THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE POEMS by Dave Newman reviewed by William Boyle • Cleaver Magazine
THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE POEMS by Dave Newman White Gorilla Press, 166 pages Reviewed by William Boyle Dave Newman’s The Slaughterhouse Poems is a book about work and failure and desperation, about the ways we escape and survive and the things we do when we’re lost in the vastness of youth and sore afraid of the vastness of age. The speaker of these poems—which are all set in Western Pennsylvania between 1986 and 1989—is looking back on his days as a high school fuck-up who has just taken a part-time job at a slaughterhouse. A wide cast of characters surrounds him: slaughterhouse employees (one who is famous for juggling cow balls and ultimately gets fired for fucking a three hundred pound pig), buddies, girls he’s after, dive bar regulars, a 91-year-old bowling alley owner, too-young strippers, old men who sit on their porches with cans of Schaefer beer, and drug dealers. The book has … chop! chop! read more!