Matthew Lippman


What I did, I lied.
I lied about the Cremora Food Truck hijacked,
brought to Boston, blown up,
just to get all that white powder up in the air,
just to get all the kids to listen;

I lied about the money and the hungry zookeeper
who killed two giraffes with a bullhorn then wheeled out the Hibachi.

I lied about living rooms on fire
and dead cowboys on my lawn
who rode clean out of thin air
before I shot 'em with my six shooter,
cried Geronimo,
broke down in hives
and got lost in the Hollywood tumbleweed.
All my life it's been helicopter blades in my spine;
all my life I've lied.

When I was six I didn't believe there were frogs in the pond and lied that there were,
green ones with red tongues,
ones with the poisonous venom,
that they might bite me in the butt,
turn me into a ragged prince.

At fifteen I lied about my hair,
that is was short and clean
and that I was headed for the Marines,
become a three star general
then kick some serious ass in places I didn't even know existed,

like Tahoe,

go to Tahoe and mow the bastards down
in their ski-boot delirium,
their bunny-suit pirouette.

What I did,
I lied about hearing voices and nailing myself to a cross;
I lied about the visiting team and about the French Revolution,
that it happened on Suez soil
and that we live for love then die alone.

Maybe I didn't lie about that,
maybe that's all there is when the hotcakes come, a slab of butter,
a busty waitress named Charlene with the short skirt and large lips
and everywhere it's Florida.

I've been there once, I can't tell a lie,
to visit my grandmother,
then she died,
I didn't go to the funeral, what I did,
I stayed home and watched t.v.



I wrote "And Everywhere It's Florida" in 2003 when the sun was hot, I was driving too many miles on the Long Island Expressway and turning a corner in my life. I liked it when I wrote it and so did Rachel, my wife. I'm glad for its existence in the world.