Tuesday, October 11, 2011



Do it A.S.A.P., ASAP,
as soon as possible,
or A.S.A.H.P., as soon
as humanly possible,
start completing this task
while I am speaking to you.
Do it A.S.A.P., A-sap, ace-app,
eight-zap. The sooner,
the better, even now would
be too late, but acceptable.
Act now. I don’t mean to
panic you, but you have
three minutes starting now.
Hurry up, but get it right,
to show you how serious
I am I have omitted most
of the letters. Let your
eyes or ears scan the words
for a corresponding meaning
that beeps into being
in the cash register of your
mind. Speaking only slows
us down, the process, so
listen faster. Hurry up,
hurry the hell up, the hell
of being told there is no
time to respond so do it
now, do it now, with every
breath you take you could
be finishing this task.
What are you waiting for.
Really, I’m asking you,
what thing do you need
to start. Haven’t you already
started just by picturing it.


  1. You have an uncommon talent, Hannah, and it comes through well in writing about the subject of this poem. I like how you've used the periods to slow us down and then taken them immediately away to hurry us up. You convey the breathlessness that we often apply to so much that seems at the time but ultimately isn't important. Great ending.

  2. I laughed when I saw the speak and spell image after reading the poem because I was one of those overly anxious mothers trying to engage my kids with "educational" toys as if learning needed to happen ASAP!

  3. Ha ha...I used to have a book (a book with at least couple of hundred pages) of acronyms used in the Navy, back in the days when I worked in the Naval Research Lab. They were outstanding! Have a great day Hannah, asap!

  4. How fast is quick? Hurry up, please. Remember that line from Eliot? But if this were an experience of a "quickie" (where speaking only slows us down), it does have a last line that could be erotic, if the ASAP has something to do with "starting just be picturing it." Superb ambiguity, however,pictures the unnecessary rush we put into our lives. I will read it again. (:--)

  5. Well, at least you didn't ask for it yesterday. A clever - I found, slightly funny - poem that well expresses one of the not-so-admirable aspects of our society. Excellent.

  6. Now that I'm supervising, and often sending memos or e-mails to my staff, I find myself avoidng using ASAP, even when I'd really, really like it that way. It seems so rude and abrupt, this drop everything and do it this moment, as if what I am requesting is more important than your own good judgment of how to order your responsibilities.

    Another acronym I don't like very much, is FYI, rather than saying why I think it's important to know. FYI somehow makes whatever you're sending less relevant, rather than more, a passing of the baton, a washing your hands of it, rather than a sharing of something meaningful or useful.

    I love the patterning of this poem, and the attitude it conveys.


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