Wednesday, August 10, 2011

American Busboy by Matthew Guenette

The University of Akron Press, 2011. So, to begin this review, I must first disclaim. I know Matt Guenette. I heard him do a reading and was knocked out by his delivery and bravado, and, in a rare act of bravery, approached him at the after-party, and we've been friends ever since. But. But, I say. I still want you to read these poems. Here's my case.

1) I liked the poems before I met the man.
2) These poems are funny, sad, and angry. There aren't enough angry poems.
3) There aren't enough poems concerned with class in America, which these are, or enough poems concerned with work. These poems force the reader to acknowledge the people who are regularly ignored every day. Part of the experience of restaurant dining is contracting out the nitty gritty labor , and this book brings busboys, dishwashers, and fry cooks to the fore.
5) Look at that cover. When's the last time a book of poetry made you want to wipe your hands? (If you have an answer to that question, I don't want to know.)

There. My totally biased and yet 100% true review.

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