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Albert Huffstickler:

312 E. 43 St. #103
Austin TX, 78751


A tantalizing taste of Huff's experiences over the past 20 years and more. The most recent addition to his incredibly prolific output, WORK documents some of the many jobs that Huff has held in poems titled "Day Labor," "First Day at the Furniture Factory," "Apprenticeship," and "Short Order Waiter." He has clearly been inside and felt what the average worker feels but often cannot express--the pain and sweat, the relationships, the liberation and frustration that can only come with the exhaustion of hard labor. "Skirmish" describes an experience in a day labor office after someone is kicked out for wearing a marine field jacket--attire the dispatcher felt was disrespectful. The frustration and pain of fellow laborers is felt, yet they all are resigned to go on to the jobs they so desperately need "...the stranger in the field jacket forgotten,/ another nameless casualty in the war against the system." In "Sanctification" he compares writing poetry to the grease, sweat, and long hours of restaurant work--In either job, the speaker learns from Holmes, the 14 hour a day cook, that it is necessary give oneself fully. The speaker chooses poetry, " was the only thing I/ ever found that I could give myself / to the way Holmes gave himself to/ restaurant work: it was the only way/ I could ever be sanctified."--rz

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This review originally appeared in TapRoot Reviews #2,
Copyright Burning Press 1993, 1995.

Contact the editor, luigi-bob drake, at Burning Press