Deprived Whisper. by Frederick Pollack

A whisper deprived, not only
of mouth, lips, tongue –
it saw these things as distinct
and individually precious –
but even of subject-matter. It hung out
in sentence-fragments, among
the criminal underworld
of language and the soul. The tech
at its disposal, like its somatic
environment, predated
that which has afforded
a new universe to trivia. How
the whisper longed to pour itself
into the ear of a statesman!
But where might such be found,
how recognized? Alternatively
to profess love – but was
a whisper now the stylish, even
a correct, medium?
Love alone might give it content
and context, but a suspicion
of existential isolation
impinged. Abjuring, then, the absurdity
of having an ear
as totem, the whisper whispered
to itself, positing
some sort of recording; posited
in turn by anguish, which alone responded.


Author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure (Story Line Press, 1986) and Happiness (Story Line Press, 1998), and two collections, A Poverty of Words (Prolific Press, 2015) and Landscape with Mutant (Smokestack Books, 2018). In print, Pollack’s work has appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Manhattan Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Main Street Rag, Miramar, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Fish Anthology (Ireland), Poetry Quarterly Review, Magma (UK), Neon (UK), Orbis (UK), and elsewhere. Online, his poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Diagram, BlazeVox, Mudlark, Occupoetry, Faircloth Review, Triggerfish, Big Pond Rumours (Canada), Misfit, and elsewhere.