pablo,
the Professor retorted.
Reality is not a film with an ordered sequence,
it exists only when it does not exist.

The Professor wasn’t there anymore.
Only an intimate item of clothing remained,
and nobody wanted to examine that.

 

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