Patrick Cahill

Patrick Cahill

Patrick grew up in South Dakota and western Washington, and his memories of those places often crop up in his work. The natural world of insects and other animals is featured in his yet-unpublished collection of children’s verse.

The Machinery of Sleep

Patrick Cahill’s compressed, imagistic verse in THE MACHINERY OF SLEEP offers the reader an Objectivist’s eye (keen, but, with Cahill, never cold) and jazz-infused prose poems that demand attention and command respect. He speaks of “There where the story and desire begin,” reaching toward the ineffable and consistently arriving there—from an astonishingly beautiful poem to his young son, to another articulating the very mysteries of childhood (“The dragon in the house he dreams / remembers the language even the child / crossing this field / no longer knows, / though he sang it once.”), to postmodern near-surrealist riffs that keep the reader’s synapses firing. This book holds you in its grip and seems to take you apart, to deconstruct you word by word, image by image, in poems that are unexpected, sometimes unsettling, and always deeply energizing.

Patrick Cahill’s poetry collection, The Machinery of Sleep, was selected by Sixteen Rivers Press for publication in the spring of 2020. His prose and poems have appeared in over forty journals, including TriQuarterly, Volt, Poets Eleven, the Irish magazine Into the Void, Subprimal, and Eclectica. His poems have twice won the Central Coast Writers Award. He is a cofounder and editor of Ambush Review, a San Francisco–based literary and arts journal and was a contributing editor for the Sonoma County anthology Digging Our Poetic Roots. Patrick received his Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz and wrote a study of Whitman and visual experience in nineteenth-century America. Portions of this work have appeared in The Daguerreian Annual and Left Curve.

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