First published in Woodnotes #28, Spring 1996, page 51.
One Jumps Free by Kevin Hull. White Heron Press, 1996, 52 pages, paperback, 5½ by 8½ inches. $5.00 postpaid from the author at White Heron Press, 7600 Portola Road, Atascadero, California 93422 [address no longer correct]. A sense of humor and possibility pervades this book, perhaps suggesting that, of all the frogs that have sunk into old ponds or crickets that have amused ancient haijin, maybe this one has jumped free. Divided into three parts, One Jumps Free offers primarily haiku and haiku-like image-moments, along with sequences, haibun, and a few longer poems. The last of the three sections presents one longer poem for each month of the year. The boundaries of form are blurred here, or the poems have jumped free of limits, but who says there’s anything wrong with that? A number of the poems seem overly opaque or personal, but some moments shine. Here’s one poem that demonstrates this book’s joie de vivre amid its internal explorations:
one foot in front
of the other