Lies are Easy

he was a cardboard caricature 
in slanting charcoal strokes,
or maybe he was the brink of the promontory,
with tired eyes as if the hunger of the
world had wept in them,
with a voice that washed up on shore
as if he woke each morning and cut up his soul
for the departing moon;

he was explaining poetry
or maybe he described an ocean with a wave too short,
or the last cloud wrung so hard
it rained a deluge of emptiness,
truth is what you make up, he said,
when you have no words for that impertinent
hip that thrusts bare into the freezing wind,
for the silence that has learnt to draw
coloured hieroglyphs on the walls of
your unwilling intestine;

then he laughed,
an eagle choking on a bit of spurious sky,
a prequel to a paroxysm of sequinned untruths,
lies are easy,
they roll off the tongue, off ashes, off bodies
that have stood in the sun too long,
lies describe honestly, exactly, what they see,
tell me when you have looked at what you didn’t,
when you have found a truth that wasn’t,
and when the words hold hands and circle your head
singing wildly a song that isn’t;

he was describing life
or maybe he explained a light with a darkness too long,
or the last hope loved so hard,
it broke the mirage of existence.

he was explaining poetry.

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26 thoughts on “Lies are Easy

  1. It is indeed downright brilliant! Such wonderful words and images (admittedly not all of them ‘his’) by which you convey his utter inability to explain poetry. 😀

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  2. I enjoyed your ‘cardboard caricature in slanting charcoal strokes’ and the way he explained poetry, particularly:

    ‘with a voice that washed up on shore
    as if he woke each morning and cut up his soul
    for the departing moon’;

    ‘or maybe he described an ocean with a wave too short,
    or the last cloud wrung so hard
    it rained a deluge of emptiness’;

    and

    ‘an eagle choking on a bit of spurious sky’,

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  3. I remember lecturers like this. Cardboard cutouts. The problem was one had to appear to be absolutely inspired
    by their dreary monologues otherwise you would be marked down. Some good came of it. They were responsible for a wave of talented actresses under their tutelage:)I agree with the others….brilliant poem.

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  4. lies are easy,
    they roll off the tongue, off ashes, off bodies
    that have stood in the sun too long

    This is soo powerful!

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    1. Thanks Sreeja.. don’t know why google accounts are not going through. WP asks for permission to validate google credentials, and fails if permission is denied. Maybe that’s what went wrong.

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