Slice of Life 7 – True or False #sol24

7 March 2024

I ran across this True/False post on Poetry Foundation when I was looking for a poem about jury duty. (Go figure!) Dean Young is a surrealist poet who wrote “True/False” in 2006. His number 5 was “I like jury duty.” That’s the only reason I found this relatively old poem. Then I wrote some of my own. Like Lay’s, I just can’t seem to stop at one or a few…Now, I’m thinking of using it as my prompt for #Verselove in April. What do you think? Is it inviting enough to wonder about the veracity or falsehoods written here?

After Dean Young

  1. I am much younger inside than I appear outside.
  2. Jury duty is for the birds.
  3. Ishmael is also a son of Abraham.
  4. Guns have no constructive purpose.
  5. The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
  6. I alone can fix it.1
  7. The day you eat it your eyes will be open.
  8. I don’t need a reason.
  9. The waves are singing a song of thrones.
  10. Time and again, you’ve picked me up.2
  12. Crocheting is better than knitting.
  13. The fire fixes the folds of the clouds.
  14. Spring is the most glorious season.
  15. The future will be a feckless sucker punch.
  16. That dish is not too hot.
  17. I want to play all the games.
  18. I forgot my suitcase.
  19. How do you know I’m tired?
  20. Civility is not a sign of weakness.3
  21. There is chaos in spilled milk.
  22. If it’s night, the granite glitters.
  23. Diagramming sentences is essential.
  24. Israel wants to make room for Palestine.
  25. Fiction and myth hold the truest truths.
  26. My children are my life.
  27. The tea leaves will tell the story.
  28. Fear is the most debilitating emotion.
  29. You can have too much storage space.
  30. Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.4
  31. Everything is better with a Snickers bar.
  32. Your ego is a ridiculous tyrant.
  33. Vegetarianism is the tastiest way to eat.
  34. Capitalism is killing our planet.
  35. California should secede.
  36. He’s like a snake lifted in the wilderness.
  37. I have decided to stick with love.5
  38. Hate is too great a burden to bear.5
  39. I hate writing every day.
  40. The badger is still asleep in its den.
  41. KFC makes the best chicken.
  42. In 1942, hope faltered.
  43. In 1492, Columbus should have stayed home.
  44. In 2942, Jesus may or may not return.
  45. Truth is not false.
  46. We will overcome someday.
  47. You are never too old to play softball.
  48. That tiny silver sliver in the sky is still full.
  49. The computer in my pocket rules the day.
  50. Dean Young was an ordinary poet.

5MLK, Jr.

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life 7 – True or False #sol24

  1. Denise,
    I think this would be a fun prompt for April, but I suggest a shorter list since it could get weird reading long lists. I’m already thinking about the twist I’ll take on this. Of course, I’m always up for some Trump criticism. And my poem for March 7 will tickle your anti-orangey cockles, too.

  2. Denise, absolutely! I could answer most or them fairly quickly, but I’m still scratching my head on a couple. Like 45. So profound it makes me think about the tiny grain of slant that might be there. I love this and think it would be a great prompt in April. And I would change Snickers to York but that’s just me.
    By the way: tea latte is amazing. I ordered mine dairy free

  3. This is a great prompt and I really appreciate that you included quotes (and attributing footnotes!) in your poem. This seems like it could be a lot of fun to write and I’m definitely going to give it a try. PS I really love #48.

  4. I read to the end – 50! – and I’m so curious about your process. Written in one sitting or across one long day or days?! Listed in the order that you thought it or arranged? Because the list was long, I was curious about the * and finally scrolled. To discover they were quote added a whole other layer to that particular line. So often, I heard myself say, “So true” in my head. Especially for #3, 23, 31, 34 and 48. And I liked the play with numbers among #42-44. Thanks for a thoughtful and engaging list!

    1. Sally, it was a week ago that I searched for a poem with jury duty in it, so then it’s been a week of ruminating and thinking about true/false statements. I wrote a few a few days ago, and then like I mentioned, I couldn’t stop thinking of other ideas. Yesterday, I went up to 50 because of the nice sounding number. Dean Young’s original poem has 100 items. The order was random, except on #42, I noticed and wrote about the date.

  5. This is awesome and what a great way to get young people writing (like 4th graders I’m subbing today), because there is no pressure. And then, it’s as if each one of those could become its own story. Thanks for your True/False list today. 🙂

  6. I love the concept of a true/false list. I’m thinking about how I could use this in the classroom with students…maybe for building relationships but also for a unit of study at a review. Thanks for sharing! Adding this to my post today on Harvesting Ideas!

  7. This is fabulous, Denise. I love the way you’ve interwoven ‘truths’ from those with big microphones. Very clever prompt for poetry and you’ve got me thinking!

  8. Denise, I love this as a writing prompt. I think I can pick out some of your truths and lies. I especially enjoy the footnotes. Hope you use it! I feel inspired right now to write one:)

  9. Wow-WOW! I love this prompt and what you did with it. I feel like I might know a few of your truths, and a few of your lies. AND I can’t wait to try this myself. I love, just love, how you ended with Dean Young, who I’m off to read about. Thank you for this gift!

  10. I loved this. How weird. these things are typically so cliche, or shallow (IMHO) but as a platform it was so different. In this purpose it is almost a jumping off point.

  11. What everyone has already said, including # 48 (which goes with the post I think I’m writing tomorrow…time will tell!) being awesome. I am a fan of the opener #1:”I am much younger inside than I appear outside.” Oh my gosh, I feel like shouting this from the rooftops at times! I will be playing with these though I might not be sharing them much…you know me!

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