Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Today I appear on Chris Joseph's Podcast: Life is a Ride---Overcoming Huge Challenges in Unconventional Ways

 Here's the Podcast on Apple 


Spotify so you all can listen!

I speak about Addiction, Writing, Joe the Salamander and the book due in 2023, The Best Of Timothy Gager.

The host, Chris Joseph is a very inspirational dude, who has dodged death, with his "illogical" non-wester medicine cancer treatment. I've had the pleasure to have been published by Chris in the Epiphanies Project  and interviewed him myself for the Dire Literary Series.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Surprise for 2023: Pleased to announce a new book, a "best of," (but not "essential" the way sperm is).

I am thrilled! Big Table Publishing requested to put out a "Best of" anthology of my work, and they would select it! I said..."wow, and thanks, and can I put in some new work which would add the length of a completed new book of mostly unpublished poems and flash ficiton?" I also asked, "Can I changed the proposed title, and the order of the selections?" I'm a dick that way. 

They had just produced an anthology, of Doug Holder’s  greatest works, titled The Essential Doug Holder. Right after that I was asked by Big Table, my publisher of many years if I would be interested in releasing The Essential Timothy Gager, of which they would select.  To be so honored, do you think I would just go with whatever they want?  Well, it is words and the meaning of words are important, so this is where my head goes.

As defined by the Oxford Dictionay:

Essential-absolutely necessary, extremely important.

 I don’t feel essential, I never have. Food, Water, Oxygen, and Human Contact. Essential. Essential. Essential. Essential. My poems, my fiction, my excerpts. Non-essential. Non-essential. Non-essential. Important to me? Yes. Important to others? I’ve discovered there are a few people I’ve made some sort of mark on, but I’ve never been essential. I am even classified in my job as a non-essential employee, but I have essential enough to draw a paycheck for the past twenty-plus years.  My sperm may fit that description as it was essential in producing my children. That fits the definition pretty well, but, also not as a title. Also, this by no means a dig on Doug Holder, or his title because I have nothing but 100% respect for Doug.

Here is a draft of the Table of Contents - which should be close to the end product. 


GROUNDED, New poems, 2022


Purple Robe

Although I Never Called You Beautiful

Beach Rose

Defining Unnatural, Non-Scientific Thunder Bolts

Reversing the Rain

Window at the Oceanic Hotel

Shared Bathroom at the Oceanic Hotel

The Holy Orchestrated

365,000 Poems Written About You

A Sonnet First Seen at Walnut Street Café February 2019

The People of Star Island

Walk Until The Legs Go Numb



At the Farm in Elkton, Maryland In Memory of Jones Purcell

Dog On Zoom


Deductions and Ends

The Suicidiversary: Years and A Day Late

Opposite Magnetic Poles

Dinner Party

Streaming While Napping

Global Conditions

Seasonal Fire Effect thoughts on The Bootleg Fire

Thoughts over the Deluge


Political Climate

Occupy Forever for Blaine Hebbel

What Dante Learned

Introduction to a Séance at Turning Tables: Delphine de Girardin for Victor Hugo

The Great Appearing Act

Not Perfect Does Not Make Practice


In The Obituary of Paul Felopulos

The Haunted Mile

Vaccination Extravaganza

It Happens in Spring

The Attenuation of Wide Ranges of Thoughts



There Once Was a Harvest

Ode to a Tree Cut Down

Can I Fly You a Drink? a found poem from an internet article with internet comments

How to Be a Werewolf

Family Silence for Sixty-Two Years

Frosting On a Barren Field

Inlet Sunset

We Are the Ones Left on the Beach For Natalie

God and You


Christmas 2019

Never Heard at Home

patents held by charles h. gager and charles fowler

Father’s Day/Funeral

Sleep, My Dear Poets

Jones’ Song

Living with Rabbits

I am Alone  (Watching Bad Movies during the Pandemic)

after the movie Fathers and Daughters (Warning Spoiler Alert)

Things I May Say

How to Revise a Poem

SECRETS AND COMPARTMENTS, New flash fictions, 2019-2023


The Kicker Loses the Game

Late Night TV Ad, Summer 2020

Rabbit Care

She Does (Doesn’t) Exist.

The Training of Staff

It’s a New Year

After Getting High

Can Anybody Do Anything?

Encasements, Compartments, Boxes

The Resigned Life of a Condo Trustee

The Drowning Girl

Beautiful Prayers

The New Coach

The Tinkerer

The Strength of a Single Lion (A Political Jaunt)

Airport 20/20

Annual Cookout-(sung to a nursery rhythm)

The First Four Steps Walking up a Cliff

Kill the Baby Makers

The Pillows of Society

Times Square During Lunch Hour

Predators and Prey

Perfect Crimes from an Imperfect Man

Ambien Beatle

The Cost of Love

How to Stop Birds from Flying Into Windows

Hey, Benni

I Saw Hell

The Off-Season

How You Met Your Husband

Up and Atom

Iconic Folks Talking by a Fire

Working on a Marriage

Why I am Not a Penguin

Her Hotel

Beloved Do Us Part


Becoming Ice

The Retired Poet Bought a Falafel Truck

Suggestions for My Ashes



Sitting drunk on a cooler in my backyard

Arlington Catholic

A Do-Dah-Day

The same corner of the Bar

What were you doing when the Towers Fell?





My Heart the Car


Thoughts While Driving

Rorschach while looking at the Clouds

I Need Enemies

SEVEN (for my boy)

Giving Myself a Haircut




Rabbit Maranville

I've Drunk The Holidays

My Uncle Coming Back from Vietnam with a Stump

Disowned by most of The Family

Waking up around noon

reply to someone who said my poems are all sad

your personal ground zero for Franz Wright’s writer’s block



Hit the road now Jack

Once Upon an Ocean Town

On the way home from Maine, 1970

Summer Job, Concord, Ma.

Somewhere South

my dear god, we are all so small

Night in New York City

The Things I’d Say





Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare

Hidden Hoboken

Your Vasectomy Journal

Punchless Jimmy Collins

The Top of Grace’s Upper Lip

Just Dessert

The Short Marriage of a Bride and Groom



Experience, Strength, and Hope



Mid-Life Diner

Like the Moths in the Night

The Enabler

April Ends

Recipe for a Great Poem for the poet Kenneth Clark

Ode to the Wormwood

When It is Still Winter

at eleven-fifty-nine



A Bit On The Bombing



Walking Out of the Woods

I have mostly Nightmares

The Shutting Door 


You Knew Me Before

The poems at my House

Meeting with Father Vincent

When you live by Yourself


Throw Certainty Out in the Air like a Lasso Reflections on Alton Sterling

Didn’t see it Before I Stepped in it

Prayer By a Stream


How We Exist

This is where I Am (when here)

A Poem For Forever

Unfit Father

Cross Country Family Vacation

When I Think of my Childhood

Hot Biscuits, Country Ham at The Loveless Motel

There’s A Fly in My Soup




Inside the Mind of Brad’s Therapist





Kayak Kenny





How Penguins Break

What Are The Reasons They Hang On?

How Do You Love a Capitalist?

I Look At You Through Glass and Water

Full Moon

If We Don’t Think, We Will Sleep

Everyday There is so Much About Elephants



Bromley’s Funeral Home

The Miracles of Recovery

Still There Are Boxes


At a Cookout for Poets

How to Unring a Bell


from 2020 POEMS


21 Lines / 2020 / Covid 19

Guesses From a Stable Genius


Unformed Relief

reply to someone who said you should write a poem about her

When You Have This Connection

Long Distance Thinking

Ballet of Surrender


It Sucks Getting Old




Adrian’s Prologue

Friday, November 4, 2022

12 Years Sober on Sunday, and no longer out in the cold.

These are my actual chips. They can be yours
This one not mine, but it's pretty fancy
Like Pokemon, you gotta catch them all, right?  I save every chip--going back to the 24-hour one. the monthly colored ones, and the yearly medallions. 
It's a good reminder  to suit up, show up and to re-enlist daily. For me, this means every day, but that's my choice 

       The early chips I kept, light in weight, big in color, are a reminder that I had to go back to keeping it all in the day many, many times that year (that week even). Bottom line is 2022 was kind of a dick. Many days felt really dark. I needed that reminder. My dad died in March, a relationship which was important to me had a change in status, and  my pet also passed.  All pretty devastating. Nearly everything that helped get me through the pandemic disappeared in some form or another---so now that the pandemic is "gone," I'm a little bit lost on life's baseline. Nothing is the same. 

      I  also had some medical shit, so there are changes around that too.  I'm tired both physically and mentally --- I'm fucking lonely a lot of the time. 

     Would I like these things to be different?  Of course, as they all cycled up and had an effect, but even though it was a challenging year for my sobriety, I made it. Yes, 2022 was an asshole! Relief was hard to find, especially after years of finding it in unhealthy ways. 

         So, woe is me?

         I didn't take a drink or a drug over any of it, nor do I want to because I now have a good life--something I didn't have on November 6, 2010. I have a roof over my head, I have food, I wrote a book in the last year, Joe the Salamander, which I'm proud of--and may have another life in another streaming form. My kids are healthy, my son got engaged, and I took a few trips too. I have a therapist. I have a sponsor. blah-dy-blah-dy-blah

      I have a lot of gratitude for my life.  I hope the next year is better, but if it's not, I have 365 days until I post about 13 years, because there is no guarantee that I can go even one day if I decide that my solution to stress, anxiety, a dick of a year can be found in some Johnny Walker Black. 

Here is my progression (in metaphor) of my drinking:

It all used to work--even when I was still using the way I did in college years later. (Sign Post: If you are 10-15 years out of college and are still drinking the same way or worse, it might indicate something).

1) It's still workingI go out wearing a coat, bringing my keys and letting myself back in. 

2) I think it's still workingI go out sometimes wearing a coat, sometimes losing my keys, and have to bother people to open the door at the end of the night. 

3)  It's not working and I don't give a fuck about anyone elseI go out never wearing a coat, and now it's freezing,  always losing my keys and banging on the door, sometimes for a long time and people are tired of letting me in. 

4) It's not working and I cannot stop doing it while not giving a fuck about anything: I go out, no coat and it's below freezing, no keys and people are no longer there at the house to let me in. I find it to be ok sleeping outside on the porch, after all, I deserve it. 

     Twelve years ago, on November 6,  I decided against the next number. Number 5

 5.) Hospitalization from frostbite or death by hypothermia.  No coat, no keys, no people, and this strange feeling of warmth...all I have to do is close my eyes.

     Finally, I had Hope.  There is some hope for anyone who could use some There are people out there, many needing help. Some of them I care about, and I've been saving a seat right next to me.  Besides saving seats, my people all are willing to help. I heard a story from a friend who knew someone struggling and they couldn't believe I would be willing to point them in the right direction. But it's not only me.  There are thousands of us out there willing to help, so if things are getting out of control, please find someone you know who knows what to do---and if you don't know what to do, reach out to me, I'm available unconditionally. 

\This one is not me, but note the faint resemblance