Reactive Intermediates

by Eric Chaet

Pardon me, please:
tho I set out to succeed
only when everyone’s suffering
thru no fault of their own
& due to no natural necessity
was unknotted—
I’ve hardly made a dent, I know
& sometimes even burdened others
with my own frustrations & flailings.

Toward the irrevocable synthesis
of justice, wisdom, integrity, & kindness
I’ve advanced only by fits & starts
beginning scatter-brained, unmethodical
& subject to the usual, pervasive misguidance—
& my own particular disadvantages & traumas
unique, but equivalent to anyone’s & everyone’s.

Tho I believe I’ve become, & am becoming
ever more aware, competent, steadfast
even, in some ways, clever, skillful, cunning—
& have had some results I’m proud of, when I rest—
I’m still a clumsy, ignorant fool in other ways
in a world of coercion & deceit
the parading self-delusions of the powerful & weak
& suffering as wide-spread & deep as when I began.

Toward what I’d bring into irrevocable life
I’ve mainly only created reactive intermediates.

Still, as best I gauge
they offer, if you can & will avail yourself
more advantage than their cost:
a bit of concentration
& getting over what, til now, you expect.

I’m able to offer you this fabulous deal because
their creating has provided me with more strength
than that expended in the effort of creating them.

And I, myself a reactive intermediate
have not even yet become who I’ll become
or finished doing what I’ll do.


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