Consider the Source

A poem by Fred Pollack

When I start feeling good about myself,
I return to a coffeehouse of yesteryear
where friends – real, imagined, composite –
set me straight. Only one, however,
is eager to talk about my work,

a smiling sensitive whose wheatgrass
and yoga segued smoothly into mergers.
“You seem to think it can change things.”
I disagree. “It’s unpleasant.” I agree.
“You aren’t a politician, after all.”

“They don’t help either,” I point out.
The others seem to read responsively,
their voices shriller than recalled,
from slightly discrepant copies of one book:
about concerts, cars, cults, kids,

cruises and, more recently,
prescriptions that rocked their worlds.
Not everyone is there, even in fantasy.
I miss especially
one friend who said I would conquer illusion itself.

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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