For Robert Creeley
Frederick Pollack

A friend said my work is loveless.
-- That's a bad line. It divides attention
between two elements, themselves awkward:
"a friend," implying, perhaps, (erroneously)
a cénacle, protecting speaker from reader; and
"my work," whose self-consciousness
is intolerable in a context
of bumper-stickers reading "You confuse me
with someone who might possibly give
a shit." These elements, moreover, this
decenteredness of the line distracts
(no less so if deliberate, i.e.,
unconscious) from the money word
at the end. Such concerns
(which one could claim, but won't, are social acts
and thus in some way acts of love) evade
the central, the thematic issue, which

is love.