Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

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When Severed Ears Sing You Songs by Justin Karcher

March 14, 2017

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“Trying to create miracles for all us dumb fucks

Who just want to see one curse reversed

Before our muscles betray our bones”

-from ‘I Want Michael Fassbender to Hold My Hand and Tell Me Everything Will Be Okay…’

Chapbooks have traditionally been a signal flare or a forerunner for a larger body of work. Sometimes the flare peters out on the way down, and there are other instances where they are strung together before being combined into a bigger collection of poems. When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (2016, Ghost City Press) by Justin Karcher is more of an about-face or a stylistic sidestep after his longer Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell (2015, Ghost City Press).  Fast, funny and philosophical while simultaneously walking the tight rope between timely and timeless.

The city of Buffalo is Justin’s muse. He creates mirth and magic and wonder out of the sub-mundane, the poverty class and the lost souls in a lost city. The phenomenon to Karcher’s poems is that I wrestle cognitively with whether or not they are clever non-sequiturs strung together to suit or if all of the poems are one patchwork diatribe touching down on distinctive benders, evenings we’ve all regretted or dark corners of the city and our scarred psyches at the same time. I’m not sure I want the answer anymore, but I enjoy struggling with the riddle. And there’s a wry gallow’s humor to his work that connects with the reader in a way I haven’t seen in poetry for some time. Too often we’re weighed down with a sort of 18th-century morose self-importance in 21st century poems that shouldn’t exist.

This chapbook strikes me as a writer becoming comfortable with his style, easing into his poems like you’d slide your heel effortlessly into a pair of formal shoes. He has his voice and now he’s checking off every octave. The age-old polarities of sex and death have gotten wonderfully muddy within the pages of ‘Severed Ears’. Now we’re venturing into the ache, the loss, the regret and the existentialism of half-remembered love and the sorrow and sometimes-dread of being alive. Somehow in all of this Karcher gives me hope for the city because if it can cause so much pain, then it means more than Post-Industrialism, decline and decay.

-Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 25: ‘Dramaturgy’

June 23, 2016

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I’ve been a bad talk show host.

Here we are a week away from the next episode and I’m just posting the previous episode now.  Chalk it up to procrastination, call it the aftermath to my comeuppance, call it whatever you want, but here’s last month’s episode.  I felt ill-prepared and intimidated by my guest Donna Hoke, a playwright, staffer for Buffalo Spree magazine, children’s book author and a lot more.  Maybe I read too far into her personality, maybe not, but it threw me off guard and it was noticeable.  That’s okay, though.  The two questions I ask myself after every show are 1. Was it entertaining? and 2. Was it funny?  I can respond affirmative to both for this show whether it was at my own expense or not.  Justin Karcher was terrific in the Co Host Hot Seat.  See the whole big hot mess for yourself:

 

Thanks are in order to Hoke, Karcher and the always-lovely Richard Wicka.  I’ll see you all back here in approximately one week.  Approximately.

Tom

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Big Words Video 25.1: Donna Hoke & Justin Karcher-‘Hamilton’

June 2, 2016

I got the sense that either Donna and Justin hadn’t seen each other in a long time, or that you could lock them both in a room for three days and they’d still be pontificating and arguing when you opened the door.  Quips and gossip and barbs were flying and they downshifted to a delightful debate about Buffalo theater once the camera started rolling after the episode.  See for yourself:

#BigWordsVideo will return later this month with a long-awaited guest spot from award-winning comedienne Heather Stack!

Don’t you touch that dial.

Tom

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Poetry Month: Pleasures Of The Damned

April 25, 2016

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I still had a few lingering thoughts about Poetry Month, so I thought I’d run my 2008 review of Charles Bukowski’s Pleasures Of The Damned.  It was the poet’s final and mammoth posthumous publication.  Bukowski’s impact on free verse cannot be overstated, and without his influence, there would be no Breathing Room(s).  This review originally ran in Buffalo Rising. -Tom

As far as Charles Bukowski’s work is concerned, you either enjoy his work or you don’t. As far as I’m concerned, any artist who can pen 54 books is worth looking into. Almost two years ago, a friend of mine read a poem of his aloud, with a roaring campfire in the background, during a summertime couple’s cocktail get-together–and I was hooked for life.

I’d rather read books, listen to music or watch films from an artist who’s consistently above-par than fixate on the tiny visionaries who knock one or two dingers out of the park and then disappear. It’s a testament to the poet’s already extensive and prolific career that he passed away in 1993, and Ecco books has been publishing uncollected volumes of his work practically every year since. Even death couldn’t shut Bukowski (aka: ‘Henry Chinanski’) up. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and The Pleasures Of The Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 (Ecco, 2007) marks the final note in a swan song the dead, drunken lout has been singing for fifteen years beyond the grave.
The final note plays like a familiar variation on an old jazz standard because a lot of work previously published in other collections makes a return visit in the pages of this fanatic-magnet of a hardcover. Bukowski’s heirs must have scoured the final drawers in his writing nook for one last run at the residual checks, as a smattering of new, previously uncollected verse can be found peppered throughout.

It doesn’t help that I just recently tore through The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946-1966 (Ecco, 2002) along with The People Look Like Flowers At Last: New Poems (2007). Make no mistake, I don’t regret the purchase, and jump at the chance to buy any hardcover from a writer I’m enthusiastic about. It’s just a bit of a letdown to find out that I’ve already read more than seventy percent of the work within.

If you’ve read Bukowski’s work and you don’t own much of it, or if you want something literary and high-minded to show off on the coffee-table nook for your pretentious cocktail guests or in the bathroom for quick laughs and heartwarming forays into the fragility of the human soul, buy it at once. If (like me), you are systematically collecting everything the author has written and you’re starting with the larger volumes first and working your way down to the slimmer collections, you might want to hold off. There are better posthumous selections out there and they’re all marked up at boutique prices in whichever eccentric local book retailer or soulless conglomerate you can find them.

And for the uninitiated, Buk’s work is certainly worth reading. He was a champion of the underdog and an anti-elitist in the best possible sense of the term. A drunkard, a womanizer, a socially challenged citizen and a compulsive (and mostly successful) gambler at the race track, but a genius just the same. His work truly appeals to poetry lovers who think that they hate poetry. That’s how I got sucked in, and two years later, I’m still voraciously devouring every last verse in whichever books I haven’t bought yet.

Many critics bemoan the fact that his work was more structured, honest and true in the poetic sense before he become an underground sensation among skid row types, loose women and those who aren’t afraid of five to ten stiff drinks. While this may be true, the testament and the sheer weight of his own Akashic library will live on forever. His style of free verse has left a generation-spanning cacophony of enthusiasts, acolytes and derivative hacks. Present party included.

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Poetry Month: (homesick) ryan inlet

April 21, 2016

breathing room vol.I cover

I’m going to close out this little exercise with a final poem about a place that’s very dear to my heart: Rushford Lake.  Fun fact: The cover image for Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse was a picture of my boat dock from our cabin in Rushford.  This poem found its way into Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (2011, Doubt It Publishing), my third and, in all likelihood, my final book of poetry.  I had a few lingering thoughts about the month that I might entertain next week. 

Thanks for reading!

-Tom

 

(homesick) ryan inlet

cold feet padding past

freezing linoleum

morning fog rolling down

the channel

red embers from the previous

evening’s bonfire cooling

crows caw cacophonously

carp flop out of the water lazily

coffee drips deliberately

quietly counting out the

remaining days of a vacation

my Love shifting

snoozing

tossing/turning

beautifully

first cigarette stings

delicious pang of an

a.m. buzz

1950’s space heater

kicking into first gear

near my toes

lean back into a plush

leather chair that’s been through

three or four generations

three or four different families

ashtray precariously balanced

upon the arm

smoke curling up from a green

mug with coin insignias etched

into the clay

(grandpa’s)

duck’s diving in for a landing

on the middle of a placid

liquid landing strip

curtain’s down at the folk’s cabin

crack another comic book

drop another on the stack of the

finished pile

the start of another perfect day

four left.

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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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‘Shotgun Start’-Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell Review

October 19, 2015
Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell by Justin Karcher with illustrations by Michael Biondo (2015, Ghost City Press)

Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell by Justin Karcher with illustrations by Michael Biondo (2015, Ghost City Press)

‘The rust born in my blood anchors me like a shipwreck
And it’s only through self-destruction
That I’m able to float freely.’-Virginia Isn’t For Lovers Like Me (pg.50)

Here’s the thing about being a mad bastard: you can always recognize another one. On some instinctual, primordial, reptilian, old-brain level, you can spot someone else who’s mad as a March Hare. Justin Karcher is out of his mind. In a good way. The best kind of way. In the poetic sense of someone who’s veins are on fire with passion and prose. The words are exploding out of this man and we’re all lucky enough to be on the other end of it. Trust me, I’ve been in his shoes and it’s a scary, exciting, unpredictable place to be. Real poetry…real poets? They’ve got the world pouring out of their fingertips and there’s no way to stop the flood. Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell is not your grandmother’s Condensed Best Of Safe and Inoffensive American Poetry Primer. Nothing inside of it will ever make it’s way onto a knitted sampler or the bumper sticker of a lily-white compact SUV. Thank God for that.

This is just the beginning. This is a Poet announcing his entrance into the ring. There’ll be more. A lot more. There’s no doubt of that. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we’ll have a whole bookshelf reserved for Mr. Justin Karcher in no time flat. While the housewife poets and armchair poets and tourists are working on economy of line and flash poetry and happy insipid nonsense, Justin is firing off submissions and hat-tricking acceptances while the rest of the sane world sleeps. Not because he wants to, but because he has to. This is how he makes sense of a milquetoast planet lost in its own slumber. He’s writing his way either out of or into a rubber room depending on his point of view that very second. Or both. Depends on the poem, the girl, the state line in question and a lot of other variables.

Karcher’s poems obey their own laws of reality, space-time and sexuality. He creates his own vernacular as he goes, hammering out his own alliteration-laced glossary off-the-cuff, and it makes for damned good reading. The adjectives and expletives click into place like the best kind of bedfellows. A chapbook was too small for his first shot across the bow, and Michael Biondo’s illustrations serve the subject matter well, almost like cocktail-napkin sketches about two drinks past last call at the bar on the wrong side of town after the first eight dives, juke joints, crashed parties and speakeasies. There’s an interlocking narrative as you make your way through the book, a man grasping at the identity of country, self, sex and the illusion of sanity. Salvation through self-destruction. It’s a tune that’s not too distant for me, so I recognize the melody, and Karcher’s rendition is a real barn-burner.
 

Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell is just the shotgun start. Mark my words. This is the good stuff. Distilled, refined and fired right at you with staccato sincerity. From one mad bastard to another, Justin, well done.

Chewing through my restraints again,
Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart X: ‘The Hot Dog Dance’

June 2, 2015

Before producer Richard Wicka and I even started filming the webisodes last August, I booked all of my guests for the first season of the show in an effort to keep the guests balanced and ensure that the show got off to a strong start.  Jon Elston (Episode I) recommended poet and playwright Justin Karcher as someone who would work as a guest for the show and Karcher certainly didn’t disappoint.

Publicity still for Big Words Video X by Richard Wicka.  Pictured (clockwise): Waters, Justin Karcher and co-host Pete.

Publicity still for Big Words Video X by Richard Wicka. Pictured (clockwise): Waters, Justin Karcher and co-host Pete.

Having never met Karcher before, I had no idea what to expect.  While researching the show I was struck by the amount of published work he’d amassed and the distinctive voice he’d forged as a poet.  He’s a very genuine person in a world where sincerity is in short supply.  We had a great time during the filming and a few long discussions before and after the show.  This episode marks a slight departure from the early format of blindsiding guests without giving them much of a breather between questions.  The show is evolving into a goofy comedy show with some very candid responses and a very real organic back and forth.  So ten episodes in, Big Words Video is beginning to grow up a little.  I have a four year plan for this show and I’m very proud of how it’s gone so far.  I hope you feel the same way after watching a few episodes.  You can view Episode X: ‘The Hot Dog Dance’ right HERE:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the show on YouTube as well as ‘Sharing’ it on any of your various social networking platforms and apps.  Thanks are in order to Justin for delivering on his mystique, Pete for coming to the table with some research of his own and of course producer Richard Wicka for letting me run around his studio like a bull in a china shop.

I’ve been excited about next month’s guest since August, but why spoil the surprise now?

We’ll see you on the other side of the screen in a month,

Tom

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Big Words Video 10.5: ‘Phonaesthetics’

June 2, 2015

Justin Karcher was like a force of nature once the camera started rolling for this bonus segment.  I’ve seen a lot of poetry readings in my time and I’ve been around that world more than a bit and it was pretty clear watching him work that he has a well-worn place in his head where he goes when he reads from his poems. It was something to see in person behind the camera and that energy translated very well into the segment. Check out Big Words Video 10.5 right HERE:

Karcher is the real deal when it comes to poets.  He’s not a tourist and not a ‘hobbyist’.  I look forward to seeing how his bibliography plays out.  Please take an extra minute to SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words Video Channel to receive updates on new shows as they arrive.  There are only a few episodes left before Season One comes to a close and there are still some great guests down the road!

Tom

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Book Reading & Signing Announced for December @WNY Book & Arts Center

October 6, 2014

Morning!

I’ve scheduled and secured one more signing for the end of the year. Here are the pertinent details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters
Location:
WNY Book & Arts Center
468 Washington St.
Buffalo, NY

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Date & Time:
Saturday, December 6th
2 p.m.-4p.m.

(716) 348-1430

FB Event Page for WNY Books & Arts Center Reading & Signing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can assure you that between this event and Hot Mama’s Canteen these are the only book promotions I’ll be doing for the remainder of the year. If you’ve been to one of my readings before, you know how much fun they can be. If you haven’t, now would be a good time to find out. Both events are very important to me. Bear in mind that local musicians play out six and seven nights a week and most people wouldn’t think twice about heading out to see them perform. As a local author (at best) I host only a handful of events a year. Support your local artists! As always, I give discounts on anyone buying multiple books or multiple copies. Someone will probably be filming the event for future inclusion on one of my show sites. Again, please mark your calendar, book a sitter and make this date. With any luck, I will still have copies available for the limited edition print run of Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive.

Hope to see you there!
Tom

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The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour Finale Roast

December 6, 2011

After 100 episodes, who knew that my former co-hosts would have so much pent up rage towards yours truly?

Seriously though, Friday’s Finale taping was everything I was hoping for and more.  After some exhaustive editing and splicing work over the course of the weekend we’ve got nearly two hours of creative variety and hilarious lambasting coming your way.  Here are your synopses:

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.I: ‘Fag Hags & The 99%’

A star-studded cast of co-hosts from the catastrophic history of the program turn up to kick Tom in his baby nuts on the way down for the craptacular finale to a four year run of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Intentionally Bald Mike leads the charge, playwright Jon Elston gets himself into trouble, poet/comedian Josh Smith tears Tom a new one, Gun Nut Brendan enjoys what’s left of his Tullamore Dew (after Tom ‘has his way’ with it), Timmy C. reminisces about ‘Foamy Cokes’, Diabetes Dave laments his mom’s last pap smear, and all of the co-hosts in attendance launch an intervention with painfully poor results.

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.II: ‘I Was Just Looking For Q-Tips & Polyps.’

Zombie Chris comes out of seclusion to discuss ‘the Meeghan double dip’, Tom’s old roommate Charles ‘Chezzie’ reflects on their magical bachelor years and refines his comedy routine, Doubt It Publishing wunderkind Mark McElligott further incriminates himself, Intentionally Bald Mike and Gun Nut Brendan return to cross a woefully small sword, rock star Michael Bly makes an unexpected cameo with his girlfriend Danielle and Intentionally Bald Mike blows a gasket over some shocking news about the show.

The Big Words Finale Bonus Round!

Hawaiian and/or Filipino wind-up car enthusiast Terry Kimmel shares a magical fantasy with Tom in the lead role and Chezzie sharpens up his comedy routine with mixed results.

To hear all three finale episodes along with every episode in the show’s history, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

You can also download the entire catalog for free by searching the Podcast section and clicking on the ‘Comedy’ listing on ‘the iTunes’.  Part I & II of the finale will appear on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com by the end of the week.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who called in and showed up to tear me a new one.  Thanks for making the Finale so memorable.  A very big thank you goes out to Intentionally Bald Mike as well for being such an influential force from the humble beginnings of the show all the way to the end.

Well what the hell are you waiting for?  Download the damn shows already!

Enjoy,

Tom Waters

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Book Signing Dec.4th From 4-6 p.m. w/Mark McElligott

November 7, 2011

After a four month flurry of promotions together, Mark McElligott and I are still a bit tired and weary.  Nevertheless, we are planning some book events during the busy holiday season.  On Sunday, December 4th, we’ll both be at Talking Leaves on Elmwood from 4-6 pm signing copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, Mockery and Mark’s breakout hit Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  All three books will be available for $15.  Talking Leaves currently has all three books in stock at both their Elmwood and Main St. locations.

I’m also in the process of setting something up at Dog Ears Books in South Buffalo for December, so stay tuned for news about that.  On top of that, Mark’s shown an interest in booking an event at Café Karma in Lockport, so odds are strong that we’ll book something for him there.

Even when we’re not busy, we’re busy.  I’m promoting lightly on Poke The Scorpion until my calendar frees up, so please try to make it out to Talking Leaves if you want a copy.  My time for the next month is deeply invested in proof-reading an editing a possible manuscript for next year and everything else is on a back burner for the time being.  While my poetry books have never been blockbusters in terms of sales, they’re steady sellers over the years and they mean every bit as much to me as the humor books or other projects.

We look forward to seeing you in December,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode 64 ‘Story Of My Flife’ w/ Greg Sterlace

August 25, 2011

Everything comes to an end eventually.  I spoke with my producer Richard Wicka last night after the studio show and my numbers for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour are grim, so it looks like I’ll be closing the doors on the show by year’s end.  It saddens me to see my audience disappear, but that’s what’s happening.  The good news to that is that I’ll be doing a farewell show in December and I’m welcoming all of my co-hosts back for the opportunity to roast me one final time.  I’m lobbying Rich to see if we can work out a two hour or two episode show for the occasion.  If you’ve ever co-hosted the show, I encourage you to join me in the studio (or over the phone) one final time for a good lambasting.

Last night’s show was spectacular.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 64: ‘Story Of My Flife’

Returning guest of honor Greg Sterlace is on the receiving end of a whiskey-less Tom while co-host Timmy C goes for the extra point.

 

To hear the show in full audio quality, click here:

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

 

To hear all 94 episodes of Big Words Radio along with the new show, click here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe to Big Words Radio for free by searching Big Words Radio on iTunes and clicking on the show listed under Comedy.

 

I’ve got about four more shows and then it’s light’s out on Big Words Radio.  I’m grateful for all of the celebrities, artists, musicians, adult film stars, writers and cartoonists who have brought something fresh to the show.  British journalist Joel Meadows will be calling in for my next studio show in October, so I have that to look forward to as well.

Please listen to the new show and spread the word.  I’m trying to go out on a high note.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Poke The Scorpion Publicity Junket Rescheduled For Late October

August 13, 2011

I try to follow my instincts, and my gut tells me that it’s a smarter idea to promote Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick during the actual Scorpio season, which runs from October 23rd through November 21st.  While the book is already out online, it makes more sense to promote it effectively during the boom season for the rest of my tribe, so to speak.  While I’m not superstitious and while I don’t cling to too many pat philosophies, there are too many parallels and far too many coincidences associated with the Scorpio sign that are worth giving tribute to.  The entire book is devoted to the Scorpio mentality along with scorpions as a species.
While my poetry collections make up a very small percentage of my overall revenue, the new book is still worth hitting the road and promoting.  Some people shut down instantaneously when you even mention the word poetry, so they’re not going to even be receptive.  Other people’s ears perk up at the notion of something new and innovative.  Others can be converted given the right circumstances.  That’s the market I’m going after.  It’s my wish to incorporate a few readings, signings and related events along with some old tricks that have worked in the past.  Mark McElligott will be joining me on the journey in Buffalo and beyond.  The Monsters Of Verse will get back into the habit this fall with a few coffee houses and a few bookstores.  I’m entertaining the idea of even doing some guest bartending stints just for the hell of it.
Breathing Room Volume I was wildly successful considering the miniscule hopes I had for it.  Volume II did just okay by comparison, but it was weirder, so that’s okay.  The few people who picked up the first batch of Scorpion books have called it ‘the best poetry book I’ve written so far.’  It may be my last.  Locking into that frame of mind is difficult to do, but I’d be happy to go out on a high note where poetry is concerned.
Please enjoy your summers and free up a few weekends in late October and November.  Poke The Scorpion will be hitting you where it hurts soon enough.  In the mean time, I’ll be crouched in a small dark place waiting to strike.  Like most scorpions.
Thanks for staying tuned,
Tom Waters

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Poke The Scorpion Book Giveaway Contest

July 13, 2011

This month I’ll be giving away three random signed copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  What do you have to do to get it?

 

1. ‘Like’ Poke The Scorpion on FB by following this link:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

 

2. Rate the book on lulu.com.

 

3. Post a link on your Twitter, FB, Google + or any other website you may have.

 

4. Leave  a comment on this post.

 

5. Drop me an email at bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘Contest’ in the subject heading.

 

Final deadline is August 1st, 2011.  Whether you live in Buffalo or beyond, I’ll hold a random drawing at the end of July.  If you’re local I’ll hand you a copy at the first scheduled reading or signing for Poke The Scorpion in August.  If you live out of state or in another country, I’ll send you a signed copy out of pocket.  I’d like to launch this book with a bang and I need your help to do it!

 

Game on,

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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Final Wraparound Art For Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick

June 12, 2011

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Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick Cover Art

June 7, 2011

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ArtVoice’s 2011 Best Of Buffalo Nominations/Mockery Promotions Thus Far…

May 1, 2011

After a turbulent week of surprises, promotions and nominations, it’ll be nice to relax for a few days.  The first month of promotions for Mockery is over leaving three months and change for the rest of the scheduled readings and signings.

The Lancaster Public Library reading went off without a hitch and even though the Sabres were busy losing the playoffs, we still had a great turnout with plenty of books sold.  Fellow Monsters Of Verse alumni JR Finlayson made a surprise appearance and read a few selections from his upcoming book Multiples Of Eleven (due out soon).  The evening took an unexpected turn when a few members of the crowd requested (and encouraged) a few passages about manic depression, so I read a piece from First Person, Last Straw along with some of the Jekkyl & Hyde poems from both Breathing Rooms.  Thanks to everyone who attended for making it such an intimate and interesting evening.  I’ll definitely keep the Lancaster Library in mind should Mark McElligott and I decide to promote locally in the fall.

On the same day, Minnesota podcasting great Gary Holdsteady and I recorded Episode 60 of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.

You can listen to the show by clicking here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/278282/episode-60-i-was-hoping-to-get

-Or (as always) you can subscribe to the show for free in the podcast section of iTunes under the ‘Comedy’ category.

Gary and I have been great friends for years and this was one of the few episodes where I didn’t work off of notes or pre-formulated questions.  Our rapport (and his conversational candor) was strong enough that we ad-libbed the entire show with great results.  To hear Gary’s podcast you can listen on iTunes by searching ‘Independant Stream’ or you can listen online by clicking:

http://independentstream.podomatic.com

Thursday proved shocking when ArtVoice announced their 2011 Best Of Buffalo nominees.  Somehow all of you managed to get me on the ballot for their Best Writer category.  The winner hasn’t been announced yet, but regardless of the outcome, I’m deeply grateful to all of you who voted in addition to every one of you who have supported my work for the last ten years by buying a book, making a reading or spreading the word.  I don’t put a lot of stock in contests, but a lot of people look to them to decide what’s hot and what’s not and with the new book out, it can’t hurt to campaign a little bit more.  Keep your fingers crossed and I guess we’ll see who takes home the gold soon enough.

Last night we had a four hour marathon at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew for ‘Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway’ with special guests Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and Michael Hoffert Jr. (host of ‘It Came From The Longbox’ on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com).  Don and I have done a promotion for every book since Soup To Nuts and his shop is always a favorite destination during the tour.  The sale went great, I recorded a lot of great audio and a few other surprise guests turned up including Monsters Of Verse alumn Carrie Gardner, Monster Matt, John Kindelan and Brian Platter from Six Shot Studios.

The events for this book have been wildly unpredictable compared to previous years.  Te ones I’ve expected to do well haven’t and the ones that I thought would be a waste of time turned out to be anything but.  It’s hard to predict an outcome for anything in Buffalo with so many conflicting events (sporting and otherwise) and such a melting pot of cultural tastes.  Mark McElligott and I are going to keep plugging away until the end of July at a steady pace with our heads up.  Next Saturday (May 7th) I’ll be reading and signing copies of Mockery at the Caz Coffee Café on Abbott Rd. in South Buffalo at 7 p.m.  If you’re free that night I’d love to see you there.

Resting up for the rest of the week,

Tom Waters

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Dave Waters Radio

April 8, 2011

For the last month or so, my little brother David and I have been quietly working on building a show site for his musical legacy.  After uploading nine live concerts from his Central Park Grill years, we’re finally ready to share.  Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Dave Waters Radio.  To hear the show online, pop on over to:

 

http://www.davewaters.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes by searching ‘Dave Waters’ in the podcast section.  Dave has been recording and performing in Buffalo for the last decade with a blend of rock, blues and folk that have garnered a loyal and diverse audience.  While he’s been focusing more on publishing his poems (having recently released 12 Priests & 3 Gnomes through Doubt It Publishing), we wanted to preserve his musical legacy.  For an up close and personal interview with Dave on Big Words Radio, you can click your way over to:

 

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166169/episode-xxviii-the-real-deal (interview episode)

as well as:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166180/episode-xxix-how-dare-you-site-there (concert episode)

 

Dave and I are proud to bring you such a wealth of new musical content as well as a new library on the horizon.  If you’re interested in picking up Dave’s latest book, feel free to visit:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/12-priests-and-3-gnomes/11908614

There’s a lot more to come as far as Dave’s music and poetry.  Stay tuned for more shows and books as they develop!

Thanks,

Tom 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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Some 3 months later, April Foolfest 2 is finally online!

June 26, 2009
    Okay, so these two took a while to edit, produce and post.  Better late than never, though, right?  As of this morning, both portions of April Foolfest are up on the new Big Words Radio site.  Here are your snyopsi:
 
April Foolfest 2: Tom & Finny
Tom reads some new selections from Slapstick & Superego and JR Finlayson reads some new poems at Desiderio’s on Broadway.
April Foolfest 2: Lenny Revell
Without the benefit of a vocal sound system, Lenny Revell belts it out a capela to a packed house at Desiderio’s on Broadway during April Foolfest 2.
 
    To listen to both shows, click on over to http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com .  Subscribe for free on iTunes by clicking on Podcasts and searching ‘Big Words Radio’. 
 
    The portion Finn and I had includes ‘Mona Lisas & Mad Hamburgers’, the Buffalo rant from the new book that seems to be a frontrunner for a new crowd favorite.  Lenny’s clip sounded a lot better than either of us thought it would, but took a LOT of editing due to long pauses, crowd interaction etc. between songs.  Live shows are a bitch to edit afterwards. 
    And again, my next studio date is Wednesday, July 1st at 7 p.m. and I’m still looking for a celebrity guest!  If you know (or if you’re in contact with) an A or B-list national talent (or Buffalo icon), email or call me ASAP!  
    Have a great weekend and enjoy the shows!
    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 Poem! Conduct Unbecoming

April 4, 2009

This week has been a bitch and a half and I was thinking about this poem earlier today.  It applies to quite a bit.  Instead of giving a ten minute explanation for a one page poem, though, I’ll just let you read it.  It’s from the upcoming poke the scorpion with a sharp stick, which I’ve been working on quietly with what little free time I can spare as of late.  Enjoy! -Tom

Conduct Unbecoming

i would rather tell people

exactly

how i feel

when i feel it

than mince words

pretend that there isn’t a problem

or join the longstanding tradition

of stabbing others in the back

or misdirecting my anger on those who aren’t deserving of it.

i prefer to go for long periods

without saying anything

in favor of lashing out

saying something i’d regret

or resorting to physical violence.

i choose to beat myself up

by various methods

instead of

channeling my rage, confusion or sadness

towards the people i love

& when all of these subroutines & behaviors fail me

i default

& retreat inward

for a season or three.

It’s a sad, dysfunctional, pathetic, pathological world

when i’m the misfit for carrying on as previously stated

& the norm for dealing with others

is quite to the contrary.

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Big Words Radio Hour Episodes 30 & 31 Up Right NOW!

February 20, 2009
Hey folks!
 
Two new episodes of Big Words Radio are up and running on your worldwide superinformation off-ramp right this second!  Here are your ‘synospsi’:
 
 

Big Words Episode 30: ‘Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger Cliff-Hanger!’ (pt.II)
 Tom throws his first official Poetry Kegger at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew.  Distilled spirits are consumed, comics are purchased, and a fight almost breaks out at the end of the clip.  This episode concludes Part I, which can be found by clicking on the Monsters Of Verse pod-cast show (which can also be found on the Think Twice Site).  This is what’s known as ’cross-promotion’.
 
Big Words Episode 31: ‘The Large Verbiage We’ve Shared Through Rote Activity Podcast’
 With a Democrat firmly entrenched in the White House, Thomas Waters and ’Full Head Of Luxurious Hair Michael’ attempt a show reformat that’s kindler, gentler, and a hell of a lot more liberal.  Guest Lindsay Waters upsets the new world order of things by bringing the content rating of the show from PG to NC-17. 
 
    I would STRONGLY recommend that you wait until Part I of the Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger show appears over on the Monsters Of Verse show site before diving head first into PT. II on my own site.  Just a suggestion, though, and odds are that you’re going to do whatever you want. 
    Tonight, I’ll be recording an back to back interview and concert shows with highly acclaimed musician Lenny Revell.  As soon as the shows are finished and posted, you’ll be the first group to know.  In the mean time, perk up your ears and click away over at:
 
 
    Have a great weekend and I’ll talk to you all on Monday for your regularly scheduled Monday 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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FINAL Call For Buffalo Anthology Submissions Runs From 1/09-7/09

December 30, 2008

This is it! Alycia is back in town for a brief time and we’ll be committing the next six months to wrapping up the LAST slate of submissions along with securing a publisher for the collection. Close pal Christina Wos Donnelly soothed some of my woes by emailing to say that most anthologies take two years on average. Here are some answers (along with some criteria) to answer some recent emails:

1.) If you’ve already submitted work and had it accepted, feel free to submit more material. The odds of a second (or in some case, third) work from the same author being included are less favorable than the initial submission, but if you believe your other works are capable of surviving the firing line, have at it.

2.) You will only be notified IF your submission is accepted. As working writers, we decided at the outset that chain rejection emails were infinitely nastier than no reply at all. If you haven’t heard from myself or Alycia by next year’s end, then your work didn’t make the cut. Sorry. This doesn’t mean that you’re not a promising writer/artist/poet, your work just wasn’t a good fit for the project. No hard feelings?

3.) We are still accepting poems, so feel free to submit, but the acceptance ratio will be much greater for essays, flash memoirs, historical expositions and works of fiction. The collection as it stands is top-heavy with poetry. Buffalo has a phenomenal poetry scene with a wealth of talented poets, but we firmly believe that there are still a lot of other creative endeavors and headspaces toiling away in Buffalo that deserve greater recognition.

4.) Please, by all means, SPREAD THE WORD! We want this collection to be just as succesful as you do, if not more. Just Buffalo can always use some extra help (financially and creatively), so if you have an altruistic bone in your body, push it to the breaking point. Tell your writing workshop. Tell your friends that have been writing and haven’t gotten a lot of work published on the local front. Tell your peers if you’re firmly entrenched in the heirarchy. If there’s one thing this project has taught us (and there have been a lot of valuable lessons down the road), it’s that word of mouth can hold a lot more weight than a listing in most of the notable newspapers. A Call For Works listing is all well and good, but after the day or the week-long run is over in a publication, word of mouth keeps the submissions rolling in.

5. And finally (before the Final Call For Submissions copy), if you were one of the writers who submitted for the last reading period (summer 2008), we haven’t gotten to your work yet, so don’t be crestfallen…yet. Alycia and I will be hitting the learning curve in the next six months to put this project to bed once and for all. After July, we’ll be rounding up as many accepted contributors as we can for the purpose of putting our heads together in person to decide on a finished project together. This is not a two-party system. This is not a head trip for myself or Alycia. This is a non-profit collection with the dual intention of promoting lesser known creative talents while raising money for Buffalo’s only literary center in a time of need. A finished manuscript is only the first stepping stone on the road to publishing, promoting, marketing and selling the book. Trust us on this one. Compiling the book will be easy compared to the junket we have in store one calendar year from now. We’ll need as many hands on deck as we can get to put this book out in a professional, fiscally viable manner. As always, contributions (creatively and financially) are appreciated.

And now, the Final (and Lord, do I mean final!) Call For Submissions. Happy New Year,

Tom Waters
Poetry Editor

Alycia Ripley
Fiction Editor

Buffalo Authors Alycia Ripley and Tom Waters will be considering any and all submissions of flash fiction and nonfiction (2,000 word max) as well as poetry (10 page max) for inclusion in an upcoming not-for-profit anthology about present day Buffalo. Since the submission period has been extended and the publishing window has been reconfigured to allow for a larger collection, works of fiction as well as historical or biographical essays will be given precedence over poetry submissions due to the current content of accepted works thus far. Submissions will be considered in (as well as) outside of Buffalo, and the material must be topical to modern day Buffalo life, landmarks or Buffalonians in general. All entries must be cut and pasted into the body of an email and sent simultaneously to ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’ and ‘alyciaripley@hotmail.com’ with the type of submission in the subject heading (ex: ‘flash fiction submission’).
In addition, please include name, address, email address and published works you would like listed after your name in the completed anthology. The finished book will be published in the Spring of 2010 and all royalties will go towards the betterment and continued success of the Just Buffalo Literary Center. Submission period will run from January 1st-July1st and accepted authors will be notified via email. In addition, any and all parties interested in contributing their time or capital towards publishing, producing and marketing the book are also welcome to email or query.

For more information (as always), feel free to visit the official Just Buffalo Anthology Project site at:

buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

Thank you so much for your interest in the project,

Tom Waters

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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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Big Words 2 Year Anniversary Party TONIGHT at Double D’s Queen City Grill @ 8 p.m.!

December 11, 2008

Okay, I can’t believe I neglected to blog this yet and it’s outlandishly short notice, but tonight marks the auspicious 2 Year Anniversary Party for a little column I like to call ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’.  The place?  Double D’s Queen City Grill at 1051 Sheridan Drive on the border of Tonawanda and Buffalo (2 blocks past Elmwood on the left across from a gas station).  The time?  8 p.m. to ?.  What can you expect when you show up?  Celebrity appearances, prize giveaways (books, CDs, t-shirts, movie passes, etc.), crazy stupid drink specials and food specials. 

     Also, due to a very sad event with 12 Pack Jack (my condolences, gentlemen), the Dr. Z Band will be performing from 8 p.m. to midnight!  Live blues, free swag, great food, good company!  What else do you need?

Seeya tonight at Double D’s!  Be there or rot in hell!

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Buffalo Anthology Update(s), New Links on the Anthology Site, MOV Episode III up by 9 p.m. Eastern TONIGHT at the latest…

November 8, 2008

Since it’s more of a peripheral project (and has it’s own site), I’d rather not repost the three or four new blogs from the Buffalo Anthology Project here.  This site is all about me.  The Anthology Site is about everyone involved.  Some of you are interested in that book and some of you aren’t, so I will leave it up to you.  I spent far too much time this morning trying to get everyone on that end up to speed as to what was going on (or wrong) in my brain and where we all stood with the project.  I also added a mountain of links that probably should have been there in the first place.  Feel free to check the whole ball of wax out over at:

http://www.buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

And since most of you are overloaded with more information about my writing than you could ever possibly want or need, I’ll just piggyback this on to the blog we’re in right now.  The Talking Leaves reading will be up on the Monsters Of Verse podcast site by 9 p.m. tonight.  Yesterday was a rotten whore of a busy day that started around 5 a.m. and ended somewhere close to midnight.  There is NEVER enough time to do everything.  Lindsay and I will be riding out to Think Twice today and uploading the last reading (which turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun, as per usual with Jeff and Carrie).  For those of you who weren’t the dozen or so attendees who made the event, give it a listen tonight at:

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

I need to get away from my keyboard, my computer and my study.  Like most human beings, I’m poorly designed when it comes to relaxing and enjoying any sort of free time.  I’ll be spending the rest of my day ‘working’ on that.  Research commences in 5, 4, 3, 2,………

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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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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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Final Calendar Of Events For Fiscal Year 2008/Some Promotional Spots for ’09

October 15, 2008

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings Fall/Winter/Spring 08/09:

Friday, October 24th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Saturday, October 25th, 7 p.m., The Center For Inquiry, Amherst (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, October 28th 8 p.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag reading, Q/A (Tom Waters only)

Wednesday, October 29th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Radio Studios, Big Words Interview with award winning comic writer/artist Jeff Brown (Top Shelf) and special co-host Michael Hagler (Tom only)

Friday, October 31st, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Tuesday, November 4th, 8 a.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag workshop (Tom Waters only)

Thursday, November 6th or 20th Main St., Talking Leaves Books, Main St. (Monsters Of Verse)

Sunday, November 16th, 7pm, Desiderio’s on Broadway, (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, November 18th, 7:55 a.m.-1:35 p.m., East Aurora High School English Honors presentation(s) (Tom only)

Saturday, November 22nd, FYE Transit (Amherst), 1-4pm, (Monsters Of Verse)

Thursday, November 13th, 7-9pm, Spot Coffee, Delaware & Chippewa (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 6th, 1-4pm, FYE Hamburg (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 13th, 3 p.m. -3 a.m. Tom & Lindsay’s pad, Batman marathon party, invite only.

Sunday, December 14th, Buffalo Indie Market appearance (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 1-4 p.m., FYE, Transit, Signing (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 6 p.m.-?, Don’s Atomic Comics!, Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger w/Monsters of Verse! Free beer for anyone with a book by Tom Waters, additional store discounts for everyone who brings a girl.

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (Monsters Of Verse)

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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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‘(Poem For) David Foster Wallace’

October 8, 2008

-(from the upcoming collection, poke the scorpion with a sharp stick)-

(Poem For)

David Foster Wallace

A great majority of my giants

never find the front page when they die.

David was a professor at an Illinois University.

Then he decided to write fiction

of a calibur

so intrinsically funny

& naturally intelligent

that I often needed a dictionary

next to my bedside.

Wallace was very well off.

His books would never be

national sensations

but his readers were rabid

in their praise

& often bought every book he wrote.

Mr. Wallace had very serious mental issues

in his youth

that I thought he overcame.

Apparently he didn’t.

When he signed a book

for me several years ago

he crossed his name out

on the title page

& signed by spelling his initials (DFW).

The big magazines loved him

& published him as often as they could.

They should have.

He was that good.in a nation of predominantly

stupid

scared

& sullen lemmings

who seldom read a book

start to finish

his contribution to letters

raised the bar

back up

from the level of

pulp horror garbage

& serial romance novels that

frustrated housewives read in bed with a purple vibrator.

A man who plays a cynical,

wise-cracking doofus on the

American version of a popular British sitcom

is in the process of directing a film adaptation

based on one of his collections.

David

killed himself

several weeks ago.

(i just remembered while i was brushing my teeth this morning).

Tired of toeing the line

against a wall of

numb,

television-addicted stupidity.

One of the best soldiers

we had

has fallen in battle.

He will be missed.

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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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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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‘hum a few bars’

September 2, 2008

-the following poem is from my third poetry collection (under construction right now), Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  While I wrote it a few weeks ago, the last few lines seem fitting for what went down this week in the ongoing pinata that my immediate friends and family seem content to smack me like when I’m down…

hum a few bars

never go to bars

on weekends.

they’re full of brash

foolish children

aching to see and be seen.

skulking about the rail

posturing, mugging, braying

like asses

with designer gels and perfumes.

police cruisers lie in wait

picking their moment

savoring the hunt

waiting for the right

clown to pass through

their periphery

another life destroyed

maybe two

zippety doo dah.

dance clubs

packed to the rafters

with glitter and glo

disposable songs

for disposable people

practicing the slow

ritual

something like the sexual act.

lifers

hanging on to the last call

i’ve been there

(and I still visit myself from back then

from time to time)

but it hurts to go back.

nursing that last beer

that last scotch on ice

that last stout

that one more before the road home

hanging on to the night

because we’re horrified

of what comes into view

in broad daylight.

weekends at the bar sadden me

there are too many

things that can go wrong

and there is enough that is

faulty

in my contradictory

Existence

and enough ugliness

outside these haunts

to contend with.

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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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Rooftop Poetry Club Aftermath/Hellblazer: Joyride Review Up on Comics Bulletin

August 28, 2008

Long day…

Got up at four am and kept going.  Worked for quite a bit and then embarked on a trip to Buffalo State (my alma mater) to see Lisa Forrest and throw my hat in the ring for the Rooftop Poetry Club open reading.  I was going to make a podcast out of it (which I was on the fence about doing), but Lisa decided not to make it an official event and restricted podcasting and/or professional photography.  We had a phenomenal time in spite of the media coverage (or perhaps because of the lack of it).

     I read three poems and the other six or seven people out of twelve read two or three as well.  It was just good therapy.  I’m not good with the sad stuff or the romantic stuff, but I read it anyway and it went well.  At the close of the event at the E.H. Butler Library, Lisa announced that there wouldn’t be another open reading for poets until November.  Doesn’t that just figure that once I get back on the horse, Buff State is stupid enough to start phasing out one of the best ideas they’ve had in a century.  There ought to be a petition to keep it monthly.  I’m talking to you, Just Buffalo.  If it’s a matter of funding, someone should throw some money Lisa’s way.  It’s a brilliant concept with a large umbrella of talented writers and it would be a genuine shame to see such a wonderful venue go under because of funding, grants, exposure and so on and so forth.  This isn’t my fight, so I’m begging anyone else to take up the cause.  Good luck.  I started a battle with Buff State over their decision to pull funding for freelance writers at The Buffalo State Record when I went to school there back in 1995-1998 and lost that battle.  As a result, I left campus and became a professional writer, so perhaps everything does work out in the end.  Yet I digress…

     In other news, one of my new editors (Thom Young at Comics Bulletin online) and I have come to the decision that we’re going to run the graphic novel reviews every Wednesday up online.  If you like John Constantine: Hellblazer, then this is your week.  I’ve got a review up right this instant for Andy Diggle’s phenomenal new vision/reboot/horrifying entrance into the series with ‘Hellblazer: Joyride’.  Check it out by clicking over to:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/121986238229540.htm

-And then rush out to your nearest graphic novel retailer (preferably Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew) and buy the goddamned book! 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Long live Vertigo.  And would somebody for the love of god rescue the Rooftop Poetry Club.  I’m looking squarely at you, Just Buffalo Literary Center.  Food for thought.  There are so few decent open readings in this town and Lisa Forrest’s brainchild on the campus of Buffalo State is one of them.  Somebody save them.  That’s all I’ve got for today.

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 91 on stands/Heaven’s To Megahertz! Episodes 7 & 8 Up Online Now!

August 19, 2008

A busy, bustling seven days.  Four podcast episodes for Think Twice in seven days.  A score of poems, a few rants, some networking, some marketing, some booking work on the Monsters Of Verse gigs…I don’t know where to begin!  Whelp, how about the beginning?

These Monday updates are supposed to be about the Night Life Big Words I Know By Heart column, so let’s get back to that.  Week 91 assaults the newstands today with the third and final installment (conclusion) to ‘Alia Iacta Est’, the serialized print version of the Buffalo Rising jihad.  I’m still not done with them by a long shot, but I thought that print readers might want to be in the loop and it’s a good venue for talking even more trash.  Night Life’s got my back through and through, which is why I’m so loyal to them.  

     Saturday night, Carrie and Ron Gardner came over to our posh Lancaster bungalow to record podcast episodes 7 and 8 of the Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit!  The reason why I waited so long to post the Monday update today was due in large part to the fact that I was waiting for Rich to post episodes 7 and 8.  I appreciate his efforts and due to a seperate studio booking yesterday, we were unable to ‘put the tracks down’ in their entirety yesterday, so there was a two day delay in posting them up online.

     Episode 7 is an informal interview with Carrie and her ‘man candy’ Ron Gardner regarding her career, Ron’s music, composing, poetry and a lot of other uncomfortable topics.

    Episode 8 is an informal ‘concert’ we held in my dust-caked hell hole of a basement with a PA system and the third member of the Monsters Of Verse, JR Finlayson.  We were all very pleased with the results.

     Dial both of the new episodes up on your Ipods at the intraweb address provided:

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

     I’ll leave it at that.  Monday is supposed to be ‘date night’ with the wife and I’m cutting into it, so I’ll scoop you all with more of ‘the knowledge’ later in the week.  That’s all, folks!

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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