Keeping My Imaginary Friend Happy

What a sky-is-blue-grass-is-green day! I love sitting on this park bench with my imaginary friend, Alice. While I’m enjoying reality she’s telling me that if she ever hears another rhyme between “night” and “light” or “death” and “breath” she’s going to do something I’ll regret. Furthermore she insists I stop writing those happy-happy poems because as a fully deconstructed, beyond-whatever-existential adult she would rather have angst, dread and drivel smothering her than sentimentality. I tell her that I kind of like those rhymes. She pulls out some pills, “Here. Take these.” As I swallow sending them down, down into the depths of deconstruction she jumps up from her existential happy place and proclaims, “Haha! That’s arsenic! You’re dead!”

Then Alice cries, “I’m sorry I gave you that arsenic even if it was only imaginary arsenic.” “That’s OK.” (What else am I going to say?) She explains that it is all because she’s not real. That’s why she acts the way she does. I tell her, “Look at those atoms. They’re just empty space! They aren’t any more real than you are!” She stops crying and asks, “Really?” And I say, “Sure!” Then she wants to know about that tiny stuff in the middle of the atoms. She starts crying again. I tell her that tiny stuff isn’t real either. “Really?” At this point I have to think. I don’t want to lie to her, but I don’t want her to start crying again and for all I know she’s as real as anything else I can imagine out there and so I say, “Sure!”


I am hosting dVerse Meeting the Bar Prose Poetry today. The challenge is to write either a prose poem or a poem explaining why prose poetry doesn’t exist.  Any similarity to real people in this prose poem is purely imaginary.

Author: frankhubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

66 thoughts on “Keeping My Imaginary Friend Happy”

  1. What a delight to listen to your poem Frank ~ I think writers and artists have imaginary friends or foes, smiles~

    They feed and nurture our imagination, and as an extension of ourself, maybe go to not so happy places and spaces ~ Thanks for hosting ~

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    1. Thanks, Grace. I am glad you liked the audio of this. I sometimes find it easier to understand something when I hear it than when I read it. I wasn’t sure I understood this piece myself until I listened to it.

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  2. first time I am reading such a challenge, but I am new to dverse, and its such an amazing place to be! I might just observe and read this one out first. Loved how you wrote this, made me think in circles which is what I like in a story. You are so good at comforting the things that aren’t real!

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    1. There are prompts at dVerse three times a week for most weeks. I have found they give me a good excuse to write something. One of the nice things about imaginary friends is that they are easy to comfort. Thank you for the comment!

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  3. What a joy to view your metaphysical existential dip into imagination, silly rhyme schemes & quantum physics, where we wonder whose reality, whose dream are we a part of, at how ET’s can separate atoms and pass through them, that matter only has the substance we, as co-creators. attribute to it.

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    1. Actually, I like those simple rhymes best despite Alice’s objections. The surprise in a metrical poem, for me, comes from the other words that lead up to those simple rhyme words. Thanks!

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  4. Do you never want to be just alone, Frank? Kidding 🙂 Having to explain things that aren’t real to people who aren’t real is quite mind-boggling. I love your placid, even tone when you get into the really difficult questions.

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    1. I tend to talk to myself (silently so no one hears or sees). It is sort of like talking to Alice, except it doesn’t go to these extremes. Some people call this chatter and it can be entertaining as long as it isn’t taken too seriously. Thanks!

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      1. Occasionally I see people talking out loud to themselves on the street. They are usually angry. If I were never in those kinds of moods, talking to myself out loud might be beneficial.

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  5. Lovely Frank and your reading made your words even more special.
    Imaginary friends and make-believe worlds still guide me to sleep each night – I think they might have done most of my life.
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  6. I like the prompt and especially this poem. It doesn’t read like the usual poem to me, but I can relate to it with its philosophy, questions, and humor all in the same piece. And who knows, we’re probably all someone’s imaginary friend… 😀

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    1. It seemed more like a narrative to me but then the narrative didn’t go anywhere and so I figured it might work as a prose poem, whatever that is. I suspect I don’t see the people around me as they really are but as I imagine them to be which might be a good thing. It allows me to be surprised by what I see them doing or hear them saying. Thanks!

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  7. LOL! ROTF! LOved this, Frank. and you certainly rose to the prompt. But perhaps this is also narrative poetry??? ala Frost? but funnier?? In any case, Alice must be a cat…and I talk tomyself also. All the time. I win great arguments that way. And thank you, Frank for sticking to the analysis of the prompt when you read my poem…so many just repeat the words, but really don’t get to the essence of what the poem is. Frustrating. I need better imaginary friends…..

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    1. It is sort of a narrative poem with that imaginary arsenic. It is also a little too humorous for what I normally see as prose poetry. I also win most of the arguments I have with myself. A good imaginary friend would make sure I lost some of those arguments. Thank you for participating in the prompt!

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    1. I like using rhyme and meter. They are sometimes very easy to write and then I wonder if I’m getting careless with them. This one took me quite a while to finish. Thank you for the comment and participating in the prompt!

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    1. Thanks, Walter! As far as having an effect on my life, just imagining her changes my life a little bit. I wonder if that makes her “real”? I’ll ask her if I write any more about her.

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  8. I love this! (Like everyone else.) I think it’s a delightful short-short story; can’t see/hear it as a poem, even a prose-poem – but who cares, when it’s such a joy to encounter?

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  9. LOVE the ending … and for all I know, she’s as real as anything. That’s the thing, right? What is a construction of our mind and what is not? Is a perception a construction? Is reality only that which can be verified by another? And if so, are we certain they speak the truth in their agreement or is that just their manipulation of how they perceive the needs of the situation? … imaginary friend any more imaginary than who I think is my friend? Oh my….the conundrums your words have created here!

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    1. It’s a conundrum for me as well. I suppose everything we imagine is like an imaginary friend to some extent even with others confirming it. If that friend starts talking back like Alice did it just adds to the mystery. I do assume there is some reality out there of which I’m a part and whatever it is, I assume it’s good.

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