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Frederick Pollack

On the Eve


Your neighbors on this border street

hate you but are sane

or canny enough not to shoot up your house,

poison the dog. Also you’re not Black, gay, trans,

just a lib; you don’t remind them you’re also

a Jew. Dealing with you 

can wait. “Any plans for the weekend?”


is as far as human contact goes. None to

speak of … They go inside

to study, in a sense – accumulate

the latest conspiracies, rumors, jokes

(which are also knowledge), knowledge

without the drag of thought. You hear

their television on till all hours,


and know what they’re doing this weekend:

the shooting range, fairway, dance class, martial

arts and spa respectively,

church in there somewhere. You’re saving

a reply for when the time is right,

that great old line from Peter Weiss:

“I am a mad animal. I have plans.”

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