Home > Poetry > At the Shipping Port
James Arthur
Published: Fri Jul 1 2005
Art: Andrea Chung
At the Shipping Port

As the train slows, a struck joint
echoes between cars: a bull’s-eye crash that buckles
over space, boxcar to boxcar,
an air and iron corridor. Ear and eye file report,

though not in synch. When the cars’ convulsion’s done,
the ear’s petite, unerring forge
knocks on:

_                          As the train slows, its stockcars bang out
their commuting shudder. Yokes sound
in heavy pairings: so feeling wakes up_

in feeling. So many bit parts
teach this living whole, so touch-touch, but
every body is far apart.

Canadian-American poet James Arthur is the author of The Suicide’s Son (Véhicule Press, 2019) and Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). His poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The London Review of Books. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a Visiting Fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. Arthur lives in Baltimore, where he teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. (updated 10/2019)

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