When things I knew faded,
I made up facts.
Glazed with my charm, they
kept trouble away.
My stories turned emptiness
to childlike eagerness
but always devolved upon
some dragon.
Driving and sailing
over each continent,
I wasted the wealth
of my era and class (what’s
the point of wealth without
waste?). Tried to use
the most passionate words
I encountered, unsure
what they meant.
What I didn’t have,
could have used, were names.
Payphones had fled. Cities,
campuses where
I’d hypothesized contact stood
empty; temp angels
who lent me their couches
and kindness were sacked.
If I had it to do over again
I’d be a song, with unpicturesque
europoverty stamping
its feet, the river
too near, the singer
thinking to claim
the gold in the eye of a listening girl
but it’s only for me.

Poem by Frederick Pollack

Image by Adam Strong

Frederick Pollack is the author of tw0 book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both Story Line Press; the former reissued 2022 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), BateauFulcrumChiron 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.

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