Strategic Planning

by Eric Chaet

When I was younger
I set nearly everything aside
to focus on urgently surviving & succeeding
in the roles available to me
or roles I imagined were available
not realizing what the price would be
I’d never pay, even if I’d had it—
among my struggling contemporaries—
human & otherwise
young, old, female, male, near, far
evil, neutral, good, cunning or dull
learned or ignorant, landlord, renter
or homeless, or child in parents’ home, or pet
teacher, student, police, prisoner
farmer, livestock, crop, pest
seller, buyer, creditor, debtor, doctor, patient
incumbent, insurgent, feasting or feasted upon
& all the permutations, complexity, confusion.

But no one survives & no one succeeds
however much death’s inevitability is set aside
& apparent successes are celebrated
& competed for, scrupulously or unscrupulously.

Now I accept all that is happening to me
& all that has happened to me
& all that anyone has ever experienced
whether it makes me happy or causes me grief
or some combination & in whatever modes.

As rapidly as possible but without ever
using too much, distorting force
I try to organize, clarify, & integrate
all I’m aware of
while I continue doing what I was doing
when I was setting nearly everything aside.

So that by my efforts, I change the odds
however much or slightly, the only success—
however much anyone believes otherwise.

Likewise, I strive continuously to improve
the execution of my chores
which are the opportunities by which
to the slight extent possible
I extend my brief survival, & so
my operations, deployments, stratagems
their brief or light-year life-spans—
heard, & righteous & nutritious substance
undeniable, beyond my struggle for sustenance—
their effects’ magnitude, luminosity, momentum.

Efforts are the only investments I can afford
& produce the only dividends, anyway, that last
beyond the next enlightening disillusionment.


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