U.S.Review of Books
The Sun God is a Ham
by Gene Hull
La Maison Publishing
reviewed by Carol Davala
"Time waits for no man. But when a woman is putting on makeup it stands still."
Gene Hull is clearly a man with a sense of humor. In the title poem from this varied collection, he places the giant orb at center stage, and captures a detailed performance of its rise and fall across an earthly venue. It is an "uppity star" deserving of our applause. "Uncovering a poem, making it come to life, is the fun of the writing process," reveals Hull, in a personal style where form always follows substance. Whether probing age-old questions about love and time's passage, commenting on a day at the movies, or the problem with modern day hackers, readers should find these poems easily accessible with simple visual and emotional conjuring.
Having worked as a professional musician for over thirty years, Hull undoubtedly continues to draw on that passion. From "Life-Blood of Jazz" to the nuances of "The Cello", he explores the magic of music. Clearly this poet's background has him keenly attuned to sound and inflection. "Aqua Magnifica" details more than a dozen rhythms of waters' flow. From staccato rain to thundering waterfalls, the orchestral blend mesmerizes both poet and reader. With lengthier works like "The Blizzard of 2013" and "The Saga of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald," Hull appears to give another nod to music with encapsulated stories reminiscent of a balladeer's narrative.
Hull makes limited use of rhyming stanzas; here he showcases an oddly humorous "No Strings" dream rendering about a young prince's mistaken attempt to con a king. While other poems are often of a more fluid prose-like nature, some of these also fall into the comic realm. "What A Way To Die" is one such effort, where reader's follow a man's intoxicating stupor to a surprise, sobering end. The moment is sure to bring laughter from an imbibing audience. Analogous to the improvisational jazz he reveres, Hull's solid poetic voice seems "...a fusion, a mystical union, a blend of mind and ear and device...". Here the relative, creative result of The Sun God is a Ham collective, proves a truly noteworthy accomplishment.