Frederick Pollack


To a Liberal Who Addressed a Panel of Neocons

You shouldn't fret because they didn't listen,
replied to your points by repeating theirs, packed
the room with their own, the moderator
particularly hostile. The point of
debate is truth, that of truth, power;
if one has power one can skip the rest.
And power must manifest itself
at every point, otherwise it is less;
the point especially holds if one has little.

Look at it from their point of view, and feel
compassion, which for you
is the point: they must sit in conclaves
with grown men who weep
for fetuses, wish to expand Israel
to bring the Second Coming, and pray before deals.
Large doglike men, rich as setters,
sad-eyed as beagles, volatile as pitbulls,
who sometimes pat them clumsily on the head.

Think nothing of it; mould your dismay
(one can't say anger) into a brightly-colored
rhombus, like an educational toy.
The fighters overflying
the city are beautiful, their pilots civilized
enough. Remember: it isn't the tail, but
the mind that wags the dog
from its well-informed though awkward

position above the shit.

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