Another short piece seems to be working itself into shape.
In any case, as far as origins go: Ibsen‘s “vital lie” was referenced — pretty much just in passing — in a short story I was reading the other day and, even though I finished the story in question pretty quickly thereafter, I kept returning to the idea.
The story collection in question, EJ Levy’s Love, in Theory, is — perhaps not surprisingly given its title, an examination of love in its various guises.
All of that, plus some loose leaf and a few cups of coffee, resulted in this draft of a new poem.
Deprive the average man of his vital lie, and you`ve robbed him of happiness as well.
– Henrik Ibsen
often well-intentioned, but disingenuous nonetheless,
they are a sly kind of high-road-taking, a glib sort
of telling us that yes, you do look absolutely stunning
in those jeans. and no matter the specifics,
the intricate ways or means by which we construct each
metaphysic not-far-now! – each smiling why not!?!, each
blushing just because – (avoiding, at the same time,
any sense of or need for how), these skull-staged plays
of our own words will always serve a crucial purpose;
they become (half-baked as they may be) our bread,
our circus. and consciously or not, we know some, if not
most, of our days would be – quite frankly – shot
without them, these self-deceptions, our vital little
lies. the smoking gun? that among them, of course,
is what many of us choose to trumpet, to target, to
knowingly enact: love, in any guise. well,
we could do worse.