*I’ve been listening to a LOT of 90’s-00’S Hip-Hop for my “Montreal” project so this kind of poem flow and rhymes at a MUCH faster pace than my usual stuff. It’s different and somehow feels like my 20’s are relevant again. I like it. So there!
Cutting Corners in the Metro
Dodging and ducking keeps my mind going, mind-blowing moment of creation and the noise in my headphones adding to the pressure on my temples creates a temple of noisy noiselessness no less the beats and mcess frees my mind, sheltering me from the sea of trains spitting out endless rows of endless crowds and I navigate the flow of people like traffic cones slow moving in my face well below my pace. I understand now what it means to be a writer, to be a witness. I’m in needing of the city and I’m in needing of the stress. committing to the page and I’m stuck, couldn’t do it without fifty thousand motherfuckers fighting for my spot.
And I swift through the place aiming for a space to land, a square foot piece of concrete free for me to stand in and wait and, wait and wait and write the whole scene feeling no need to withhold the weapon of the word, Invent new worlds, take a deep breath and feel the pressure on my chest every time every line, looking for the entire world in the insides of a narrow rhyme or a flawed statement about the status of men and the fingers are my pens, fuck the clock, the electronic piece can’t keep up with what I’ve got.
Then the next train come in and I cant help but see my suicide, every time, every night, eighteen years ago but it’s still on my mind, the double head lights in the tunnel still printed on my mind. No way around it, no way to forget the single step too many so easy to take and the wind slapping me on my face so fucking close to death. But I didn’t die I managed to fly by and escape the corner of my mind that would have let me fall and die. Got my heart racing and it hasn’t stopped since. Chose this life that chose me and I stuck with it.
Short on sleep
Short on food
Low on fuel
Money is few and far between
But the words keep coming and I’m committing to the page.No end to the flow and no end to the need to spit them at your face, hour after hour ain’t nothing I can do about my case so I push on the volume, beats are relentless, going loud and pushing it louder, blowing off my ears till you’re all drowned out. Fuck the World, screw the herd, but I need the contradiction of the crowd and the artist as a man. No need to travel when you living inside your head the world never ceases to amaze when you’re free to shape it, feel it, free it, commit to it. I need to be my own thing, something somewhere anywhere or simply just right here.
The train is my kingdom and you are all my subjects. Figuring it out every now and then. The train is my kingdom and you’re all my subjects. Yeah, the train is my kingdom. It hasn’t killed me yet.
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.
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,
My “Down With the Underdogs” tribute to the mystery scene
To the former punks
And factory workers
Border crossing saviors
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,
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
So, I’ve finally released my first collection of poetry titled Northern Gothic.
It was a project that I’ve been putting aside for too long and now that A Teenage Suicide (my next full lenght novel) is in the hands of my proof-reader I finally had time to work on some side projects.
So here it is, available as an ebook through Kindle or in print at Lulu.com
Northern Gothic is a collection of poetry in four parts.
I didn’t try to reinvent language. I have little use for new ways to twist your tongue and play with words.This is not that kind of book, these are not those kinds of poems. Most of them do not follow any specific form and it wasn’t even intentional.
Most of them just got out that way and I decided to remain as truthful to the original feeling of the poem as possible. In all things of life, I am a pretty straight forward man. Northern Gothic is a collection of tall tales, slices of life, changes of heart struggles, hopes and contradictions.
It’s about real life, about living in the East end of Montreal, dreaming about the north, working in warehouses and factories, trying to go to back to school or founding a family.
It ain’t always pretty and it ain’t always bad. One thing is for sure, these poems are always honest and that’s one thing we could all use a bit more of these days.
Take care, Ian.