older than my heroes got
sold a whittled role for touch
fold within green fold my doubt
not suicidal / not joyous much
bought in to finagle my own way out (oot)
ovoid rampage / muzzled hoot
Two porcupines walk into a bar. No, wait. One porcupine walks into a bar. Well, actually, it’s a poet. And he walks into a library. He opens books and shakes them until they look like porcupines dancing. He is looking for old photos to eat. He likes the salt taste of the chemicals. Chewing, he crawls oot. Toying with the confessional, Phil Hall’s White Porcupine is a self-portrait of the artist from ages fifty to fifty-four. The creature of the title suggests (as in White Buffalo, White Whale, White Moose) the sacred primitive wild… though small… (a bit like poems); also, Death Itself (bugga-bugga); and snow rushing at the window of a moving car, years ago…tire-chains…fins; and greying hair, stubble chin; and honestly who doesn’t bristle about getting old? and young St. Sebastian, that doofus… naked, glowing, multi-skewered; and a black and white group photo outside a one room school house in winter… (there’s mom!) each student a quill, with its name underneath. The punchline: White Porcupine is a long border-line-incomprehensible confessional poem about being miserable (oh boy!). Well, really it’s about being a poet (even better!). Or, is it?