Self –proclaimed poet, playwright, blogger, and lockjaw lothario, Justin Karcher tweets to Buffalo City Life and other Buffalo news outlets with the request, “I want to be #PoetLaureate of #Buffalo, let’s make that happen”.
Well, I hope we can try to make that happen.
Karcher recently released, Tailgating from the Gates of Hell, his first book of poetry, with the help of publishing company, Ghost City Press, located in Syracuse.
Karcher says his favorites poems from the book are the titular poem, “I Love Being Sleep Deprived in Buffalo,” and “Virginia Isn’t for Lovers Like Me.” I appreciate the poems “It’s Good to Honor The Dead” and “Message in a Bottle.”
Watching Def Poetry Jam doesn’t make me an expert, and I won’t lie and say I read poetry all the time or can tell you every word from any of Robert Frost’s famous works, but I can tell you Karcher’s writing style is unique to me.
I find Karcher’s poetry intriguing. It’s almost hard to describe but when I read the poems from the book, I want to know why he decided to use those words. Most of the poems seem to tell stories from his life while others seem to relive history in a different reality.
And I have to say that the illustrations in Karcher’s book, done by Michael Biondo, really fit each poem as a visual excerpt to each one.
Justin says he gets his inspiration from his experiences while adventuring around the city of Buffalo.
Here’s another poem from Justin that deals with the recent weather confusion in Buffalo and the world, titled “A Whole City of Snowmen with No Snow.”
12:25 AM strange times, all around me there’s a whole city of snowmen with no snow
There’s no magic to keep us grounded
So our feelings are like water flowing in all directions
Too tired to build an ark to save ourselves
So I’m looking for where we buried our snowman bones
But find myself walking through a cemetery where failed astronomers are buried
The ones who suffered from Parkinson’s of the soul
Legs too shaky to take that leap of faith into the unknown
Who could never muster enough courage to free the glowing caged birds from their constellations, who watched and did nothing while countless stars lived and died
We’re good at killing whatever beauty is left behind
Suddenly it starts raining and all the raindrops are wearing long multi-colored wigs
They’re complaining about being bored
How they’re forced to hold hands with one another while the ship is going down
They tell me that hitting your head on the ground used to be a lot more fun
When there were still worthwhile memories left to lose
They probably have a point but I know they’re haunted by the ghosts of clouds that chewed them to pieces and spat them out like they were nothing
Jesus in Revelation says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I’m not too sure how I’m supposed to feel about that but a man’s got to know his limitations, maybe it’s best to go up in flames
These days I’m afraid to live the life that I have made in poetry
But maybe that’s the way it should be, so sad and so happy at the same time
‘Fucking beautiful’ is the only way to describe it and I’m okay with that
I guess this is life in a whole city of snowmen with no snow
I guess without the typical winter weather here in Buffalo, it can make even the sanest people create works like this?
In his own words, “my book, Tailgating at the Gates of Hell, is the perfect gift for the self-destructive person in your life.” If that’s not the perfect tagline to go buy the book, I don’t know what is.
You can purchase online here – http://ghostcitypress.tumblr.com/gcp003.
Or venture out in public and support your local businesses as the book is also purchasable at the Talking Leaves bookstores.