The Truth I Must Invent

by – Francis DiClemente (Author)

It also offers a powerful reminder that we all have the potential to create our version of reality—a truth we must invent.

Available on Amazon

Book Description:

The Truth I Must Invent is a collection of narrative and philosophical poems written in free-verse style. Employing a minimalistic approach and whimsical language, Francis DiClemente explores the themes of self, identity, loneliness, memory, existence, family, parenthood, disability, gratitude, and compassion.

The Truth I Must Invent examines the conflicting web of emotions all adults face and the truths that lie in between. This poetic collection peels away the layers of our individual and universal experiences, delving into our innermost thoughts with a voice that speaks to the collective.

The work suggests that even in our darkest moments, joy and contentment can be found through resilience and a willingness to hope. It also offers a powerful reminder that we all have the potential to create our version of reality—a truth we must invent.

Reviews for the Book

The Truth I Must Invent, by Francis DiClemente, is a poetry collection about a man who learns to build his resiliency despite the numerous challenges he’s faced and the self-loathing he’s come to accept.
The collection is separated into 6 parts. Part I details small, seemingly insignificant occurrences that reminds the reader of the life’s effervescence. Part 2 illustrates the narrator navigating through his childhood, from finding ways to cope with his parents’ fights to his cancer diagnosis. Part 3 carries onto the narrator’s adolescence and early adulthood, as he fights to reconcile his physical state and developing self-hatred. Part 4 shows the narrator fully entrenched in his adult life, as he is uses his creative abilities to express his ongoing fight with his mental and emotional well-being. Part 5 has the narrator come to terms with his flaws and imperfections, and to believe the “truth” that everything was meant to be, no matter how he may feel about it. Part 6 culminates to the narrator trying to pass down the painful lessons he’s learned to his son, who was diagnosed with autism, although the narrator continues to grow and learns to appreciate the gifts that parenthood can bring.
Part I definitely caught my attention. It carried a haunting quality to it, as though the narrator had learned that every little happening in life had a morbid lesson attached to it. This was further explained in the collection, in which the narrator had to deal with the difficulties that came with a childhood cancer diagnosis. My father was a radiation therapist in the pediatric unit, and had seen many children go through the same trials the narrator had gone through. Many of those children die before adulthood, so for the narrator to rehash so many dark memories to write this collection is a testament to his strength. And I’ll admit; raising a child who has a diagnosis of autism can be difficult. But there’s a reason why parents are so respected; at the end of the day, many professionals don’t have the experience that parents do to help the child. Part 6 is already demonstrating his tenacity and patience, which is something a lot of people, even other parents, don’t have.
I most admit though, Part 4 had a crass humor to it I enjoyed thoroughly. One poem had stuck out to me, Inspired by Beckett, which reiterates that writing is practice, and that there really is no such thing as perfection. It’s infuriating and it’s annoying, (and yes, there is a reason why I included a mental health component on this website). Moreover, I feel that this opens the floodgates of a cold, hard truth that all writers need to face; that our words may never be immortal, and if they were, they’d be buried underneath hundreds of thousands of millions of books. A lot of us find comfort in the thought that someone will read our works after we die, that a kindhearted reader will take to heart the lessons that we’ve imbued into our works. This, in particular, is something that the book shows you a glimpse of without hitting you too hard with it.
I did love this collection. It clearly demonstrates how the narrator has turned his adversity into strengths, and how he’s used them to push forward. I have no doubt the narrator, or rather DiClemente, will continue to learn and flourish in a way that benefits himself, his son, and hopefully, other writers.
Because of this, I’m giving this collection a 5 out of 5 stars. - Anette D.

About the Author: Francis DiClemente

Francis DiClemente lives in Syracuse, New York, where he works as a video producer. He is the author of multiple poetry collections, most recently The Truth I Must Invent (Poets’ Choice, 2023) and Outward Arrangements: Poems (2021).

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