Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm in Fried Chicken and Coffee

Word of the week is "old". The old year is soon to be gone with a large amount of work published within it (22 stories, 28 poems, 2 works of non-fiction) . 2010 gone with a lot of old things, old habits picked at and examined.

 Here's the story The Old Place published by Rusty Barnes in Fried Chicken and Coffee.

It's been a year of personal struggles and also personal struggles identified to be dealt with. Happy New Year. Don't waste life's time, you never know what you might miss.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I dissect my story from Smokelong Weekly! Everyday There is So Much About Elephants.

Art by Sue Miller

READ IT HERE:  Everyday There is So Much about Elephants.


Now to the promised dissection: The story is titled, Everyday There is So Much About Elephants because the week I wrote it conversations and references to elephants were occurring at an abnormal rate.

Here's some specific lines and why they got placed in the story:

I'd been told that elephants could change your life. I also had been told that I could change the life of an elephant by protesting the circus.

I have many friends whom champion causes. This was the week Jess Barnett and Laura Kiesel both happened to mention this fact.

How did I know an elephant had been in the refrigerator? He left his footprint in the cheesecake

The paragraph this appears in is a set up and perhaps totally written for that cheesy punch line. Art imitates life. If I'd used all the jokes from that link I think the story would have turned out different.

I never heard, "You look great today" or, "Why don't you take a drive to the Cape?" The voices never said, "Have another donut." or, "Your professor loves your work." They only told me to kill my parents or someone important like John Hinkley Jr. The voices never said, "It's a sunny day, you should wear shorts."

These line were spun off an old poem of mine. "Hearing Voices"  appeared in We Needed a Night Out and in the  63 Channels Fall-Winter Print Issue. The anniversary of John Lennon's murder reminded me of this poem.
The job paid well but when the company had a Team Building Exercise at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus my boss introduced me to Billy Barnum, a friend of hers and a poet.
Billy Barnum exists in this capacity. He has ties to the circus He's also friend of mine.

 I recited the only poem I knew about a gay horse pulling a carriage
Perfect opportunity to note the ignorance of this character.

 On Monday night I watched "Fatal Attractions," the show on Animal Planet where people raised exotic animals that grew up and killed them. That night it was about someone that held a baby elephant named Sophie
I'm a little obsessed with this show. There is NOT an episode about an elephant named Sophie. Sophie is the name of the pet rabbit owned by my children.

It was interesting timing because usually people were fired on Fridays. That's why suicide hotlines were their busiest before the weekends. If you're fired during the week there was a better chance you'd come back to the office with a gun.

I learned the fact about suicide hotlines from Ned Vizzini when I read with him in November. Ned wrote that in his fantastic book, It's Kind of a Funny Story when the protagonist is being screened for a psychiatric hospitalization on a Friday.


"I'm buying this gun so that people won't forget me," I said. In life, people aren't good enough. They'll light candles. The elephants won't forget anything.

It's good when the last line wraps it all up. I'll wrap this up by saying, "Thanks for reading!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Closure (the story) at In Between Altered States

The year ends and In Between Altered States publishes something of mine called, "Closure" which means I have to explain that it's a story in metaphor rather than a statement about the end of the year or about any incident. Oh good, I think I just explained it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 in Review: Out There and Naked (with perhaps a few that'll slide in before 12/31)


"Bipolar" , November 30, 2010 MiCrow

"Where Did You Come From?" , November 15, 2010 Night Train

"We Measure All This Distance in Longing" , October 13, 2010 The Blue Lake Review
"A Dedicated Customer"

"About a Million Punches" , October 9, 2010 Waterhouse Review

"After She Left a Note" , September 1, 2010 Negative Suck (view September 2010 archive)

"You Deserve Somebody" , September 1, 2010!

"You Have To Splice It Together" , June 27, 2010 In Between Altered States

"How It Went Down", April 28, 2010, Six Sentences, Volume 3

"Arms up to the Sky" , April 24, 2010 The Criterion

"Eight Years Later, Charlie Goes to Omaha" , April 22, 2010 Metazen

"I Look at You Through Glass and Water" , April 4, 2010 Litsnack

"Bigger Than Charles Atlas" (written with Elizabeth Rawlins) , March 30, 2010 Metazen

"How to Give Dating Advice as a State Social Worker" , March 15, 2010 JMWW

"Tenth Frame Spare" , March 3, 2010 Fried Chicken and Coffee

"Somewhere on the Edge" , February 24, 2010 Shalla Magazine

"Joe the Salamander" , February 21, 2010 Air in the Paragraph Line #13

"Channeling" , January 31, 2010 Big Toe Review


"Lovemaking Advice From A Serial Grape Eater"
"An 18 Year Old Searches For Her Soul"
November 20, 2010 Polarity

"The Next Better Place"
November 1, 2010, Ibbetson 28

"Goodbye You"
October 7, 2010, The Long Islander Newspaper

"Unwelcome Guest"
"We Are Not Talking"
"at eleven-fifty-nine"
"About Alison"
August 20, 2010 The Legendary

"A Girl in A Loft"
July 22, 2010, Bagels with the Bards Anthology 5

" Like The Moths in the Night"
July 13, 2010, Curbside Splendor

" Recipe for a Great Poem"
July 2, 2010, Gutter Eloquence

" Ode to Woodworm"
June 30, 2010, Riverbabble 17

" Full fledged neurosis uncovered in my dreams
"Failed Marriage Camping Trip"
June 9, 2010, The Somerville News

"Comfort Food Menu from the Emotional Café" (written with Elizabeth Rawlins)
May 27, 2010, McSweeney's

"County Fair"
"Second Hands"
"Old Man in this Bar"
"Conversation about Mike"
May 28, 2010 Lit Up Magazine

"Hungover for Jury Duty"
May 14, 2010, Spoonful Journal

"Funeral With No Music"
April 28, 2010, Night Train 10.1

"these days I worry"
"Elementary Physics"
March 28, 2010 Screw Iowa

"Boston to Providence"
March 1, 2010, Gutter Eloquence

"Seasonal Affective Disorder"
February 27, 2010, Durable Goods #13

"April Ends"
"Here's to your new life and Those Who Didn't Know You"
January 7, 2010 Istanbul Literary Review


"The Truth in Fiction and why you always hurt the ones you love"

June 9, 2010, Screw Iowa

"Wait, who's in the Super Bowl again?"

February 4, 2010,Food Shenanigans!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Founder of Web Digest Weekly has some nice things to say.

I'm honored and humbled that in his blog, Monday's Author, Carey Parrish has some very generous things to say about me. Read it HERE

Carey Parrish was born in Dalton, Georgia. He attended Southeast Whitfield High School, graduating in 1985, before first pursuing a career in nursing. After traveling quite extensively during his twenties and early thirties, he began to use the experiences and adventures he had globetrotting to fuel his ambitions to become a writer. He began writing professionally in his late thirties, shortly after the death of his maternal grandmother, an event he credits as "the single most life changing event in my experience," and he was soon selling articles to British based reFRESH magazine as well as in American publications such as JL Foster's Within His Castle, Entertainment Weekly, Crime Rant, and various other magazines, both in print and online.

In 2006, Parrish founded Web Digest Weekly e-magazine. After being involved in various writers groups online, he was very impressed with the talents of his many of his peers and he wanted to develop a forum through which they could reach as many readers as possible. Web Digest Weekly was an immediate success, due to his first interview guests being bestselling horror novelist Rick R. Reed and Susaye Greene of The Supremes. The e-zine is currently approaching its third year of publication and attracts over 100,000 hits per month. Other notable guests on the site have included musician Jim Brickman; bestselling author Barry Eisler; Survivor winners Ethan Zohn, Jenna Morasca, and Aras Baskauskas; The Amazing Race winners Alex Boylan, Chip Arndt, and Brennan Swain; astronaut Mike Mullane; and celebrity biography writer J. Randy Taraborrelli.

Parrish is the author of the books Into The Light: Experimentations In Poetry & Prose, the short story anthology The Moving Finger Writes, and the novel Marengo. He attributes his success to "taking all the things that were wrong in my life and replacing them with things that were right." He presently resides in the mountains of Northern Georgia

Other famous folks from Dalton. Deborah Norville.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bipolar published in MiCrow

According to them: MiCrow is the flash fiction section of Full Of Crow, with two online issues a year in Summer and Winter. This issue was edited by Michael J. Solender and features: Susan Gibb, Jeffrey S. Callico, Chris Deal, Doug Mathewson, Howie Good, Michael Webb, Jason Warden, Timothy Gager, Nigel Bird, R.S. Bohn, Mike Robertson, Dorothee Lang, Laura Cummins, Randall Brown, Nabina Das, Sean Ulman, Paul Beckman, Ron Koppleberger, Jeffery Miller, Carol Maginn, James Tallett, Susan May, and Richard Godwin.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes when you google yourself.... find a few published poems when you look hard enough. This fall in Polarity, an e-magazine edited by George Wallace there were two of mine.

Lovemaking Advice from a Serial Grape Eater


An Eighteen Year Old Searches for her Soul

How did I miss these?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nicolle Elizabeth and Fictionaut checks in with me about The Dire Literary Series

And I'll talk of other things like punk music crossover in the eighties.

The interviewer, Ms Elizabeth has a great book of flash, Threadbare Von Barren. Here's her blog

Come to my poetry reading in NY or VIEW IT LIVE!!!!! 11/21, 4 PM EST

Sunday 11/21 at 4 PM The Bowery Poetry Club Presents

The Beat Hour w/ George Wallace 

Featuring Timothy Gager, Helen Peterson and Jeanann Verlee, - $6

4:00 PM

Tim Gager,
Helen Peterson
Jean Lehrman.
Watch Live on the Web!

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
(Between Houston and Bleecker)
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poem in Ibbetson 28

Featuring Poets Marge Piercy, Dan Tobin, X. J. Kennedy, Kathleen Spivack, Fred Marchant and me....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where Did You Come From?

 Here's a micro story up on Night Train . Micros are great if you're trying to say a lot in a very small space. Think of making an important call in a phone booth and you only have one minute

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

About This Year's Somerville News Writers Festival VIII

In the Boston Globe (bottom) ... s_stomach/

Readings at 7 PM, $10

Hosting and Reading Timothy Gager with music by Cooper DeVille

Featuring: Malachy McCourt, Sam Cornish
writers: Jennifer Haigh , Steve Almond,Michelle Hoover, Ethan Gilsdorf and Rusty Barnes
and poets: Fred Marchant, Diana Der-Hovanessian, Dan Sklar, Martha Collins and Douglas Holder

Don't forget FREE Book Fair during the day with

Porter Square Books


--1-2 PM Rusty Barnes
--2-3 PM Ethan Gilsdorf
--3:30-4:30 PM Michelle Hoover
(Timothy Gager will be at this table all day and tickets to evening event will be available)

The Somerville News
Ibbetson Street Press
Grub Street

More author signings all day
Alan Ball
Adelaide Vaal Da Silva
Don Hammondtree
Joyce P. Wilson
Jon Papernick
Joyce Wilson
Kim Triedman, Poets for Haiti
Lori Desrosiers from Naugatuck River Review
Luke Salisbury
Paul Steven Stone
Peter Adams
Steven Beeber

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nomination for Dzanc's Best of the Web

Note from Mitch and Diana Waldman, Editors of Blue Lake Review:

Well, we're only on our second issue but thought we'd throw our hat in the ring and thank some of our contributors -- we've nominated the following for Dzanc's "Best of the Web" publication:

Mitch Waldman
"Bedlam" by Viola Weinberg

"Big Alabama and the New Girl" by James Valvis

"We Measure All This Distance in Longing" by Timothy Gager.

Thanks for the great poetry/fiction, and good luck ot the nominees!

Dianna Waldman

Keep the great submissions coming!

Mitchell & Diana

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

jmww V anthology coming soon

Published October 25, 2010 News Leave a Comment

Contributors include:

Lindsay Ahl

Matt Bell

George Blecher

Andrew Borgstrom

Callista Buchen

Alan Stewart Carl

Alexandra Chasin

Kim Chinquee

Robert Coover

SL Corsua

Patrick Dacey

Jeremy M. Davies

Nicelle Davis

Andy Devine

Spencer Dew

Brian Evenson

Jon-Michael Frank

Timothy Gager

Scott Garson

Katrina Gray

Justin Hamm

Jane Hammons

James Hannaham

Clarinda Harriss

Lily Hoang

Tim Horvath

Joanna Howard

Jamie Iredell

Kevin Killian

Brian Kiteley

Norman Lock

Ben Loory

Robert Lopez

Sean Lovelace

Miguel Morales

David Peak

Emily Peterson

Nate Pritts

Timothy Raymond

Ethel Rohan

Davis Schneiderman

Savannah Schroll Guz

Laura Ellen Scott

Amber Sparks

Ken Sparling

Terese Svoboda

J.A. Tyler

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The poem that keeps going and going.

The Things I'd Say has appeared in about ten blogs in the past month and many of them not related to literature or poetry. Today it hit this one.

  Half a Dog Tall, Dog and a Half Long

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jack Powers Obituary from the Boston Globe

Jack Powers, 73; helped poets bring verses to life

By Bryan Marquard, Globe Staff
October 16, 2010

Poems were more than just words on a page for Jack Powers, who believed that verse needed to be freed from the confines of musty books and the stuffy halls of academia.

Mr. Powers, who died Thursday in the North End, founded Stone Soup nearly 40 years ago. Young and old, beginners and accomplished writers, the ever-changing collection of Stone Soup poets met every Monday night to recite in a series of venues before an attentive audience that was not above voicing its opinion. The readings gained a national profile as he persuaded poets such as Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, and Robert Bly to participate.

The performances, Mr. Powers insisted, were part of the poetry.

“You translate yourself when you speak a poem,’’ Mr. Powers told the Globe in 1992. “I think the most important thing for a writer to recognize is that this on the page is one thing. The delivery of the same is a translation. There are a lot of nuances, and lots of times I’ll change words. I’ve never read a poem the same way twice.’’

An activist who gave away everything from the coats he wore to uncounted hours helping the poor, he was a poet and publisher, a teacher and organizer, a man whose great height still seemed too small to contain his frenetic energy.

A series of strokes over the past several years slowed Mr. Powers, then silenced his voice and constrained his mind. He had lived in the North End for many years and was 73 when he died in the North End Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of complications of dementia.

“Boston is full of elite universities and institutions, often very exclusive, where if you don’t have an academic pedigree you’re out of the scene,’’ said Doug Holder, a poet and teacher who at one point worked with Mr. Powers on the Stone Soup readings and founded Ibbetson Street Press. “What Jack did was bring poetry to the people. He published books and had a venue where all kinds of people came through. He opened it up in Boston, which was old and stodgy until Jack brought a populist flavor, a new flowering of poetry.’’

Years before poetry slams made open mike nights fashionable, Mr. Powers insisted that poetry should be an event, something to add to each week’s calendar.

“He really did devote his life to keeping poetry as part of the public discourse, and he did it with great verve and enthusiasm,’’ said poet Gail Mazur of Cambridge. “He wanted to gather everyone into the performance of poetry. In that way, he was a little ahead of his time.’’

The oldest of six children, Mr. Powers grew up in and around housing projects in Roxbury and graduated from Cathedral High School in the South End. A semester studying chemical engineering at Northeastern University was enough to show him his path lay elsewhere.

He traveled to California, spent time in San Francisco, and returned to New England to write about sports for a New Hampshire newspaper. Then he came home to Boston, where he worked in a bookstore and launched a life of social activism.

At various points during the late 1960s and ’70s, Mr. Powers founded a free school on Beacon Hill and started free suppers for the elderly in the same neighborhood. He helped launch free concerts on Boston Common and taught remedial reading at the Columbia Point housing project, where he also organized a food co-op.

“I’m very solid on volunteerism,’’ he told the Globe in 1987, “because the extraordinary weight of problems that visits the modern industrial society can’t be met with dollars alone.’’

Eric H. Sorgman of Randolph, a nephew who acted as guardian for Mr. Powers, said his uncle was known among his relatives for, among other things, donating his coats or gloves to those who were cold or in need.

“He was a philanthropist in the truest sense,’’ Sorgman said. “He didn’t have anything, really, but what he did have, he gave away, and he didn’t want praise or recognition. He felt good about helping other people.’’

Chief among those he helped were other poets. Some wandered into Stone Soup readings at places such as TT the Bear’s and Out of the Blue gallery, its previous and current homes in Cambridge. Others he found at home.

“He taught me about life and how to treat people,’’ said his son Andreas of Boston. “He inspired me to create and was a big influence on my writing. I would always run my writing by him, and he would write things for me. We would write back and forth.’’

Sarah Jensen, a Boston poet who began reading at Stone Soup nearly 20 years ago, said Mr. Powers made the gatherings “a welcoming place.’’

“No matter what level of poetry you were writing at, it was a comfortable place where you could have your moment on stage and be just as welcome as anyone else,’’ she said. “And he would tell stories about meeting and being friends with Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg. It was a passing down of his experience to the newer poets, a passing down of history.’’

In addition to his son Andreas and nephew Eric, Mr. Powers leaves his wife, Tamara Oraschewsky of Boston; another son, John Kolya of Boston; two sisters, Cecelia Sorgman and Maureen Daniels, both of Quincy; and two brothers, Colin of Carver and Michael of Florida.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 24 in the International Community Church in Allston.

On Monday, Stone Soup will award its second annual poetry prize, named for Mr. Powers. A week later, on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., the regular Monday gathering at Out of the Blue will be a memorial reading honoring Mr. Powers, who estimated that he stood up thousands of times to introduce poets. The beauty, he said, emerged from the unpredictable mix.

“Our readings are open,’’ he told the Globe in 1993. “A nightingale may come in and sing the most beautiful song, or a bat could fly in and scare everyone. You take some chances, but our audience is ready to listen.’’


My own thoughts:

Yesterday Jack Powers died. Jack was the host of the first open mic series I'd ever attended in the late eighties at I time that I hadn't written anything. My girlfriend at the time was a poet and Jack was the leader of the scene. He was an original beat poet, knew or met Ginsberg, Bukowski, Lyn Lifshin and Ferlinghetti to name a few. Basically I was in awe at the command he had at his events but also his acceptance of all poetry. He was the ring leader amongst a large group of Cambridge poets. Nothing ever "sucked", he found value in everything, encouraged the novice (especially if they were women---boy did he have a long list). He'd have his famous friends feature at Stone Soup back when it was held at a few different bars and also feature the local regulars. It was pretty intimidating.

Jack started recognizing me and he read some of my work, quoting some of it back by memory. We became friends the way colleagues or co-workers became friends. I felt validated as a poet to have won his acceptance. We shared beers at reading or should I say, I gave him some of mine.

Here are some links to watch:


Jack basically drank himself to death starting in the 70's. He worked at a church in the North End and brought poetry to people at Nursing Homes in that area. His behavior later became erratic. He went to AA at times and had a strong relationship with God. He had to move to a one room studio. People would avoid him if he drank, embrace him sober. He had two personalities. His brain slowed down in the nineties and he perhaps had Korsakoff's syndrome. At his seventieth birthday party I saw him and he was losing his ability to speak--he could only sqawk out words that were scrambled, difficult to understand in timbre or meaning . He continued to slow , his brain damage more pronounced...not the vibrant man I first met.

A few years ago he lost his ability to speak. He'd show up occasionally to readings flipping through books and asking people to read poems for him.

At this point he stopped recognizing me, maybe he did recognize me but he didn't know me anymore. His last few years he lived in the same Nursing Home he brought his poems and poetry to. Everyone on staff knew him, even though he may have forgotten himself who he was. He had a few strokes in the past months, finally yesterday God took him.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two stories live in new Blue Lake Review

Here's where I usually give the link of the journal with the link of the story. Today I won't do that. Yes, The Blue Lake Review was started by my old friends Mitch Waldman and Diana May-Waldman and they asked be to submit some work, of which, they published two. That's the nuts and bolts of this post. Below is the bonus narrative which I never do. Enjoy.

We Measure All This Distance in Longing was written last December. My head was in a different place and now the real life backstory is different. If I used the same characters now, on October 2010, it wouldn't be about anticipation or excitement, it would be a sad story, basically and totally the opposite. For me, that really sucks a dick. The story? It's kind of good.

The idea for A Dedicated Customer came from bank lines. I've worked at a bank and I saw what went on. I knew the customers were all about picking and choosing the tellers they wanted and boy did they want.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

About a Million Punches in Waterhouse Review is one heavy punch.

Gavin Bloom from over the pond in Central Scotland has started a fine on-line journal called The Waterhouse Review. My story, About a Million Punches graces its first issue. James Frey was accused of using fiction in his non-fiction---either way he's one hell of a writer. In About a Million Punches, I could be accused of using non-fiction as fiction.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reading Schedule to close 2010

October 28, 2010,  Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wellesley Booksmith
82 Central Street
Wellesley, Ma

Reading with Ned Vizzini, author of It's Kind of a Funny Story

November 5, 2010, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hosting and reading at The Dire Literary Series, 8 PM

Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Featuring: Victor David Giron, Michael Atwood and Leo Racicot

November 13, 2010, Somerville, Ma.

hosting Somerville News Writers Festival, 7 PM

The Center for the Arts at the Armory
Somerville, Ma.

Featuring: Malachy McCourt, Sam Cornish
writers: Jennifer Haigh , Steve Almond,Michelle Hoover,Ethan Gilsdorf and Rusty Barnes
poets: Fred Marchant, Diana Der-Hovanessian, David Ferry, Martha Collins and Douglas Holder

November 21, 2010, New York, New York.

Bowery Poetry Showcase with Helen Peterson and Jeanann Verlee, 4 PM

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
New York, NY

December 3, 2010, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hosting and reading at The Dire Literary Series, 8 PM

Out of the Blue Art Gallery
106 Prospect Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Featuring: Erica Ferencik, Fiona Helmsley and John Petrolino III

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Treating a Sick Animal now on Amazon (finally)


Why not did it take this long? According to one editor.

"We joined the Amazon Advantage Program which is a rip-off.

They take 55%

They asked for only one book!

Not sure I will continue this because I am losing so much money this way.

Their program to send info to sucks and it uses html which is fine but it screws up what you do anyway.


Anyway, buy the book. Buy it from Amazon, but it from the publisher, Cervena Barva to support them too!

Monday, September 20, 2010



7:50 you haven’t slept
all night you
fought this thought
get up, eat

the muzzle of a gun
but you lie there
tell yourself the truth
that this bed

is a terrible place
empty, as if
it’s been tilted
all your lovers

rolled out to find
warmth in the arms
of others, an indentation
of a feather bed

a head on a shoulder
an arm across a chest
you think, this is your trigger
for sleeplessness, force

your eyes closed now,
you almost had it.

Negative Suck (Writers who don't suck) publishes a flash fiction.

In their September issue, Negative Suck has published one of my flash fictions, After She Left A Note .

It is one of the works that is getting incorporated into my novel in progress. Happy Fall, y'all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New review of These Poems are Not Pink Clouds in The Raven Chronicles

Sometimes these roll in late. Here's a review from The Raven Chronicles which appears in print and can be purchased on their site. These Poems are Not Pink Clouds is also still available for $6 when you contact me.

These Poems Are Not
Pink Clouds

by Timothy Gager

2008, SADDLE-STAPLED, 43 PAGES, $6.00


Joni Mitchell’s classic “Both Sides Now” is playing in
the background of these poems, even to the angel
hair (in this case pasta) down the sink in the final poem,
“my dear god, we are all so small.” Enveloped between
the “Night In New York City” and “my dear god, we are
all so small,” these poems read like cuts from favorite
albums played on an ordinary afternoon. The tone is
intimate, as if the poems might not ever be heard. But
no matter: as the writer reacquaints himself with his
own story, we are drawn in on the parallel track of our
own familiarity.

The cover of Gager’s book is a photograph of pink
clouds we’ve all seen, sunrise and sunset.We may have
marveled at them the first time we saw them, but they
are far too familiar by now to bring out much of a response.
The book’s title seems both a disclaimer (none
of these poems is nearly as remarkable as a pink cloud)
and a declaration (these poems might very well be more
remarkable than pink clouds).The title also alludes to
the nagging question:What is a poem, anyway? If not
a pink cloud, what?

Other than the fact that they are in lineated stanzas,
these poems are not much concerned with their own
appearance; they don’t worry much about where lines
or stanzas break.They set up their own idiosyncratic
grammar and then disregard it — capitalizing the
first word of some poems but not others, introducing
punctuation partway through an unpunctuated poem.
These characteristics fit the speaker in these poems as
developed over the course of the book: he is someone
who has struggled with drinking too much, failed
relationships, mindless jobs. He’s a kid in a grownup’s
body, struck by remembered details of a room at
The Pilgrim Motel, the colorful everyday characters
in Harvard Square, the lush unfamiliar ambiance of
“Somewhere South.”

His philosophy is captured best in “How Runs Are
Scored.” A wobbly metaphor is constructed in which
poetry,baseball and romance are intertwined.Poets are
“pinch hitters “on small salaries / not regular players
/ though they are often utilized / at many different
positions // Occasionally they get up / gripping the
handle tightly / but it’s not a regular thing — / the
dugout starts getting cold in September / and I enjoy
the game too much, / too much to sit / waiting around
/ for that to happen.”

I like the fact that Gager puts his work out there, for
September-life enjoyment. It does indeed start getting
cold out at about that time.And there’s nothing like a
book of unassuming poems that we can see ourselves
in to take the chill out of the air.

K. Alma Peterson lives in Minnesota, and is a graduate
of the Warren Wilson MFA Program. Her poems have
appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Orphic Review,
Perihelion Review, qarrtsiluni, Skid Row Penthouse, Wicked
Alice, and others. She is the author of the chapbook, Befallen,

Propaganda Press, 2009/2010. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Deserve Somebody

Sometimes fiction has glimpses or more than glimpses of truth within them. After this story I was accused of taking a beautiful moment and turning it to shit. Yes, but the moment had no conflict, no sorrow, so I twisted it to what it became. It became You Deserve Somebody and it's in!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Four Poems in The Legendary

The editors of The Legendary have treated me well. They just published four of my poems for their August 20 issue and in the past they've published three flash fictions, one which sparked the idea for the novel I'm currently working on (The original flash was nominated for a Pushcart Prize). Thanks Jim and Katie!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Drunk Poem Series from Scrawl--Mine and others

Over at Scrawl we talked about "what we did when we are drunk" in our bulletin board forum. Some funny and reflective things were said.

Mark Martin

"Sometimes I ride my bicycle. That's one of the funnest things ever. It's like flying."

Ken Clark

"I think my mother speaks to me sometimes."

Richard Lee

"I pretend I have an Irish accent, and it's totally awesome."

Tori Munn

"Judging by the way I'm typing, I'd say that the thing I do most while drunk is typo (but I love the backspace/delete key). Silly me. I have boob photos too, somewhere... but I don't think I'm there just yet."

GiGi Dane

"I think I've been drunk less than 100 times and 80% of those times were between the ages of 20-24. Admitting what I did when drunk then would make me blush -- but while what I did was most likely stupid/dangerous/illegal, I sure had fun. Now if I get drunk I have to force myself to fold middle pair behind a big raise."

Terry Atkison

"I don't actually drink. I just volunteer to be the DD so I can be entertained by those who do drink."

This led to some poems which are being featured at Superpants: The Scrawl Blog. Here's mine below:

When I'm Drunk I Think About Phoenix

The time I just drove there
with an American Express
in my pocket but no coin
for a pay phone I found
by accident, a sunny bar
with green velour drapes frosted
with dust, must be dumb luck
Ma Bell’s out of order

when I flushed the change lever
the coins poured out like this story:
just me and the bartender; lonely,
she laughed

when I paid for two Budweisers
with dimes, smiled, said,
a few more pulls and tugs here
I’d never want to leave

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Paging, Mr. Gager

 Michelle McDannold (pictured right) started The Literary Underground Wiki.  (I like to call it LUW) and I have a page in it . LUW is an open-source encyclopedia devoted to the underground press. It covers the history, production, distribution and culture of the underground press.

Of course if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know everything that's on LUW about me anyway. Take a peak, there are stories and poetry links posted, perhaps something you forgot.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What can you do in Six Sentences?

You can get a story published in their anthology where each and every story is exactly six sentences in length. And you can buy it here.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bagels with the Bards, Anthology 5

My poem, A Girl in A Loft is included in this fine Anthology put together and including poets from the Bagels with the Bards meetings on Saturday mornings, in Somerville, Ma. It has an introduction from Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish, as well as notes from the founders Harris Gardner and Doug Holder. Julia Carlson edited this edition, and Steve Glines designed and published it through the ISCS Press

You can purchase a copy here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Poem on Curbside Splendor and how it got there.

 Once upon a time, R.A. Miller started Arriviste Press which published Will Leitch's, Life As a Loser. After I set up a reading with Will, Mr. Miller  enjoyed attending the Dire Literary Series so much that Arriviste became a sponsor. (They made a sign that hung behind the readers and bought beer). As what happens to many of the small press independent publishers, Arriviste folded four years later.

Years later, a friend of R.A. Miller's, David Victor Giron asked him his advice in starting a press of his own. R.A. told him not to do it. David started Curbside Splendor anyway and being true to his friend, Mr. Miller asked me to submit something and a poem called Like the Moths in the Light was accepted and published by Mr. Giron.

David Victor Giron will appear at Dire Literary Series to promote is own book in November.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Dire Literary BBQ

2010'S EVENT!

A plate of food, music and three features all for $8!

Food at 6 PM
Acoustic music by The Old Edison at 7 PM

Readings at 8 PM with
Michael Schiavone
George Wallace
Chestnut Growler reads from, "How Punk Rock Saved My Ass"

$8 DONATION includes a plate of food (dogs and burgers), music and readings. How Punk Rock Saved My Ass, will be on sale.

For more info

Michael Schiavone has been writing professionally since 2000. A graduate of Dickinson College and Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, Michael has worked as a stockbroker, a web content editor, a bartender, a teacher, and a lot in between. Currently he works as an Emergency Medical Technician and a Day Trader (read: gambler).

After spending many years in San Francisco and Santa Fe, he's now returned to New England where he lives on Cape Ann with his wife, son, and three dogs. When not writing, Michael practices mixed martial arts (gets his ass kicked) and obsessively cleans his house.
His first novel, Call Me When You Land, is forthcoming from Permanent Press in 2011. His story collection, You'd Be Crazy Not to Love It Here, is represented by Barbara Braun Associates, Inc.

Currently he's at work on his next novel, Drive-Thru Redemption.

George Wallace Based in New York and a regular on the performance scene, George Wallace -- author of eighteen chapbooks of poetry -- tours nationally and internationally to read his work at cafes, universities and festivals. A trained musician as well as a master poet, he has performed from the Bowery Poetry Club to Carnegie Hall, from the Beat Museum to Woodstock, from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, and from the Dylan Thomas Centre to Shakespeare & Co, Paris and Cindy Sheehan's 2005 protest encampment in Crawford Tx. He appears frequently in the United Kingdom from Cornwall to Cumbria and London to Liverpool, and has read in Italy, Ireland, Denmark and Greece. And he's appeared at many festivals across United States, from the Woody Guthrie Festival, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, Howlfest and Kenneth Patchen Festival to the Insomniacathon in Lexington, Kentucky. Praised for the 'Whitmanian breadth' of his voice, and his distinctive merger of bop prosody and surreal commentary, recent years have seen Wallace on stage in collaboration with musicians or on the card with them -- a list that includes David Amram, Thurston Moore, DJ Spooky, John Sinclair, Paul Winston, Joan Baez, Steve Earle and Levon Helm. Among his associations are such Beat, Post-Beat, Progressive and Alternative figures as John Cassady, Steve Dalachinsky, Ira Cohen, Peter Max, Charles Plymell, Janine Pommy Vega, Andy Clausen, Antler, Bob Holman, AD Winans, Donovan and others.

Chestnut Growler reading from How Punk Rock Saved My Ass.

Punk Rock Saved My Ass

Our newly published anthology. A world wide collaboration of authors influenced by the cultural storm called "Punk Rock." For some it was a shelter from youthful angst, for others, an artistic outlet, or a way to rage, but all agree that it changed their lives forever. This book comes from the voices of bakers, computer geeks, performance artist, poets, writers musicians, parents and more. You'll never listen to a punk rock song again the same way after you read Punk Rock Saved My Ass.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New WHLR Summer Issue up and ready for reading


Leonarda Boughton is a local Boston artist involved in many different
facets of art, from painting to design and education. She studied at the
School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Boston University. She
began developing her artwork in Mexico where she lived for 7 years. Now
back in the US, she continues to exhibit and teach- both nationally and



Our fiction editor loves Anton Chekhov and despairs the notion that there are no latter day Chekhovs submitting works for his consideration. This is not to say that the work he receives isn’t excellent … it’s just not Chekhov. To that end WHLReview announces a new prize for fiction to be called “the Chekhov Prize.” A google search reveals several other Chekhov prizes with cash. Alas we’re not offering cash. We will look for a bearded bobble-head doll. In the mean time we have T-shirts with the Chekhov Prize logo available. Just click on Chekhov's head.
Our fiction editor Timothy Gager has a new book out: Treating a Sick Animal. A sample from this book can be found here. Our editor & publisher, not wanting to be out done, has a new chapbook too: Opuscula.
We are going to test a new section. It may be transitory or it may become a permanent part of WHLR. You decide:

fragments of novels looking for homes (publishers)

John Hanson Mitchell continues his saga in The Bear, Chapter 4.
For your reading pleasure we offer an outstanding collection of short stories:


Our poetry editor, not wanting to be outdone by our fiction editor is pleased to announce the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry. Anyone published in Volume 3 (and beyond) is eligible. We don't have any idea what the prize will consist of - a t-shirt for sure. Perhaps we can find a Plaster of Paris bust of Julius Caesar, put a rose in its mouth and decorate it to look like Gertrude Stein. In the mean time we have T-shirts with the our rose prize logo available. Just click on Gerturde's head.
Our poetry editor, Irene Koronas, also has a new book out: Pentakomo Cyprus

We start with an Epic Poem:
Geoffrey Craig - The Brave Maiden
We have a remarkable lineup of poets, enjoy:
Bridget Galway
Carolyn Gregory
Changming Yuan
Chuck Taylor
Daniel Hudon
David Barnes
G. David Schwartz
George Held
Helen Peterson
James Piatt
Jared Smith
John Buckley
Joseph Cunningham
Kathy Horniak
Lara Dolphin
Lynn Lifshin
Michael Jerry Tupa
Mike Amado
Ricardo O. Fitten
Sabrina Stoessinger
Sally Allen McNall
Sunil P. Narayan
Zvi A. Sesling


LOVE-ZERO by A.D. Winans
(Cross- Cultural Communications Merrick, NY 2010 $10. 2010.
CAPTiViTY By Deborah Noyes
(US $25.95 / CAN $29.95) (Unbridled Books) Published 2010

Fourth World by DM Gordon
Adastra Press, MMX $16.00, ISBN 978-0-9822495-4-3
Falling Off The Bicycle Forever” poems by Michael Rattee
Adastra Press
NAME THE GLORY by Molly Mattfield Bennett
Wilderness House Press

Friday, July 2, 2010

Poem in the gutter again. Gutter Eloquence, that is!

Gutter Eloquence is an up and coming electronic journal which I believe picks up where recently folded Pindeldyboz and Zygote in my Coffee had left off.

The poem, Recipe for a Great Poem graces the new issue of GE.   It was written poem for poet Ken Clark, who is not "well known" but whose talent is highly admired. Look for Ken's book from the Fried Chicken and Coffee Press who promises that the book will be aesthetically beautiful both inside and out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Reading, from the WBZ show

It was great appearing on Jordan Rich's show on WBZ radio. He's an experienced and generous host---a total icon. I wish I had the audio, but, here's the booklist. generated from last weeks Jordan Rich Show.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ode to Woodworm, a poem published today in Riverbabble

Riverbabble 17 has a new issue with the theme of desire. Some familiar names such as Heather Fowler, P.J. Blount, Rafael and Jesús González share the pages with me and my poem Ode to Woodworm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Saturday Midnight to Sunday 2 AM

I will be on the air with Jordan Rich, WBZ Newsradio 1030 AM from Boston.

I'll be talking about my favorite books (mine included). This is a huge AM station so I hope you can tune in. Here's the link

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Next reading, Baltimore, Md, Sat 6/19, 5 PM

Saturday, June 19, 2010
5:00pm - 6:00pm
 Minas Gallery, 815 W. 36th Street, Hampden (Baltimore), MD

I'll be reading with Laura Ellen Scott, Curtis Smith and Bill Black

Laura Ellen Scott teaches fiction writing to undergraduates at George Mason University, and in 2009-2010 published 19 short stories in print and online, including work selected for The Wigleaf Top Fifty and Barrelhouse magazine's Futures issue. Her work was nominated for Dzanc's Best of the Web 2010 anthology twice, and she is currently Fiction editor of Prick of the Spindle.

Bill Black's work has appeared in The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, The Black Warrior Review, Short FICTION, and elsewhere. He has taught literature and creative writing at Western Washington University, Ohio University, and The Johns Hopkins University, and is currently Writer-in-Residence at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania. He a founding Co-Director of the Pages & Places Book Festival in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Curtis Smith's stories and essays have appeared in over 60 literary journals and have been cited by The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, and The Best American Spiritual Writing. Press 53 has released his last two story collections (THE SPECIES CROWN and BAD MONKEY); Casperian Books has published his last two novels (SOUND AND NOISE and TRUTH OR SOMETHING LIKE IT). This fall, Sunnyoutside will publish his essay collection, THE AGNOSTIC'S PRAYER.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dire Literary Series, 6/4/10, Cambridge, Ma.

Dire Literary Series June 4

Date: Friday, June 4, 2010
Time: 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Location: Out of the Blue Art Gallery, 106 Prospect St., Cambridge, ma
For more info

Open mic followed by features Joanna Smith Rakoff, Michelle Hoover and Ben Mazer

Joanna Smith Rakoff has written for The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other publications. She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College; an M.A. from University College, London; and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She lives in New York with her husband and son.

Michelle Hoover teaches writing at Boston University and Grub Street and

has published fiction in Confrontation, The Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, and Best New American Voices, among others. She has been a Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference scholar, the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell fellow, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and in 2005 the winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award for Fiction. She was born in Ames, Iowa, the granddaughter of four longtime farming families.

Ben Mazer's poems appear frequently in international periodicals, including Fulcrum, Harvard Review, Salt, Verse, Jacket, Boston Review, Agenda, and The Wolf. His previous full-length collection is White Cities (Barbara Matteau Editions, 1995), and he is also the author of January 2008 (Dark Sky Books, 2010), which is published simultaneously with this volume. His chapbooks include Johanna Poems (Cy Gist Press, 2007) and The Foundations of Poetry Mathematics (Cannibal Books, 2008). He is the editor of Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (Harvard University Press, 2010), Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005 by Landis Everson (Graywolf Press, 2006), and a forthcoming edition of the poetry and prose of John Crowe Ransom.