The Approaches, Frederick Pollack

Urban-12-P1020329Optimo, 22X30, watercolor, Gary Buhler


The Approaches

The view from your attic room
or basement apartment
is as wintry as mine
from a car on the highway
skirting your street. And, like me,
you’re repeating a theme, worrying
that thought is repeating you, not you
a thought. That age or bad habits
leave simulacra of thought and you
frozen before oblivion.
Lights go on
across the dying town or anonymous
district, and among them must
be one or two
on someone like you.
Who is not for that reason tolerable,
or even recognizable
as such. Who would talk and talk,
enthusiasms hopelessly,
pointlessly recondite,
or faded, provincial. Who would regard you,
or whom you would regard, as ill.
Breath bad, his contempt
for his squalor different from yours.
Who would come on too strong
or too paranoid. And wrong
in vital respects–fond of Rap,
as it were, not Heavy Metal–
so that if you had parked, had met him, you wouldn’t
view him as equal.
Returning through snow
to the car, knowing
that small distinctions had triumphed again.
Leaving that light, distant and still
or quickly receding,
and its unconscious neighborhood in exile.

Frederick Pollack

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