The Movie Theater
18 April 2007
The movie theater is too dark,
despite rows of tiny lights
tracing a path along the stairs
and the white stream of projected light
painting images on the screen.
The movie theater is sanctuary
from the small, too well lit problems
that populate the world beyond the exit,
the agony of a mother who has lost a child
because she did not have an insurance card,
the man living underneath the bridge
because his post traumatic stress went untreated,
the endless stream of cancer patients
afflicted by the poisoned air, earth, and water.
The motion picture begins and shrinks the world
into a lightspeed of atoms on the big screen.
There are times when the screen tells the truth,
revealing glimpses beyond its fragile constraints,
illuminating some massacre or opening the doors
to a place of all too human horror,
or even to poignant moments of love
and sacrifice because of love or compassion,
but even these truths, in the sparkled lights,
appear as fantastic apparitions,
vicariously experienced and fleeting.
These truths are fragile and no more substantive than the lies
that flow across the expanse from the projector to the screen,
the stereotypes, the false physics, the cardboard cutouts,
the absence of finality, the nonsense of materiality
out of context, devoid of the hard work, aging, and death.
The images, organized in editing rooms, are pristine
unlike the unedited vulgarity and beauty
of the world outside the movie theater.
© 2007, Satya J. Gabriel