Posts By: Bill Pollett

Bill Pollett

Porkpie Hat – Surface of Things

?When it comes to the possible / I’m a passable machine.? But just barely. Many days, I move around so awkwardly, bumping into tables and chairs. I lurch from mistake to mistake. And my voice. My voice is scratchy, out of tune, a punctured accordion hidden in the middle of an orchestra, mostly just suitable… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – A Small Renaissance

I can blow a smoke ring and bake a Boston cream pie. I can write a sonnet, if it doesn’t have to be a good one. I can’t fix a toaster, I can’t skate backwards. I can play foosball, and fingerpick ?House of the Rising Sun.? I’ve never been good at geometry. Because I’ve paid… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – What Comes Next: Some Thoughts on Aging

The accepted milestones of passing time are meaningless. What are birthdays? What are New Years?? It’s all nothing but noise and cake. One day, your life is a bright red balloon, clutched tight in a snotty-nosed kid’s little fist. There’s a distraction, something shiny catches your eye, the grip is relaxed for a moment, your… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – Of Smoking

It’s been more than 11 years now since I ground out my last cigarette beneath the heel of my boot, but I still miss smoking. A vile habit it may be, but to me the act of smoking was always a series of small, profound pleasures: the carefully observed ceremony of drawing the smooth white… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – Uninvisible

There was a time when they walked through shopping malls and admired all the plastic-wrapped wonders, every dollar store and Zellers as exotic as a spice route bazaar. They filled shopping baskets with out-of-season gifts?Teletubbies and digital watches?for the kids of family members they (suddenly and mysteriously) no longer begrudged. In the Super Valu, they… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – Some Thoughts on Peace of Mind

As I get older, more realistic, more mature, I gain an ever-greater understanding of the fact that existence is a series of compromises made in order to keep the wheels (of finance, of society, of life itself) smoothly turning. There is no such thing as ?black? and ?white??only endless gradations of tasteful paint samples in… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – October Street

To the untrained eye, there is a street, cleverly disguised, looking like any other quiet, suburban, tree-lined autumn street. Driving down it at night, you would see the usual sorts of things. Brightly lit windows filled with images of cut glass vases, watchful cats, families gathered around a dining table. You would see respectable homeowners… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – The Waking

So there you are, waking up in the middle of the night. There is moonlight leaking in through the curtains, and ghosts grumbling inside the pipes. You lie there for a while, and think that something is different. Gradually, you become aware of what it is: you have no pain in your back or in… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – Unblinking

Rummaging through the attic, a woman comes across a cookie tin filled with Kodachrome photographs. She finds pictures of herself triumphantly waving sparklers in a summer night, tobogganing down an Ontario hill. She finds pictures of herself lacing up roller skates, riding her older brother’s too-big bike. She looks at pictures of herself when she… Read more »

Porkpie Hat – One Sunny Day

One sunny day, perhaps it is mid-July, a boy sits down on the soft, warm grass beneath a pear tree and opens up a book. Perhaps it is a picture book, a book of poetry, an almanac, or instruction manual. Above him, there are small songbirds flitting from branch to branch. The sun is warm… Read more »