Now, there are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give him away. A guy has seventeen pantomimes. A woman’s got twenty, but a guy’s got seventeen. And if you know ’em like ya know your own face, they beat lie detectors to hell. ~ Vicenzo Coccoti in True Romance (written by Quentin Tarrantino)
Picture me writing verbatim questions
and answers, tuned into the flow, music
moving over the keys converting sound
to notes on the screen, puns flashing for me–
wordplay invisible to others bent
to their tasks, different from my own. No one
takes the opportunity to applaud
my acutely sensitive ears and hands
though my genius is obvious to me.
Time and space constraints erased to meet the
gauntlet of a deadline. Unsung hero
and most people never know my psychic
powers. I can tell a lie precisely.
A pantomime could confirm what I know:
truth flows, so easy, so sweet, and even
the greatest pathos and anguish emerge
veritably clear. A lie is rough and
heavy. Its jagged edges catch. It crawls
awkward. It stops the music abruptly.
One day a serial liar—later
identified thrice convicted, the crime
perjury—meets my eyes and says, I do!
I place him under oath in sacred space—
our two raised palms activating the field
vibrant, aware, the two of us now bound.
Every answer trips, a taradiddle,
but my fingers are moving through mud, dark
agony to reach keys so often stroked
with abandoned precision. And after
when the attorney asks me, Do you think
he was telling the truth, I laugh until
the tears come, weak after connecting to
that corrupt being. Every word but “the”
is suspect, I pronounce, even his name
feels false. (I’m not bashful, I don’t boast but
I’ll answer precise questions.) Truthsayer
trees outside tickled by an honest breeze
bring me back to the space birds celebrate:
I plug into the song that sustains me.
The pain, the weight, the disconnect, life as
a con, what early nurture went missing?
What twisted models, iron fists molded
his tongue, lie to survive, each heavy step
fraught in the fabricated web, he’s bound.
Each breath blocked just for an instant in the
labyrinth built specifically to hide
the truth, only to face our sacred space—
he glances at me only once, knowledge he
sees in my eyes (in any other game,
I’d call Bullshit!) warns him to avoid my
gaze from now on, yet another burden
in his painstaking painting, perfected
by decades of forgery, his bold strokes,
each careful obfuscation now revealed
illuminated agony in sight.
Written for these Prompts: Verbatim, Bashful and Applaud.