Never Better

Never Better

call back later

not now


another day


not this morning

just a second

don’t wait up for me

it’ll be worth the wait


don’t be late

night time is the right time


the waiting game

when the stars align


past due

on the dot

a watched pot

it’s over when it’s over

hold your horses

what’s your hurry

it’s about time

it’s now or never

better never than later

Law 35 is a list poem that at first seems random. In fact the rough draft was even more random. Part of the process of making a list poem, for me, is, in revision, to pace the items on the list so that there can be a sense of motion. The better ones even create a vague story line. This one doesn’t 🙂

This is a list of how things get put off while avoiding a commitment to actually doing them. Phrases we use with others to avoid saying NO. Phrases that I when I hear them I recognize as NO. Not merely as a NO for the moment but one that says: at no point in the future but I’m sparing you the harshness of that no by appearing to agree to it at some future point. ‘Don’t hold your breath’ was on the list at one time but I took it out as being too definitive 🙂


Some of these are song lyrics, some are iconic – ‘antic-i-pation’ from that sweet moment in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. All are cliche’s that have permeated our language and have become things we say automatically like good morning or how are you – that are serve to let people know you might be listening. The most recent revision lead to the last lines and the title.

It isn’t easy say NO – some people refuse to accept it or take it as a deeply personal affront that demands an explanation & an apology: I’m sorry but I can’t … so we buffer NO with avoidance so we can appear polite – so people will like us – we’ll if my NO results in someone not liking me I can live with, for now.



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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