Gentry, Frederick Pollack

Indian BluesIndian Blues. Nashville. 2013. Audie (photo credit: Karen B. Golightly)



Beyond the awnings, the new trees,
the reconstituted tiled
roofs, skyscrapers lit for night
resemble a conversation:
fanciful translucent speculation,
darker slabs of dogma trying
to intimidate, but all
companionable. We eat
largely to pay
a lot and critique the wine
(disappointment the cost
of humanity and taste). We’ve been to a play:
the moment between the last
squat and the first luxury
condo is that
of small theaters. The show
was a set of monologues
by people who had lived or still
hung on around here. We thrilled
to the woman feeding
her brood off Styrofoam
plates from McDonald’s, the bearded sage
judging dumpsters, the People Who Had Lost Jobs
(this part seemed repetitive), the subdued
young black. We have
as if at a distance a feeling
of solidarity and shame, and use
the magic word “depressing,” which wards off evil.
We discuss the difficulty
of actors capturing the pauses,
confusions, repetitions
of ordinary speech; if those actors were actors,
they were great. Now along the boulevard
in the mild night a jangling
ethereal skeletal
procession passes; it’s like Mardi Gras, except
something is leaving.
A poet obscurely among us quotes
some poet. A strange tremor
rattles glasses – we hadn’t known
a fault ran through here! But the poet
says it’s only
probing by future historians, undoubtedly
laying on us their broad unfair conclusions.

Frederick Pollack

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