Ottawa Spotlight اضواء أوتاوا

Hitch your wagon to a star

Phil Hall has published 12 books of poems, 9 chapbooks, & 1 cassette. His first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in 1973. Among his other titles are A Minor Operation (1984), Old Enemy Juice (1988), The Unsaid (1992), and Hearthedral—A Folk-Hermetic (1996). His Trouble Sleeping was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry in 2001.

In 2005, Brick Books (celebrating 20 years as Hall’s publisher) published An Oak Hunch, which was nominated for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2006.

He has taught writing and literature at the Kootenay School of Writing, York University, Ryerson Polytechnical University, and many colleges. He has been poet-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, Sage Jill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan, The Berton House in Dawson City and elsewhere. In fall, 2007, BookThug published Hall’s long poem, White Porcupine, and also a revised second edition of his essay/poem, The Bad Sequence. In fall 2009, from Beautiful Outlaw Press, Ghost Gum, a hand-sewn chapbook, part of a deluxe set of 6 in a slipcover was released. Other chapbooks in the set are by Erín Moure, Angela Carr, Oana Avasilichioaei, Jay MillAr, & Mark Goldstein. This spring, 2010, Pedlar Press will publish The Little Seamstress, edited by Erín Moure. Phil lives near Perth, Ontario.

Sent For Mint

To pace a pleasing moiety-line

in my brown fedora at dusk in the rain

as I search by our dock for a red stem

the raccoons have dug up the turtle eggs

but not tipped over Manny's empty ashes-urn

many before us here wrote as wide & wild

Jean Joan Matt McKay Sliter Al Robb

ornate or silly up these draw-road watersheds

they were the daughters of hockey players

(stupid chickens / fried egg sandwiches)

Amy Michael Cohen Finnegan Don Kim

of course that rubber stamp of Dürer's rhino

came down on volumes of exiled theory-song

& even the Dalmatian wore a wife-beater t-shirt

Murray Dorothy Wallace Stan Havelock

sunken log barns incubated early styles

lots severed / dams imploded / sap rang

originals & imitations played euchre

despite these gnat-swarms this poison ivy

algae bloom zebra mussels

mosquitoes deer-flies the OPP firing range

increased traffic on Murphy's Pt Rd

we flaunt a small town bulk foods happiness

after those difficult city years / ripping money

& kicking the cobbler's bench over

smell this wild quick tang on my fingers

an invitation like this has ended a poem before

some comfort in knowing that grows


It can't be October

in the stove I burn old New Yorkers

(but always save the William Steig covers)

lake light quavers

cleaning as it again mulls over

the smoke-darkened Rene de Braux painting

Chris benisoned walls with / now I get to

A man with a cattle-gad on each shoulder

half-way / no hurry / a Roman bridge

(double arches / quick weed-hints)

a stuccoed villa set in along a hillside

Ann has taken the Wolf River apples down to Margaret 92

mornings I try to read page-shaped ash

a quote my fire preserves all night

from columns it has only one use for now

riven by passion, not profit. We continue.

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