by Alan Horvath. Kirpan Press, P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA. 98688-2943.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
You seen a bunch of these poems in this here: The-hold.com. Now you have a chance to buy the book with lots of extra poems. I say: do it. It is a book of poems about work. Not romantic like the old school working in an auto factory, or on the line in industry to save America from Nazi violence. No, no, no. This is a book about good old meaningless American office work. The work I do. The work you do. And it is ironic and cynical and perhaps the best book of poems I read about work in a good, good long time. At lease since Bukowski’s Post Office. I wish I could give Horvath a prize but all I can do is write about this book of poetry, his book; this book is a welcome ray of light in the blankness expression of now work. The work you were at (are you at work reading this?) today. Let’s see? Ok it has been 35 years, yes 35 years ago I started work? and miles to go before I sleep. I needed this book. You need it. As I began to read Alan Horvath’s book, I kept wanting to get up and run to the phone, or hop on the email, or rush to my office or summon my fellow workers of the world and tell them about this fine book poems about working in a huge machine of office bureaucracy, how Horvath has captured all the daily shit of business and office life and how somebody from way across the county, somehow knows about the shit we eat, is eating the same office bullshit we were/are eating and how that the experience of the poet in some office was/is our experience, and how everything that appeared stupid and nasty and ugly and meaningless was ? our universal business office, American, day to day, work experience, or united work life bull shit fucked up crap job. I wanted to be on a chair in the parking lot reading this book of poems to them in the AM. I might do this! Look for my name in the paper. I am sure I will be arrested. But arrested for this book, I can not imagine a better thing. And I just could not put this book of poems down. It is a long way away from the place where any of us had a really meaningful job - even those jobs with meaning suffer the indignation of a bureaucratic machine full of its grossness and insincerity. Go get Horvath’s book - it is only fin. You should have it in your desk at work and you must know that even your tired, piece of shit job, is poetry. Horvath makes all our stupid like piss ant lives the poem. Don’t show your boss and if you do or are the boss, then? there is of course, an endless line of bosses. If you work in today’s America, read this book, read this book again and again. If you are thinking about your career in some wonderful business office, read this book. If you like your poems full of irony, read this book. Damn, if you are an office worker, read this book, read this book, please, read it.