Slack Action by Jeffery DonaldsonSlack Action by Jeffery Donaldson

Slack Action

byJeffery Donaldson

Paperback | September 15, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 85 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


'Slack action' refers to the free movement experienced by the boxcar of a train, when the car coasts free, neither pushed nor pulled. Jeffery Donaldson's fifth collection, in which single words, images and even poems coast free, suggests that all life is middle life, and that we live in a present moment that coasts between a beginning we can't remember and an end we can't predict.

Jeffery Donaldson is the author of four previous collections of poetry, most recently Guesswork (Goose Lane, 2011). Palilalia (McGill-Queen?s, 2008) was a finalist for the Canadian Author?s Association Award for Poetry. He teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University.
Title:Slack ActionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 8.8 × 5.58 × 0.38 inPublished:September 15, 2013Publisher:Porcupine's QuillLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889843678

ISBN - 13:9780889843677

Look for similar items by category:


Read from the Book

Jack in the BoxAlways the same old tune, the rote lessons of form versus content you keep trying to get a lid on. Inside, a lurking presence. Outside, a music to rattle it out by the onehandle, the inner expression sprung in truth from its own trappings. Your buried clown gathered to itself, head lowered, scheming, its revelation a joke. Maybe it has got too easy these last years. Just crank up the old Tourettic jangler, and pop! out with it! a top-heavy doddering expression's gangling hysteria, joyful as all get out. The very idea! No wonder you've alwayslooked askance at what's inside.But why play then? Did you think your wound-up loping strains keptthe bounder at bay? Why,it's the cranking that stirs him!Or you just thought it would soundbetter, and that you wouldn't flinchlike this every time around.

Table of Contents

Slack Action
Slack Action
Assisted Care
The Contents
Eocene Plant Fossil
With a Line from a Dream
Four Haiku
The Stadium
More than Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Listener
The Selected Poems
A Touretter's 12-Tone Sonnet

Toy Poems
Jack in the Box
Spinning Top
Rocking Horse
Material Cause

House of Cards
Game of Marbles
House of Cards
Magic Lantern
Kite Metaphor
An Honest Man
When Things Are Looking Up
Donkey's Way
November 5th
Two on Bonnard
Sweet Talk
At the Garden of Eden Thrift Shop and Exchange
Express Checkout
Leper Bell
Twice Over

Editorial Reviews

`If "slack action" is a term associated with the 'slack' left between trains-a peculiar irony in which distance creates harmony-Donaldson is a champion at blending these fundamental disharmonies into a readable display of pure emotion and attachment. Each installment seems like it could be an integer on the same ladder of parentage, childhood, teaching, and existentialism. Better still, this emotionality never comes about as an incidental abstraction ... Instead, its intentionality keeps the language pithy and the vocabulary utterly stunning.Above all, Donaldson is a master of common sense writing and Slack Action operates in this form on every level. The seasoned reader of Donaldson's poetry is princely rewarded for recognize the familiar quirks of the experienced poet.... Like a nice pork chop, Slack Action is well-tempered and crusted, but tender at its core.' - James Puntillo