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Blue Collar Review – Winter 2003-04

What Blue Collar Review succeeds in doing, I think, is putting a human face on nearly every problem you’ve seen on the nightly news in recent years. War, layoffs, violence, crap jobs, bad schools: these are the subjects of the poetry published here. I have to be honest: not every piece is very well crafted, but what some poems lack in skill they make up for in conviction. As I write this, the U.S. is attempting damage control on the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, and Mike Maggio’s “Collateral Damage” is an impressive litany of mind-numbing public apology snippets that certainly fits this situation as well. An excerpt: “(we swear on our mothers) / (we swear on the flag) / (we swear on the bible) / (we swear on the corporation) / (we’re sorry).” Amy E. Oliver’s “Professional Chef,” about what really goes on in restaurant kitchens, took me back to my waitress years (“the sick onion grease stench” indeed!), and I admired the quiet dignity of Jeff Vande Zande’s “Losing Work,” about a laid-off man fearing loss of respect by his family yet finding support from his wife. If you like poetry by and for the people, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this magazine. [Blue Collar Review, Partisan Press, P.O. Box 11417, Norfolk, VA 23517. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $5. http://www.Partisanpress.org] – JQG

What Blue Collar Review succeeds in doing, I think, is putting a human face on nearly every problem you’ve seen on the nightly news in recent years. War, layoffs, violence, crap jobs, bad schools: these are the subjects of the poetry published here. I have to be honest: not every piece is very well crafted, but what some poems lack in skill they make up for in conviction. As I write this, the U.S. is attempting damage control on the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, and Mike Maggio’s “Collateral Damage” is an impressive litany of mind-numbing public apology snippets that certainly fits this situation as well. An excerpt: “(we swear on our mothers) / (we swear on the flag) / (we swear on the bible) / (we swear on the corporation) / (we’re sorry).” Amy E. Oliver’s “Professional Chef,” about what really goes on in restaurant kitchens, took me back to my waitress years (“the sick onion grease stench” indeed!), and I admired the quiet dignity of Jeff Vande Zande’s “Losing Work,” about a laid-off man fearing loss of respect by his family yet finding support from his wife. If you like poetry by and for the people, you’ll want to pick up a copy of this magazine. [Blue Collar Review, Partisan Press, P.O. Box 11417, Norfolk, VA 23517. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $5. http://www.Partisanpress.org] – JQG

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