Landscape with Mutant
Published by Smokestack Books
"Poetry is about something," according to Fred Pollack. "A strong poem is about something that is important, but which is not perceived by the ideologies of its time or expressible in their language." The poems in Landscape with Mutant are about US life before and during the Trump presidency, with its alienation, violence, and political despair. In this dystopian landscape, "the weak exist to be trodden and those who are trodden are weak." It is a book about casual racism, sharp-suited Fascism and the complicity of liberals – "wrinkled, blobby, obsolete, like me" – in the assault on equality and justice. Between the narrow horizons of the mainstream ("Have parents and write about them") and the games of the academic avant-garde, Fred Pollack makes strong poetry about something important. "You can be certain you’re an enemy," he writes; "it’s your choice whether also to be a threat."