20160916_103101~2Thinking you know your composite
banoffee pie or key lime
little kids crowd the glass of new American themed
diners in foreign land selling to idolizer
thinking themselves fancy if they sit
on high swivel seats in dark cherry
just like Rumblefish though you
could never afford the real thing
I liked an American boy in my class
he made baseball jackets with patches of indian profiles look good
had green eyes that held the secret of the desert
a mouth as pretty as a girl’s curling up in O
he couldn’t spell his new language
which I found, reassuring
to be far-flung
exotic comes in all guises
mine the continent of dreams
we drank our first root beer float with
long-necked spoons reflecting our mirth
talking about juke boxes and 50s matinée idols
the green-eyed boy said
you will be disappointed at the reality
and they will be underwhelmed with you
too pale for the California beach
too shy for new York
too weak for the vigor of ice hockey
and alpha females pick on each other in our high schools with growing
you have no native American blood alas
you don’t feel white-guilt for slavery when your ancestors took no part
you’ll never be an American you don’t wave a flag at our glory
we have to compete and win whilst you prefer to scale a tree and read
hearing the roar of the crowd on friday night’s lights
you’d have made a lack luster cheerleader with
your neon arms and matchstick legs
but oddly and despite this
it was my destination to earn a golden ticket
ever since I read in translation
The lonely little girl in a big new York hotel
with Skipper the pet turtle on a leash
may have had native American DNA and grown up to be a good WASP
I only wanted to touch
the soft leather sleeves of a spectator coat
or see
Peanuts, in action as
box-cars raced down hill, stopping at soda fountains
those glittering children of fortune and freckles
back then I thought I was genetically
someone different
then DNA testing became mainstream
and by the story of my results I am no longer that person
but someone quite changed, a different race
as if the me who was me
slipped out of herself and through a door
that was both opened and closed
walk like an Egyptian I used to
speak diluent tones with French notes once
now the I of me is false and those
parodies of what I was, are not who I am
telling kids in the playground that’s why my eyes prefer kohl
they come from faraway where the sun demands
old stories without substance
revealed stark in test tube result to be
not a pale African lost in tamed jungle of cruel world enveloping cultures
instead, the trespasser told generational falsehoods
paving yellow brick roads with fool’s gold
as saffron and tamarind friends with their rightful legacies
twirl in blazing color
silken sari and Rastafari, Persian eyes, Nairobi fingers
everything told was not so
ordinary and dull was your fear
so it becomes real
and what life bequeathed you
the DNA of inconsequence
a tendency toward left-handedness
an albino arm and dark heart
the emptiness of knowing
staged and girdled
for light fantastic
oh how it feels on your lying skin
like submerging into ancient lily ponds
reflecting bronze moons glow
into a hundred cupolas
you want to believe someone will love you irrespective
of your mitral valve weakness, your keratitis and first varicose
just like that boy who
seeing you hobbling in your veruca sock and bad haircut
when your father ran out of patience and cut along pancake bowl
just like that boy who
swam straight for you
sitting over the murmuring jets in the shallow end holding hands
until he left with his parents
staring out the back of a messy car with two dogs slobbering
and a peace sign pealing off the bumper
watching you diminish in rear view
as if you were the most precious saphir he ever knew
and just for a moment you felt
like all the lies in the world could not subsume
the radiance of being adored
for the truth of you

0 Replies to “The truth of you”

    1. You might not think so if I turned up at your ‘gaff’ with a veruca sock and bowl hair cut 😉 But thank you my lovely (and talented) poet friend. For your support.

      1. But how do you move, what stirs in your eyes, what truths do you speak? That bowl haircut is only going to take you so far. ☺️

  1. So beautiful and that again, you take me places I never could have imagined! The finishing lines have me visualizing in black and white. Perhaps due to the heart breaking truth of ” just for a moment.” The beautiful sadness of wanting more of those moments and knowing they are likely passed. Thank you!

    1. Mmm thats not really what this was saying. This was actually about a DNA test revealing my DNA was nothing like i expected it had been told. How this impacts our sense of self and identity and how we can find a country like America exotic if it’s foreign to us and how truth versus identity often differ.

  2. Now I’m wondering if I could be one and the same? The one leaving and the one left behind? One of the joys of poetry is how the writer is conveying one reality, while the reader, due to the reader’s DNA, sees something else. Thank you!

  3. Such an excellent read to start my day….made me wonder about all those DNA tests and whether or not the data provided was any more reliable than the stories heard as a child. 😉

  4. I’ve come to the conclusion that knowing oneself is overrated. So walk like an Egyptian if you like. Enjoy it! I would if I could.

    1. Wow really? I seek to know myself more as i get older, not hedonistically but in order to understand over all through a shared experience. I confess I fear loosening ignorance and avoidance as they seem to be the prevailing theme in a world of heads in sand.

  5. I never need to see what’s coded on your DNA to know you are of my blood and my tribe and I love you as both. ❤

  6. I love the whole masterpiece, but “green eyes that held the secret of the desert” was my favorite line. I hope all is well, haven’t heard anything from you. Stay amazing Candice.

  7. Once again, amazing images, descriptions, such details that I can see you, and visualize all you see. It’s almost hypnotic and yet so real. You have a rare gift, Candice. And on the theme of the poem, I sense your surprise at the DNA results. I’ve been wanting to do that myself – maybe someday. Who’s to say that we aren’t related somewhere down the line…. humanity R us!

  8. Once again floored. I love your poetry. I would love to one day work with you on something. The way you describe things really inspires me, every time.

  9. I think we all have many selves and many truths. DNA tests only reveal who your ancestors were, and the markers you carry, but they don’t really tell who you are. It sounds like that boy saw you.

    1. Exactly well said! No surprise from the illuminate Merril xxxx You know I agree too, DNA can only go so far. I find America really exotic because everyone is mixed whereas some in other countries are less so. I always thought I was ‘one thing’ and finding out I was another, was curious but it’s so true, we are who we feel and I am a girl in a dragon suit 😉 xo (thank you dear one)

    1. Dear Christy thank you! I was shocked, always thought growing up in France I was genetically French. WRONG! 😉 Funny how DNA can trip you up like that! Ah well ! As Popeye said … I yam what I yam! 😉

  10. A rather Nabokovian romanticism of America but that is no bad thing. Myself well wherever I am I want to be somewhere else. I have a Baudelairean horror of home but the fault lies with myself

    1. Your comments are officially THE BEST but you know this 😉 Okay .. I had to sleep on this before replying literally and metaphysically 😉 Ow that pea. I agree. I know what you mean. I eat the cheese with the Americana, it’s a very non-American perspective I wanted to display and revere briefly, before perhaps making a deeper comment on the over-all notion of any type of worship. As for a Baudelairean horror of home, EXACTLY WHY I wanted to leave (flee, escape, get the fuck out) I think the bleak I inherited is suffocating when I’m there, the emptiness, the feeling of NOT and ABSENCE and being elsewhere dissipates this (a bit) so I totally hear you but now I’ll have to read Flowers of Evil to really reacquaint myself (it’s been a few years) I got a really good G du Maupant the other day (spelling is whack as i’m writing on phone) does the fault really lie with you? I would ask why you think that?

      1. It is just my ennui, you know I’m weary of the world and the world is weary of me and all that. And surely the fault lies with me and not with every place?

        1. Disagree – unrespectfully 😉 I think to tire of the world and the world tire of you are different states though they may share that ennui as you say. The former is a realism of action, the latter, an illusion borne of isolation either because you are a thinker in a world of neglectful thinkers or because they appear to ignore your best advice. Either way it comes back to their flaw not yours. Fault is a tricky beast, she likes to lie close but so often she has existed long before us and will exist long afterward. I suspect if we respond to things it is easy for others to point the finger, but what a world it would be if nobody ever responded?

          1. Well the world marches on and keeps on spinning regardless of my opinion of it. It is actually a quote though I forget who, though undoubtedly French, nobody does ennui really but the French. Ennui is to the French what schenfreude is to the Germans. I realise I am skirting around you kind comment so thank you though it isn’t deserved.

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