eric chaet | what you commit yourself to doing

15 10 2007

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Poetry Dispatch No. 65 | April 18, 2006

WHAT YOU COMMIT YOURSELF TO DOING by Eric Chaet

There’s always more to it:
It took you so long to get started,
because you saw
how everyone who gave it all they had
ended up with results they complained about,
but, finally, having to get started,
you started,
found ways to stifle your negativity,
eagerly embraced
what you hadn’t thought of before
that seemed promising,
& gave it all you had–
& while you were doing it
ignorant zealots took over your nation
& almost every big organization,
& other ignorant zealots decided
that the whole nation–
ignorant zealots, you, everyone–
were enemies of God & targets of opportunity–
& family members got in trouble & needed help
or tried to manipulate you,
or maybe it was people you took for friends,
who allowed themselves to do what you wouldn’t do
& were spiraling down in the consequences,
or someone in your area polluted your water
or soil or air or mind,
or maybe it was someone far away
& the pollution traveled thru the air or underground,
or thru the school you sent your children to,
while you were trying to figure out your taxes
to avoid going to jail,
or lots of people produced what you produced
& the price dropped,
or you were the only one producing what you produced,
& no one around you recognized its value–
or maybe you made a little careless error
distracted by odd little pains in your gut or back
or distortions in your vision or hearing
& burned down the room where you stored
your inventory, tools, & files,
or got addicted to beer or pills or powder–
& you were left without any means of sustaining
not only your way of life, but life at all–
there’s always more to it,
the goal line keeps moving,
there are always more really insane people
you must count on to deliver what you produce
or supplies you need to continue producing,
or even just to live until tomorrow,
& more people who see you as fair game
& more people whose need for help is genuine
& more people whose game is to claim to need help
& new laws & technologies, wars, & plagues:
what you commit yourself to doing
needs to be worth all the unexpected obstacles,
irritants, enmities, misunderstandings, old age, & death,
whatever the results along the way,
whatever others think of your results so far.

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