Pinocchio Couldn't Help It

Pinocchio Couldn't Help It

A Poem by Raef C. Boylan


mopping, take a moment to energise yourself on the craziest broom-stick rodeo never seen

and practise laughing aloud, without a trace of self-consciousness – if children, lunatics

and evil masterminds can manage it, so can we –


now wait for someone to pass by the window and burst into song, at the sort of volume

reserved solely for midday shower solos when you’re certain nobody’s home

- did you startle them?




what, you think you know all about honesty now?

you merely had a moment.

people lie to themselves; they think they crave truth x infinity

because those moments often feel important, but society’s a carnival of contradiction

and the saintly are kept in cages

while prizes are handed over to false-faced performers.


what’s your most embarrassing memory?

instant reaction: blush, duck, erect impenetrable shield behind wide, unblinking eyes.


I’m not asking you to suddenly stand up on a crowded bus journey and yell out,

my most embarrassing memory is, aged five, attempting to share the joy of masturbation with my mother -


no, no.


but waking up shouldn’t mean shutting down

elements of the true self – wash your face, brush your teeth and slip on your semblance; erase the person who occasionally trips up, f***s up, farts in public and uses their shampoo bottle for a microphone.


why do we pretend to be invincible?


brushing against one another in the street, avoiding eye contact, afraid vulnerability might shine through our pupils – giveaway, like a burglar’s torchlight spotted through the curtains.

straitjacketed in your own skin by social insanity; breaking into a solitary dance along the pavement unthinkable, cars beeping their judgemental horns, smirks pressed up against the safety glass.


dishonesty’s dangerous when you no longer believe in yourself – uptight, worthless, you trudge home; track six tugs at your heartstrings but the world weighs heavy on your puppet strings and there’s no skip in your step.


adjust headphones, hate self, sigh.


people. they say they want honesty 

but they’re lying.


secretly selective, they long for partners not to cheat

and their celebrities to confess all on TV – but generally , we’re obliged to maintain the farce.

tell her she’s thin. laugh at his racist jokes. no, it doesn’t make you a s**t. of course there’s a heaven. people we know won’t die anyway. parents love you no matter what.


back to the walk home: deserted street, urge to bounce off walls and swing on lampposts -

honesty tapping at the brain, wailing around your ears.


don’t wait for the chorus before letting it in, just –




© 2009 Raef C. Boylan

Author's Note

Raef C. Boylan
Thanks to all those who helped me with this; I think it's almost 'there'.

Discarded lines from when I was writing this [I'm too soft to delete them straight off]:

I don�t even know what I�m asking of you.
now that�s honesty.
if you�ve ever wiped your arse and come away with flecks of shit on your hand � you are not welcome.
uptight. dishonest. same difference, same cause -
an old man overtakes you on a skateboard, smiling at everyone around him
I�m begging you, end the charade.
be yourself. and then be yourself being a kite, a raptor, a frog, a rapper...
jump and spin the way toddlers do
if this deceit is benefitting us, why so despondent? if it isn�t, why continue?
we carved a restrictive cave into the mountain face, decided to live inside
- and now we�re trapped.
a celebrity�s TV confessions, yes, we will applaud that.

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UK Spelling

practice - noun meaning 'the action of doing something rather than the theories about it' (putting policy into practice),

practise - verb meaning 'do something repeatedly to improve your skill' (they were practising for the Olympics).

In American English, both the noun and the verb are spelled practice.

Posted 9 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


I happen to be a liar who works at the carnival and sings in the shower,and I know my mommy will always love me.So I can identify.Well written

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

glad I revisited this
you take what any aware person sees and is terrified to acknowledge
and u walk in their shoes until they disintegrate [the shoes that is]
you pour after shave on the the cuts our shaky hands produced while shaving
the fact I got a positive review off my last poem humbles me
well're brilliant but u don't rest on ur heals with either awareness or effort..and for that I respect've gone beyond my thoughts on these matters of the heart

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

nice one read mine too "QUEST OF LIFE"

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You know, this really spoke to me. I'll have something better to say about it later, but for now, I'll say that as someone who's dealt with mild social anxiety for the better part of his life, this spoke to me. I'll mull it over, and submit a better review when I'm not sitting on campus between classes.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

f*****g brilliant..
I too would rather go with being a likable idiot than a genius like one the reviewers here already is facing bigger problems than white lies than (in your words)telling her she is thin-laughing at his racist jokes,so i would rather do both mainly because we live in the s thing society..
p.s it also pisses me when people use the ''no hypocrisy''phrase...dude,i wanna go out on street naked but i dont coz i cant...does this make me a ''hypocrite''...o.k it does,kill me.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So, the fact that I sing Buck Owens tune, "My heart skips a beat" while waiting in line at 7-11,
or growling and barking when I encounter people who have offended me..
doesn't mean I am insane?

But seriously, C..
I don't know how I missed this in 09'.
I check your page regularly for I am quite taken with your excellent work.
This was a superb waste of my time, and you know how carefully I waste my time.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Gotta love how this makes you think. And the thing is, as you're from the UK, I'm from the US, and I know exactly what you're trying to say. The honesty thing, the near phobic idea of vulnerability; it's practically universal. And with the lines in the Author's note I think they'd be great in the piece. Maybe you could elaborate with the last lines more to make sure it flows. Should be great.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I feel ya.. people dont want honesty.. they want encouragment to continue in there perpertual dream world..

Excellent piece... truly excellent

Posted 9 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

you make some good points..especially the bit about handing out prizes..

personally, i think I'd rather be perceived as a like-able idiot than a genius...the more harmless you appear to people, the better

quite being so hard on yourself, though..form follows structure, and your structure follows your've executed those concepts w/ great skill and applaud yourself and sing along w/ your shampoo bottle..I'll fart along in rhythm and try not to s**t myself.

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think the discarded bit is a good call. It will probably grow into something all its own, definitely.

Posted 9 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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20 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on March 17, 2009
Last Updated on July 15, 2009


Raef C. Boylan
Raef C. Boylan

Coventry, UK, United Kingdom

Hey there. RAEF C. BOYLAN Where Nothing is Sacred: Volume One I can also .. more..

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