It Is What It Is – Adrian Potter

“Thinkin’ of a master plan
’cause ain’t nothin’ but sweat inside my hand…”
– Eric B. & Rakim, Paid in Full

Dear Rakim: I, too, have been formulating my master plan,
needed because of squandered revenue and the tragic fact

that other people’s screw-ups keep me awake at night.
I care less about seeking out flaws in everyone and more

about why I accept everyone’s flaws for what they are. My friend
took the money I loaned to cover the rest of his delinquent rent

and instead bought rotgut and weed, despite the eviction notice
attached to his apartment door. You really can’t rescue people

from the threat of themselves. Folks often quip it is what it is
when they don’t actually know what it is and are just too lazy

to investigate things further. If fear is what it is, for example,
then it’s a panic hovering over everything like a numerator.

At the bottom of it, the common denominator is we’re divided
by intentions to do right and urges to do wrong. If optimism is what it is,

it may be a prelude to a blessing we’re still praying for.
Or it might have already been suffocated by this cynical world

that doesn’t believe it exists. These only seem like footnotes
to my report regarding the big come-up, my aforementioned

master plan which is still under construction. We’re all blinded
by our own shame, searching for scapegoats in the darkness

when we’re the only ones to blame. And that’s okay. No one
can solve the problems we create for ourselves. It is what it is.

Adrian PotterAdrian S. Potter writes poetry and short fiction. He is the author of the fiction chapbook Survival Notes (Červená Barva Press, 2008) and winner of the 2010 Southern Illinois Writers Guild Poetry Contest. Some publication credits include North American Review, Jet Fuel Review, Obsidian and Kansas City Voices. He blogs, sometimes, at