Friday, July 21, 2017

Publishing Day!! This calls for the blurbs and how to purchase.

1) Or order it from your favorite bookstore
2) Or contact me, if amazon is not your thing.
3) Deal if you buy from me. Any other of my books can be added for half their price.


Timothy Gager's latest book, Chief Strongbow is Real, is evidence of a new stage for the veteran poet and novelist. Before this book, Gager safely relied on his poetic insight into the struggle we all face, and his powerful phraseology; in this one, he stretches out into the worlds of politics and personality. His eye for the telling detail remains, but his work has become more expansive, more timely, and less hard-bitten. This is a mature poet showing us exactly what he's got: and it's good.

Good friend Rusty pictured with Heather Sullivan

-Rusty Barnes Author of On Broad Sound and I Am Not Ariel.


The poems in Chief Jay Strongbow Is Real exist in liminal spaces. Timothy Gager realizes that like the actor who portrayed Strongbow, we are all “fake…actor[s] within/the theater of our absurdity.” These poems aren’t afraid to rail against the world we find ourselves in, where if “the cash is too good/right in our backyard, [we] sign the contracts/then set the tap water on fire.” These are poems that fight for truth and justice and love – whether we’re ready for them yet, or not.

Shaindel Beers- a very kind soul
Shaindel Beers, author of A Brief History of Time and The Children’s War and Other Poems

Timothy's work is the cool that doesn't know it's fire. And his poetry, dry ice, cold to a flame. And all that cool, fire, ice, vocabulary and metaphor make volcanoes out of sandboxes of life and experience.  

 -Harlym 1TWO5, poetic force to be reckoned with
Pictured with Harlym 1TWO5 at poetry workshop

These Timothy Gager’s poems are diurnal animals prowling the midnight streets of his heart, searching for suburban morality, conscience, beauty, rawness, hope, and simplicity of time and being. When you read his work, you will be fetching him a bowl of milk made of love and fatigue and sobriety. The poems in this collection will drill quotidian sadness and nostalgia and hope into your left torso and make you dream of fabric softener and leggings and fertilizer.

Creative and talented Vi Khi Nao
 –Vi Khi Nao author of Fish in Exile and The Old Philosopher

Monday, July 17, 2017

First review of Chief Jay Strongbow is Real, by Laura Cherry Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene


Doug Holder, poet, editor, publisher                                                           Laura Cherry, poet, reviewer              


Doug, Laura

                                    and me, with a galley of Jay Strongbow, "we hold these truths..."

Put them together 

Tim, Laura, Doug
Review published in Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene

Chief Jay Strongbow is Real: Timothy Gager Hungers for Truth

Taking its title and prevailing metaphor from a faux-native wrestler who was “arguably the biggest racist gimmick in history,” Timothy Gager’s new collection, Chief Jay Strongbow is Real, sets out to debunk our tidy, comfortable myths and cut through romantic and cultural illusions. The book is set in eight “Acts” that take on loaded topics like politics, addiction and sobriety, love and its demise, family, and poetry itself.
The collection’s introduction and opening poems indict the actions of those currently in power (“sign the contracts / then set the tap water on fire”), but he’s equally allergic to simplistic or idealistic solutions from the other side:

                The most radical revolutions
                Become conservative
                The day after the revolution
                                (“Me Thinks we Protest”)

Gager’s poems are disruptive and clever, full of his characteristic wordplay: “What doesn’t kill you makes you thinner,” “as a fly crows,” and, most light-heartedly:

                You know you slay me
                so what?

                I have dragon breath 
                                (“Loose Flowers”)

Gager is also bold and funny in his skewering of consumer culture (seventies style):

                Take Sominex tonight and sleep
                after Coke and a smile
                is how you spell relief
                                (“I Feel Good About Amerika”)

The collection punctures the balloon of romance and easy intimacy (“this / dating is either gaga or nothing”) but still allows for the hope of deep connection “like a worn t-shirt / is a perfect imperfection.” Silly posturing is off the table here, but love remains a comfort.

In a world of counterfeits, compromise, disappointment and disgust (which extends even to the self: “today at the beach, my patience / vanished like waves taking turns”), the clearest story to tell may be of the adolescent hollowness that cannot be assuaged. Hunger, at least, is true, and memory doesn’t soften it.

                At age sixteen, a hundred and forty pounds
                An empty pit, my ribs stuck out like a step ladder
                My toothpick   arms with bulbous hinges
                I think it impossible   to fill my stomach
                                (“When I Think of my Childhood”)

With its distrust of smug certainties and empty nostalgia, Chief Jay Strongbow is Real might help us sharpen our own gaze, see more clearly, and act simply and boldly: “Cook a meal. / Plant a garden.” If there’s a message here, it is to look for truth and to persist. “By no means stop.”

--Laura Cherry

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Friends in Oddball places. Titular poem from the soon to be released new collection, "Chief Jay Strongbow is Real" published PLUS the exciting new blog feature called FACT time

Before you read the poem, "Chief Jay Strongbow Is Real"  the preface may explain the point of view behind this poem and others in the collection due in a few weeks. That would be the story behind the story.

So now you have my permission, but not the government's permission to read the poem

 My friends at Oddball had me on their podcast three months ago Much gratitude toward Chad Parenteau and Jason Wright (pictured with Tony Bee)for what they believe in and for publishing me.

"Chief Jay Strongbow is Real" is accompanied by great photo by Glenn Bowie too


Standing Rock Wrestler Delaney Lester is REAL--I hope someone remembers that fact.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Joe the Salamander has a new home...moved to The Coil

 Read the story HERE in The Coil.

Many hundreds of kilometers west of Tokyo, in the mountains of Okayama prefecture, lies a tiny river valley where the Japanese giant salamander is venerated as a god. Every year for close to half a century now, the village of Yubara Onsen has held the Hanzaki Festival to honor this most local of deities.

And don't forget the Salamander Festival in Homewood, Alabama (not Phoenix) where according to their organizers: Spotted salamanders spend nearly their entire lives underground living in forest burrows. They come out once a year to mate and lay their eggs in a vernal pool (a wetland pool that dries up in the summer). Spotted salamanders need habitat in a forest and in wetland pools. Spotted salamanders are harmless, cute and cool. At the salamander festival you will learn more about different kinds of salamanders from biologists at the festival. You can also learn about frogs, turtles, fish, birds and other animals!

Which brings us to Joe's history--born in Jon Konrath's "Air in the Paragraph Line" journal and then republished in Go Read Your Lunch by my friends at Alt Current. A novel length version is simmering in my head and has been for months

These fine folks have consolidated their old works and journals, plus various pieces bouncing around into their  journal, The Coil. It's a nifty, attractive place where you can go and read some great stuff.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Table of Contents: "Chief Jay Strongbow is Real"

There are 53 poems and 8 Acts in this upcoming collection. The main theme is found in Act 1 and VIII and described HERE in the Preface Acts V, VI and VII are much lighter in tone and subject matter--any questions, I'll be sure to answer. 

Table of Contents

Act I: The part of The Chief will be played by an Italian

Chief Jay Strongbow is Real 17
Throw Certainty Out in the Air like a Lasso 19
Repatriation 20
Methinks we Protest 22
Making American History 24
I’m Feeling Good About Amerika 26
Didn’t see it Before I Stepped in it 27
1984-2017 28
This Old Gym 29

Act II: What Doesn’t Kill You

But you forgot, to remember 33
My Name is Paul 34
A Request 35
By the Fifth Drink on Sunday Afternoon 36
The Night Wind 38
The Filth and the Fury 40
Tales Which Moved Me 41
Wash Away Her Sins 42
Prayer by a Stream 43
Eulogy for “Dying Suddenly” 44
At Her Gravesite 45
Sobriety 46
Hartooma 47

Act III: When We Talk About Love

It’s Gaga or Nothing 51
About Making Love 53
When We Talk About Love 54
My darling 56
How We Exist 57
Loose Flowers 58

Act IV: Lodged in an Airway

Counter Act 61
Paler Nymph 62
Ingestion 63
This is where I Am (when here) 64
Stratus 65
Upon Leaving 66
I am no longer your anything 67
A Shining Night 68
The Last Time 69
How Elephants Love 70
suicide sequential 71

Act V: Worn Away in Circulation

A Poem for Forever 75
Unfit Father 76
When I Think of my Childhood 78
Cross Country Family Vacation 80

Act VI: God We Need Such Luxury

Found on Social Media 83
Us Defined 84
Nursery Rhythms 85
My Claim 86
Making Spring Come Early 87

ACT VII: Seasoning

Hot Biscuits, Country Ham at The
Loveless Motel 91
Grumpy reply to the grumpy cashier at
the fast food restaurant 92
Leftovers at the Lays Potato Chip Factory 93
There’s A Fly in My Soup 94

Act VIII: Survival
 For the Bear 97

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Coming Soon: "Chief Jay Strongbow is Real" Poems by Timothy Gager (Big Table Publishing)


When I was in the sixth grade, I was assigned to create a rendition of The Trail of Tears—the forced removals of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to an area west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Native Territory. I collected a box, some sand from Long Beach, glue, and balled-up newspaper. At the St. James Five and Dime I bought some fierce-looking plastic “Indian” figures and a covered wagon, and with the plastic brush-looking things from my Fort Comanche play set, I was ready to roll.

 My mother had an art degree from Pratt University, and with her help, the diorama portrayed a lineup of figurines and the covered wagon, trekking across hills of sand. Sounds like an A, doesn’t it?
The grade I received wasn’t an A. To my recollection, it was an F. The reason? My teacher thought that the five and dime Indians, whooping with axes and ready for battle, were not depicting the overwhelming sadness of these displaced individuals. I was outraged at the unfairness; the Five and Dime didn’t sell figures that were crying and grieving!  

But my teacher’s comments stuck with me, and made me aware of this country’s depiction of Native Americans. There’s Chief Knock-a-Homer for the Atlanta Braves, Chief Wahoo for the Cleveland Indians, and of course, the emblem on the helmets of the Washington Redskins. In the sixties and early seventies, there was a professional wrestler, Chief Jay Strongbow (played by an Italian wrestler named Joe Scarpa) who would go on the “warpath” and defeat his opponents to the cheers of rabid fans in packed arenas.

The matches would always be the same: Strongbow would start well, almost pinning his opponent, then the opponent would rally and really hurt Jay. The injured and often crying Jay would then begin a low energy war dance, and slowly gain more and more power as he took over the match; his dancing more vigorous, his punches more deadly, until finally he won. Jay Strongbow was arguably the biggest racist gimmick in history.

Fast forward to 2017. We are still taking land from the Native Americans at Standing Rock. We still depict those of "featured" ethnic groups as people to fear, and enact travel bans against all within that group. We have overwhelming police action, force, and incarceration in higher percentages from those disempowered.  We have leadership treating addictions as personal weakness rather than disease. Things are viewed as true or real because society is telling us they are true and real. In other words, if we are not advancing in all these thought patterns, we have been regressing.

I realize I do not have the direct experience to be within these sociological and political patterns. What I can do is write about them, as an outsider looking in, because as the media becomes more and more directed to report what should be reported, I as a writer have not yet been censored. I, and hopefully we as human entities, will continue to speak up without being squashed when wrongdoings are noticed. We will not do so because of narrow agendas or for ratings but rather, because what we believe in is the right thing for us all. May we continue to hold and recognize these truths as self-evident. I hope you remember how the rest of that phrase ends.

Timothy Gager, April, 2017

"Chief Jay Strongbow is Real" will be my 13th book and the first full length poetry book since 2014's "The Shutting Door". 

Preview the Table of Contents
   Some of the poems in Chief Jay Strongbow is Real have appeared in

Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art

Ibbetson 36,38,39,40

Contemporary American Voices

Oddball Magazine

Muddy River Poetry Review

Mass Poetry Website, Poem of the Moment

Cape Cod Poetry Review, Winter 2014