March 3_The Art of Lying

See Tupelo Press to read the poems for March 3, 2014 by scrolling down to “Day 3/Poems 3” and of course, to read my poem, The Art of Lying / by John C. Mannone.

The backstory is as follows:

Today’s poem, “The Art of Lying,” comes from a word association exercise. Every month at an open mic poetry reading in Chattanooga, TN, 10 words and/or categories are solicited from the crowd to use in a poem for the following month. Any conjugation or parsing of the words is allowed, as well as homonyms (like whole/hole). The list for February is:

-twist
-frown
-temper
-hole
-trifle
-staple
-pledge
-balk
-doff
-name a craft or hobby

These kinds of prompts are good to help those who find themselves staring at a blank page because of “stubborn pens” or simply “writer’s block.” I write about this in my website/blog: Seducing Your Muse. There, I describe how I think a list of words can lead to a poem. The short of it is that word associations trigger memories/experiences from which poems are born.

In this poem, the words frown and temper seemed to set the stage and the other words simply followed to serve the evolving theme, which was on “lying”. But the category item—a craft or hobby—was fitted into the title. Some consider that “cheating,” I consider it resourceful.

The middle lines are shorter than the rest, so I tried indenting them for that reason, but actually, the pause that created by the white space is perfect. A side benefit of the indenting gave the poem a more symmetrical appearance and seemed to buttress the notion that well-constructed lies can appear as truth.

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