The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fine Dining & The Disappointing Dress Of My Era

Lawry’s The Prime Rib is an extraordinary restaurant---a place of classic elegance, style, and luxurious comfort. From the moment the valet opens your door and your feet hit the marble steps of the famous Beverly Hills location, you embark upon an evening of effortless fine dining. But in Los Angeles it appears that fine dining is no longer accompanied with fine attire. The effortless dining experience Lawry’s is well known for has been paired with casual styles of dress.

            Lawry’s has been a dining legend in the city of Los Angeles for over 75 years. Opening its doors in 1938, Lawry’s has created a unique menu that is still served today. The unique menu features various cuts of Lawry’s roasted prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, Yorkshire pudding, creamed corn and spinach and their renown spinning bowl salad. The prime rib is carved and served tableside from silver carts. The simple menu, that happily accommodates carnivores, maintains Lawry’s excellence of serving food that is exceptionally unique when paired with Lawry’s famous seasoned salt. 

            The open seating area that accommodates the silver carts that are wheeled about the tables, paired with the tall mahogany colored leather chairs makes a diner feel like they have assumed the seat of royalty for the next hour and a half of their dining experience. Accompanying the décor of the dining room is the dim lights and the soft classical music that permeates within. 

            The elements of luxury, elegance and comfort are three characteristics that any special occasion should indulge in. Lawry’s is a restaurant I have been going to with my parents since I was a little girl. However, this occasion was a bit different. It has been at least 10 years since the last time I enjoyed the succulent prime rib at the specified Beverly Hills location. My 22nd birthday just passed and after being a seasonal vegetarian for four months I decided I wanted to experience the Lawry’s dining I once remembered. My boyfriend made reservations for two at 8:30 pm on Tuesday January 22nd. Looking dapper as usual he sported a dinner jacket, dress shirt, slacks, and dress shoes. I, believing to be fit for the occasion, wore a skirt ruffled blouse and heels. As a young couple in there twenties dressed very elegantly, I was embarrassed as I walked into the dining room. My embarrassment was not for me, but for the rest of the diners. It was extremely disheartening to walk into what was and still remains one of the finest dinner houses in Beverly Hills, to find how poorly dressed people were. Maybe it had grown to be a tourist location? That’s the only explanation I could fathom. But even then, I find it highly unacceptable when the dress code is on their website and their dinner prices speak for the anticipated level of elegance displayed upon diners. 

My memory as a little girl was one of required dinner jackets and dresses for all diners; today jeans, leggings, and tennis shoes flooded my view. Although diners were not dressed to my expectation for a fine dinner house or Lawry’s, “we recommend attire that is befitting a special occasion restaurant; we strongly request no tank tops, torn jeans, shorts, hats and casual gym wear,” my experience was still exceptional. Regardless of the less then befitting attire of some of the other diners, the company, service and food in my corner were exactly what I hoped for. 

-Andrea N.

Fuck Stereotypes

Fuck Stereotypes By Chanel Mitchell

"That's so ghetto," is a statement that I hear from the mouths of my fellow classmates and co-workers way too often. It is shameful that this word used to stereotype a person, place or thing as "lower class" is used so causally from individuals who feel they are superior to others. Often hearing people refer to things as “ghetto”, now evolving into “ratchet,” I have become interested in addressing this topic. We know the stereotypes of ghetto, but what does the word really mean? Is it bad to be ghetto? Is it a black thing? And why has it become such a negative and slanderous term?

The term “ghetto” is defined by the dictionary as a part of a city occupied by "minority" groups. These cities are often lower levels of society in socio-economic terms. Originally it referred to Jewish contained living forced upon them by Hitler and the German Nazis. In America, it refers to urban communities in which African Americans and Latinos reside. The term now is pinned to the individuals who LIVE in the communities rather than the communities themselves. You are ghetto if you live in the ghetto.

In my opinion the term “ghetto” is nothing more than being efficient with what you have, with where you are, and any other given circumstances. It is being creative and unique without the concerns or the judgments of others. If utilizing my resources, being creative with my options, and making decisions based on limitations makes me “ghetto,” then so be it. Although I will celebrate the term as a positive, I will not be defined or labeled by it and will never accept a position of inferiority. In addition, it still doesn't answer the question of why certain things are classified with the term. For example, if a white person has colorful hair it is considered “artsy,” but if a black person has colorful hair it's “ghetto.” If a white person is loud they are dominate and powerful but if a black person is loud they are angry, rude and “ghetto.”  I can go on and on about “ghetto” stereotypes but the truth about the fact is that ignorant individuals who use it are as classless and unimportant as the individuals they treat as (or claim to be) classless and unimportant. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said we shouldn’t be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character, I say, judge me not by where I come from or the choices I make, nor by the color of my skin or the content of my character, but instead, how about, don’t judge me AT ALL.  I say... Fuck stereotypes!

                                                                                                   _Chanel Mitchell

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Penelope Unchained

This is what I saw that day during MY manic episode. The only thing that was mine! Three stages



A lady laid herself down at night

when she got off her mobile chair.

She could have written a letter, but 

instead she played with her hair.

She had time, she had nothing to 

do with her time. She plays with 

her hair. Her hair,

she worked so hard on her hair.


The UPS man talks to his wife about dinner;

he is exhausted from work, something us poets

know nothing about.


A man on his skateboard coasts by,

he has someplace to go.


A man sitting on the stairs, looking

through his book. What is he doing? He's

looking through his book.

Why did I want to know what he was doing?

Is it because I am doing nothing?


A woman with red hair and a red

coat. She is pretty all the same.

She sleeps just like I do.

When we want to go left we both

get in the left lane.

Her heart is going to pop out of her chest,

leaving a whole between her breasts.

She embraces their smallness, a

smooth caress.

Her hair, she has nothing to do with

her hair.


The women in the mobile chair. She

owns a clock, ticking and talk-

ing in a mansion where a man lives alone,

and I the only set of eyes.

She chews her fingernails while she

has sex. She plays with her hair, her hair

plays with me.

The spaces between her toes

are where my fingers fit perfectly.


It was the year the earth was mined with

precious explosives. We moved among delicate

things, ballerinas tip-toeing over a war-trenched.

It was a world blazed in black and white,

and we welcomed the change.

Our love was the dawn of weird

in the morning of strange

It was a mountain solid of sunflowers.

Our mistake was our strength, and 

our strength was not getting laid.

It was the edge of an ancient compromise,

Our soundtrack was a tortoise losing its hare;

It was a credit card dropped in the Agora.

Our sex was on sale with antique wares;

It was the crescendo of a dream,

It was a whisper trapped in the middle of a scream.

Our favorite dreams were forgotten,

our favorite meal was Red Herring.

It was the dull vapor of a Sunday afternoon.

Our soundtrack was what I imagine hell sounds like

at night when its fires burn down low

(when our hatred melts into torpor, the way

a bald man reaches for a comb).

It was the wrong-side of self-help

(the nice thing about living like children is the

constant reminder never to have any yourself.)


The hair of the night laid out in red

red hair of night got laid

night got laid with red hair

hair red laid out of night

laid out hair of the red night

red night-hair laid.

My Happy Place

Watching Harry Potter with my mom in bed,
surrounded by my five dogs that were just fed.
Listening to the Beatles in the kitchen while cooking.
Walking around in my underwear with no one looking.
Watching the clouds in the sky.
The much needed catharsis of a cry
The love I feel for my team
gives me a reason to beam.
The art of sharing a smile,
if only for a little while.
Relaxing on the couch with my boys
is a moment that brings me so much joy.
The rush of an ocean wave on my back.
The anticipation before a trip after I pack.
Summer memories with my family on the boat.
The softness of my mom’s fur coat.
Wild adventures on Devil’s Lake.
The feeling of no exams left to take.
Feeling high on life all the time.
The scent of a freshly squeezed lime.
The humid smell of the Florida Keys.
Eating honey digested by a bee.
Flying down a mountain on my snowboard.
Going outside after it just poured.
Living 2,000 miles away from home.
Feeling moved by a beautiful poem.
The mystic freedom of my backyard.
Checking the mail to find a card.
Growing veggies in our organic farm.
A really tasty dish of chicken parm.
The discovery of a secret garden.
The sound of the word pardon.
Not being in a hurry
or having a worry.
Running around in a port city.
Hearing someone say something witty
Falling in love with Spain.
Laughing when my friend says something vain.
Seeing my family in Turkey.
Waking up feeling perky.
My dream of marrying Prince Harry.
Randomly seeing my old coach, Carrie.
The smell of my mom wearing Chanel Chance.
Listening to a song that makes me want to dance.
Being telepathic with my friends.
Having some type of advice to lend.
Loving class because I have a great professor.
Feeling comfortable in my skin and never lesser.
Our tradition of watching the Family Stone.
Catching up with a friend on the phone.
The freedom of living on a coast.
Spreading peanut butter on a piece of toast.
My addiction of enjoying a cup of Starbucks.
Calm on the surface but paddling underneath like ducks.
Wearing a dress made of lace.
The emotion of finishing a race.

My happy place
is looking at your smiling face.

Megan Gallagher

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Illogical Desire

A time that renowned poets claim to be the best time of an individual’s life, childhood functions as a period of innocence and purity. But should it be ached for, as so many individuals express daily? This world is one of ignorance and fiction.

            They always told me, “Practice makes perfect.” Though perhaps the most overused phrase of all time, at seven-years-old, I could not know this.
            So, I practiced. I rehearsed, I trained, I polished my weaknesses, and I would not give up until real results, results of perfection, were glaring back at me. Though I had many hobbies, I chose to focus my energy on the piano, as I had heard you could not be ‘perfect’ at more than one activity. You could come close, perhaps, but never be completely flawless. After what felt like months of rigorous practice, I found myself far, far away from this Utopia.
I was left asking, when will I be ‘perfect’? When is this tedious practice going to end? To which many adults chuckled. They did not realize this seemingly minor reaction frustrated my being even more. Their eventual silence to my question certainly sparked my perseverance, but it also made outgrowing my childhood fragility much more difficult, as I was often disappointed and thought I had failed.
What I could not realize was that these repeatedly advertised public images of perfection were all fabrications. I certainly deemed Lance Armstrong to be a hero who achieved this title of being ‘perfect’ through routine practices, and it was only recently that I realized his legacy was built off of lies. Before being exposed as a fraud, his image might have encouraged many, but I felt increasingly incompetent along with every Tour de France he won. It reminded me annually that my effort had simply not been enough, though I practiced endlessly.
There were times when my au pair would yell and scream at me with every mistake I made. Her voice booming, she would pace around the piano bench where I sat nervously. “Again!” she’d yell, “Get this wrong, and you will be punished.” I’d imagine a ‘perfect’ image, like Lance Armstrong, who achieved his success with such ease. I wondered if he had a guide like I. This was my sixth attempt of the day at Frédéric Chopin’s “Waltz in A minor”, and I could feel my au pair’s frustration more than my own.
‘You can do this, Carmen. Practice makes perfect.’ Not limited to my palms, sweat spread to the tips of my fingers. This perspiration caused the piano keys to be slippery, and I could not possibly hold my balance. Reaching for a flat, my ring finger slipped, and instead I hit a white key. There was no camouflaging my mistake, and I bowed my head in disappointment and fear.
Wasting no time, Maria dragged me by the arm to the dreaded bathroom where I was locked inside and forced to reflect on my imperfections. Collapsing on the floor, I cried. I could not even think about the tile I lay on, its iciness ripping through my skin. I could neither listen to Maria’s screams from outside the door, reminding me of my complete incompetence.
I’d ask myself again, why am I not yet perfect? Why was I constantly making mistakes, even with my earnest effort put forth?

After being released later that night, I pulled myself together. My au pair had left, and I was alone in the house. From the top, I once again began Chopin’s Waltz. First section, down. Next section, a little too fast. Nonetheless, I had not missed a note. I smiled to myself, deciding it was Maria’s presence that caused my minor mistakes. I’m perfect, I thought, I’m almost perfect. With just four more bars to go, the front door swung open and startled me. This disturbance caused me, once again, to fail. Happy to see me, my sister ran up the stairs, laughing in her own little bubble.
“Emeilya,” I asked, “Why am I not perfect? I practice and practice, and I still cannot—”
“What do you mean? Perfect doesn’t exist,” she said as she flipped through my book.
“Well..yes, of course it does. They always tell me if I practice hard enough, I can be like Chopin or somebody important. I don’t know…I just try so hard and I feel like I get nowhere.”
            Realizing my sincerity, my sister paused and looked up from my sheet music. “Carm, that’s just a saying. Perfect doesn’t really exist.”

I was confused, to say the least, and eventually felt betrayed by my elders. I could not understand why they would give me false hope, especially as I had taken it so literally. Although, now, I recognize it was meant for encouragement, it caused me to live in an imaginary world where I thought, if I worked hard enough, I could achieve perfection. 

- Carmen Iben

Monday, January 28, 2013


Thomas collects guns and shoots things in the desert on the weekends.
He shotguns beers and chugs whiskey until his face glows
And the anger in his eyes floats away.
He refuses to wear the sweaters his mom buys him because they’re gay.
He wraps his hands around his little brother’s neck,
His face red and his veins bulging
when he shows emotion like a little homo.

But I see things.

I see the way he caresses Trevor’s back at parties when he thinks no one is looking.
The way they disappear upstairs and come back down separately,
Thomas always smiling softly.
I saw his eyes turn down and stare at the puddle of sweat beneath his palm
When his mother declared that gay marriage advocates were “sick”.

Thomas is moving in with Trevor before Trevor marries Ange
And I saw his eyes light up when he talked about it.
“6 more months of bachelor freedom” Tim said.
Thomas nodded and brushed his hand against his buzzed head.
Looking at the wall ahead of him he whispered, “Yeah.”
His father took his response to mean one thing,
But I saw the creases around his eyes
And the smirk that warmed his face
And I think “yeah” meant more than anyone will ever know.

- Molly

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Poet, Try

I wake up. A slight headache left me frustrated, but an advil, maybe two, brought contentment. Class one was droll. Class two cancelled. Class three make me hungry, but between class three and four, I have a poem to write. I make do with the time, and try my best to make the word I chose fit into a poetic scheme.
…His hooves make whisper 
with the rock and moss… 
In between the creativity and typing, I met two psych majors. They introduced themselves, though I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve forgotten their names. I remember their faces, as I often do. Hopefully I won’t blush if/when I have to admit I’ve forgotten. They gave me advice and they were kind, and helpful. Though I never asked for it. That was a curious realization.
…At night, wind rocks the pines
and his dreams whisper 
the truth of the fawn…
The gentleman approached me when he saw my poem on the computer screen. He probably recognized it 
because most
sentences don’t
look like this. 
He wanted to understand the form, and was curious to read what I had written, which I shared openly.
                        He had searched for his essence with the whispers.
And all of nature’s patience 
had tried to steer him with moss …
He told me what classes to take, how to get on the good side with certain professors, and how to guarantee success by teaming with a professor to start research. He was displeased with my choice of psychological study, but, whatever. To each his own, I told him. 
…insisted the taiga
reveal truth in the whispers…

I was invited to lunch, but had to decline to finish my poe-em. I was happy with it as I read it on the way to class. The professor picked a stanza after her first read, and told me, “That’s poetry!”

 -Nicole O.