Diction is Fiction, But Definitions Are Facts

by Katie McWilliams

To play Scrabble with its accompanying dictionary
and define the facts behind our fictional lives
is to begin by turning to “B,” the “Big Lies” section,
and locate the word “bizjet,” which is defined as
“an abbreviation for ‘business jet’” ––
as we wear synthetic suits and break wind-speeds
of a hundred miles per hour in the high-class aircrafts
we fabricate in our minds, our friends,
our family members, even our former selves
latch onto one wing, wave through the passenger window,
and scream, “Land this plane, you fool, stop fleeing
from your problems, and tell me what’s on your mind”––
we must slough off our stubborn desires,

which always leads us to “Q,”
the “Quest for Answers” section,
to locate the word “qapik,” defined as
“the small unit of currency in Azerbaijan” ––
currency describes the present, a time
of a crippling virus, corrupt politics, rioters ––
currency describes water, which reflects
if we are cruise ships that glide on calm oceans
or canoes that fight fearsome waves,
and instead of being drowned out by the cacophony,
we must follow our current of free will,

which prompts us to reflect on “B,”
and after we retitle it as the “Book of Truths” section,
locate the word “bokeh,” and as it “describes out-of-focus
parts of an image that are aesthetically pleasing,”
we must admire our blind spots from the driver’s window
because the striking subtleties strengthen our souls,
from tiny twigs scattered by towering maples
to cobwebs of cracks in the sidewalk
to singular water droplets soaring
through the spigot of a fountain,

which invites us to play the word “Quibble”
on the Scrabble board, defined as “a slight objection
or criticism about a trivial matter” ––
laying down all seven letters on two Triple Word Scores
is certainly not a “trivial matter,” but the world is full
of “objectors” and “critics,” like self-centered activists

or children who are never taught to have an imagination
or war veterans who lose hope after coming home ––
as they ride in their bizjets and fail to acknowledge
how we redefined qapik as “an ongoing shift in identity,”
they become the bokeh that is blurred and undefinable.


About the Author:

Katie McWilliams is a senior at Missouri State University majoring in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. She enjoys being the Chief Editor of LOGOS: A Journal of Undergraduate Research, an Assistant Poetry Editor for Moon City Review, and a consultant at her university's Writing Center. 

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