Machinist in the Snow

About the Book:

“Search for the storm. Bring your life  / with you. Or maybe leave it be” writes Larry Eby in his prophetic book-length poem, Machinist in the Snow. Eby’s second book inspires one’s courage to face and even more, search out, those storms that endanger our individual lives and our collective home. When Eby’s exiled machinist realizes, “I’ve lost the memory / of home,” this realization initiates recovery, for this reader, of the memory of the lost home.  So too this book inspires that rare, empowering realization that “I can catch my sinking / breath.” Eby’s poetry restores to this reader the hope that we can witness, name, and so survive being enslaved by our worst impulses and paralyzed by our worse fears—we can “bring our (better) lives” or “leave them be.” And to see our own complicity in our species-wide exile, we are, with the great generosity of this poet’s conviction, encouraged, “there / might be—there is: a home.” To read this book is to remember: restoring ourselves to seasonal and harmonious natural cycles will return us to both eternity and mortality; to winter’s lyrical freeze-frames and to what after eventually/nonetheless must/does follow winter: spring. —Julie Sophia Paegle

“The juxtaposition of the material and natural world is everywhere present in Larry Eby’s  long work, Machinist in the Snow, where echoes of Whitman and Oppen accrue into an original voice that attempts to find a new spirit and home in “a post industrial world: / When the mechanism fails, remove / ice from jar: an engine labeled Body will ignite / a new fire.” Machinist in the Snow is a sustained, layered and compelling work.” —Mark Irwin