Poetry & Fiction

Brooklyn Poetry: Alley Horn

“On Balancing Work and Friends”

Things my boss tells me:
-You’re not a musician
-Get-rich-quick-schemes only sometimes work
-There’s no such thing as
writer’s block, only
lack of discipline.

All my friends are disciplined
in exaggerating.
“As you know I’ve been sober for 2 weeks.”
No you haven’t you stupid bitch.
I’m sorry, I
didn’t mean that.
I just
don’t care,
I could easily
hate you,
but friends choose not to
care when friends
can’t be anything
other than
who they are.

That’s why my boss also says that
when it comes to comedy,
aim for drama.
When it comes to drama,
When it comes to singing,
aim sharp.
And when it comes to
friends—friends, listen up—
aim very
very low.

Avoid good friends.
For in good friends,
grow like weed.

My boss says friendship’s
a function of love

If “X” is for you
And “one” is for me
And they say that love’s
a reciprocal
function, then why
is 1 over X

One graph with two lines
on opposite paths
toward zero, which has
to be freedom, but
that is another
function completely.

So we stay moving
ever nearing but
never reaching our
zeros, our selves, our
New, solitary
functions, and remain
in love: a very
rational function.

If love’s forever
(Which clearly it is)
friendship’s a tangent
Many parallel
lines. Oh look at all
That potential for
so many friendships.

Though each one is bound
by a set of two
invisible lines
—like pi over two—
(Here’s where I lose you.
Cuz pi is constant
and irrational,
so pi’s what I feel,
and all that I feel
over this twosome
is where our friendship
disappears), the line
of each friendship is
infinite in its
potential for both
satisfaction and

Friends expect I won’t
disappoint. But I
already have. You
hate my whimsy when
I theorize almost
as much as you hate
feeling insecure,
and yet still you say
you resent me for
never being home.

What about me? I
hate that you can’t see
this pun (times itself)
is what I derive
from this function of
you: a ride up and
down without any
promise of reaching
the height of value
to make it all worth
while, nor a threshold
where you’ll understand
because we’ve agreed
Enough is enough.

My boss tells me that
friends only want to
party like 1984.
Loyalty is abuse.

Thus, if love is a
rational function,
as I’ve shown it is,
(friendship, a tangent)
Be irrational,
my friends. And never
promise or set a
precedent that you
will not be selfish
and irrational.

Be your own friend, and
soon like me, you too,
will be your own boss.

Alley Horn is a writer and artist living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Last year she created and exhibited sixty-nine paintings, drawings and photos in a series called, 69 et cetera through a Female Gaze, and won audience selection at Quickie Fest V for her short film entitled, Magic. She is currently working on her debut novel, Are You Mad, and can be found on Instagram @alleyhorn, on Twitter @godimsuchabitch, and at alleyhorn.com.

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