First Letters First

Phil Hall ends “Adios Polka” the opening poem of Killdeer with the observation

  there is nowhere to go off
but wordward

And so it is no great surprise that a line from earlier work (White Porcupine) comes to mind:

that is distance or history — histance or distory

whose play with the signifier exemplifies a kind of word work that mimics a natural process:

the idea dies
 then the animal inside the idea
crawls out & clings

I want to signal here the delicate play that Hall’s poetry makes with line indentations. It creates a rippling effect down the left margin — it is more noticeable on larger runs of text than those quoted here. Not all the poems play with such lineation which makes it distinctive when deployed.

  First character first, be it a blank space.

And so for day 906

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.