Dave Newman's The Slaughterhouse Poems (1 Viewer)


I'm a new small press publisher (White Gorilla Press) and am trying to get the word out on the first title, The Slaughterhouse Poems by Dave Newman. Here's an excerpt from an incredibly thoughtful review by William Boyle over at Cleaver Magazine this week that will hopefully stoke some interest in these parts:

"The Bukowski influence runs deep in Newman’s poetry but not in a way that’s derivative. In fact, Newman breathes new life into a form that, in lesser hands, could easily slide into self-indulgence. I’d forgotten what it felt like to read poetry with this sort of intensity, to burn through a collection in an hour and then flip back to the beginning and start again. It’s the same feeling I had when, buried in the stacks as a freshman in college, I read Mockingbird Wish Me Luck with a sort of drunken ferocity. The world closed around me. The book was the world."

There's more information and a few poems up on the WGP site. I can send a pdf file to folks from the forum who want to take a longer look as well. Print copy is just $10.79 over on Amazon. About the cost of a 12-pack.


"About the cost of a 12-pack" of crappy beer, but you are correct sir. Will have to venture over. Interest sparked.

Flash forward six minutes. Good stuff. Will have to invest sooner rather than later. Very cool indeed.
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Went to your site and read the Girl Money excerpt. Maybe it's just that poem, but it didn't make me want to read more. I get using Bukowski to tout your boy, but he suffers for the comparison. As usual.
I'm a new small press publisher (White Gorilla Press) and am trying to get the word out on the first title, The Slaughterhouse Poems by Dave Newman.

Newman is a helluva good writer. Dig his novels. I've got some chapbooks of his -- they rock too. Highly recommended.

Best of luck with putting out his new book. Looking forward to getting a copy. Is it only available through Amazon? Cuz I know a dude who can make you some sweet-ass hardbacks...

I'm just sayin'...
PhillyDave - yeah, I guess I should have been more specific, $11 is about the cost of a sixer of the good stuff these days.

Fair enough, skiroomalum. That one is probably not the most Bukowski-esque of the bunch. This one might be more up your alley.

Anything can happen in the murk of the tavern
-Cesare Pavese

I was underaged and the bartender was a veteran
of Korea who served me every third beer
on the house because I tipped well at closing time.

Most of the customers were laid off
from Volkswagen or Westinghouse.

Across the street at McIntyre’s Pub
customers were throwing chairs again.
I’d seen a fight there the month before:
a small guy punched a big guy in the face
until the big guy’s nose turned to mush.

Next door at The Lamp, poor families crammed
inside the theater to see a second-run flick.
The mothers, kids, fathers: all out of work.
Duct tape patched the tears in the red vinyl seats
and yellow stuffing still puffed out from the frames
but a large bucket of popcorn was cheap
and a small soda from the machine
was a quarter.

The cop cruising Main Street got born again
but still carried his gun
except when he taught Sunday school
except in the hospital bed, dying of cancer.

The other cops brought flowers
and worked part-time
and took classes
at the community college.

I thought I knew everything about this town
even the lives of people I would never know.

A shot of Jack Daniels was a dollar.
A Stroh’s draft was thirty-five cents.

I had money from the slaughterhouse—
all under the table, all tax free.

You want sad? I was the richest guy in the bar.

In the far corner, near the out-of-order jukebox
a man threw darts with the conviction of a soldier.

Later, a woman got yanked by her hair
from the bar by her husband and everyone froze.

Sitting on my red vinyl stool, I started
to wonder if the whole world was at war.

Outside: two voices, a car door, one voice
the crank of an engine, gone.

The woman came back
with fingerprints on her face.
She drank three consecutive shots and said
“What do you want to be
when you grow up, little boy?”

I’d never beaten a woman before
or been yanked from the bar
by the roots of my hair
so I stood up and paid and wobbled to the door.

Goodnight, gentlemen.

I started my car and backed into the movie theater
but it barely scratched my bumper.

A cop showed with a flash of light and said
“Are you drunk?”

and I said “I don’t know”
so he nodded and I drove off
more sharp, less blind.

when I’d first started drinking at the Hotel
a biker stood and announced
that the problem
with these new drinking-and-driving laws
is that they don’t address how
you’re supposed to get home from the bar.
Then he promptly passed out on the floor.

This all happened in 1988 and I remember it
more vividly than any Christmas or birthday
more vividly than any funeral or school dance
because I was blood
and when I grew up
I grew up
to be unemployed.
Thanks. Not looking for Bukowski-esque or for the next Bukowski (or Dylan) . We already had one. Working class art in all forms is clearly marginalized and needs new voices. But genius is the rarest of creatures and generally explodes established forms and transcends the genre line. I try to support small press as much as I am able and will purchase Dave's book. Not that my opinion matters except to myself, I will read it with an open mind and will look forward to it. Thanks for the heads up.

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