THE MOST HONEST SYLLABLE IS SHHH ~ By Tim Staley ~ $5.00
Published by NightBallet Press in June of 2017.
The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh is saddle-stapled, printed on textured ivory cardstock, with a warm, light-coffee cardstock insert. The text is printed on ivory paper. It contains thirty-two pages of twenty-three poems.
Who else would hand you dreadlocks, a harmonica, and an underspiced tostada? Tim Staley’s gift for playful juxtaposition is on joyful display in The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh. In one collection, he throws you a giant squid, a barfing beagle, and someone named Mud Shark. A beer, a blowtorch, and an insult to opera’s pants. A musical toddler, the Rio Grande, and the Lady of Shalott. A Dionysus of combinatorial whimsy, Staley drops zen koans into camping stories, and investigates deep divides of gender and class alongside a parent and high school teacher’s daily dilemmas. His poems are as likely to consider the cosmic—does space smell like searing meat, pine trees, or cherries?—as the domestic: “Certainly I rinsed the vegetables,” he assures you, and you know not to believe him. In these pieces, the oldest poetic impulses to praise and mourn and cry out meet and marry the off-kilter collage and the party anecdote. Staley is as likely to consider the egg yolk stuck to a child’s face as how to paint a city skyline. As likely to describe his BO as how “the Sea of Tranquility / holds that last gist of light / in its darkest hour.” By turns sincere and zany, whimsical and cynical, or somehow, through his kaleidoscopic layering of vocal tones, all of the above at once, these poems invite you to kick off your flip-flops and relax around the campfire with your new, tender-hearted, wacky and wise friend, Tim Staley.
–Dorine Jennette, author of Urchin to Follow
The Most Honest Syllable is Shhh by Tim Staley might just become your new best friend. Take it with you to the bowling alley. Take it with you to the beach. Take it with you to the bar. Take it with you to your grandma’s house. These poems are fun, friendly, generous, and sincere.
–Kyle Flak, author of I am Sorry for Everything in the Whole Entire Universe
LOST ON MY OWN STREET ~ By Tim Staley ~ $12.00
Published by Pski’s Porch in April of 2016.
This book is 107 pages and contains 51 poems written from 2004 to 2015
Dimensions: 5 1/4 inches by 8 inches
In Lost on My Own Street, Tim Staley evokes beauty and ugliness, joy and pain in autobiographical poems that are always intense. –F. Richard Thomas, author of Once in a Lifetime
A fun and witty collection of poems that deftly and humorously deals with subjects as serious as marriage, family, love and sex, as heartbreaking as a life-threatening illness of a child, or as whimsical as the unusual smell of an ear. No matter the topic, Staley’s love of language is clear; his turns of phrases are pleasing and his choices of metaphors and symbols surprising. There are no cliches to be found here, just pure enjoyment. –August West
Tim’s poems use lively language, even when they are narrating actual life experiences. His poetry is imaginative and funny even though he often deals with serious concerns. But even when dealing, for example, with the hospitalization of his young daughter, he might do so in an ironic or self-mocking manner that helps deflate any potential sentimentality. This mixed tone is what makes Tim’s poems so interesting, I think. See what you think.
–Joseph Somoza, author of As Far As I Know
Tim’s delivery was infallible — full, humorous, serious, some from memory some not, and his new book “Lost On My Own Street” is a winner. Probably the best energetic reading performance I’ve heard in a long while!
–Larry Goodell, author of Broken Garden