Ian Truman

The Curse – Poem

The Curse

 

Did you try everything?

Did you really give it all?

You’ve lost sleep, money, loved ones.

You’ve spilled your guts to the page

Time and time again

But did you really go all in?

 

Was every waken minute of your life spent

Thinking about it,

Working on it?

It is the universe’ fault or your own at this point?

Did you write enough?

Did you really make it every day?

Did you really spend every lunch break writing?

Each and every single one of them?

 

How come you’re still looking for something else to clear some wiggle room?

Why the impulse to follow the herd?

Why look at other jobs at all?

Why care about an endgame that wasn’t your own to start with?

 

Was it the fact you weren’t from New-York,

or LA,

or Toronto,

London,

Or anywhere that seemed to matter to publishing.

 

Was it because you never traveled, not really?

 

Did 36 hours in NOLA on 300 bucks just to make it to a conference really amount to anything?

Did you really dress in Calvin Klein so no one would know you were sleeping on a bench that night?

Was it worth it to cross the line into New York on a midnight bus just to be at a table for a few hours?

Is this really what they meant by going at it for real?

 

Was it because you’re working class and can’t seem to find the leeway to keep up with the cost of living or is that just a cop out?

Are you that broke?

Is everything so expensive?

Are you a fucking princess after all is said and done?

 

Did you really starve yourself enough?

Did you really save up every quarter,

Every buck,

Every coffee you spent money on?

Why did you buy anything at all this week if it wasn’t for the sake of the word?

 

What if your “all in” really was everything you had and it still wasn’t enough?

Was it because you couldn’t write “content” to save your life like everybody else seems to be able to do.

 

It’s so hard to make a move,

Any move,

Once the thrill of your 20’s is gone

And the debt collectors want their capital back.

You can’t get another loan anymore, the party’s over.

They had you on the hook since day one

And it’s time to pay up for a good few many years now.

 

A guy I knew once said to me,

“We retired in our 20’s and now we have to pay for it till we’re dead.”

 

Oh how right he was.

 

You had been warned you were staying poor

And you made the decision to go there anyways.

This is a time of consequences and you can’t fail anymore.

Years of your life,

Thousands of dollars,

Engulfed into the word,

Your art,

Your name

Your way.

 

Do you still have it in you to go on?

Can you remind yourself of words you scribbled a decade ago now:

“pick a line, stick to it, don’t fall down.”

 

Words you had tattooed into your chest when you made that call

Words to make sure you never forget

As you look at yourself in the mirror.

“Struggles and Hopes.”

 

The dichotomy of life.

Your life,

 

Do you still have it in you to make it stick another round?

Another book?

Another year?

Pick a line

Stick to it

Don’t fall down?

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As Sleep Won’t Even Let me in its Heart.

A year ago,

On this very day,

My life collapsed,

As my (now) ex-wife

was busy with another man

At a Christmas party

Other than her family’s own.

 

Now, I am here, in my home,

Without my daughters for the holidays

For the first time

And the pain is more than I had expected

Or hoped for

Prayed for, maybe

During a moment of wishful thinking

 

But now there are no tasks to keep me busy

No gyms to go to

Or work to be done

Or friends to have over

And feel the sadness of the world with me.

 

Maybe in time

This season of greetings

Will know a place in my heart again

But for now I find no reason to cheer.

 

I was a father and a husband

But tonight, I am nothing

Absolutely nothing

 

Tonight,

I am neither

Father,

Husband

Or even lover,

 

Not even a lover.

 

I am none of these things that made my life worth living

And I am feeling it more than I’d care to admit.

 

So I turn to the word

Once more,

And time again.

The only way, it seems,

I know how to deal with these moments.

 

And I am so tired of this

Tired of it

Tired of writing about it

But it is my only escape.

 

I know nothing else

As sleep won’t even let me in it’s heart.

 

“Holy night.

Saviour’s birth

Long lay the world in sin.”

Dancing with a Switchblade: Selected Poems – Is Now Available on Kindle Only.

Dancing with a switchblade provides some of Truman’s most mature work to date where the burning rage of youth begins to make way to a better understanding of the trappings of the world.

Openly influenced by the likes of Al Purdy and Charles Bukowski, it combines influences from some of the world’s best lyricists in the likes of Henry Rollins, Trent Reznor or Johnny Cash.

This collection is a celebration of all things of life: hurt, pain, anxiety, beauty, love, fighting the good fight, sticking to what you know and doing more with less. Most of all, Dancing with a Switchblade is a celebration of the creative act of writing and hopes to provide an enduring snapshot of the working class today.

You can find it HERE! at ten poems a buck for over 100 pages of poetry for 2.99 US.

Side Project Cover Reveal – Dancing with a Switchblade

The writing life is about to get really busy again very fast.

I will likely attend the Brooklyn Book Fair (more on that as soon as I can confirm) in September and while the next novel is in the capable hands of the editor (more on that in a few weeks too), I’ve been confirmed for a panel at Bouchercon in October and the Montreal Noir Launch in November followed in 2018 by the next novel in the D’Arcy Kennedy series which I can’t tell you about juuuuuust yet.

I wanted to take a few days of my rare vacation time to crunch in a side project that is dear to me before getting back to shelling out massive amounts of words-per-hour for the man.

So here it is : the cover for Dancing with a Switchblade (Selected Poems)

Similar to Northern Gothic and Crass, this collection consists of about two/three years of poetry I wrote on the side of my main projects. They’ll be available at less than 12 for a buck (2.99 total) in ebook format only during the next few days as I get all the files in order.

You’ll notice the cover has that kind of saturated texture aesthetic I really enjoy working with these days. This is by far some of the most mature work I ever managed to pull off and I hope you’ll like it.

Some of these were posted here in the past, a bunch of them weren’t. I’ll take out the older posts from this website as well so they’ll be available only as a part of a collection that makes sense to me.

That’s pretty much it. Thanks and take care,

Ian.

Dancing with a Switchblade cover (2017)

My “Down With the Underdogs” tribute to the mystery scene

My “Down With the Underdogs” tribute to the mystery scene

 

To the former punks

And factory workers

Border crossing saviors

Shitty lawyers

Tattoo artists

barmaids

Cops

and

Ex-cops

or ex-cons

and ex-military.

 

To the inner-city players,

Of both style and substance

Silent geeks, the crazy kind

And other Fuck the World

Types or people,

 

My kind of people,

Always.

 

Down with the underdogs.

 

And now some context to this post:

I’m in the editing of my next novel, Down With the Underdogs, with no date in sight, but I am starting to think about things like tributes and photos and covers and working on expanding my network…that kind of shit.

Some version of this thing will go in as tribute in the book.

As for networking, I decided to go to any artistic or literary event I could find these past few weeks.

Tonight, I went to a mile-end poetry reading. And I’m a kid from the East, so you know I don’t fit in no fucking mile-end poetry reading. I also happen to be a poet who doesn’t really like poetry, or as Bukowski would say, “it’s all so boring! Where’s the guts?”

I mean, Cat Kidd was as impressive as I expected her to be, but the rest of it, I could’ve lived without. I mean, they can do whatever they want and who gives a fuck, it’s all good and well and everything, but it did make me realize just how much I could appreciate the mystery scene I landed in a few months ago.

So there,

Some of you I’ve met in real life, others I’ve only met online, but there is this unique meeting point of so many representatives of the working class in the people I’ve met. The bottom half of society is well represented with you and I wanted to say it, I guess.

Take care,

 

Ian

Over Half a Million Words and Counting – Resilience and the Creative Mind

I am about to announce my first “officially” published work, as I was lucky enough to team up with an up and coming indie of the publishing world, and I found myself thinking about the path that led me here.

Part of my intellectual process is to understand patterns very easily and part of my spiritual search is to understand the origin of such patterns (or paths) and their influence on the person I am today.

It is often said that any artist who’s “made it” had to fail time and time again in order to learn and grow. I can only say that the clichés are true as I was trying to figure out how many pages I had written and scrapped before getting to this point.

I did a pretty complete breakdown of everything I could think of between being a geek writing his own role-playing games when I was in fourth grade and looking into a chunk the huge market of mystery writing. (soon to be announced officially.)

I wrote

3 role-playing games – say 90 pages total

4 short stories in high school – say 20 pages total.

2 personal essays in junior college – 80 pages total.

5 “short” political dissertations – 200 pages total.

20 smaller college works – 8 to 12 pages – say 160 pages total.

(I’m not even gonna count all the weekly 2 to 7 pages assignments)

About 50 songs (music and/or lyrics) – 50 pages total

1 really bad script – 90 pages

1 really bad novel idea – 60 pages

2 full length plays – 120 pages total

1 short movie script – 6 pages

1 good full length movie script – 100 pages

3 novels : say 800 pages

1 self-made translation : 140 pages

2 poetry collections : 160 pages

4 years of curating texts for the MainLine Gala for Student Gala.

An unspecified amount of arts events and designs

Plus plans for a series of 5 graphic novels which I have yet to count…

2166 pages of “unsuccessful” or DIY writing to get here. At least 420 pages of which I literally scrapped. Most of it I used but have yet to pay out and some if it I actually look to make small amounts of money from.

I’m not even counting the letters, proposals and blog posts.

@250 words a page, that’s over half a million words I wrote before I got a book deal. (541 500 to be precise)

(With all the proposals, treatments, blog posts, letters, homework, submissions… I’m confident I’ve hit the million words by now… but let’s stick to manageable figures for now.)

So I guess the message is this, If you write every day, or even every week. If you started young because it felt natural to you, keep doing it. Half a million words and counting…that’s what it takes.

If that number scares you, you should probably do something else.

“Until you die or it dies in you” – Charles Bukowski.

Take care,

Ian

 

 

 

Crass – Poems of Ordinary Havoc

Crass Web Cover

Crass is the danger of stillness

Crass is the will to action

Crass are the pitfalls of hatred

And the narrow paths of love.

These poems of ordinary havok

Are a call to arms

Entrenched in dirty realism

Grounded by raconteurs

And a heartfelt dose of satire.

 

Now available on AMAZON KINDLE