J. K. Durick



Big Lies Aplenty

Language is a tricky business, full of shading and nuance,
Power and play. I say one thing, they hear another. I say this
But mean that. I’ve lied some, told the truth on occasion,
Talked nonsense with a straight face, preached gospels
I invented for just the right moment. I have sold things over
The phone to people who rose to the bait like pumpkinseeds
On long hot summer afternoons – nibble, nibble, then snap-
Bap, I got ‘em. I have congratulated and cajoled, conjured
And concealed. I’ve used words as weapons, blunt instruments
Over the head and got away with so much.  I have amused myself
With the world I build in words, long avenues paved with dead
And dying metaphors, buildings as high as paragraphs, forests
As thick as syllogisms, dimmed by euphemisms, lit up with lies.
I have sacked cities and employees, groceries and goodness.
I have canned and freeze dried potent remarks, reheated
Them for later use, late night snacks, a comeback, a pyrrhic
Remark worthy of a master. I have brought language to new
Heights and worries. I have brought it to the top of the hill and
Offered it the world, at least all we could see of it for one trick,
One measly trick to let me know who was boss – literally and/or
Figuratively, the boss.

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Steam Ticket, and Common Ground Review.

One comment

  1. Loved the line “I say one thing, they hear another”. Listening closely is a rarely practised skill…Very amusing, this poem. Thanks!

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