Skip to content

Against All Odds

About this Book

Against All Odds is a collection of short narrative poems in which a variety of fictional characters relate charged interactions with other people, with fraught environments, and with their own ghosts.

“I cannot think of another poet writing today who has such a range of narrative gifts, or is capable of the tonal shifts that are present in these poems.”
–Frank Golden

There poems are little people-bombs, always semi weird, a bit naked. Relaxed too, but that may be the way Skinner tells them.”
–Michael O’Connor

Lapwing Publications, 2016.
paper   €10.00   $15.00


Read a poem from this book

Against All Odds

The pool hall is crowded with survivors,
most of us huddling on the floor,
blankets pulled tightly around us.
The more serious cases
stretch out on the tables.
Lights flicker, go out, come back on.
Aside from a few low moans
it is deathly quiet.

We could be at the end of the world,
and it dawns on me that it is
the end of the world.

If so, what a world it has been.
Against all odds, I’ve enjoyed
the love of a good woman,
a comfortable home in New England,
good food on the table.
I’ve spent the last half of my life
looking up at a high meadow
of browsing cows
and down past our village to the lake
and its bobbing boats.
It is here I’ve perfected my art–don’t laugh–
and ordered my soul.

I adjust my blanket where it’s slipped
off my left shoulder,
taking pains not to disturb
my broken arm.
The lights are flickering again,
the air is decidedly colder.
I look up toward the faltering bulbs,
ready for dark.

Knute Skinner reads “The Same Old Story”

Knute read from his “Against All Odds” collection at the Poetry Collective December 2016 reading at The Record Break, Ennis, Ireland.

video credit: Poetry Collective