Constitutionally Incapable

The first person who read this poem asked me to read it at a poetry reading. The second person said, “Hey, is this about me?” and the third person said, “It must be hell to be you.”

“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”—Walt Whitman

Meandering along the primrose path

And through the forest we can’t see

For trees, I stop. I fear that we trespass,

But I have missed the signs. Again. As we

 

Edge nearer to a slippery slope, I find

The gray area seems quite large, indeed,

And draped in tangled webs. “Now, I don’t mind

The Courteous Retort,” I muse. You lead

 

Or mislead, and I take your proffered hand,

“But what is Truth? And will Truth set us free?

Or…should I ask no questions?”  Here the land

Shifts, mirage-like, changing mysteriously.

 

Amazed at various shades a word implies,

I reach through veiled meanings that obscure

The difference between half-truths, white lies,

Lies of omission, spin.  “Free? Whatever

 

Do you mean?”  We tiptoe, as you reply,

Among secrets, around inaccuracy,

Through fantasy.  “Of course, I don’t deny

I’ve lied for the sake of expediency.

 

“But the real truth is, Truth can’t be defined.

It’s relative: It’s a ‘Look of Agony’

To one; but to someone else’s mind,

‘the funniest joke in the world.'”  “To me

 

“That’s philosophy and word games,” I cry,

“You contradict yourself!”  “Contradiction?

No, my Darling,” you earnestly reply,

“Honestly, everyone knows that Truth is a fiction.”

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