Albert Huffstickler Memorial Park? (1 Viewer)

Not sure how many of you are Huff fans, but there's a Austin City Council vote on 22nd April, 2010 wherein they'll decide if a small park will be named after him. Huff was a small press giant, and the fact that we can't yet buy a big, thick book of Huff poems is, I think, a tragedy. You can read more about this here:

and here:

For anyone who does know his work & support the idea, please write to the council here:

Anyone who doesn't know Huff's work--give it a read...I think you'll be plesantly surprised.
This is why I love Texas:

Hi and thank you for contacting our office via the City's website. We receive a very large number of emails from the City's website every day and appreciate the feedback very much. We read every message that comes in and do our best to personally reply to as many messages as possible. Regardless of whether we write back, please know how much we value hearing your thoughts and concerns. Thanks again for taking the time to write.

Yours truly,
Randi Shade
Austin City Council
Council Member Place 3
(512) 974-2255 (phone)

This is how they respond to an e-mail. I would guess Randi would be a girl.
Only a week or so left before the vote. Don't delay! Write those esteemed city councilmen and councilwomen...(is that a real word?)

Still not convinced?

Try this:

Arby's Brenda

I'm not really sure I could live with happy people.
The small, middle aged woman across from me on the bus
wears an Arby's nametag.
Her name is Brenda and she wears the bright,
impossible smile of lonely people everywhere,
that smile that's both an invitation to kindness
and a shield against rejection, a smile much like my own.
I think of all the middle aged people in the world
who work at fast food places and ride the bus home evenings.
I think of small cluttered rooms with black and white TVs
and windows overlooking an alley,
how we never think of pale, middle aged people
who work in fast food places dying of love
or nursing secret ambitions to be president
or fly a jet, be a movie star or write a bestseller.
The truth is (and here's the tragedy)
we never think of these people at all.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't possible
for a person to live out his whole life
without giving a moment's thought
to a single middle aged employee of a fast food place anywhere.
Now tell me this: Is it just me or doesn't it seem to you
that there's something impossibly wrong somewhere?

Albert Huffstickler
Sent an email to Texas for Albert from faraway Canada. Here's a couple Albert Huffstickler poems from a 1991 issue of Poetry Motel I transcribed and sent to a friend last summer.


by Albert Huffstickler

I can remember walking down the street
by the yacht basin in Ft. Myers, Florida crying,
saying over and over again, "I don't know what to
do with my life!" That was 1972. I was 45. Home broke --
again! It seemed like every time I woke up
I was back at my mother's in Ft. Myers -- broke.
The terrible sense of time running out and
not quite understanding what it was I was
doing wrong. God! Horatio Alger in reverse.
I couldn't seem to hold it together.
45 years old and still no clear understanding
of sequence, of cause and effect.
I still don't have. What I learned finally,
I learned by rote, keeping in mind one basic maxim:
if you let go of everything, you are going to float off.
It's still something I have to remind myself of.
I survive in a sequential world
by going forward in concentric circles -- a miniature
It is the best I can manage.
It is what I have learned to do.
And it serves.
But when I start to improvise, I float off.
So be it. I manage. I direct my concentric circles
from point to point and thus they become sequence.
When I can't deal with it, I call in sick.
And I write. And I continue.
And I do not reject any of it.
I still float off even -- but it's a structured floating off.
I walk the tightrope of time without grace but I walk it.
The rest is nobody's business.
Or everybody's.
Because it's what I write of.
The cosmic scarecrow waving in the winds of space,
putting the dark birds of despair to flight.
The winds are cold. I hug myself for warmth
and sing to keep up my spirits.
And continue moving my concentric circles from point to
weaving my erratic way across the universe
like a drunk at midnight, heading home.


by Albert Huffstickler

So what is this intimacy
not of flesh,
not of smell or touch
or texture,
not of deeply personal
more often than not
the casual, the obvious,
the what-is-necessary,
the daily.
What have we become
over the years in this room
that is different
from what we've become
with other people:
What binds us?
Have we simply become
habits for each other?
And is love really
after all
an accumulation of
shared habits?
What makes a departure
so fateful?
How much of me
will you take away
when you go?
I do not know.
I only ask.
What have we
become together
in this room?
Damn, his writing style is right down my alley, thanks for posting this Hosh. And thanks for the link Gerard, now I will never look at old women the same.Great.
Or Mike Judge, Sandra Bullock, GW Bush - there's really a stellar list of Austinites to choose from...
I thought Bush was from Connecticut. Anyway, he wasn't even in the running... and I don't think brain dead counts as deceased.
good stuff. thanks for sharing Hosh, Digney and Gerard...

edit: been reading his stuff for a little while now. really good! yes!!!

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