I must (I said) apologize. My wife showed

my poems, as I understand it, to

your mother, who was impressed that someone

would engineer words beyond

book-club level, and thought they would have

a salutary effect

on you in your basement (or attic?), condemned

without trial by meritocracy, playing games.

She worries about you. It was not

my idea to afflict you with extra pressure.


And he: This manic weaving back and forth

of my torso relates less to you

than to my being even briefly torn

from the constant building and destruction

of worlds you wouldn’t understand, from evil

foes and savage allies. Futile

interviews afford at least a will-

of-the-wisp, but other

scripts (like yours) confine me in a room

smaller than mine and reeking of the tomb.



Frederick Pollack


Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure (Story Line Press, 1986; to be reissued by Red Hen Press) and Happiness (Story Line Press, 1998), and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018). In print, Pollack’s work has appeared in Hudson 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), Armarolla, December, and elsewhere. Online, his poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Diagram, BlazeVox, Mudlark, Occupoetry, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, Big Pond Rumours (Canada), Misfit, OffCourse, Ariel Chart (2019) and elsewhere.


  1. some in-laws need to be thrown out of a plane without a parachute.

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