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Blue Collar Review - Autumn 2003

  • Issue Number: Volume 7 Issue 1
  • Published Date: Autumn 2003

What a find! This is as diverse a collection of writing as I have read in some time (with 42 entries on 60 pages – this is packed!). Anyone who has worked labor or second shift or a thankless-number-not-a-name job will find themselves within these pages. But don’t mistake the content (which is heavy on the poetry) as being all about work/ing. Oh, no -  there’s sensuality, as in Jillian Meyer’s “First Job” where she describes the post-shower relaxation that comes after work, the outdoor air blowing “gently into the warmer darkness behind my knees, / a drying breeze over a landscape not meant for fast travel / in the quiet of a night at home in my skin.” Natural imagery as metaphor roars in Cunningham’s “a hollow thunder” and walks us gently into the wood in Napolin’s “On Sunday.” Ironic humor, the antidote for many hard days worked, is keenly delivered in “cheese & tax extra” by roibeárd uí-néill, dense in both message and symbolic imagery, and Stephen Malin’s “Canning Track Classic” where cans on the conveyer belt become race cars. From banquet waitressing to factory work, from coal miners to exterminators, the range of experience in this simple saddle-stitch volume is immense, as well as the depth of heartfelt, labor-lived emotion. Political commentary also runs deep, notably Conroy’s “A Brief Economic Preview,” Franke’s “Regime Change, Mon Amor?” and Seibles’ “Dem Dat: For Subcommandante Marcos and the Zapatistas.” The editorial tells readers, “Though most of us are worn down daily by work, we have no choice but to engage in this struggle [for a better vision of society]. The alternative is unacceptable.” As such, this publication is a tremendous act of engagement. We have only to respond by reading. [Blue Collar Review, Partisan Press P.O. 11417, Norfolk, VA 23517. Single issue $5. http://www.angelfire.com/va/bcr/] - DH

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Review Posted on December 31, 2003
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