FInished: Straight Razor Days by Joel Hynes, 2011, 9781897141427.
I read Hynes's Down to the Dirt a few years ago. I was not hugely impressed at the time but I still recall several parts from the novel. So, I decided to find more by the guy. Nothing else is in the library system and this came from UW-Madison.
I got the book and - wouldn't you fucking know it - it's poetry. I was going to bail on this right away but I figured if I ILL'd the damn thing I should give it a good effort. Wouldn't you know, I started to like the pieces in here.
How many of these are autobiographical? I presume that most are. Pieces about alcohol abuse, fatherhood of a young boy but separated from the mom, writing failure. I presume these poems are set in Newfoundland (except for a couple writing tour pieces). They do match the rough and poor life portrayed in Down to the Dirt. Here is a rundown:
2. Rotten tattoos.
3. Too poor for a reliable vehicle and often too drunk to drive anyway.
4. Boring AA meetings.
5. Love for a young son and wishing to do better while fearing failure and future estrangement.
6. Absentee father.
7. Struggling to write while sitting with a pot of tea and sharpened pencils.
8. Rundown rural homes. Abandoned rural homes that draw bad memories and/or are albatrosses.
9. Motorcycle love.
10. Pontificating bar drunks.
11. A hard case but beloved grandfather.
1. Hynes does not look healthy in his author photo.
2. Author bio lists a second novel but that may not have had a U.S. publisher. I suppose I can re-check.