The truth is poetry, or: is it?

A response to Lia

by David ben Alexander

The truth is
I am throbbing
inside of you right now

The truth is
your lips quiver
to my pounding meter

The truth is
you are swollen 
gushing with our verses

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘a conversation’ prompt.

d’Verse prompted us to look back over the last year; choose a poem that calls to us; and write a response to that.

I selected a poem by my friend Lia- ‘The truth is’ because I love the idea of a poem manifesting itself in a body that can enflame our hottest, fiery passions.

Below is Lia’s poem, which my poem responds to:


The truth is

by Lia

The truth is 
I always want to be with
your poem’s body

The truth is
I always need
the poem inside of me

74 thoughts on “The truth is poetry, or: is it?”

  1. Very nice, David. I think I need to try something like this as well. And I had just scheduled my poem for tomorrow from a different inspiration. This makes me want to add another.

  2. Is it just me, or…?

    I love your friend Lia’s poem. What an intense gem. And then your response to it is so visceral, so sense-rich. The poet merges with the poem, inflammatory. I’ve met poems like that. It’s amazing what words can do.

    I nipped over and read George’s as well. This chain could stretch around the world.

  3. This is good! I’ve read poetry that likes to call itself erotic that is just plain awkward, but this does it in few unadorned words. It’s poetry in motion, if you see what I mean 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jane!

      You know, this kind of poetry isn’t my wheelhouse at all, nor is it something I would have ever thought to write if it hadn’t been for Lia’s poem.

      But – I just LOVED her concept! When I read her poem, I thought – that is so HOT!

      🙂
      David

  4. Si seulement il y avait une vérité… Il y en a tant que l’on peut l’écrire sur plusieurs tons, en plusieurs langues et poétiquement ou non, mais la poésie apporte un quelque chose qui nous élève, bien heureusement, très bonne journée

  5. This was an excellent, passionate piece, and a brisk, engaging read David — well written. Happy & Healthy New Year to you and yours. Here’s to writing wonderful poetry in 2021.

  6. Oh… well this is a bit of a shocker. I wish you would have asked/warned me! Not really sure what to say except that in actual fact my poem had a different meaning – i.e. the poem we really *need* is the truest song or voice that arises from within our own source creative energy. But yes, okay, double entendre. And/or unclear writing. Point seen!

    Best wishes David. And thanks for all your help. Your regular criticism has shown me a lot. (Quite literally in this case. :)) And helped me confirm a few ponderings I was having also, with regards to my own writing. Apologies for all that passion which I did not expect to have such a wide reach (my own fault, as you say in a comment above). Your writings about your father and your grief are lovely and have helped me deal with my own grief as well in some ways. Wishing you and your family a lovely new year, with every happiness, health and peace.

    1. Lia, I certainly hope you’re not offended by this poem! It didn’t occur to me that you intended yours a different way – I loved what I thought you had written, and it pushed me beyond my usual comfort zone. You actually made me (even if inadvertently) think about poems in a totally different way, which I am deeply thankful for. Responding to your poem was a sign of my appreciation for it and for you!

      1. Thanks David. I appreciate your kind words. However, I perceive a difference between your poem and mine: Mine states its author’s own truths — or at least it attempts to — however ineptly. Yours, though clever as always, appears to state someone else’s — which is the exact kind of assumptive-type poetry my own poetry blog was born as a response to. I don’t think we should assume what others feel. We are too likely to assume wrongly.

        I have assumed wrongly on many occasion I am sure, perhaps in this instance also, and I am sorry for that. I haven’t been clear about a lot of things. Also, two wrongs rarely (if ever?) make a right, and I have acted too often reactively. I guess this is karma coming back at me. :))

        Anyway, thanks again for the kind words and response. 🙏💛

        1. Lia,

          I see what you mean. I do see this somewhat differently. Here are a few of my thoughts:

          First, my poem was written from the perspective of the poem itself. In other words, it’s not the poet’s voice – it’s the poem’s voice. And the intense relationship is between the manifestation of the poem and the reader’s mind. Secondly, while my poem was inspired by yours, it’s not directed only at you – it’s directed at anyone who reads it. It’s the idea that the words of a good poem have some real and intense power over its readers’ states of mind and creative processes.

          Thirdly, for me personally, it’s hard not to come away with my own meaning(s) when I read another poet’s poetry. I think it’s fair to say that public art naturally becomes not only what the artist intended but also what its audience interprets it to be. Personally, I would assume that every individual who reads any particular poem (mine, yours, or any other poet’s) takes something different away from its words… in revealing our art to others, don’t we give up control of its meaning?

          1. I like your explanation in the second paragraph. I too speak with a “poem’s” voice when I write, because my own perspective changes with every poem I write. A feeling written in one poem is often not present in the next.

            I agree with the arguments in your last paragraph entirely and these thoughts have been much on my mind lately, even more than usual, along with a few questions of ethics that I keep coming back to philosophically. Yes, you’re right, everyone will interpret output differently as it becomes input. We have to determine what is worth putting “out there” and why. In this particular blog I allowed myself a lot of creative freedom. Perhaps more than my own inner boundaries are comfortable with in retrospect. That’s my problem to consider. Whom have I harmed, when, and how? Is the big question I often ponder. Did any good things I might have achieved outweigh the bad? How could I do better in future?

            What I hugely appreciate is that you allow and engage in thoughtful discussion. That perhaps is the most valuable, on any platform, yet the most complicated and/or time-consuming to manage. Thanks for taking the time here now, to respond so kindly. I value what you have enabled here. Also you’re a highly engaging writer, as you must know. Kudos and virtual fist-bumps, David. :)) “Namasté” (I bow to the divine within you), as the Buddhists say. :)) ✍️🤜✨🤛🔆🙏💛

  7. Lisa’s poem is breathtaking…and your segue is brilliant! Loved it. May your words go on many such adventures 🙂

  8. It’s okay, Lia. When our poem is published, it gets owned by humanity. Readers can own it in many possible ways, we have no idea how they are touched by it. And that is just amazing! I ,too, love that passion in between the spaces of your poems.

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