- My father and I are driving at night into a great white porcupine that would be just deep weather if we went any slower
- speed changes a storm to quills that are broken passing lines in sharp bouquet
- we’d say we want to pull over & stop & get out & go our separate ways
- because we hate each other – but really we love the porcupine more
There is logic, similitude, and theme as much as there is misjudged distance, isolation, and uncertainty. (There is fantasy as an appendage of isolation and uncertainty.) There are the blurred squiggly lines of sometimes farsighted and sometimes nearsighted and occasionally clear glimpses. There is the trivial overheard misquote.
Within the domestic tableau, a purported semantic uniformity of the quotidian archive, an attitude of lyrical certainty, particularly one set in the past tense is, at best, illusory, and sometimes a pretense of capitalist and conservative values, an allegiance to the fallacy of nuclear family mores and antithetical to the attempt, since Modernism, for accountability for the richness of the folly of our thinking—which is really the commonplace, the way it’s always been done, with mistakes.
In recalling a domestic scene, an offhanded comment made by a parent elicits a small laugh which leads to a nursery rhyme of substance abuse to another room where a birthday party is taking place but years ago a collar bone was fractured with the smell of pizza. Discontinuity of the quotidian. Discontinuity is character and the flaws that precede it, and our inability to really tell of, and to tell.
the forged nail through the bare foot of a rubber boot
or the log homestead that turns into a pig pen?
Hall writes verse that is clear, incisive and compressed when need be, but knows when to use the soft focus, the anti-flourish, the head-scratching palette cleanser, the insightful aside. There is humility and courage in not always being overtly articulate, or risking something in making it new. Description, narrative, the distance between subject and object, embodiment and synesthesia, geographical grounding, are contracts between the author and the reader, often more generative when the terms are carefully broken and toyed with, much like the metrical contract set out at the beginning of a metered poem. Hall maintains narrative authority while playfully and thoughtfully pulling the reader aside, changing course, making rhymes, undoing a small stitch, tearing the tapestry of a song of often hoarse, sometimes trivial humming. Melodious with unstrung guitar, muddled by white noise, whispering small truths.
Jakub Stachurski has lived in a city, as well as in a town. His poetry has been published, rest assured, but not that often. He has a degree in biology from the Discovery channel.