Frederick Pollack

For Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris His judgment destroyed me.It erased my pride, and the grounds of my pride.It showed my achievementsas the petty things they were, my theories sketchy,my sympathies rhetoricaland false, my values self-serving,my deepest love inadequate.Regret and shame, deserved and heretoforeunjustly escaped, suffused mewhen I heard that judgment, which wasn’t, moreover,delivered solemnly but in passing, offthe cuff, in one of those hallwaysas vast as the chambers, the chambers as brightas the sun, their glorypredicated on my not belonging there.But all this scene-paintingis just an emotional heightener. The actual venuewas more sordid, the remark considerablyless devastating. When I picked myself up,I responded the waybelievers do to incontrovertible arguments:they mumble that they’ve heard it all before. Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS, both published by Story Line Press. Other poems in print and online journals. Adjunct professor creative writing George Washington University.