The truth of you

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


42 thoughts on “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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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. ☺️

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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. 😉

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. ❤

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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! 😉

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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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