Gumpland

A poem by Fred Pollack


“What do you mean,” they asked, “you
‘drew conclusions from loneliness’?
Loneliness isn’t a premise.”
I goggled at them. They were already
goggling at me.

Mourning, for them, was likewise
rudimentary, a prolonged
inarticulate questioning
(I’m not saying I’d do better) of
the Incommensurate. The rights and wrongs

of leaving a trail of blood
behind one, as I had,
were left to the minds of judges,
who allowed just one plea:
insanity.

So at meals thereafter I sat with
intellectuals, who built castles
in the air with food.
“You won’t be lonely now,”
said the guards, without subtext.


Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness (available from Story Line Press), and a collection, A Poverty of Words (available from Prolific Press). Another collection, Landscape with Mutant, will be published in 2018 by Smokestack Books (UK). He has many other poems featured in print and online journals.

Pollack is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University.

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