Frederick Pollack  

 

     

 

               The Burning Spear  

 

 

Throughout his twenties, the infinite

possibilities and, just before

or among them, effort, danger

(to which he had in theory no objection);

as well as dubious, sardonic

looks from no particular source, which were,

by their own lights, supportive.

 

Then at thirty, recognition of

too-lateness, and the exhausting effort

to ignore it; false starts (all starts

being false), an unconvincing imitation

with less than youthful energy

of the experimental folly

of youth.

 

Succeeded by decades of

analysis, with, however,

no anticipated synthesis or clear

assessment of sources or source

(how could he presume?); no reliable

spirit-guide but many inhaled

and ingested spirits.

 

It’s possible that we are merely

a delivery system for

metaphors; and his, picked up

wherever but seldom

emotionally foregrounded, was mica:

shapes and mysteries

thinner than any blade.

 

Or else for dream-narratives, which

in our time correspond

to cartoons: the wise man,

of no determinate creed, on a mountain ledge

under mountain skies, who would never

dismiss the panting seeker

with a curt “Waste of air.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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