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Friday, August 24, 2018


by David Spicer 

"Truth isn't truth." —Rudy Giuliani

If Truth isn’t Truth, what is it in this Twilight Zone of Lies?
A woman in a red dress who carries a tote bag of secret tapes?
Or a ghoul defending the King Kong of Truth’s desperate enemy?

Truth is Beauty, Keats said two hundred years ago.
Truth is in the mouth of the speaker mouthed to a mime of memes.
Truth is your mother, your mother said, offering you her Judas-goat

Twenty women whirling in a field of tulips you lie in every morning
     is Truth.
The Grand Canyon at sunset echoing your prayers you recite on your
Heartbeats between the breaths you breathe before you take a 
     morning jog.

I met Truth once in the guise of a beautiful femme fatale on the bed in
     my trailer.
She said, I just pity-loved you, clod, and you think we were lovers?
Truth is, that was her truth, truth is, it wasn’t pleasant, truth is, I’m 
     not over it.

Truth will knock your block off and demolish your stone-cold cities.
Truth will break your soul of week knees and tell you it did you a 
Truth is, tell me a truth that doesn’t hurt and I’ll buy you a shot of 
     Truth vodka.

You’ll swig it like a liquid potato and savor it, you’ll swivel your head 
     and squint
your eyes in twisting pain that guts your gullet. Then you’ll make a 
like air escaping from a tire that’s tired from too much road. You’ll 
     feel good.

Now that’s Truth. Truth isn’t what you want it to be. Truth is what it 
     wants to be.
Truth is your grandmother standing naked in the kitchen in front of 
     you and you’ve
never seen a naked woman before and you don’t know what you’re
     seeing. It’s Truth, baby.

Truth is ugly, a bomb victim said that to me the other day when I
     visited him in the ICU.
Truth is callous. Your brother stealing your $600 while you’re
     sleeping, dreaming of beauty.
Dreaming of the time he outraced some knucklehead on the freeway 
     driving a Charger.

Truth was, your brother’s Chevy packed truth in its carbs and pistons
     and exhaust pipes.
Truth was, it wasn’t a chick magnet like the salesman said it would be.
     That was his truth.
My truth? I don’t know. Truth is the last thing I hope to see or 
     listen to before I disappear.

No, if truth isn’t truth, beauty isn’t beauty, ugly isn’t ugly, nothing is
     nothing but empty words
spinning from a lie peddler, a ghoul defending the King Kong of Lies.
     Truth is, his day
is coming. Truth is, it’ll be welcomed. Truth is, truth is death and it’ll 
     kill you where you stand.

David Spicer has published poems in Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Third Wednesday, Reed Magazine, Oddball Magazine, The Literary Nest,The Tipton Poetry Journal, Synaeresis, Chiron Review, PloughsharesThe American Poetry Review, and elsewhereand in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart once, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke's Press), and five chapbooks, the latest of which is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press), released in August of 2017. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books.