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Eavesdropping on the Boardwalk

by Anne Alexander

A friend is any person
who does you the favor
of acting real to you.

Here I am again
telling some man I'll settle for crumbs
whatever he can give me is enough.
I live by the rule Expect Nothing
and life is full of wonderful surprises.

Why is he there when
he could be here with me?

Take the word care for example
half the problems in the world
are cause by people who don't care
and the other half
by people who do.
And the times when you have your best thoughts
are also the times when you realize
how vain the whole word and thought game is.

I don't care about money
as long as I have enough of it
for acid.

I know there's a certain
code I live by
and neighbors are off-limits.

Everything is such a mess
because nobody's trying
any harder than you are.

Why all this yakkety yak about love?
There are only two kinds of people
concerned about love
those who have it
and those who don't.

One thing I've noticed about life is
I keep meeting the same people
over and over again
wearing different faces.
What's going on?

I can't imagine being the
no scratch that
I can imagine it all too well
wouldn't want to be the kind of person who
who what?
who can't even remember what
kind of person it is he
doesn't want to be
Oh
I wouldn't want to be the
kind of person who
wants his role taken seriously.

But how do I compete with a girl
who has nothing else to do
but hang around with him?

It's never inappropriate to be a good person
it's never too late and never in poor taste
and most of the time it doesn't cost anything.

It seems as if he wants more than my knowing
or even my approval - he wants
my active participation.
What if I don't feel equipped to give it?
I'd like to be that way
but I'm not so I tell him
Enjoy, all right?
Enjoy
only don't rub my nose in it.

Have I been clinging to the shore too long?
Is it time to surrender to the current?

Telling the simple truth will protect you
yes it will
that's why there's such a thing
as a holy fool.

Moral courage is the habit of questioning
each and every one of your own assumptions
no matter how precious
no matter how painful
and confronting the fact
that you could be wrong about something.

It's not such a big deal.

Someone else can't give you your rights
you have to give them to yourself.

You can't just lay down the law
and everybody's going to follow it.

I should be ashamed
but I'm not.

Anyone who makes any claim
to objectivity is kidding himself.

It's like the longer I know him
the more fascinating he gets
he seems so capable
so together so self-determined
If I met him for the first time now
I'd be paralyzed
but he's an old friend
it knocks me out.

Just keep telling yourself it's
only a movie.

But remember this the natural corallary
to "My idea is as good as yours"
has to be "Your idea is as good as mine."

So he told me he's been seeing someone
a girl he met and I thought
shit, I aced him out this time
I've been seeing his best friend.

From each according to his temperament
to each according to his greed.

 

© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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