Frederick Pollack: A Long Sentence
Image: Unsplash, downloaded (https://unsplash.com/photos/aGkiNPivj_E) 13.2.2022.
It was a long sentence, not
entirely fair, but I’ve stopped
insisting I was innocent.
Now I relate to much younger people,
young enough to value “experience,”
and see me as one, and surreptitiously
seek wisdom. They’re still there,
beneath the hard-wired disappointment
(no assets but youth, no prospect but loss),
and stop to talk. The girls
radiate … like a solar corona
above the mistrust and whatever dysphoria;
I don’t look at them. Speak
in parables. There was a dead Northern poet
or capitalist (the difference fades
on the Other Side). He had expected
a cold white church and cousins,
ex-wives in florid outfits,
colleagues feeling nothing much.
Then the earth, leached of metaphor,
or fire, which, to insensate flesh
represents all the crap that didn’t happen.
Instead it was someplace southerly:
dust, whitewashed walls, and professional
mourners following, howling, breast-beating, swaddled
in black, over the top. He thought
of climbing out of the carriage, grabbing one,
demanding “Who hired you?” but didn’t …
he found he liked them.
They drop a quarter in my cup.
About the Author: Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both Story Line Press; the former to be reissued by Red Hen Press. Two collections of shorter poems, A POVERTY OF WORDS, (Prolific Press, 2015) and LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). Pollack has appeared in Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Magma (UK), Bateau, Fulcrum, Chiron Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, etc. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Hamilton Stone Review, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Mudlark, Rat’s Ass Review, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, etc. Poetics: neither navelgazing mainstream nor academic pseudo-avant-garde.