James Pollock

July 22, 2022 Pollock James



This seemingly permanent revolution,
this engine turning over endlessly,
full of metallic bonks, clatter of button,
and a low rumbling burden, lets us see
its wry internal rough-and-tumble—arms
and legs like wrestlers or fierce fighting dogs,
wet, leaping, twisting in mid-air, blurred forms
plunging in and out of knots that flog
themselves and radiate more heat than light—
lets us see it all through this round porthole
window to the inner life, this insight
too true, however dry, however droll.


James Pollock is the author of Durable Goods (Véhicule Press/Signal Editions, 2022); Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press, 2012), a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award in Poetry, and winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association; and You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2012), a finalist for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award for a collection of essays. He is also editor of The Essential Daryl Hine (The Porcupine’s Quill), which made The Partisan‘s list of the best books of 2015. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, AGNI, The Walrus, and many other journals. They have won the Manchester Poetry Prize, the Magma Editors’ Prize, and the Guy Owen Prize from Southern Poetry Review, and have been reprinted in anthologies in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. He is Professor of English at Loras College, and lives with his wife and son in Madison, Wisconsin.