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Last updateTue, 06 Aug 2013 2am

Back You are here: Home Stories Words for the People Poetry Peripheral Vision
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 04:19

Peripheral Vision Featured

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They have prepared some sort of statement
and come out to read it.

The assembled press
is that mite corresponding
to the phrase, “the liberal media.” Still,
there’s a mike, and
since no one can be “leader,”
the conferees read, and extemporize, in turn,
the statement dissolving. The first is sensitive, fragile.
It is a triumph for her
to speak, inaudibly, the first few lines,
and completely understandable
that she should collapse, drop pages, shudder
in the arms of one of the reverends.
A delegate from a local class
that has raised its grade point average
from 20 to 70 reads. To a shouted question,
he mumbles something. A guy
from the homeless community, neat in plaids,
speaks firmly but at length and rather
too fast. A neighborhood elder
repeatedly and emphatically cries,
“We’re not ASKING you, we’re TELLING you,”
but his object is unclear;
he seems to have abandoned the statement. A gay,
articulate speaker resumes. A black
reverend, obviously suffering
from his presence, is ready to bolt. The day,
and power, spoken to,
roll on, but not the cameras.
Whole Foods, with its polished vegetables,
moves in, creating twenty jobs.
Six liquor stores close;
the seventh orders different wines. For a while,
gunfire persists. For a while, strollers
and strangely burdened shopping carts
collide. Someone completes a last bad painting;
a schizophrenic hisses about the bastards.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 04:26
Frederick Pollack

Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press. He has numerous other poems in print and online journals. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.

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