Posts Tagged ‘breathing room’

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Poetry Month: ampersand

April 21, 2016

Here’s another poem from breathing room vol.II: rhymes & relics (2008, Doubt It Publishing).  I’ve always been pretty fond of this one because I love the ampersand icon, the word itself and the repetition throughout.  I hope you like it too.

 

ampersand

with a twinkle in your eyes

& a spring in your step

& the way you smile (lips pursed at the corners)

& your laugh when you can’t hold it in

& the tiny hairs on the small of your back

& the little noise you make when i rub you just right

& how you fit just right in the crook of my arm

& the way you smoke your last cigarette before bed

& your scent next to me when i’m waking up

& watching you naked coming out of the shower

& into the bedroom to get your cotton pajamas

& the quick breath you take coming out of a nap

& the um-hmm you tell me when we’re sharing ice cream

& your body in my arms when you jump up and hug me

& your hair through my fingers when we’re driving home

& holding your tiny hand when we walk through the park

& how you shuffle around in the kitchen when we cook dinner together

& our cat who melts around you and can’t stand me

& the perfect fit we make on the love seat

& the other noises you make with me

& how you can eat a whole bowl of popcorn

& the quick kiss you give me when you just get home from work

& your language with your horses

& when you hog the bed

& spending hours playing computer solitaire

& shuffling bills around

& when you pop in and wrap your arms around me when i write

& how you get goofy after one mixed drink

& your jokes with your immediate family

& the way you look in a formal dress

& when you put up with my friends

& how you make omelet’s better than me

& the two cds you own

& somehow you knew it would all work out

& how you get fired up over the same things i do

& the face you make when i surprise you with a candy bar

& when you cry something breaks inside of me

& you can tease me when no one else is allowed to

& how my friends call you mrs.waters

& your big fluffy bath robe that feels like astroturf

& how bright & professional you look in ten minutes before you leave for work

& how you got me hooked on drinking coffee every day

& here you are & here i am

& you’re part of everything i do & see and i wouldn’t have it otherwise.

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Poetry Month: regardless

April 20, 2016

I’m not a fan of overly long introductions for brief poems, so I’ll make this short and to the point: I’ve always enjoyed the idea of starting out with a rigid structure thematically and then breaking it down on the page.  This poem, ‘Regardless’ from breathing room vol. II: rhymes & relics (2008, Doubt It Publishing) does exactly that.  I hope you like it.

regardless of who I am

regardless of what you say

regardless of what This is

regardless of how we feel

regardless of what happens

regardless of the war, the economy, gun control, abortion rights, the stock market,

the flight navigation of endangered birds, the way the wind blows, the trajectory of rockets, the preponderance of lint in pockets, what goes on in the mind of the timid schoolteacher and the fourteen year old boy, the death of the automobile, the death of human thought, the death of good manners, the death of organized religion, the death of a decent conversation, the death of the nuclear family as a concept, the ‘life of the mind‘, the life in the tiniest of all living organisms, the life of random interconnected & almost unseemingly impossible events & the living breathing embodiment of

 

(hope)

 

above all else

regardless of that

& the other thing

 

yet

 

&

 

still

 

here we are.

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Poetry Month: Lonely

April 19, 2016

Here’s another little ditty from Breathing Room Vol.I: Free Verse (2008, Doubt It Publishing).  While I am my own worst critic, I don’t hate this one.  We’ll hop over to a different book tomorrow.

Lonely

more often than not

we do it to ourselves

in quiet rooms

silence roaring

watching the sun

slowly race

from one end of the room

to the other

 

stretching the distance

between ourselves

and everyone else

paying more attention

to the buzzing sadness

between our ears

giving in to the little

voice of indecision

screaming itself hoarse

hiding out from

inner peace.

 

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Poetry Month: Stealing Their Spirit

April 18, 2016

In honor of poetry month, I thought it would be fun to post five poems in the next five days.  This one (‘Stealing Their Spirit’) originally appeared in ArtVoice in 2007 under the wrong title (‘Prize Fighters’).  It’s from my first book of poems Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse (2008, Doubt It Publishing). 

 

stealing their spirit

i used to take photographs

of the girls I wanted so desperately

to sleep with.

 

there are albums filled with their

quizzical wonder

impromptu smiles

forlorn profiles

in dim lit bars

as the flash

took them by surprise.

 

these were shortly

followed by landscape

scenarios

with the muse in question

somewhere in the foreground

taken with the camera

and the man behind it.

 

then bedroom motifs

ruffled hair

morning breath and no makeup

dark sunrises where sex hid

in dawn shadows

in black & white

 

turn the page and they are gone

not a trace

no hint as to what transpired

the blossoming subject

vanished;

replaced by a new lass

a new love

as long as the 35 mm rolls contended.

 

no sign of a fight

nor glimpse of hurt feelings

drunken fumblings

discovered cheating

just rolling pastures, crisp monochrome profiles

& the sweeping ephemera

of neon bar signs, snowscapes,

bedposts, apartments in

dissarray

shortly followed by their replacement.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick: 30% Off Soft Launch Orders!

July 1, 2011

Here we go again…

It’s July 1st and (as promised), I’m proud to announce the heavily discounted soft launch of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, my third collection of angry, funny and oversexed poetry.  While I wouldn’t say that this go round is tamer than Breathing Room Volume I and II, it is softer somehow.  I wrote the bulk of the book right before and right after my wedding, so there’s a soft sense of acceptance and inner peaceto the body of work that sets it apart from the other two books.  I’m very proud of the collection for the leap forward in originality as well as the design and the format.  For those of you willing to take a chance on something different, you won’t be disappointed.  From now until August (when I plan on promoting the book in Buffalo), Scorpion will be 30% off if you buy direct on lulu.com.  Here’s your quick link:

 

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225

 

After four solid months of interviews, press releases, and appearances for Mockery, I’m ready for a break.  Mark McElligott, Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters and I have one more outing at Brennan’s Bowery Bar next Sunday (The Brennan’s Boxed Trifecta) on Sunday, July 10th at 6 p.m. and then I’ve got a month off before we kick back into high gear.  I’ve never felt that summer was a good time to promote because there are too many other events going on to compete with, so we’ll be resting up and waiting out the season before we get right back into it this fall.

For those of you who helped to make Mockery my fastest-selling book, thank you.  It’s on target to be my best-selling humor collection to date by year’s end.  There’s a momentum to all of this that seems to be catching up to me this year in a good way.  Hopefully most of you will make the leap of faith over to Scorpion and join me for the second half of this year.  Things are only going to get better from here on out.  There’s a lot left to accomplish.

Enjoy your 4th of July and buy my new damned book!

Tom Waters

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‘Scorpion’ Rising, Icarus Ascends & Rust Belt Books On The Horizon

June 22, 2011

While Mockery is winding down and Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind is still gaining momentum, I’ve been quietly preparing to go full steam ahead with promotions this fall with Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) and I finished the book in record time.  While I originally set a deadline for the final version of the book at August 1st, it’s already done.  You can buy the book in advance by clicking your way over to:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16069791

Please click the FB ‘Like’ tab to the right of the book and feel free to review, comment or rate the book while you’re there.  There’s a ten page preview of the contents on the page in order to give you a sneak peek at how the book looks.

Starting on July 1st (through the end of the month), I’ll be running a 30% off sale on lulu for those of you interested in buying the book online.  This should offset their shipping rates and make the book more affordable to those of you who live out of state who are interested in picking up the third poetry collection.  After that I’ll be doing a soft launch on Sunday, July 10th at Brennan’s Bowery Bar in Williamsville at 6 p.m. along with Mark McElligott and a live musical performance by Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters.  If you’re a former classmate from Clarence High School, it sounds as if the classes of ’92, ’93, ’94 and beyond will be dog piling into Brennan’s on the same day for an informal reunion.  At last count, there will be no less than 50 other alumni showing up, so this event is shaping up to be a real barn burner.  Signed First Edition copies of Poke The Scorpion, Mockery, Slapstick & Superego, Breathing Room Volume I & II, and If They Can’t Take A Joke will be available along with Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind by Mark McElligott and 12 Priests & 3 Gnomes by David Waters.

The hard launch for Poke The Scorpion will hit in August and Mark and I will start touring and promoting in Rochester, Buffalo, Alfred and beyond.  While I was apprehensive about releasing two of my own books in the same year, it was a necessary evil I had to carry out in order to devote the time and energy it’s going to take to bring Icarus On The Mend in on time for a fall 2012 launch as a numbered hardcover limited edition of no more than 50 copies.  I’ll be devoting at least six months to proofreading, editing and re-writing the manuscript so that it’s grammatically correct as well as entertaining from a pacing standpoint.  One year later in 2013 I’ll be retiring the hardcover format and launching two smaller volumes of the same book with the intention of releasing a third volume when I get older.  Somewhere in the interim I’ll release Travesty, a return to shorter form where my bombastic essays are concerned.

Mark McElligott and I will both be reading this Sunday at Rust Belt Books on Allen St. in the heart of downtown Buffalo at 5 p.m.  We may be a little late, so please be patient with us as we’re both driving from the suburbs.  We’re paying to rent the space, so attendance and book sales for this event will be crucial.  The turnout will determine whether I go back to Rust Belt books or not, so if you live downtown, make Sunday count for us please.  This is the first reading I’ve done at Rust Belt in almost a decade.  Mark is polished and primed and almost pitch perfect where his timing and delivery are concerned.  Stockman’s, Caz Coffee and Finnan’s were good practice for breaking his teeth on audience response and now he’s ready for prime time.  Look out, Buffalo, because we’re ready to make a sizeable entertainment dent in the collective populace for the rest of this year and we won’t stop until we win you over.

See you this Sunday,

Tom Waters

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A Few Acres Of Ground To Cover: New Books, New Shows & A Reality Check

May 29, 2011

What a productive week!  After telling multiple newspapers that I had no intention of writing an essay collection ever again, I found a way to write another essay collection: make it fun again.

Unlike any book I’ve written to date, it started with the title: Travesty.  My goal is to make every piece live up to the title of the book and to make sure that every single rant is shorter, funnier and more offensive than anything I’ve written to date.  I also set a few ground rules: nothing longer than three pages, every rant has to be written in one sitting and I can’t cover a topic I’ve covered so far.  I started last week with one rant about the supposed Rapture and haven’t stopped.  One third of the book is already done.  The only problem is that I have no idea when to release it.  Doubt It Publishing has a full dance card for the next two years, so I may have to piggyback it with the numbered hardcover release for Icarus On The Mend in the fall of 2012 and I’m leaning strongly towards that.

Pre-production on Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (my third collection of poetry) is progressing at a rate that’s astonishing and well ahead of schedule.  Brian Platter (the graphic designer behind Six Shot Studios) has taken the bull by the horns and he’s tackled the book head on with a bold look, some daring choices for the title and content fonts and a beautiful presentation where the headers and footers are concerned.  For those of you who were trusting enough to make the leap along with me where Breathing Room Volume I and II were concerned, you won’t be disappointed.

The content has evolved since the original two poetry books to the point where I’m no longer aping my own heroes and I’ve developed my own voice where poems are concerned.  While it’s not necessarily a jumping off point, it is a progression, so we’re working overtime to create a size format that bridges the jump between Breathing Room Volume I and II.  If you buy this book this fall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the growth.  Two major national literary magazines (The Chiron Review and Chronogram) have already gotten on board with three different poems that they’ll be publishing in short order.

I devoted a week to submitting the content to the top poetry trades in the country along with putting the final touches on the manuscript and it’s already paying off.  While poetry books don’t pay off as well as my rant collections, it’s a labor of love and something I would do whether I turned a profit or not.  This new book means a lot to me and Six Shot Studios is doing a spectacular job on the appearance.  Expect the specialty format this fall by the time Mark McElligott and I get very serious about touring on a regional scale.

Last night I reconnected with two dear friends in person for the first time in three years: Greg Sterlace and Paula Wachoviak (sp?).  Greg and Paula are back in town for a limited time and he’s taken back the reins for The Greg Sterlace Show, his wildly popular Time Warner program spanning back over the last ten years.  The results of the show taping were horrific and hilarious at the same time.  For those of you who catch it on TV, it’s the epitome of cringe comedy.  I’ll have a link for you in a week or two, but in the mean time, here’s a sneak preview of a small percentage of the wrongness at play here on the Mr. Ski Mask show that Mark McElligott and I taped almost a month ago.  Click your way over to:

http://sterlace.com/episodes/index.php/2011/04/the-greg-sterlace-show-832

And finally, there are two new belated episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour available online as well as for free on iTunes.  Almost a month after the actual in-store event (I had to pick up a new SD Card Reader), I hammered out the content and edited it for full-scale enjoyment this morning and posted these two abominations.  Here are your links and synopses:

Episode 61: ‘My balloon knot will stay firmly tied’

Tom kicks off a comic book promotion at Don’s Atomic Comices with a star studded cast of special guests including Carrie & Ron Gardner, Monster Matt, Terry Kimmel, John Kindelan, Michael Hoffert Jr. and Brian Platter.  Newcomer Brian Bogucki gets blindsided while Mark McElligott rolls with the punches.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282800/episode-61-my-balloon-knot-will-stay

Tom’s Atomic Bonus Round: ‘Parting Words’

Tom closes out an evening of hilarity and insanity by getting a few more cheap shots in at Terry Kimmel’s expense and dropping a few promotional plugs for once.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282797/tom-s-atomic-bonus-round-parting-words

-You can also conveniently subscribe to the show for free on iTunes by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ under the Podcast section as well as the Comedy listing.  The Literature category is a dead link that is no longer active, so please subscribe and the entire library will be at your command!

May was a horrible month for the show in terms of downloads and requests, so I implore you to visit the sites or subscribe to the show.  Without a noticeable increase in traffic I see no reason to keep devoting so much time to working on pre-show prep, research, questions, guests, recording time, production and posting time.  If you enjoy the show, please tell your friends, spread the word and download at will.  Big Words Radio has been booming since September of 2010 and it’s crushing to see the latest numbers.  For a show production that costs me so much in man hours without collecting any monetary revenue, I could really use your help.  Download, listen and tell your friends.  Unlike some other podcast hosts, I don’t cook my numbers.  Despite some recent turbulence that has zero bearing on this month’s numbers, I would really appreciate your ears (and your feedback) on the show.  I’ve spent four years slaving away on a free hobby and it would mean a lot to me if you pitched in and clicked a link or shared the show with the people you know.  All I ask for is a spreading contagion on my stats by the end of June.  Please help me out.

Mockery is selling better and faster than any book that preceded it, so thank you so much for that.  Every appearance has been positive and the book is breaking down barriers heretofore unheard of.  You have no idea how grateful I am for all of the people who have come on board and spread the word about my work and my book.

Three people in the same week commented or asked about the level of my output lately (a lot) and I wish I had an answer for all of you.   I’m in a good place.   The big picture is clicking comfortably into a lifestyle that leads me to bigger and better things along with the ability to write more and publish more often.  Things will only get better from here.  Doubt It Publishing is not a short term subsidy house or a slash and burn print on demand concept, it’s quickly becoming a reality.  I’m going to have to make a hard decision in November when it comes around to picking a new Author Of The Year to work with.

At the risk of sounding insincere or faux-humble, here’s what’s always guided and informed me: William Carlos Williams.  He was a popular poet, a family man and a practicing physician.  After a full overtime shift and an appropriate amount of time eating dinner and tucking his kids into bed and spending time with his wife, he added some hours to his waking existence to writing poems.  I’m an artist from Buffalo.  This is the only option that any of us have for expressing ourselves.  If your work means that much to you, make the time for it.  That’s it.  None of us are busier than William Carlos Williams was, so what’s your excuse?  If what you have to say and want to say is important, you’ll find a way to express it and make the time to do it above and beyond every other responsibility that you have.

I’m nobody special.  Writing is the way that I cope with a world that I can’t grasp or deal with without figuring it out on paper.  None of us are heroes or gods or legends and the majority of us do it because we need to.  Otherwise we’d lose our minds without the outlet.  All of this is work.  All of this is important and vital and crucial to me.  Whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, this is what keeps me relatively sane.

Thank you so much for making it a lucrative side business.  In another ten years, I hope to make it a career.  Please help me work towards it.

Keeping busy,

Tom Waters

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Mockery Soft Launch, Doubt It Publishing Blow Out!

March 1, 2011

Okay gang,
Are you ready for the big secret? I hope you’re sitting down (and why wouldn’t you be if you were at your computer?). Here it is:

-Mockery, my ninth new collection of ONLY funny rants is actually available for purchase RIGHT NOW!

The book launch doesn’t happen until April Fool’s Day (7 p.m. at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew with live band One Hot Minute). Even the local press hasn’t gotten a complimentary copy yet! And I’m going to sweeten the pot on top of all this:

-All of my lulu.com titles will be 10% off until April 1st INCLUDING Mockery.

Slapstick & Superego and Breathing Room Volume I & II AND Mockery are all available for 10% off the cover price. If you order ANY or ALL of these books any time between now and April 1st, you save money, AND you can pick up Mockery for less than what I’ll be charging throughout the launch. Think of it as a huge, wet kiss for all the years that all of you have helped me make money with your continued support doing what I love.
There are some great things in store in the next four months, so a) if you live out of town or b) if you want to save money or c) if you’d rather not make the bar appearances because you’re giving up fried food, having fun or guzzling hooch for Lent, now’s a great time to scoop up some great books. Mockery is going to retail at $15 (my lowest price on a humor collection in over 5 years). You can buy it now for $13.49. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

To buy Mockery this very instant, click here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/mockery/15050885

To visit the entire Doubt It Publishing Shop on lulu.com and save on my last three titles,
click here: http://stores.lulu.com/tomwaters

No gimmicks, no hustle. Please rate high when you visit each individual book. Three years ago I decided to publish two little poetry books on my own because I assumed they wouldn’t make any money. They made a decent amount of money for me, so I branched out. Like e.e. cummings, Allen Ginsberg and a score of other writers, I decided to go into the publishing business. Help me to turn this publishing house into a legitimate one.
Thank you so much. Mockery is a knockout collection and it’s unlike any rant book I’ve released to date. I designed the book to mimic a standup comedy act with light jokes and quick rabbit punches at the beginning, big belly laughs in the middle and a soft, fuzzy feeling at the end. The flow and pacing are better than anything I’ve done to date. I really hope you like it.
So what are you waiting for? BUY MY NEW GODDAMNED BOOK ALREADY!
Start your engines,
Tom ‘literary prostitute’ Waters

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Also (an excerpt from the upcoming collection Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, e.t.a. 2012)

January 8, 2011

Also

f scott & zelda

had the right idea

hemingway

knew what he was doing

ellis

mcinerney

capote

chinanski

 

tie one on

 

(& off topic entirely)

salinger

 

shut out the voices

the muses

the drive to keep writing

day & night

find asylum

detox

sanctuary

a sanitarium

or a safari

away from everything

& try to forget

 

(although it goes against the grain)

 

slough it off python-like

a maturing

let it go

find comfort in 80, 90 & near toxic

proof

(s)

 

if only it were the seminal

prodigious

30s again

with a wellspring of talent

a readership chomping at the bit

& a sun that rose

also.

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2 poems in AV this week, My View this weekend…

July 3, 2009
    I was thumbing through ArtVoice yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that they ran ‘token excuses for block’ and ‘listening to thelonius monk’ (from Breathing Room Volume I) in their ‘in the margins section’ in this week’s issue!  I still don’t have the slightest idea when the Joe Nickell interview is running (if ever) along with another piece I was assigned to write, spent money on and wrote LAST SUMMER, so it was nice to see a few poems that were recently accepted run so soon.  As for the other two, this has happened so many times with no clear indicator as to why the pieces haven’t run that I’ve lost any hope of them seeing print in AV.
    As for other publications, be on the lookout in the Buffalo News My View section this weekend (most likely on July 4th) for ‘Declaration’, a new essay I wrote about how Independence Day means a lot more to me than just fireworks and backyard barbeques.  I showed it to my buddy Brendan (the same one who recently co-hosted Episode 40) and he gave it the thumbs up, so odds are that it’s going to go over like gangbusters.  
     I hope you enjoy your 4th of July and don’t forget to grab a copy of ArtVoice and the Buffalo News this weekend!
    Tom Waters 
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Monday Big Words Update!: The Last Fandango

April 27, 2009

After oversleeping on Saturday for a 7 pm reading at Caz Coffee Café (long nap), it was a relief to discover that Jeff Finlayson, Kyle Kaczmarzcak and Diane Meholick kicked one of the last two MOV shows off without me just fine. I felt like a dick for not showing up early like I normally do, but this is another sign that it’s time for a break. We had a great time and a great show and I’d like to personally thank everyone who came out for the reading. Due to my tardiness, the event was not recorded, so if you missed it, you won’t have an opportunity to hear it online at a later date. Sucks to be you.

I can’t help but take stock of the six month run that Jeff and I have had together traveling around as the MOV and on good days, I’m very grateful for the process we went through. On bad days, it seems like the agony of being in a rock band without the money or the groupies. All in all, it was a great concept and Jeff and I have become stronger friends as a result. A lot of new material has been written as a result of our constant feedback, reading the work out, and interacting with the public. A while back, I said that I regretted ever having a part in the inception of the Monsters. I spoke too soon.

Jeff is a very talented writer and he now has a new book (and a half) of new poems that he’s drummed up because of our tour. Instead of writing a mountain of new material, I’ve learned to spend more time editing and to elicit editorial wisdom from my peers, so my third collection of poems will be a tighter, more concise collection with less dreck and more concentrate. The MOV experience was like boot camp for us, in a way. We are hardened professionals now, and the thought of reading my poems in front of an audience is no longer horrifying and frightening. Jeff and I talked Saturday night after the show and he wants to continue the moniker. Because of the Slapstick launch in the summer (and a much-needed rest after fourteen months of writing and promoting), I won’t be continuing on after May. However, Jeff will. With any luck, other area poets will join him in the hopscotch-style readings we founded together with Carrie Gardner.

We’ve got one more reading in May at the Center For Inquiry with distinguished poetess Christina Wos Donnelly hosted by Perry Nicholas and I couldn’t think of a better way to round out the end of the junket. I try never to say never, but after that, I’m out for awhile. If any area poets are interested in joining Jeff in the non-locale-specific gauntlet, please feel free to email him directly at:

Dullroar25@hotmail.com

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’m pretty goddamned tired. Tired of promoting, tired of writing (after a year and change of it) and tired of putting my face and my name out there. It’s clearly time for a break. Some writers have the ego, the drive, or the tenacity to keep plugging, promoting and assuring others that their work is worth reading and I’m not one of them. In a semi-professional career spanning almost a decade where I’ve never promoted any one book for more than three months, I’m tapping out for a bit. I’ve had enough for now. I’m sick of myself, I’m sick of both poetry books, and I’m sick of leaving my house for another scheduled engagement. It takes a certain kind of person to continually tour the circuit and I don’t have that quality. At the heart of it, I’d always rather spend any night quietly at home with my wife or quietly out at a bar anonymously. I stopped doing any of this for ego reasons a long time ago. Even this is redundant.

Make it out to the Center For Inquiry on Wednesday, May 6th at 7 p.m. for the final reading for the original founding members (plus Christina) of the Monsters Of Verse. We’ll razzle, dazzle and amaze. Ten slots are also open for open readers.

As for everything else, all of the original episodes of Big Words Radio are almost complete. The process is time consuming and aggravating, but all 35 episodes should be done by week’s end. Expect a new episode next week. And the final installment of ‘Pronunciation’ (a lengthy essay on my wedding and everything surrounding it) hits the pages of Night Life magazine this week, so scoop it up for the final word.

In two more weeks, I can have my life back. I hope it still fits. I’ll talk to you all in two days for a new Quixote Wednesday Update,

Tom Waters

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Bonus Valentine’s Poem! ‘Be Mine’

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

This is the first new poem I’ve written in about three months.  Odds are that it will go into my next poetry collection, Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, which is due out some time in late 2010 or early 2011.  Enjoy the holiday,

Tom Waters

Be Mine

Real Love

is 3 millimeters between our open eyes

(not so much scanning as)

taking in every speckle, fleck & dilation of the pupil

in naked adulation

or the closest thing to total understanding

that two people can have among each other.

It’s:

the guerilla hug on the way out the door to work

an instinctive hand reaching for mine in our sleep

sharing a meal meant for one

sequestering ourselves from everyone else

just to be with each other

having a nap before or after bedroom elocutions

tracing the soft scent of skin

with my finger, nose or tongue

the hiccup of breath preceding a tear I anticipate the source of which is all thanks to me (and the fact of this brings about a horrid pall of shame and guilt I’m unfamiliar with)

your eyelids brushing my cheek when you wake

the comfortable feel of your ass with my hand

knowing every curve and bump and freckle and wrinkle and laugh line and chasm of sorrow on your body from back to front with my eyes closed and every embarrassing story, parable and anecdote about your life twice (most of them), the boys who hurt you and your parents who shaped you, the girls who hated you, or a world that changed us, found us, made us, dusted us off and dropped us into the same spot together so that we could find ourselves

à

HERE

Hers, His

Who fucking cares?

We made it

for now

we have one another

Today, tomorrow, next week

which makes the rest of it bearable

that has to be Real Love

or a facsimile

thereof.

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3 Bookstore Promotions in 2 Days, 3 new Radio Shows up NOW!

February 7, 2009
Holy god it’s going to be a busy weekend!
 
    First off, I’ll be at FYE Transit and Don’s Atomic Comics TODAY from 1-4 and 6-midnight (respectively) promoting both Breathing Rooms!  Show up at FYE and dogpile into the Monsters Of Verse podcast!  Or show up and bring or buy a copy of EITHER Breathing Room and drink for FREE from 6-midnight!  Yes, that is the only catch.  Don and I have been getting my readers drunk for going on 8 books now and we’re certainly not going to stop now.  Come on up, bring a girl (20% off everything in the store if you do) and let’s get WRECKED! 
    I’ll also be at Talking Leaves on Elmwood from 2-4 tomorrow (Sunday) with poet Anne Foster (a guest Monster Of Verse), so stop out tomorrow if you’re busy today! 
    All three events will be podcast and should be up in the not too distant future.  As far as the radio shows go, there are THREE new shows up right now!  2 new episodes of Big Words Radio are up as we speak and there’s a new episode of Monsters Of Verse with JR Finlayson over on the Monsters Of Verse site.  Here are your synopsi:
 
Big Words Radio:
Episode 28: ‘The Real Deal’
   
The insanity and frivolity get kicked up a few notches higher when forces beyond our control pair Tom with little brother and mad troubadour Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters. During guzzles of Jim Beam, Tom and Dave discuss family values, music, pizza and their love lives.
Episode 29: ‘How Dare You Sit There And Drink All Our Beer’
  
 Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters regales Tom and an unsuspecting Clarence audience (his downstairs neighbor) with an impromptu concert in his outside stairwell. Highlights include ‘Plastic Jesus’, ‘Texan Love Song’ and ‘The Man In Me’.
 
Monsters Of Verse Podcast:
1/20/09 Monsters Of Verse Episode 9: Dissertation
Poet emeritus and visiting professor JR ‘Jebrey’ Finlayson schools the Clarence High School Poetry Club regarding poetry, art, staying up until dawn, the joys and perils of having children, and his take on the future of the universe in just 20 minutes and change.
 
As always, you can dial up the following episodes on your Ipod at the intraweb post office boxes provided below.  Don’t forget to stop out to any of the events this weekend and be part of the madness that endless promotional junkets become!  Seeya soon,
Tom Waters
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
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Monday Big Words Update! December Suprises…

December 22, 2008

After yesterday’s update, I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to get caught up on. There are no less than three new Big Words Radio shows in the pipeline, but time hasn’t been on my side lately and the file uploading process I have makes it infinitely easier to just drop the shows off at the studio when the weather and the roads permit. As for the roads and the weather, lake effect snow: what’s up with that? Since the wife and I are on lockdown due to Lancaster’s ‘State Of Emergency’ and the Driving Ban, perhaps I’ll try and volley a few shows Rich’s way.

This Wednesday (X-Mas Eve) marks my next in-studio date for recording the show with co-host Josh Smith. As for a guest, we’ve got our pick of the litter and I’m not entirely sure who’s going to be on until Wednesday rolls around because I have two people on deck for the guest chair and they’re both call-ins.

As for both Breathing Rooms, I’m taking a hiatus on promoting the new books in addition to the Monsters Of Verse. The holidays are hectic enough and there’s not much point in promoting anything in Buffalo in terms of in-store promotions this late in the winter. JR Finlayson, myself and our third rotating guest poets will kick back into high gear in February once the elements and the economy are off the ropes, if you know what I mean.

It seems like forever since I got a bar review into the Buffalo News, but, well, I’ve been busy and the News has been busy. You can expect a new Club Watch (or two) within the next week or two.

And a new Night Life presumably hit’s the stands today with the final installment of ‘5 Writers, 3 Musicians, A Director, A Teamster, A Painter, A Boxer and a Game Show Host: A Study In Biographical Pictures’, a critical essay on my 15 favorite biopics.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Stay the hell at home, don’t panic, don’t find an excuse to leave the house to get milk or eggs or some such nonsense and chillax. The way I see it, this is nature’s way of telling us to get some rest and get caught up on things around the house. Thank god we’ve got whiskey, cigarettes, 800 movies, 2,000 comics and a few dozen video games. Who wants to play video games, though? Talk to you all on Christmas Eve with ‘Quixote Wednesday’,

Tom Waters

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Friday Synopsis: 3 New Radio Shows, Desiderio’s THIS SUNDAY @ 7p.m.!

November 14, 2008
How goes it?
 
    Staying in line with the nutshell scenario’s for these emails (so as not to overload all of you), I’ll make this is as brief as I can:
 
-With the Buffalo Music Awards coming up next Thursday at Coyote’s, I’ve been locking down and scheduling a volley of great Buffalo Music Legends and previous award winners for Big Words Radio.  On Tuesday, I spent five hours with my ‘close, personal showbiz friend’ Michael Bly recording a ‘parter of two’ live at the Hidden Shamrock.  Thanks to Michael Bly, the whole gang at Hidden Shamrock (on Transit between Walden and Broadway) and former room-mate and co-host Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile for rolling with the punches!  Part 1 (Episode XVII) is the interview portion where we discuss Bly’s status as a living musical legend.  Part 2 (you guessed it, Episode XVIII) is a live concert with track’s from Mike’s Grammy Award Winning debut album (plug plug, Cliche’) along with some knockout cover songs and previously unreleased songs from his upcoming album.  Dial it up on your skype by clicking over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    On Wednesday (after last week’s spectacular Big Words show with Uncle Hal), I popped over to his jewel-encrusted mansion/studio to do a cameo/co-host spot on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal for Episode 61.  I can honestly say that if you combined all of the shows that Hal and I have done, you still wouldn’t approach the level of offensiveness we achieved over the course of the two-hour slam.  Every single human being on the planet who listens to the show is going to want to punch us both in the head, so pop over to Hal’s awesome program at:
 
http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com
 
    I wouldn’t have a show or the finely tuned sensibilities on my own show (or a show, period) if it weren’t for the Associate’s degree I earned on the seven or eight shows I’ve done with Hal.  A big thanks goes out to Uncle Hal for having me back, getting us both in more trouble, and for his constant advice and support on my own show.  Anyone who’s ever listened to Hal’s show or our shows will attest to that.   If you’re not offended by ANYTHING, hunker down, grab a cold beverage and give it a listen.  Otherwise, avoid it at all costs. 
 
    I’ll be hunkering down for the next three days to finish up two very big assignments with two great Buffalo newspapers that are due by Monday.  The Monsters Of Verse show at Spot Coffee was sweet and Desiderio’s on Broadway this Sunday at 7 p.m. should be even better.  Both shows will be up by Monday night and I’ll throw you an update by then. 
 
    I’m wrapping up there.  Make it out to Desi’s if you can since it’s on my own turf, there are VERY FEW copies of Breathing Room Vol.I and II available for now, and make sure to buy a mountain of drinks, food, tip your servers and above all else (here’s the wind-up, there’s the pitch):
 
BUY OUR GODDAMNED BOOKS!
 
Love,

 
Tom Waters
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Newsletter Feed: One Bigass Sit. Rep! Two new podcasts, two new articles and a whole bunch of other stuff!

November 7, 2008
Whew!
 
    You’d think that being jobless would resemble some manner of paradise involving sitting on my ass, eating government cheese and doing absolutely nothing, right?  Wrong.  In the last month, I’ve put more time into my career (writing) now that I don’t have gainful employment than ever before.  I can honestly say that I’m going through one of those quantum leaps marketing-wise.  The kind I haven’t enjoyed since way back in 2001.  Most of my days have been spent schmoozing on the phone until the battery dies out on my portable, writing any number of different personal projects and assignments, blogging and working on my sites as well as those of others, and spending what little time is left in the evening taking care of things around the house and spending time with my wife while shoehorning research into other side projects. 
    Yesterday alone, I got up at eight in the morning, got a good running start at life and didn’t stop until around midnight.  Aside from a ten minute nap, I didn’t stop.  When I get a full-time job, it’s going to be a bit of a relief, because I’ll have the sort of structure again where I can allow myself to rest once in a while.  Even after getting a molar pulled last week and suffering from related migraines, I felt guilty taking a portion of two days in the last seven to relax and recuperate.  With as many hours in the day as I have at my disposal, I still feel as if there isn’t enough time to accomplish everything I’ve been setting out to do. 
    Bret Easton Ellis told me during our interview a few years back that he treated writing like a job, ‘clocking in’ at 9 a.m., breaking for lunch and then banging out of work around 5 p.m.  I wish I could stop that early.  While tiring, I realize how crucial the time I’ve been given is.  I’ve decided that I’ll be taking this holiday season away from the horrific nightmare that is retail to actually enjoy spending time with my family (new and old) for the first time in 16 years in addition to working on the multitude of projects that are currently under construction or already in progress.  As you may or may not know, the next two essay collections (Slapstick & Superego as well as Merry Prankster) are complete.  I haven’t penned a shred of new poetry for two weeks, but Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (the next poetry collection) is well over 140 pages without even including the freaky 50 page project I worked on in July (‘Rock/Pop Goes The Weasel’).  And then there are the freelancing assignments….
    My beloved editor at Gusto (Brian Connelly) is apparently moving me up to the big leagues in terms of freelancing and I couldn’t be more grateful.  In addition to the Club Watch bar reviews, he’ll be phasing me into their ‘Tell Me’ section at the very FRONT of Gusto (page two after the front page), conducting interviews with artists, writers and musicians on the cusp of making their big break inside as well as outside of Buffalo.  In regards to that, I’m going to humbly request that if any of you know of an artist (preferably a musician or band) with an upcoming gig in November or December who doesn’t have a firmly established fan base and deserves a wider audience, please email me at once with biographical as well as contact information.  My musical tastes tend to run about twenty or thirty years behind, so I’m woefully ignorant where current up-and-comers are concerned. 
    ArtVoice has also given me the green light on one of two projects I hatched during the idea-storm I was besieged with on my honeymoon at Silvercreek in early October.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ll be writing a piece about the hot spots to hit on the day before Thanksgiving, which happens to be the biggest party night of the year, eclipsing even New Year’s Eve and/or St. Patrick’s Day.  Again, if you happen to be ‘in the know’ on a bar, club or pub that blows the doors off business wise before the turkey hits the table, drop me a line.  My deadline window is one week, and I NEVER miss deadline.  It’s one of the qualities that’s reinforced my reputation as a serious writer in Buffalo and I’m certainly not going to call that into question now. 
    Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privelage (sp?) of recording an hour long show plus with my podcasting hero Uncle Hal from the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal show.  He was my first choice after being offered my own show at Think Twice and with zero notes, bullet points or questions, we managed to fill 70 minutes worth of the most offensive, irreverent comedy imaginable.  If Hal didn’t have an appointment, I seriously would have gone for two hour-long shows in a row.  I raced Episode XV out as soon as I could and my producer Richard Wicka at Think Twice uploaded it at once.  I strongly encourage you to listen at once over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    I had some issues finding the new episode with more luck refreshing on Internet Explorer, so if you don’t see Episode XV (and the subsequent ‘Bonus Round’), click Refresh and cross your fingers.  I’m not sure if the site is experiencing technical difficulties, but I’ll be getting to the bottom of it over the weekend.
    In addition to the Big Words One Man Mobile Unit, the Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead.  I returned to Clarence High School on Tuesday to teach my first workshop on the mechanics of poetry as well as writing in general to Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club while recording the event.  That episode (#3, for those keeping track) can be heard over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
    
    Once again, I experienced issues finding the newest episode of each show on AOL, so if you have Internet Explorer, you’re better off visiting the site from there. 
    And last night, the Monsters Of Verse launched their second official reading at Talking Leaves on Main St. in Amherst.  JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself kicked off the evening in alphabetical order with fifteen minute sets of amusing, insightful and philosophical poems that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.  Due to a small snafu regarding our start time (I forgot that we started at 6 p.m. instead of 7), we read for an additional forty minutes for the sake of entertaining those who showed at or shortly after 7 o’clock.  Twenty minutes of the second set were lost from the digital recorder, so if you weren’t there, you won’t get to hear it once the non-stop rock block of genius goes up online.  Depending on where my day (and my weekend) take me, Episode IV of the Monsters Of Verse should be up on the web by Sunday afternoon at the latest.  I’ll shoot you all an email when I’m positive that it’s up. 
    I’ve had a lot of time to think in the last four weeks.  One of the things I was turning around in my head yesterday was just how…overjoyed I am to have two like-minded creative maniacs to tour Buffalo and beyond with for the next six months.  With Jeff Finlayson and Carrie Gardner on deck, I honestly couldn’t ask for two other people I’d rather be out and about reading with.  Aside from sustaining, supporting and inspiring each other, they remain my dear friends and I’m not so much surprised with how well our collective dynamic is growing and improving so much as I’m pleased with the results.  Maybe we’ll hate each other come the beginning of May, but I doubt it.  Their talent, professionalism and their knockout prognostication skills continue to sustain and inform my burgeoning poetry skills.  At the risk of getting gooey, thank you, Jeff and Carrie.  Our events (and this project) are a feather in our cap that I’m very, very proud of.  I realize that putting up with my thousand event-related emails, phone calls and frequent tantrums is far from fun to deal with (just ask my wife), and your respective patience and professionalism is slowly molding me into a better team player.  You two are the best.
    Our next stop on the quest for global spoken word domination hits next Thursday (the 13th) at Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa from 7-9 p.m.  Three days later, we’ll be at my favorite bar, Desiderio’s on Broadway on Sunday the 16th at 7 p.m. with special musical guest Shaky Stage.  Attendance so far has been admirable, but where the hell have you guys been?  Carrie has brought the majority of our audience and I’m embarrassed to say that most of the Big Words army have been missing in action.  PLEASE make the time to show your face for one (if not both) of the next two events.  I’m disappointed in the total lack of support in terms of these promotions where you’re all concerned, and it would be nice to see some if not all of you out during this new experiment in our collective creative careers.  While I realize that our performances are not at the top of your list, you’re missing out.  We’ve had a great big barrel of fun so far and it’s only going to get better as we continue to sharpen our skill set on the road.  Forget everything you know about poetry and give us a try.  I promise that we won’t let you down, and the after-parties thus far have been phenomenal.  I’ll leave it at that.
    And, on a final note, two new articles popped up online this week.  This month’s issue of Acid Logic is rolling out hot at 15 mph with ‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’, a strangely topical essay about spending half of my life in the hell known as retail.  Read all about it over at:
 
http://www.acidlogic.com/retail_sucks.htm
 
    And after a month long unintentional hiatus from comic book reviews, I put my nose back to the grind and started pumping a few new graphic novel critiques and sending them off to my new editor at Comics Bulletin.  You can catch them every Wednesday on www.comicsbulletin.com.  Top Shelf Comics has been kind enough to send me more than my share of advance copies, review copies and entire libraries for research purposes having to do with the radio show, and one of the books they sent me stood head and shoulders above anything I’ve read this year.  Despite what you might think, I actually do read comics that don’t have Batman in the title.  This previous Wednesday, I gave Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole the credit it truly deserved.  Check that review out over at:
 
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/
 
    You may have to scroll down a tad as my show-notes inform me that it is no longer Wednesday and there isn’t a direct link to each review.  Since the Swallow Me Whole review, I’ve been hard at work building up a stockpile of other new reviews so that there aren’t any gaps on that site.  I’m neurotic about taking advantage of each and every site and publication I write for and I hate to be tardy to the party with any of them unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.  Writing comic reviews is a labor of love and it doesn’t even feel like work to fire off 5 or 600 words about every book I shovel into my brain.  Excelsior!
    That should be all the news that’s fit to print for the time being.  Thanks are in order to: JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner, Richard Wicka, Greg Sterlace (farewell and good luck, new friend!), Jonathan at Talking Leaves, Josh Smith, Uncle Hal, Wil Forbis, Thom Young and last but not least, my wife.  Lindsay has had to endure hell and back and back around again in the last four months.  This wrongful termination from Gamestop was another curveball that we didn’t deserve or anticipate.  She’s a real trooper, and without her love, support and reliability, I’d be well past the point of sanity by now.  I love you, chipmunk! 
    Oof.  One final word.  Now that Hal has popped onto my show, I’ll be doing a walk-on over on his.  We’ll be recording Episode 61 (or is it 62?) next week and you know I’ll give you the head’s up once it’s online.  The two of us are the politically correct equivalent of a keg full of dynamite strapped to a minivan doused in nitroglycerin whenever we get near a microphone.  The Big Words episode was brutal, but now that we’re back in the groove, our show on his site will be worse.  You have been officially warned.  Have a great weekend,

 
Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! Week 101 on stands/CHS Workshop Tomorrow/Talking Leaves THIS Thursday!

November 4, 2008

So…..

The Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead and this crazy rig isn’t going to let up until at least the beginning of May.  Once the calendar year closes, we’ll be investing a great deal of time and energy into booking additional events, new venues and bigger appearances from February through May.  For now, though, we’ve got plenty to keep our hands full with the events we’ve got and new engagements keep popping up without us even trying!

Moving on, Night Life magazine assaults the Buffalo/Toronto market today with a Big Words edition of ‘Unenjoyment’, a stoical look at how my life would play out after Gamestop wrongfully terminated me so that they could promote a total incompetent racist drug addict into one of their new stores in the Buffalo market.  Scoop up a copy while it’s hot!  If you were on the free newsletter list (which you can subscribe to by emailing bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), you got to see it first over three weeks ago.  If not, now’s your chance to read it in Night Life.  With 70,000 copies rolling off the presses every single week all over the Greater Buffalo/Niagara area, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and pizzerias where you can read all about it!

Tomorrow, I’ll be making a return trip to the hallowed halls of Clarence Central High School to teach my first writing workshop to the kids in the Poetry Club, the staff at Chrysalis, the on-site literary magazine (which has grown by leaps and bounds since I graduated in ’93), and a few other stragglers who got the exclusive invite from Ms. Foster and Kevin Starr.  You can hear the entire event some time later this week when it pops up on Think Twice Radio’s Monsters Of Verse site. 

This Thursday, the Monsters Of Verse kick off their second scheduled appearance/reading/signing at Talking Leaves on Main St. (near Bailey) at 6 p.m.   Jonathan (the owner proprietor of both locations) has been extremely supportive and helpful with all of my books for the last seven years, so bringing the crew out for another hoorah was a no brainer.  You can check out his listing/brief synopsis of the book over on Talking Leaves’ official site at:

http://www.tleavesbooks.com/watersplus.htm

Jr Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself will be reading selections from our newest poetry collections in fifteen minute blocks (so we have time to schmooze/hawk some books before the store closes at 8 pm sharp).  I don’t like to hold up employees at the locations where we have events scheduled near close, so please show up on time, bring plenty of friends (and cold hard cash!) and feel free to join us out afterwards!

I also pounded out two new graphic novel reviews for my editor Thom Young over at www.comicsbulletin.com.  One of the two should be going up this Wednesday, when they premiere their graphic novel reviews on the site.  I’ve been pretty negligent with them lately and I get neurotic when I’m not taking full advantage of every media stream I’m plugged into, so I’ll be focusing my creative efforts (with what diminishing free time I have) on getting a few more reviews backlogged for Mr. Young.

I’m not sure if there will be a new Big Words One Man Mobile Unit episodes this week, but we’ll see what happens.  This week is pretty hectic and I’m still reeling from my molar extraction.  I feel guilty for loafing even for a day or two, but some bed/couch rest wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.  We’ll see what happens.  If Uncle Hal stiffs again (which is becoming an increasingly more common occurance lately), maybe I’ll set something up on Wednesday with somebody else. 

And DON’T FORGET TO VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN ON ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, November 4th!  The Republican party needs all the support we can muster, so make the time, hit the polls and make your voice heard!  Our nations economy and global stance for the next four years depend upon it.  Don’t let the Spendocrats win this one, even if our last contender turned into a bumbling moron.  Who knows, maybe W. can find gainful seasonal employment with the soulless jackasses currently running Gamestop into the ground?  He’s got half a brain, and that appears to be qualification enough lately….

Have a great week and see you out, about and in print in Buffalo!

Vote Republican!,

Tom Waters

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Monsters Of Verse Episode II: ‘Renegade’ Waters hits Clarence High School; High School Hits Back!

October 30, 2008
Yep,
 
As you all know, I went to Clarence Central High School Tuesday at the ass crack of dawn (7:30 A.M.) to read for Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club as well as their literary magazine (Chrysalis) and a few students from their AV English Class.  I even got a little veklempt during some of the selections that were chosen for the student’s enjoyment.  Since the reading fall’s under some of the mission statements and ideals that the Monsters Of Verse aspire to, it went under the Monsters Of Verse banner on Think Twice.  Click on, tune in and drop out to the 37 minute interaction with the leaders of tomorrow at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
 
    A big thanks goes out to Anne Foster, Kevin Starr, and the kids who listened attentively and asked intelligent questions.  Doing something like that really makes my week because there’s no better way to get to the kids than when they’re in a class room setting.  I’ll be heading back next Tuesday to teach my first poetry workshop with the students, so wish me luck! 
    Next on deck I’m heading over to Think Twice Studios to bid Greg Sterlace a fond farewell before he and his wife Paula set sail for Arizona.  ‘Mr. Ski Mask’ will be taking over the highly contested Friday slot, and there’s been talk about having me on as a rotating co-host.  That might be fun.
    That’s all I’ve got for today.  I just got a molar pulled without sedation and the drugs are starting to kick in, so it’s in everyone’s best interests if I wrap up here.  Have a great rest of the week!

 
Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! Monsters Of Verse Podcast Site LIVE/Clarence Central High School Immenent…

October 27, 2008

Whelp, it was a productive weekend.

Aside from the Greg Sterlace Show appearance in full Joker makeup (which will be airing on Time Warner Cable on Weds. and Fri., check www.sterlace.com for more details), celebrating my 33rd birthday and performing as part of the prosiacal trifecta known as the Monsters Of Verse, Think Twice Radio got a new logo, a new show, and a new sheriff (or sheriffs) in town.  You can now find the inaugural Monsters Of Verse launch show (along with each successive show as they take place) up on it’s very own site over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html

As for the Calendar Of Events, JR Finlayson and Carrie Gardner have the week off from any scheduled appearances.  Lucky bastards.  No, just kidding.  Our next gig together will be on Thursday, November 6th at 7 pm at the illustrious Talking Leaves books.  All three of us will be reading, signing and hawking our wares, so stop on out and tell ’em Tom sentcha! 

As for yours truly, I’ve got Clarence Central High School on deck.  I’ll be going in at the crack of dawn tomorrow to talk straight with the kids about this ‘genre of poetry’ for their Poetry Club, AV English students, and any of the editors and contributors of their literary magazine (Chrysalis) who might have a passing interest in my nonsense.  On Wednesday, the real fun rolls around, as I’ll be getting a molar yanked out of my skull in the morning and then doing a radio show in-studio at Think Twice with Top Shelf comic book artist/writer all-around genius Jeff Brown.  If all goes well, my co-host will be SoCo Mike (not to be confused with Intentionally Bald Mike, although the two are friends).  On Friday, I’ve got the final Greg Sterlace show in Buffalo to attend and then I’m pretty sure I’m done for the week.  Aside from schmoozing, handing out free review copies and making five million phone calls.  Oh, and there’s the writing, too.  Whew!

A new Big Words I Know By Heart column drops today in Night Life magazine and my AOL is doing its thing because I can’t pull up the October columns that I sent out.  If memory serves, I’m dropping three or four poems from Breathing Room Vol. II: rhymes & relics like they’re hot. 

That should be everything for today, webslingers.  If I forgot something, I’m sure I’ll keep you posted throughout the week.  In the mean time, don’t get fired from your day job!  Cheers,

Tom Waters

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Greg Sterlace Show #702 Up Online Now/The Big 33/30,000 Served and Beyond Site Hit Update

October 25, 2008

     Last night, I popped in to the non-stop party known as the Greg Sterlace Television programme.  For episode 702 (and as a dry run for this evening), I wore some makeup.  Think Pagliacci only more psychotic.  Think about the man who laughed.  I’m sure you’ll figure it out, and even if you can’t, just follow the bouncing link over to:

http://sterlace.com

There’s a heaping helping of liberal mentalities, but someone had to be on the front lines to report back to base.  No poems were read, but comedically, we had a hell of a time. 

And today, as you may or may not know, is my 33rd birthday.  I’ll be commemorating the event with two of my best friends in the world, JR Finlayson and Carrie Gardner.  In case you haven’t caught the listing yet, we’re rolling out the Monsters Of Verse 2.0 TONIGHT at the Center For Inquiry on Rein Rd. (across from UB North) at 7 p.m.  SHARP.  Books will be available from all of us ranging from $5-$15, so hit your local ATM ahead of time.  We’ll be partying at an undisclosed location nearby afterwards, so if you don’t make the show, you’re not going to know where we’re going.  We’re planning on reading for roughly an hour total for our cumulative performance, as it’s always better to leave listeners wanting more.  By tomorrow night, the inaugural reading (along with all future appearances) will be popping up on the Think Twice Radio site (www.thinktwiceradio.com) under the NEW Monsters Of Verse banner.  Look for it Sunday night! 

And thanks for stopping by the official site yesterday.  You’re continuing interest in the Gamestop fiasco has driven site hits above and beyond the 30,000 served mark.  Here’s the current rundown:

10/24: 111 Unique hits

10/25: 30 Unique hits (so far)

Spread the word.  I’d rather be a Liliputian in an army of them than a lightning rod on a roof by himself.  Any and all assistance is appreciated.  

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Oh, one more thing.  The Buffalo News accepted another one of my My View submissions, which puts me at their 3 submission max for the year.  That’s a big deal to me, as I’ve never reached the max before in a calendar year.  The piece in question should be hitting the paper some time in December, and it’s a good one.  This gives me time to focus on landing some prime real estate in RD Pohl’s poetry section now, which I have yet to find purchase on. 

Time to get into character.  The next six months should be one hell of a snake oil show.  Seeya in the funny papers,

Tom Waters

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British Journalists Are Brutal

October 22, 2008

After getting about forty percent of what I told him right, missing the initial deadline and then discombobulating another forty percent, Brit import (writing for UB Spectrum) Joe Stevens delivered a fairly decent profile on yours truly.  As I’ve said, most of it is bullshit.  As a rule going forward, I guess I won’t buy most of the drinks for the people interviewing me.  A few points:

1. I NEVER wrote for UB Spectrum.  I wrote one review for Generations back in the ’90s regarding the Pet Shop Boy’s ‘Alternative’ double disc set.

2. I NEVER got fired from the Buffalo State Record (the college paper that I wrote for for almost three years).  They paid me for a year, decided to stop paying all their writers, I wrote an article about same (telling the whole campus to go fuck themselves) and my editor (Margeret Coghlan) stuck her neck out to get in.  The article (or column) essentially told the entire staff that I quit.  I was never fired.  Look it up.

3.  I NEVER said that Breathing Room Vol. I OR II. was a big ‘fuck you’ to my readers.  I equated the complete 180 in style to Lou Reed’s music in the ’70s.  He had a huge hit album and then turned tack with something completely out of left field. 

     They say that any press is good press.  I’ll agree with that.  I’ll also continue to say that Joe (with all his integrity) didn’t take notes of any kind for the first hour or two that we drank at the bar.  Then he hit on Carrie Gardner after I left, wondering and postulating as to why she stuck around for so long.  I suffered some slings and arrows in my absence for not talking at length about myself.  Well fuck me for being the one person in artistic endeavors who would rather not expound on their own ‘artistic process’ or run off at the mouth as to their own ‘creative genius’.  I’m slightly dissappointed with this year’s crop, UB.

     I’ve always admired UB.  I’ve always thought that they had a higher class of writer as opposed to my Alma Mater at Buffalo State.  I’m still pleased with the review (aside from the fact that most of it is bullshit).  I’m offended that Joe would postulate (or assume) that I was putting on some sort of show or act for the interview.  I went into the bar at the Marriott without pretense, just looking to have a friendly conversation with a person I assumed was decent.  Joe got a comp copy of the book (as most media outlets in Buffalo get, out of my own pocket, no less), more than a few free drinks out of me and what I thought was a decent back and forth.  Apparently, it’s my fault that he waited an hour or two to start asking questions.

     I’ll leave it at that.  I’ve never considered myself a genuine journalist, but after four or five years of conducting interviews for ArtVoice, Buffalo Spree and other local and national publications, I’ve done better justice to my subjects than him and I’ve actually recorded their conversations (putting serious man hours into transcribing them afterward) instead of jotting down a few bullet points once I’ve had a good buzz on) and then retracing my steps after a few freebies.  The new school has failed.  Any press, though, as they say, is good press.  Read all about it (a week after it was promised) at:

http://www.subboard.com/generation/articles/122452811433779.asp

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 98 on Stands, UB Spectrum Interview/Profile Drops Today

October 14, 2008

Night Life magazine is dropping it like it’s hot today with a Big Words triple dose of Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse.  Whether you like it or not, the rest of this month from here on out is going to be Night Life poetry month, as I’ll be giving out free samples of one of the fastest growing poetry collections in the last fifteen years. 

And after a protracted discussion at the hotel lounge bar at the Marriott Hotel with a young upstart journalist from UB’s on-campus paper (Spectrum), the new issue should be on stands (free as well) starting today.  Scoop it up if you’re a student or stop on campus for a copy! 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Oh!  One more thing.  Fellow Monsters Of Verse Founder JR Finlayson now has his very own WordPress web site with a number of selections from his upcoming book, Afterfresh.  Read all about it (Wuxtry!) over at:

http://jefffinlayson.wordpress.com/

Pending legal cousel regarding my wrongful termination suit against my former employer has been occupying a lot of my time lately, so that’s all I’ve got for you.  I’ll be leaving town from this Thursday through next Wednesday, so I’ll see you all shortly before the big one two punch book(s) launch/Monsters Of Verse Inaugural reading on Saturday, October 25th (my 33rd birthday) at 7 pm!  Take it easy,

Tom Waters

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Acid Logic Update/Buffalo Rising Update

October 10, 2008

It’s been a LONG time since Acid Logic had a new issue out (well, August, at any rate).  My beloved publisher and longtime editor Wil Forbis has posted a new issue this month including ‘Beer & Foaming At The Mouth On The Campaign Trail’, an article I read for Big Words Radio Episode 8.5.  Read all the gritty details over at:

http://www.acidlogic.com/tom_wedding.htm

     And a new informer has presented him/herself in regards to Buffalo Rising and their spiral of deceit, deception and corruption!  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to bat exposing their stupidty/irrelevance in the Buffalo publishing market, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t forgotten.  Check out PUBLISHER Newell Nussbaumer’s two cents on the region, the viability of the Buffalo market and quite a few other things over at:

http://nymag.com/realestate/features/49491/

And finally, UB Spectrum interviewed me yesterday at the Marriott Hotel in Amherst about both Breathing Room books.  If you’re on campus, grab a copy of the paper next week for an interview/review/spread on ‘this guy’.  I’ll be putting the feelers out next week to see what they had to say.

What’s horrified me the most lately is the fact that EVERYONE has told me time and again that Breathing Room Vol. I is the ‘best book I’ve ever written’.  This is coming from a lot of people who don’t even like poetry.  I don’t know how to deal with that kind of positive praise, and poems were the last thing I expected to start paying out like a slot machine.  In the coming months, I’ll have to accept that sort of positive feedback and run with it, but my main problem is that that sort of glowing optimism makes me wonder if I can ever top that sort of appreciation in my readership ever again.  I hope so.  Volume II just showed up on my doorstep yesterday and it looks gorgeous. 

Nick Peterson knocked it out of the park again with his stellar layout design on the internal workings of the book.   Slapstick is on target for May.  And Volume I is now available at Don’s Atomic Comics as well as Talking Leaves books on Main St. as well as Elmwood Ave.  If you don’t want a personalized, signed copy, visit either of those three locations to get your copy today!  Supplies are for realsy very limited for the time being, so don’t delay!  Talking Leaves has four copies and Don’s Atomic Comics has two.  I strongly encourage you to support local and visit either area business with your patronage!  That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ve got a few other fires to put out and quite a few other windmills to joust (away from my official site), so I’ll leave it at that.  Peace Audi 5000,

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 97 on stands/Breathing Room inflation/Episode XII: ‘The Honeymooners’ UP NOW!

October 6, 2008

Oofa!,

Even though I was on honeymoon all last week at what turned out to be Snyder Beach in Irving, NY with my lovely bride (Mrs. Waters), I still got a lot done.  First order of business…

The new Night Life magazine assaults stands today with a month that’s almost completely devoted to poetry.  Except for this week.  This week you’ll find an ‘uncut’ and longer version of ‘My People’ in the Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  ‘My People’, in case you didn’t read it in the Buffalo News My View section, was a piece about inheriting a second family upon marriage.  Topical!

     And unfortunately, Lulu.com (my distributor and marketer for both Breathing Rooms) is implementing an at cost hike across the board for their goods and services.  This is the way the wind blows, and I apologize, but in order to clear a profit from Vol. II, I’ve adjusted the price to $14.95 for the paperback copy.  Again, sorry.  The book is still over 100 pages and from a competitive standpoint, that’s STILL not a bad price.  Check your local retailers and prove me wrong in the poetry market, kids. 

     And last but DEFINITELY not least, Lindsay Waters and myself recorded a knockout Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit show on location from the beautiful patio at Root Five in Hamburg during our honeymoon.  It’s very, very offensive and explicit, so if you’re one of those people who doesn’t ‘get it’ or if you can’t handle Don Rickles style comedy, don’t bother listening.  If you’ve got a broad sense of humor and you’re immune to political correctness, then by all means dive in with both feet at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

Think Episode IV (the ‘Auntie Linda’ episode) squared.  It’s brutal, but my wife gives it as good as she gets it.  And I am now the proud owner of a brand new, right off the production line model of a Roland Edirol portable professional grade digital recorder.  Yeah!  I’m planning on doing one podcast a week until I collapse or until my voice box disintegrates.  Doing the show is just too much fun to stop now, and it’s gathering some great momentum.

That’s all I’ve got today even though there’s a lot more in store.  A little bird told me yesterday that you can look for a nice sidebar on yours truly in the December print issue of Buffalo Spree magazine.  Get your subscriptions in now!  Talk to you later in the week,

Tom Waters

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Breathing Room II LIVE NOW!/Punch Line to the ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ Wedding Proposal!

September 29, 2008

 Okay, kids!  This is it!

 For those of you who have read, bought and/or enjoyed volume I of Breathing Room, Volume II went ‘live’ two minutes ago!  Buckle up & order now or you can buy copies from me when my blushing bride & I get back from sunny and wonderful Myrtle Beach eight days from now!  Here’s the link!:
 
http://www.lulu.com/content/3098384
 
Again, I make MORE on the direct pdf downloads off the site and more from the print books in person, so either way is a win-win situation.  I certainly won’t be hurt (and still make a few bucks) if you can’t wait and want to order a print copy poste haste.  I promise to sign every copy for those of you who make it out to the 1,500 appearances, readings and signings booked with the Monsters Of Verse in the next six months.  Pinky swear. 
Due to my total ignorance where page layouts are concerned, I re-set (and knocked the price down) on Vol. II from $15 to $12.  It’s still 100+ pages of angst, booze and rough sex, but why gouge my install base when the overhead is so low?  I’m passing the savings along to YOU!  So act fast as supplies are limited!  Just kidding.   
Gotta run, but I’ll see you all soon!  Thanks to everyone who attended, performed, participated and organized our wonderful event for the ROCKSTAR wedding!  Love,
Mr. & Mrs. Tom & Lindsay Waters(!)
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Monday Big Words Update! Week 95 on stands, Home Stretch!

September 23, 2008

     By this time next week, I won’t be a me anymore.  Legally, I’ll be a we.  In five days (and after almost four years), Lindsay and I are getting married this Saturday.  I want to thank everyone in advance for their generosity, their time and their friendship (whether blood related or otherwise).  The outpouring of help leading up to this wedding has been unexpected and is one of the few things that’s kept both of us from losing it altogther.  ‘Nuff said on that. 

     Now on to more good news: The first 20 copies of Breathing Room Volume I have sold out in a record six days.  I’ve got more on re-order and I’m hoping I’ll have them by Wednesday so that I can give away a comp copy to the boys from UB Generations, who will be interviewing me this Wednesday at a remote location in Amherst that I’ll be podcasting from.  What amazes me so far is that EVERY single person has read almost the entire book in one sitting and tells me that it’s the best book I’ve ever written.  It would be Ironic with a capital I if a book written as an homage to a dying art form actually made me financially independant as a writer once and forever.  All the capital from this point out is going right back into Volume I and Volume II and then after that it’s getting rolled into Slapstick & Superego, my final Print On Demand book with Authorhouse, which will be coming out in May. 

     Since Lindsay and I will be honeymooning in glorious Myrtle Beach next week, this will be my last Monday update for two weeks.  I’m going to try and take a digital recorder down with me for one podcast, but we’ll see what happens.  When I get back, I’ve got work, Monsters Of Verse related promotions and merchandising, radio interviews, public appearances and speaking engagements and oh, yeah, there’s my 33rd birthday to deal with at the end of October.   It’s going to be very busy for the better part of this year as well as fiscal year 2009.  This is a good thing.  As long as I’m busy, I don’t have an opportunity to allow myself to get depressed. 

     So far, ArtVoice, Buffalo Spree and both UB papers are on board for book reviews, interviews or profiles on Breathing Room by November.  I’ve been working really hard on getting the Buffalo News to commit, but I wouldn’t put that in the bank just yet.  After giving them a free copy of every book I’ve ever written and paying the postage (going all the way back to Soup To Nuts), I’ve gotten a one sentence review on ONE book.  Great.  After two years of giving them my soul, I really, really hope that they’ll take care of me on these two books.  We’ll see.

     And I have no idea which essay is running in Night Life this week.  With the computer issue earlier on, my ‘Sent’ mail is still spotty, so it’ll be a surprise to all of us as to which Big Words column runs.  I’ve got to send out all my columns for next month today, so I’m leaving you with that.   If you haven’t done so already, get off your ass and order Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I can track individual orders too, so don’t think I can’t tell how many copies are going out the door.  Order a print copy or (I make more money on these and they’re cheaper) download a pdf copy to your computer instantaneously at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892

     Not to play the guilt card, but as a newly married couple, we’ve got a house and children to start saving for.  Buy the book, read the book and enjoy it.  Do it.  NOW! 

     Seeya in two weeks, Monday Updaters!

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 94 on Stands, Big Words Radio Episode 10(!) up now!

September 16, 2008

     The rant you know and love is coming out swinging this week in Night Life’s Big Words I Know By Heart column with ‘When In Sloan’, the now-epic, no-holds barred slam on ‘Sloanheads’ that seems to be everyone’s favorite Opening Shot from Big Words Radio Episode II.  Scoop it up on stands all week!

     And in case you didn’t catch the news flash yesterday, Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse is available RIGHT NOW!  At $15 with a money back guarantee, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be racking up your credit and debit cards and starting your pre-ordering engines direct from my distributor at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892

     Until I start seeing some orders placed, I’m just going to keep harping on it all over the web and in person, so get on there, grab a copy and enjoy the verbiage!  My initial 20 copy order is down to 15 in the span of two days, so you’re better off in the short run ordering from Lulu.  Volume II should and will be done by the first or second week of October.  Best case scenario, first week.

     I also spent four hours today lining up bookings for Breathing Room, myself and the other two Monsters Of Verse for the remainder of this calendar year at FYE, Talking Leaves, The Center For Inquiry and quite a few others.  The feelers are out and quite a few weekly, daily and campus newspapers will be conducting print interviews as well as book reviews for yours truly.  Since it’s a poetry book, I need total saturation if I’m going to give these two books a fighting chance, so expect to see and hear ‘this guy’ all around town and beyond starting October 25th. 

     And finally, we’ve reached Episode 10 (technically 11) of the Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit!  I recorded in sunny and fierce Las Vegas, Nevada last week and co-host Curt Kusckowski and myself blasted off on mob mentality convention crowds, implants, douche chips and a whole lot more.  The opening shot was ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’, a rant from Slapstick & Superego about the benefits of being a tall man versus going through life suffering from short guy syndrome.  Click away and dial it up on your Ipod over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     The-that’s-the-that’s-the-that’s all, folks.  I’ll be dropping the confirmed appearance/reading/signing dates for October, November and December up first over at my YourHub events site, then Evite, then Myspace and beyond later in the week.  Stay tuned.  Same bat time, same bat channel.  And remember, I firmly believe that whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you…stranger.  Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse First Editions Available NOW!

September 14, 2008
Gang,
 
    After two years of writing, two months of selection, proof-reading, spell-checking, brainstorming and another two months of exceptional interior layout design by Nicholas Peterson, I’m very, very proud to announce that the first volume of my two volume poetry brainchild is finally ready for purchase!  I received my first 20 copies and with a reading in Rochester coming up in less than two weeks, the odds of obtaining a copy from me are pretty slim and grim.  Please, PLEASE feel free to order directly from my distributor at the following link as soon as possible:
 
http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892
 
    After looking over the inaugural batch of the first volume, I can honestly say that this is the most professional book I’ve ever been honored to be a part of.  It was definitely a group effort, though.  This book wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless spell checking and irreplaceable feedback from Carrie Gardner as well as the far-above-par layout skills of Nick Peterson.  The same team is (or already have) pitched in on Volume II: rhymes & relics, which will be available by the middle of October (just in time for the first Monsters Of Verse booking at the Center For Inquiry on Saturday, October 25th).
    The book is also available as a download.  Don’t feel bad either, as I make more money through the web site on downloads than I would from print copies.  If you absolutely have to have a physical copy of the book, contact me as soon as you can as supplies are painfully limited for the next two weeks.  I promise to sign every copy of every book purchased and that’s a fact.  In addition, I’m offering a money back guarantee on all saleable condition copies that any of you are willing to try if it’s not your cup of tea.  Men who have read the book (in one sitting, every single one of them) have been more ardent supporters of these two books than women, and women have been pretty fond of it, too.  Give it a chance.  You’ll be surprised. 
    Another chapter of my life is complete.  I’ve got more good news but I’ll save it for another day.  So start your engines.  Start ordering now.  After Slapstick & Superego drops next May, I’m out of the Print On Demand business altogether.  I’ve got enough networking connections, enough tools and contacts at my disposal, and a firm enough grasp of the marketing/publishing hierarchy that it’s high time to go into business for myself.  Ladies and Gentleman, after two (and soon to be three) very successful ventures as publisher, proprietor and CEO of Doubt It Publishing, I’ll be going into business for myself. 
 
     Order the new book.  Order two.  Or five.  Here is the retail breakdown:
 
    Trade Paperback: $14.99 (154 pages)
    PDF download: $9.99
 
    And please, let me know what you think.  The money back guarantee is not a fluke.  If you’ve read the book and you don’t like it, I will pay out of pocket including the shipping charges.  And lest I forget, Lulu’s standard USPS shipping is lightning fast.  Many of you have complained in the past about the long wait times for online ordering and you’re not going to have that problem with Breathing Room.  My first twenty copies were printed, bound and on my doorstep in six days.  Not business days, but six calendar days.  Scoop up a copy.  I’ll give you all a shout out sooner than you think.  Thanks for entering a new phase in my life with me,
 
Tom Waters
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Back In The Saddle/Welcome Back To Buffalo!

September 12, 2008

I got back into town yesterday afternoon around 4 o’clock via Southwest airlines after five insane days in cripplingly humid Las Vegas at the luxurious Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort Hotel.  Myself and Curt (my roomate and subsequent co-host) managed to get one episode down for the radio show which is going to transmogrify into the historically epic Big Words One Man Mobile Unit episode 10 some time within the next few days.  I should have pictures up on Myspace by tomorrow night at the latest.  I was a very busy photog while I was out there.  Home again, home again, jiggety jig. 

     It’s good to be back.  I’m in the home stretch on the wedding and autumn is kicking in, which is traditionally a fantastic time of year for me, weather and otherwise.  In three weeks, we’ll be soaking up the sun at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina in the heart of the resort community for the honeymoon and hobnobbing on the Grand Strand during a competing Biker Week at the House of Blues among other things.  Hopefully I can get another podcast down during that, too.

     In classic Murphy’s Law fashion, ‘Our People’ (the rant about my new inlaws) ran in the Buffalo News My View section on Tuesday while I was out of town.  If anyone still has Tuesday’s copy of the Buffalo News, I would truly appreciate a copy of the print run. 

     Hennessey’s Bar and Grill on Broadway review ran this morning in the new issue of Gusto in the Buffalo News this morning.  Scoop it up if you’d like. 

     And finally, the first 20 copies of Breathing Room vol. I: Free Verse are en route via UPS as we speak.  The layout couldn’t look any more perfect.  Nick Peterson did a phenomenal job on the internal mechanisms for the book and I’m really excited about gearing up for the upcoming promotional junket!  If you’re interested in obtaining a signed copy of the book, contact me poste haste as there is a week delay in ordering/receiving more copies. 

     That’s all the news that’s fit to print for one day.  I’ll holler back on Monday for the routine update with any more developments.  Thank god I’m back in Buffalo.  Vegas is too crazy for me and there are too many opportunities for trouble out there, so it’s comforting to be back home.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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Saturday Update (in lieu of Monday): ‘She Packed My Bags Last Night Pre-Flight’

September 7, 2008

     I’ll be flying out at ten am tomorrow morning to sunny and warm Las Vegas Nevada to stay at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort Hotel at the expense of my company for our yearly convention, so needless to say, I won’t be around this Monday for my usual update.  I’ll be back in town on Thursday, September 11th to resume business as normal.

     The bad news for next week is that I’ve been scooped at ArtVoice.  After taking a pitch from Geoff Kelly (and doing the grunt work and the leg work), my assignment has been bumped in favor of Reginald Dwight, a freelancer who’s worked with AV over the years.  Geoff at least had the good manners to email me about it, but I’m more than a bit miffed that I put the time in on the piece with no pay only to find that another so-called journalist will be swooping down on the spoils.  Just when I thought I was back in ArtVoice’s good graces, they shelved another completed review of mine and went with one of their boys.  As a freelancer, I’ve heard of Dwight in Buffalo circles before, and I’ll say this: Stay off my turf.  If you’ve heard of me, Dwight, you know damn well that I’ll fix your wagon if you don’t mind your own business.  I won’t forget this any time soon.  ‘Nuff said on that front. 

     As for Night Life business, the second part of ‘The Divine Pop Comedy’ (an excerpt from my 30 page critique on the discography of Elton John) will be running this Monday. 

     On the Think Twice radio front, there have been no new episodes up online since Episode 9.  Richard Wicka was kind enough to loan me his Roland digital recorder for my trip, so you can count on me recording at least two shows while I’m spending five days and six nights in Sin City.  Vegas is bad news for a guy like me, so I’ll make sure to share at least some of the sordid play by play with my listeners. 

     And the proof for Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse was emailed via attachment to me yesterday morning and it looks phenomenal.  My new layout liason Nick Peterson did a more than perfect job on the manuscript, which was surreptitiously uploaded to the Lulu sight this evening.  The first twenty copies are on their way via UPS overnight mail and I will have them available for sale on Thursday the 11th.  If you want a copy from the first batch, speak now or forever hold your peace.  Volume II will be available (as promised) by the beginning of October and both volumes will be ready for purchase in time for the launch event at the Center For Inquiry on October, 25th. 

That should be everything for now.  Enjoy the cold weather, suckers!  Real writers like me (not Reginald Dwight) will be out slinging down singapore slings in the belly of the beast out in 110 degree Las Vegas until the tail end of next week!  Have fun (because I certainly will be),

Tom Waters   

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Sunday Newsletter Update: Radio Episodes 8.5 & 9 Up!

August 31, 2008

 

Yep,
    I wanted to write sooner.  I wanted to get the last episode up sooner, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Rich (my producer) had to go in for some medical tests and everything came up rosy.  If there’s one thing the two of us have in common, it’s our love for a holistic lifestyle.  Right.
    Life has just been insanely busy lately.  I’ve been wanting to write more comic reviews, but I haven’t had time.  A week and a half ago, I had a Gusto assignment at Hennessey’s Pub out in Alden.  Last Saturday was my bachelor party, which I decided to make a podcast out of.  That turned into episode 8.5 (since I spent more time partying than recording, it was only a half an hour).  On Sunday (amidst a shit storm of aggravation), I wrote three poems.  Then I got lost somewhere on the 279 and ended up sleeping in my car.  This is why I hate large highways. 
    On Monday (after explaining to my wife, her parents and a few other people that the ‘reports of my death were greatly exaggerated’), I met up with ArtVoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly at Mulligan’s Brick Bar downtown to record on location.  We had a knockout show and for some reason on a Monday afternoon at a bar on Allen there were six people who were unfamiliar with the term ‘inside voices’.  The podcast turned out great regardless. 
    Tuesday was my night at Desi’s.  On Wednesday, I returned to Buff State to chime in and sit in to enjoy Lisa Forrest’s Rooftop Poetry Club get together.  It was therapy that was well needed.  Weds. night I had a quiet night in with the wife.  That was well needed too.
    Thursday I was at work all day for the most part.  Friday was more work and another quiet night in with the wife. 
    Yesterday I had an assignment for ArtVoice that I had to be vague about.  I’ll just say that if you’re a true Elton John fan, you might be familiar with a certain reverse psuedonym that’s going to be popping up soon in their pages. 
    Check out the podcasts, though.  You can find both over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Episode 8.5 Tag Line
 
Tom commemorates his bachelor party with the drunkest podcast yet, strange boobs in the face, Mighty Taco, and projectile vomiting.
 
Episode 9 Tag Line:    
    
Tom sits down and pounds out the magic with Buffalo Wonder Boy and ArtVoice’s Managing Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly. Mayhem ensues, stout is purchased on Jamie Moses’ corporate credit card.card.
 
    The two Breathing Room poetry books STILL aren’t done.  I am now a month over my personal deadline for them and the first volume had better be finished come next week or somebody is going to be in hot water.  My layout person is still working on them and I don’t understand how the pdf can be so difficult when I knocked out Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish in a weekend.  I guess we’ll see what next week brings.  Volume I should be ready for order by the second week of September.  I’ll be in Las Vegas that week for work. 
    I think that’s just about everything.  I’m about three weeks away from my wedding and the majority of my immediate families (and friends, for that matter) hate my guts or think I’ve lost my mind altogether or both.  These things will happen.  In September, the Buffalo News will be running an essay I wrote about my new in-laws in their ‘My View’ section.  That makes my second accepted submission for the year and they allow three per person, so I’ll have to whip something else up as soon as ‘Our People’ runs.   
     Things are really starting to come together career-wise.  Word of mouth on something or other (or perhaps ALL of it) is hitting the ground running and I’d like to think that the money should be around the corner.  Geoff Kelly and I were talking about career goals, aspirations and objectives on Monday and I told him my conclusion was that ultimately, I wanted to keep busy.  Writing is a compulsive therapy for me now.  It’s something I’m going to do no matter what.  I’m knocking on wood here, because every time I say something like that, I block up for eight to twelve months.  There’s still too much to be done.  And I don’t give a shit about recognition anymore, inclusion, or critical fanfare.  I want to make money.  I want to provide for my new three unit family.  I want to be able to leave my job in two to five years so that I can do this full time.  I’m ready.  The steps are in place.  All I have to do now is keep at it.
    I’ll drop you a line again when I have a chance.  Take care of yourselves, Big Words readers.  Seeya on the flip side.
 
    Tom Waters
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giving it away for free: madhouse

August 8, 2008

the pathetic thing is that this isn’t even part of either volume of breathing room.  i’m working on a 400 page hardcover in my idle (right!) time that i’m gonna set for completion in 2010 called poke the scorpion with a sharp stick.  this october (when my b-day rolls around), i’m going to get a tattoo that i’ve always wanted.  a traditional scorpio symbol from the zodiac in black with his tail reaching out of a circle like a bat-signal for my sign.  that’s gonna be the cover.  it’s good to have goals.  it’s good to visualize these things five moves in advance, too.  anyhow, here’s one i wanted to share that i transcribed from my notebook three minutes ago.  enjoy!

…the whole World is a

{ MADHOUSE }

a looney bin

full of

ranters

ravers

whiners

screamers

schizos

alkies

uppers

downers

punchers

(ragers)

nail-biters

ankle-grabbers

cutters

rapers

the raped

the debauched

the hunted

the haunted

guilt-ridden

pyromaniacs/sodomaniacal/nympho-maniacal/mid-life/crycyle

meltdowns

-i’m not the only inmate.

-i’m not only an inmate

(but)

i’m also the president.

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Monday Big Words Update: Stop The Press, I Wanna Get Off!

August 5, 2008

     If I had a request to pass along to the Fates, it would be that they didn’t let all the important things happen in the last week of each month this summer.  This makes twice now that I’ve had to phone in to Night Life magazine and essentially tell them to ‘Stop The Press!’  With a four rant block of essays already in place, I changed tack in light of last week’s events and decided to publish the Buffalo Rising campaign ala Lenny Bruce by serializing the ordeal.  Every email, every column and every late breaking event will be disseminated in a two or three part column series IN print in Night Life magazine under the auspicious title of ‘Alia Iacta Est’ (or, for those of you familiar with your Latin, ‘The Die Is Cast’. 

     There were a lot of updates I wanted to write over the weekend, but Linds and I skipped town and set sail for Lake Erie.  Some time late on Friday, I finally (after many hits, misses and total mistakes for the notion) came up with a lasting title for Essay Book Six (technically Book 9.  Are you ready for it?  Maybe we should get a drum roll going because the title is unbelievably perfect for the content.

-Drum Roll Please

First of all, you’re all (most of you) familiar with the next Rant Book Title, Slapstick & Superego.  We’ve got that one covered at least.  I’m looking at May or June of next year depending on how long the Breathing Room promotions will spill over.   But the book after that, the rant collection that’s clocking in around 107 pages thus far, is:

-Drum Roll, Please!

Merry Prankster

     I agonize over the naming of things.  This title knocks my socks off, though.  It’s an obscure reference to the ’60s, The Tarot, my lifestyle, the material and my way of life.  It works.  If it turns out that someone else has used that handle, I’m still using it.  It’s perfect, it has a nice ring to it, and I can’t think of Rant Book Six as anything other than.

     I spoke with a lot of Buffalo Industry Veterans today regarding the Buffalo Rising fiasco and they’ve all given me some sagely advice.  Whether I follow it is irrelevant, but it was nice to get their opinions.  People who have been toiling away in the business of newspapers for over a decade (and in some cases, two or three).  In many cases, this experience has opened (or re-opened) a lot of doors for me into new endeavors with old friends and new alike.  A few interviews will be finding their way into the pages of Buffalo Spree, a slick magazine publication with nationwide circulation that Elena was blinded with rage over being unable to trump.  A few others still will be finding a home with ArtVoice after Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly and I manage to trade some old journalistic muckracking anecdotes over a stout or two and come to agreement on the Buffalo Police series.  And I’m going to find a way to work something out with WNY Media, as I think they deserve a few fresh pieces from me after sticking their necks out along with me last week when no one else would.  That takes guts.

     Nicholas Peterson has joined the brigade with myself and Carrie Gardner in putting the finishing polish on both Breathing Room manuscripts.  He’s a wiz on formatting, desktop publishing and layout and he’s been kind enough to volunteer his efforts on rescuing the headers, footers, fonts and formatting headaches that have just about gotten the best of me.  I’ve already begun work on a THIRD volume of poetry (shooting for 3-400 pages for the next tome) entitled Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick which, if I’m lucky, will not be complete for another two years or so with all of the other plates spinning in the air. 

     RD Pohl didn’t see fit to accept any of my submissions for this month’s installment of the Poetry Page in the Buffalo News.  Florine still hasn’t run ‘token excuses for block’, which is understandable as they only seem to run poems once in a blue moon in the ‘In The Margins’ section of ArtVoice.  ‘poem for Lindsay’ continues to garner decent votes on poetry.com, but I’m going to need more credibility for certain parties with the poems if I’m going to move some copies.  It’ll all fall into place over the next three or four months.

     I’m lining up some phenomenal concerts/readings/performances that center again around the ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concept.  Three poets, one location, and the occassional musical guest between sets.  Carrie Gardner, Jeff Finlayson and myself will be headlining a Screening Room reading in mid-December that pays.  Carrie and myself will be featured as readers at the Center For Inquiry as part of Just Buffalo’s ‘Literary Cafe’ readings hosted by the ever-entertaining Perry Nicholas.  All signs point to yes for a launch-window (late October) trifecta reading at Talking Leaves on Main St near UB North.  And discussions are being bandied about regarding doing the official launch at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center on Main St. downtown.  Most of these events are paying and the majority of them are going to come to pass.  The ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concert concept just feels like more of a downtown Buffalo venue, so I’ll be focusing most of my efforts in and around Buffalo, where poetry seems to thrive in multiple pockets and genres.  Buffalo Spree has even informed me that they’re willing to jump in ahead of the curve and do an Artist Profile and me, which is tremendously flattering. 

     After two months of typing furiously, my right hand is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’m afraid I’ll be taking a break from writing (and posting) for the majority of the week so that I don’t put any undue strain on the nerve and tendon clusters in my forearm.  I will, however, be running some emails that a certain Informant on Buffalo Rising has been supplying me with intel from mid-week.  The new Big Words radio show wraps this Wednesday night and Uncle Hal and I are STILL trying to find a good time window to do the 60th episode together.  We’ll hammer something out.  That’s a lot of ground covered.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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More work (still) to be done on Breathing Room(s)

July 18, 2008

I got my galley proof in the mail from Lulu.com this afternoon and the page breaks, headers and footers are a catastrophe.  Carrie Gardner sent me the back half of the manuscript for Volume I and it’s riddled with typos.  I’m strongly considering pulling all the page breaks, page numbers and headers and let all the poems cozy up next to one another so that people can either browse them, power-read them or flip through at their leisure.  Two more weeks and copies will be in reader’s hands come hell or highwater.  My photographer has two more days to get me a picture for the cover concept on the first one and after that I’ll just take matters into my own hands.  Two more friends (Ian from Don’s Atomic and his moll Rachel) perused the first volume and gave me some solid and glowing feedback.  I just might have two minor hits on my hands.  You’ll be able to judge for yourself soon enough…

And one more thing.  If you want a free teaser (3 poems each) from either collection, you can find them easily enough over on my Myspace profile.  Thanks!

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Breathing Room Volume 2 complete, first 2 batman reviews down

July 16, 2008

     After a day of writing, formatting, and overall creative overdrive, Breathing Room volume 2: rhymes & relics is done.  Now that both volumes are complete, now I need to embark on the slow, painful process of learning the desktop publishing ethic  (through lulu.com), working on headers & footers and making sure that the spelling and placement are correct.  Carrie Gardner (my esteemed and appointed Editor in Chief for the project) was kind enough to priority mail her corrections for the first collection (along with a knockout intro) yesterday.  This is the first (and only time) that I’ll be working on the typesettting and layout to not one, but two books simultaneously.  After 325 odd pages of poems, I’m finally ready to take a break.

     And in light of that, two of the Batman reviews are up and at play online.  Buffalo Rising (online) posted my review for The Killing Joke deluxe 20th anniversary edition along with Batman: Jekkyl & Hyde.  You’re welcome to read both over at:

www.buffalorising.com

     I’ll be spending the better part of this afternoon co-hosting the historic 60th episode of the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal out in the sunny Burbank studios of Uncle Hal/Harpo Productions in California today.  The second that the episode is up I’ll let you know.  Much like the ‘I’m not even supposed to be here today’ mantra to Clerks, I don’t even have a book to promote!  Yet…..

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 86 on stands, etc., etc., etc.

July 14, 2008

     There’s almost too much stuff to cover today.  This is gonna be a hell of a week for me, writing wise.  Firstly, the new issue of Night Life makes the rounds today with a Big Words I Know By Heart rendition of ‘On Spec’, my essay about a recent mental/tectonic shift in my writing philosophy.  Whatever the case, that philosophy must be working, because I’ve hit a goddamned gusher in the last month.

     Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse is finished, and Carrie Gardner and myself have been toiling away on edits, spelling corrections and punctuation issues.  The frequent problem with being able to type 57 words per minute is that occassionally, you’re going to mispell a few things.  We both want this book to be perfect.  Ron (Carrie’s husband) started reading the book last week and tore through it in one sitting.  Lindsay finally got a peek over the weekend and read the whole thing in the span of an hour and a half.  I think I’ve got something special on my hands, here.  We’re all excited, but I have no idea how it’s going to make any money.  One way or another, the manuscript is getting sent to press by this time next Monday. 

     Yesterday, I spent the better part of the day tinkering on Breathing Room Volume 2: rhymes & relics.  While it was originally intended to be a much smaller, more portable, chapbook sized collection, it exploded.  It billowed out to almost 120 pages.  I’m writing eight final poems for the ‘cookies’ section of the book (there’s a running internet theme for the three parts), writing the ‘afterword’, and then I’m done with that one, too.  These two books have been the most fun I’ve had writing in a long, long time.  I’m putting some events into motion for autumn (which is a great time for poetry anyway) that should play around quite a bit with people’s notions of promotion.

      And ironically enough, The Buffalo News has accepted a piece I wrote last week about inheriting a second family due to marriage that will run the same month that Lindsay and I tie the knot.  ‘My People’ will hit the press in September in the ‘My View section, so keep your eyes peeled.

     As far as Buffalo Rising, I finally nabbed a copy of this month’s print issue and the new format (not sure how long it’s been that size) is gorgeous!  They ran a 1,000 word edit of my interview with comic book artist/writer Alex Robinson as the first installment in my new ‘Vox Populi’ series.  Starting today online (hopefully), they’ll be running five Batman reviews in a row leading up to the theatrical bombshell that is The Dark Knight.  Check that out over at:

www.buffalorising.com

That should be everything for one day.  Let’s put a smile on that face of yours!

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3 poems on Myspace, 1 over on YourHub

July 10, 2008

Okay, so I realize that I’m going to have to let some of it go for free if I’m going to pique the unconverted, so I threw 3 poems from Breathing Room Vol. I up on my Myspace blog over at:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&Mytoken=E3BCB837-832D-41F7-9D760A22998C6B361039299

For the YourHub poem, just follow the link I’ve got on Myspace and click on ‘Stories’.  Simple, right?  Comment back on the blog (or YourHub) and lemme know whatcha think!

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Acid Logic Update/’Final Eulogy’ in BRO/5 min video delayed (not really)

July 9, 2008

Goddamn, it’s good to be productive!

The July issue of Acid Logic is up online right now with ‘Quiet Time Or Else’, an essay about my required need for silence and tranquility.  Check it out at:

http://www.acidlogic.com/quiet_time.htm

And Buffalo Rising has seen fit to throw my review up online regarding Charles Bukowski’s final posthumous collection of poems, ‘The Pleasures Of The Damned’.  You can read all about it at:

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/final_eulogy_charles_bukowskis#sca

     And I spaced on the date for Think Twice radio’s ‘five minute video’ series.  It wasn’t yesterday.  It’s about two weeks away.  There is honestly so much going on (even without a current book to plug) that it’s hard to keep track and I’m simply hanging on for dear life and loving every single minute of it.  I believe the date is somewhere around July 24th, so you can be sure that I’ll post the link right around then.

    Last but not least, the manuscript for Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse was quietly (and ecstatically) completed Monday night around 10 pm.  I’m ecstatic.  I’m giddy.  I’m clicking my heels inside!  I went out to celebrate last night and felt a hell of a lot like Barton Fink in the USO scene of the film by the same name.  I’m feeling compelled to post a poem over on MySpace sometime today, so if you’re curious, you might want to nose around my profile if you get a chance. 

     I’ve set a two week deadline for my photographer (Shauna Seiler) for the cover concept and my editor (Carrie Gardner) for the introduction, so the book should be available by month’s end.  Not one to be lazy, I’m going to start working on the second volume in the next few days: Breathing Room Vol. II: rhymes & relics.  As I’ve said before, with the wedding fast approaching, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to promote anything in the next three months, but I’m putting my aces in my places for a gigantic book launch/concert/multiple artist reading on Oct. 25th, my 33rd birthday.  I’m thinking downtown.  I’m thinking artsy.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  More news on that event as it develops…

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Breathing Room taking off/back from vacation

July 6, 2008

     I never thought I’d say it, but I can’t wait to get back to work and routine.  Three weeks of vacation in six weeks time was too much madness too closely strung together.  On the tail end of it, though, I wrote a mountain of new poetry for the first time in over a year and it’s, well, I feel that it’s a turning point in terms of voice.  The Breathing Room project has been weighing heavily in my mind and it appears as if the two volume concept (completed for over a year now) won’t be the last of that brand of creativity.  With enough time, I’d like to do a soft launch with it (nothing fancy) in August or October.  Response on the material from the fairer sex has been overwhelmingly positive and for the small cross section of men who enjoy reading verse, it’s been pretty good on that end, too.

     I’ll be heading back into Think Twice Radio’s studio this Tuesday to record a video segment for Richard’s ‘Five Minute Video’ series (a high concept, stream of consciousness spot) which should be up (if I know Rich well enough) by Tuesday night.  I’ll throw you the link once it’s there. 

     And finally, my second graphic novel review (‘This Apparition Come-Batman: Lovers & Madmen) went up on Buffalo Rising Online’s web site on the fourth of July.  To hop straight over, click away at:

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/this_apparition_come_batman_lo#sca

     On the verge of near-total exhaustion, I’ll be recuperating and writing in turns at home for the better part of today.  Be it ever so humble, etc.

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