Saturday, September 26, 2009

Strange rumblings

It's safe to say at this point that the Sox are going to the post-season, and they should be competitive, minus some cataclysmic collapse---similar to the "oh shit, the season is over" moment last night when Lester took the Melky (doesn't that name sound like someone with a breast-milk fetish?) Cabrera line-drive off the knee. They've had Anaheim hexed for the past decade, and then all bets are off in a seven-game series. Every year, it's the team that gets hot at the right time who goes the distance. Simple.

However, for the past couple of weeks, I've been hearing some strange rumblings from Red Sox fans, and not just The Pink Hats, who don't know a baseball from a testicle, or a suicide squeeze from a bout of constipation (think about that one). No. I'm hearing real Sox fans saying, with an usual amount of audacity, that The Sox are going to win it all this year. In fact, this arrogance is spreading quicker than the swine flu virus. And, yes, I have been infected, too.

Since opening a Facebook account, I have pretty much avoided any face-to-face human contact. Conversation, for me, just doesn't compare with posting what you have to say on someone's wall. These days, instead of whispering, I send people private messages. Full disclosure: I'm a total and complete Facebook whore. My point being, and you can verify this yourself if you're on Facebook (friend me! friend me, please!), yesterday I posted that the Sox are going to go all the way.

What the fuck was I thinking?

While I was jogging this morning, trying to exercise my body a bit before parking my ass in front of the computer to Facebook for the next ten hours, it occurred to me that what I've been saying is completely counter-intuitive to my Sox fan upbringing. Now, I'm not going to argue the existence of a god, but isn't it strange that as soon as Sox fans start getting a little too complacent, a little too sure of ourselves because we beat up on Baltimore (there are tee-ball teams that could compete with the Orioles), Melky "mmm, it tastes really sweet" Cabrera takes down our horse? Is this a cosmic sign to shut the fuck up?

So you will hear no more of this nonsense out of my pie-hole. Let's take last night as shot of reality. The Sox will need to get lucky to win this thing. But that's obvious. They need to get hot. That, too, is obvious. The hot team takes the trophy. It's always been this way in baseball. So, in the meantime, Sox fans, I think we need to collectively shut the fuck up.

Friend me.

P.S. I have some new poems on Thieves Jargon this week. Check them out.

P.P.S. The winner of the contest will be announced tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We are Twenty!

9/22: I'm extending the contest until Friday. My
judge has first-grade to attend to during the busy
work week. Come on, people. I literally can't give away Crocker/Graziano. I understand we offend your sensibilities, but can't you at least use the chapbooks in your fire pit?

My friends, if you're one-one-thousandth as a neurotic as me (unlikely), you've noticed that my blog reached the coveted "20" followers today. I've been mouthing off about some big surprise forthcoming when we reached 20, but honestly, I got nothing for you. Therefore, I decided to ransack some old boxes and found some copies of Idiot Warriors and Men of Letters, chapbooks that I published with my good friend and heroin-addict Dan "The Big Flan" Crocker.

So here's the deal. I will mail copies of these chapbooks to the person who best answers the following question, posed by my 6-year-old daughter Paige:

What do all My Little Ponies have to possess in order to be authentic?

Post your answers in the "comments" section. The contest will be judged by Paige and close after Monday Night Football on 9/21. The winner will get their copies mailed on Tuesday morning. Good luck.

Note: Dan "Smell My Balls, They Reek Like Bleach" Crocker can't win.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After the Honeymoon

I'm a whore. Let me start with that.

I'm not a whore in the literal sense that I sell sex for money (I'm cheap), but the very nature of writing books and publishing in the small presses necessitates whoring your work. While traditional and romantic ideas of the writer's life might lead one to believe that writers emerge from their log cabins in the woods with a manuscript that goes directly to the publisher, via bike courier, gets published, and the next thing you know, you're signing books for a line of fans that stretches out the door of the Barnes and Noble, and later, you're knocking back drinks with Don DeLillo and Russell Banks. Maybe that happens for some writers (though I tend to doubt it), but for me, it's been over ten years of working full-time as a high school teacher and writing, much like I am right now, when the family is in bed with The Red Sox game in the background. Every few years, I have enough decent material to put together a manuscript, and so far, I've been fortunate enough to have a few of them published.

But it hasn't been glamorous---no book groupies, or hobnobbing with the literati , or reviews in major newspapers. It's been doing whatever I can to get my books in the hands of readers and working my ass off to try to make sure the publishers at least break even on their investments in me. So the publication of my new collection of poetry, After the Honeymoon, is, in many ways, bitter-sweet. While it's always a thrill to see your book in print, your labors materialized in front of you, I also know that if I'm going to sell any of books I'm going to have to whore myself; meaning, I will have to do anything in my power to get my work out there.

This means doing a book tour in October with my publisher, Dave McNamara. We don't have a publicity budget or any monies, for that matter. We're doing it by jumping in a car and hitting the road for three weeks. We're doing it with our shoulders to the wheel. You can look at my reading schedule and see for yourself: This trip is all about attrition.

While on the road, however, I will be updating this blog frequently. In fact, with it looking like the Sox "should" be playing in October, this blog is going to be renamed Nate Graziano's Big Baseball and Book Tour Blog. Depending on what the brackets look like for the post-season, I could possibly be infiltrating enemy territories during the games in October, friends. But I promise, regardless of where I am or where I read, I will be wearing my Red Sox hat.

Back to the book: While my book is a collection of poetry, and I understand that many people, much like myself, may get very frustrated trying to untangle a lot of the arcane metaphor and language gymnastics in modern poetry, my poems use common, straightforward language to deal with real life/gritty topics. I promise you won't need an MFA in poetry to understand it. As a writer, my goal has always been to communicate emotions and ideas using language that my family and friends, who are mostly not writers, will understand and appreciate. If a reader doesn't like my work or what I write about, I can understand that; it comes with the territory. But if a reader doesn't get what I'm saying, I feel as if I've largely failed in my endeavors.

Here is the information for purchasing my book, if you're interested. You can purchase it directly from the publisher here (preferable), or through here. The book will be on the shelves in certain bookstores, but if it's not at your local bookstore, you should be able to order it through them.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read this blog, follow this blog, or read any of my work whatsoever. I love hearing from you, so please don't be bashful to write me with your cheers, jeers, or fart jokes. Thank you, and namaste.

How's that for a rim job?

P.S. ALEX GONZALEZ, BABY! I'll definitely be blogging baseball in October!