Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lending Out Books - Hal Sirowitz

You're always giving, my therapist said.
You have to learn how to take.  Whenever
you meet a woman, the first thing you do
is lend her your books.  You think she'll
have to see you again in order to return them.
But what happens is, she doesn't have the time
to read them, & she's afraid if she sees you again
you'll expect her to talk about them, & will
want to lend her even more.  So she
cancels the date.  You end up losing
a lot of books.  You should borrow hers.

I had a good laugh at the last line of the poem.  A therapist, talking in an apparent shorthand (all the "&" seems to present the poem as a handwritten note of sorts) suggests that the problem in your relationships is that you are too giving.  So why not take?  As if a different result would occur, other than you keeping her books and cancelling the date.

Sirowitz highlights the absurdity of the way we try to relate to one another.  Here, have a book!  I can't wait to talk to you about it!  Funny.  I think I'll hold on to my books, thank you.


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