Monday, August 19, 2013

"While I'm Driving Home" published in Ampersand Review today and how basketball obsession relates to alcoholics and addicts.

Here's a thought. Pistol Pete Maravich was an idol of mine on the basketball court. From the New York Times:

"As a kid, Pistol Pete would dribble a basketball outside a car window on his way to school, an obsessive practice ethic that also found him sitting in aisle seats at movie theaters so he could dribble while he watched, and a checkered pro career marked by injury, coaching turmoil, frequent drinking and, most of all, losing."

He was known as one of the greatest, an early innovator of "show time"; a magician on the court. (see video below)

Obsessiveness is also something quite familiar to alcoholics and addicts. Related to sports is the thrill of the chase, the excitement of playing the game and human need to dodge every bullet sometimes you win and sometimes, more tragically, you lose.

The poem I wrote, which was published today at The Ampersand Review, "While I"m Driving Home",  is about a couple, one battling to get sober and her boyfriend at the time who was also battling, but not as wisely. I wrote the poem before he passed, in 2009,  a victim to this disease.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Blurbs and endorsements for the soon to be released "The Shutting Door"

With the release of "The Shutting Door" (Ibbetson Street) a new full length book of poems in about a month, I'm honored to have received the following endorsements and blurbs. I am humbled, proud and grateful. These are the best poems I've ever written because of their form, content and the state of  my mind-- where I've been writing from in my sobriety.

Timothy Gager is a genius of the quotidian, keenly observing the details of our lives and rendering them so that we can hear the deep pulse of our identities, of our pure being, within them. The Shutting Door is a ravishing, wonderful, enlightening book.
Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize Winner, Author of 18 books.


 “The Shutting Door” is the first full length book of poetry in nine years from the prolific writer Timothy Gager.  I read these poems, constantly sucked in, pulled beneath the surface by the accessible complexity, the swirling eddy’s of darkness, shockingly abrupt intercuttings of profane and sacred, surprised by the streaks of tenderness… and thought , who am I to write anything about  a poet who, like his wolves, howls at the sun because the moon has yet to hear, who is an acute observer of the way things completely breakdown. And then I realized that in many of these poems Tim has done something remarkable and worth shouting about: he has rescued irony from the terrible detachment of the hip and the surface slickness of the cool. Rooting irony in the power of attachment, in gut felt emotion, connection and immersion,  he has once again made it revelatory and  profound. There is much more to be found in this collection but for that alone , hats off and shouts of joy to Tim Gager.

Michael Ansara, co-founder Mass Poetry


 In The Shutting Door, Gager studies the crisp space between life's summation and the gathering of what harvest may wait for us as we work at a more genuine quality of being.  In a world of social media he shows himself brave and committed to truth, but not without humor.  This is a delightful new work from a poet who consistently shows that he believes in what connects us and makes us hu

Afaa M. Weaver, “The Government of Nature”and thirteen other books


Worldly, witty, and often satirical, these poems also have a tender side, a feeling of loss and longing, a sense of thwarted hopes and dreams. It is as if the poet has glimpsed something wondrous and maybe all-important just beyond a door that is closing. What did he see in there? Was it his beloved, or the remnants of love grown cold?  Was it the hem of God, or the remnants of a faith no longer held?  Was it a little bit of truth and beauty mixed together, or was it the death of either, or both? Questions on this order are at the heart of these poems, and the glimpses of the answers are real enough to help us keep going.

Fred Marchant, author of The Looking House

 The Shutting Door is gritty, captivating book that immediately pull you in and doesn't let go. Tim Gager writes through the lens of a damaged angel, someone who has seen forgiveness from all sides. The result is wondrously eloquent, giving us these beautiful, dangerous, arresting poems about what it means to be human.  Gager’s poems “never stop trying to fly


--January Gill O'Neil, author of Underlife, Executive Director of Mass Poetry Festival

 "The Shutting Door" is unflinchingly honest and deeply personal, with a gentle sense of melancholy offset by the occasional touch of gallows humor. These poems shift effortlessly from meditations on nature, tales of love found and love lost, and astute observations on the human condition. Timothy Gager mines gems of truth from the plain soil of ordinary life.

--Charles Coe, author of All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents

Monday, August 12, 2013

"What The Boy Prays For" published in Ampersand Review

Ampersand Review an arm of the Ampersand dynasty has published the first of the two poems that were accepted. The poem was based on a camping trip where lobsters were served and a discussion among ourselves (and my twelve year old daughter) about pain and suffering. The conversation wasn't as deep at this piece by DFW but it covered the main points.

I'm pleased that they accepted "What The Boy Prays For" and thank you for reading.

Also for your amusement, how not to read a poem:

Doing it better!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bartelby Snopes presents Issue 10, in print, a "best of".

The 10th Issue of the semi-annual magazine from Bartleby Snopes features fiction and artwork from 28 brilliant authors and artists. The lineup of stories includes the six Story of the Month winners from the first half of 2013. This fine collection of stories promises to delight the readers. With a loyal following of readers, Bartleby Snopes is dedicated to producing a quality magazine featuring some of the best fiction on the web. This issue includes work from: Gessy Alvarez, David S Atkinson, Catherine Barter, Frank Cademartori, Darlene P Campos, Jamez Chang, Monic Ductan, Lauren Dupps, Anthony Feggans, Kate Folk, Chris Fradkin, Timothy Gager, Daniel Joseph Giovinazzo, Matthew Guerruckey, Austin James, Gwyn Ruddell Lewis, Stefanie Lyons, Richard McLarn, J.M. Miller, Laura Newsholme, Lauren Perez, Sarah Scott, David Stockdale, Refe Tuma, Wyl Villacres, Ryan Werner, and Jeff Marcus Wheeler.

"Sissy Spacek", originally written about here,  was an editor's choice for their Best of Issue , which includes others choices by their editors and the winners of the reader's vote for "best of" each month. Thanks to Nathan Tower for this great print journal.

It's available on LULU .