by Richard D. Houff. 2 pages. Limited Editions Press. Peter Magliocco Editor. P.O. Box 70896 Las Vegas, NV 89170.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
After a few poems you know you are reading a poet and then a poet who has something to say. The saying is sometimes about the old time Eisenhower period (remember that nostalgic good time America?) - well - it wasn’t that good. And I figured as much. It’s a kinda America without the Kerouac romantic glamour and it is words that fit the black and white photographs of Robert Frank’s The Americans. There are places to get a hair cut that are no longer there. There is walkin to school. There is finding stuff on the railroad tracks. There are uncles who feed you and buy you beers. There are the rules of the poor: Never rob the people from your own depressed hood; Always take care of those less fortunate; Always hit the rich hoods and leave posthaste…. You get it. So these are a poor man’s poems - that is the tellin of a poor man’s life in art. It is not just the puking after beer. It is all the black and white starving. All of it. Reminds me of damp and foggy mornings with burnt toast in the nostrils and a stone in your brown shoe that you can’t get out because the last of the laces have been tied by grandma, so tight, so well that the worn brown shoe will never again leave the foot. Well, then, also Houff includes a few recipe poems. I think always of recipes as poems, but Houff here is able to pull it off with art. Cheers to him for taking this form under his wing. To round it all off there is an interview with Houff by Holly Day. And Houff also wrote: Trip: An LSD Adventure; If it Should Rain, and Street Poems and others. Find them.