SYSTEM

by Frederick Pollack

Long solitude secreted

a bitter allusive humor,

précieux, calling attention

to subtexts and diction,

enraging (not merely annoying)

one’s mutually unchosen

companions. Compelled on many fronts

to retreat, one seeks comfort

in old hates

and reminiscence (of obscure prizes,

a book or gun collection?).

Then, very late, often

contradictory confessions

of others, their complaints.

But this is interpreted

and spurned as pity

by those spasmodic anger briefly

rejuvenates. Partial solitude

is regained, a reliable chair

of one’s own, being left

more or less alone; a window

illicitly cracked open

to cut the pissy air;

the universal light through windows

blurring the wires there.

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ABOUT FREDERICK

Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure (Story Line Press, 1986) and Happiness (Story Line Press, 1998), and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, 2018). In print, Pollack’s work has appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Manhattan Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Main Street Rag, Miramar, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Poetry Quarterly Review, Magma (UK), Neon (UK), Orbis (UK), and elsewhere. Online, his poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Diagram, BlazeVox, Mudlark, Occupoetry, Faircloth ReviewTriggerfish, Big Pond Rumours (Canada), and elsewhere.