Monday, May 2, 2022

Carolynn Kingyens


Lying is the most fun a girl can have
without taking her clothes off,
but it's better if you do.

— Alice, from the film Closer

A liar tells me
there is no such
thing as the truth,
that truth is as fluid
as sex.

The liar says
This is my truth
and everyone
believes her.

The liar says
I am the victim here
and no questions
are asked.

The problem,
she says,
is my perception
as if truth is
something we could trap
under a glass
the way we trap light beams
and insects.

Lies, she says,
travels faster
than the speed
of light.

She says the truth
has many sides
like a shiny diamond
on the finger
of a Las Vegas
blackjack dealer.

She says the truth
has many sides
like a colossal glacier
in the middle of

She says truth
is a shit show,
a dumpster fire
in the middle
of a tin-roof trailer park
some twenty miles
from the nearest highway
in flood-prone Florida.

Truth is ugly,
the fat friend,
the sidekick
who never gets laid.

Lying, she says,
is a luxury
I can never afford.

Carolynn reads "Duper's Delight":

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Carolynn confesses: "Have you ever tried to win an argument with a pathological liar? Better yet, have you ever tried nailing JELL-O to a wall? In both these scenarios, I can assure you that you will lose; you may even lose your mind. The truth is ugly. It's messy and complicated — a shit show. In my naive efforts to trap the truth, I'd attempt to hone a memory that rivaled Rain Man's. My memory would become an anchor in the chaos, or so I thought. But I quickly realized that the truth doesn't matter because truth is perception. 'What's so great about the truth? Try lying for a change. It's the currency of the world.' — Dan, from the film Closer"

CAROLYNN KINGYENS is the author of Before the Big Bang Makes a Sound and the newly released Coupling, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble (Brooklyn), McNally Jackson, and Book Culture. In addition to poetry, Kingyens writes essays, book and film reviews, flash fiction and short stories. Her short story “Bye-Bye, Miss American Pie” was one of fifteen stories selected by Across the Margin, a Brooklyn arts and culture webzine, for their Best of Fiction 2021 list.

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