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Tom Waits Writes a New Poem (about a Boner, Among Other Things)

"The trees look like hula girls" to Tom Waits
"The trees look like hula girls" to Tom Waits
Michael O'Brien

Regular old songwriting just ain't enough sometimes. A few of our favorite living legendary wrinkly musician men are exploring their creativity, venturing into forms beyond their usual mind-melting melodies. While Mike Watt's new opera is circulating Japan, today, Tom Waits posted a few pages from a new chapbook, an existential poem about being the rock, the leaf, God, and even a boner. Take a look inside.

Seeds On Hard Ground isn't just an excuse for Tom Waits to stroke his poetic side, he and Anti Records are donating all proceeds of the limited edition chapbook to Redwood Food Bank, Sonoma County's Homeless Referral Services and Family Support Center.

My favorite part so far is the mantra about being a seed then a leaf, only to become a stone, rolling...

You just don't see the word boner come up enough in poetry these days.

All jokes aside, the poem itself was inspired by photographer Michael O'Brien's striking portraits of homeless people.

Tom Waits Writes a New Poem (about a Boner, Among Other Things)

Waits perhaps weaves his own perceptions into the minds of these images, and the outcome is part disjointed list, like the voices colliding for space on the page.

Is this all too heavy for you today? Well, then let's turn to Mike Watt's light-hearted opera, Hyphenated-Man, which will be released in the USA this March, but has already landed on Japanese shores. --And by light-hearted we mean it greets the apocalypse of human integrity with a sense of humor, of sorts.

arrow-pierced-egg-man
now what came first the thought or the man? a crack in the shell a 
busted-up plan thirty pieces of broken-up mirror stuffed in the head 


Watt too looks upon the many faces of man and sees what he's worth:

confused-parts-man


mangled-up parts together twisted didn't realize most existed bafflin' 
how they're connected can't understand what's existin' took half a life 
to get this way livin' the other half in dismay got a hunch, got a 
notion this trip's like an ocean some shit sinks, some shit floatin'

Tom Waits Writes a New Poem (about a Boner, Among Other Things)

God bless these men and their weirdness that continues to make the world a better place.

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