In Post No Ills: A Review of Phillip B. Williams’ Debut Poetry Collection THIEF IN THE INTERIOR

“Bound,” the opening poem, introduces a speaker who feels limited by biology and cultural expectations. The question “Can I only be one thing / at once?” (1) hints at an answer in the negative but an answer that, as the book progresses, ultimately results in a defiant assertion of self: “I walked away from car and corpse and made / room for nothing but this body’s / first words. See my mouth move, like this—” (79). The book’s trajectory moves from a voice bound in innocence to the pain of speaking, from violence imposed in the form of a spinning noose to a landscape and its objects humanized by memory while at times indifferent, inhabited by the dangerously ignorant and/or unconscious: “Watch boys be forced / into men by men who’ve forgotten their own / forcing” (60).”


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