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.
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.
THE WORK PLACE
by Albert Huffstickler
So what is this intimacy
not of flesh,
not of smell or touch
not of deeply personal
more often than not
the casual, the obvious,
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
an accumulation of
What makes a departure
How much of me
will you take away
when you go?
I do not know.
I only ask.
What have we
in this room?