Can You Take Me There, Now? by Matthew Firth (Alley Cat), 155 pages, $18.95 paper. Rating: NN
He's raw, he's crass and he's offensive. Ottawa writer Matthew Firth's second collection of short stories explores life on the down and out. He does a pretty good job getting into the minds of white trash guys who work minimum wage jobs and frequent greasy strip clubs. Angry, stagnant, misogynistic characters spew their lives, diary-like, onto the pages of this book and then end up fucking the pain away with some slut in an alley or reminiscing about how boring a prissy bitch was in bed. According to Firth, all homeless and poverty-plagued men reduce women to whores or prudes -- both of whom deserve to be slapped around. He's a skilled story-teller and would've made Bukowski proud, but his book feels like a desperate plea for attention.