No More, No Less

by Eric Chaet

I am what & who I am, no more, no less.
My personal situation is what it is, no more, no less.
My social, economic, political situation is what it is
no more, no less—
likewise what & who you are & your situation.

I began as I began, no more, no less
& reacted & chose & did what I did
& I have as much time left as I have, no more, no less
& will react & choose & do
as I will react & choose & do, no more, no less.

I am as potent & effective as I am, no more, no less.
Likewise, as clumsy, ignorant, self-deceiving.

Rare, decisive actions’ results only start appearing
after long anxious periods of apparent futility
during which I absorb others’ resistance & indifference
& regain balance & momentum, & find new strength.

Others’ selections or rejections of me & what I offered
were as clear-sighted & sensible
or based on bad programming, prejudice, lazy self-conceit
as they were—no more, no less—
likewise, my selections or rejections of others.

How disciplined, how skilled I am or will yet become
how focused on what would be the wisest course of action
how righteous, how honest with myself
how capable I am amid saints, tyrants
& those who identify themselves
with what happened to them & the role they fell into—
it is as it is, no more, no less.

The future by nature, & as I & others affect it—
the worst & the best anyone can imagine—
the unique sets of interactions of quanta
of substances, forces, events, experiences
feelings & ideas groped for & ideas coalesced—
the tiniest things, charges, living beings
institutions, competition for money & esteem
& vast systems, however unsystematic
& the effects of everything anyone will do
or refrain from doing from fear or lack of resources
or know-how or know-who, or deciding
that the deal of membership & its dues is a trap
however frustrating the life-time of exclusion—
I not least, but never isolated, never retiring.

Always injustice & always righteous indignation—
always shrewd reaching for advantage, blatant or hidden
& always succumbing to foolish temptations
briefly or for decades, whole lives, generations—
& always work wrought well or carelessly—
the future like the past & also unprecedented—
intimidating, but the most brilliant opportunity
every other game only a game—
no more, no less.


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