“Failure Day” by Frederick Pollack

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The One Percent’s more gung-ho bitches
bitch that their taxes go towards
this holiday. None do. It’s private,
mid-spring when the crops burn.
Pink slips tend to appear around that date;
roaches swarm, and jellyfish.
Spouses leave, and the one left waits
for talk-show hosts’ routines about the day.
At their desks, despite stern memos,
the employed for a moment contemplate
without distance, analyze without theory.
Motivational speakers have
their hands full, sweat more than usual.

The fact about when hybrid batteries
die is well-established; don’t tell me
it’s coincidence. In the arts,
kids wonder whether a Personal Style
is possible or if it’s even uncool
to think of. In his cave,
the last ecstatic of an unknown faith
embraces the dull sky and cries,
You are my sunshine. Bars
tactfully add an hour to Happy Hour.


Frederick Pollack is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press. His other poems appear in print and online journals and he is an adjunct professor in Creative Writing at George Washington University.

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