Frederick Pollack

Town ignored by a highway
in that part of the country
(most of it) that went directly,
long since, from frontier to boonies.
Great rotting Victorians,
some rooming houses still among them.
At least no one asks if I’m “churched.”
I also wheezing, blimp-like, pale,
perhaps armed, can’t be entirely alien;
although someday they’ll ask,
inventing strangers where they can’t be found.
Meanwhile, in the boarded street
and crowded bars we carom off each other,
although we never touch. When was it
such places came to strike me as
creativogenic? When I lost
those address cards that rose and fell
like days, with a sort of resistance,
a pleasing rubbery motion? Names
transposed to computer were lost, destroyed
too easily, I found,
like computers, and were files like any other.
(If it was, in fact, a matter of having contacts.)
Now it’s evening. Some sort of tea boils
on my hotplate. Though the window’s up,
the inner and outer air remain distinct.
A fly negotiates the screen.
Men are busy in meth labs, women in laundromats;
a siren dopplers off. I have been
writing all day about loneliness,
which is not an emotion inside the body.
Tonight we shall all dream
of love and empire, descending
effortlessly, clicking into place.
You can reach me at this number.