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Tea & Sprockets: Poetic Nonsense Paperback – October 31, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Tea and Sprockets is honest. The poems speak of isolation, of feeling different from one's peers, of living in a time of perpetual war. However, Tea and Sprockets also speaks of enduring love, hope and a longing for peace within the poet and for the entire world. Thank you for giving your work to the world, D.L. Lang. That, itself, is a great act of peace. - Amy Gioletti
From the Author
To me, poetry is a coping mechanism, spiritual journey, humorous observation, and linguistic exploration, but what it truly is: my soul on a page. The mystery of poetry is that the reader never truly knows what the writer was thinking, so it takes on a meaning of its own to each person who reads it and relates, or not, to it.I am an avid tea drinker. If you drink a cup of hot tea, you are forced to slow down and appreciate the tea. It is almost a meditative process. Poetry can have a similar contemplative quality about it. But then there's the sprockets: the every day routine where your mind is constantly churning and the world is constantly turning. You can read poetry in this way as well translated into music or film there is a speedy quality. When I write sometimes the poetry is a direct flowing of my soul so fast that my pen cannot keep up: that is the sprockets. Other times, this is the result of meditation on a theme or word--there's your tea.
What can I say about Tea & Sprockets? This book has been through several incarnations, containing the largely uncensored thoughts of an adolescent poet between the ages of 12 and 25, skewing more towards the teenager side than the 20-something.
In 1994 I was sitting in my Enid, Oklahoma bedroom reading Moses Horowitz's book, Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, absorbing all of his vaudevillian and slapstick memories, when I came across a passage about his decision to start acting at age 11.
Imagine that! I too, was 11 years old! What did I want to be? I wanted to be a writer. Sure, I also wanted to be a cartoonist and an actress, but I knew that I loved to write. I started out writing elaborate fan fiction stories using members of my favorite bands or favorite comedy troupes as characters across various time periods. I also toyed with writing a western and a young adult novel.
The only poem in this book from age 11 is "Surf Clown," which came to me at Champlin Pool in Enid while my friends and I were using the floatation devices floating as underwater surfboards. It was inspired by my love of '60s surfer music and came to me in a form that can only be described as a surf rap song. I recall a teacher writing on a copy of the poem, "Brian Wilson would be proud!"
When I was 14, our 1992 DOS computer decided to implode, and I learned a valuable lesson--always back up your writing! This sparked a desire to preserve my writing for posterity, publishing poetry collections for myself above all, regardless of sales.
Due to the rap format, I had memorized "Surf Clown," and following the computer crash, was able to rewrite it quite easily. At age 26 I tried to attempt this sort of surfing again, and got in trouble with the life guards at the local JCC, as the board kept popping up above the water, leading to a couple near misses with swimmers' heads!
"The Outsider" is one of my favorite poems from this period. I decided to take pride in my not fitting in with this poem. It is thanks to my 7th grade science teacher that I even have a copy. She had loved the poem so much that she asked for a copy, so I wrote to her when my computer crashed years later. I was sitting in 10th grade French class, when I received a paper copy, for which I am grateful.
By 13 I had further developed a penchant for '60s music, and my thinking was forever altered by the introduction of the surrealist and pacifist-leaning lyrics of the 1960s, sparking my own creative renaissance at 13, so for all the pre-teen poetry that was lost, it did not take long to generate more.
As with most teenagers, especially ones who face bullying and suffer from low self-esteem as I did, my poetry at the time expresses a lot of angst. I find many of these poems to be a painful read 20 years later. I might not have ever published many of the sad poems within this volume if this now 30-something poet was the original editor, yet I leave them here to honor who I was at the time, for it was my struggles that formed the foundations of the person I am today, leaving me with a greater sense of gratitude for just how far I've come.
At age 17, I wrote my own autobiography, a fascinating relic that speaks volumes of my own personal psychology at the time. That manuscript is likely to remain unpublished, yet the foreword to it is the "know something of my past" text that appears at the beginning of Tea & Sprockets.
"Last Chance Disaster" came to me as a song in 2004 with an entirely different melody than the song that was later produced by my musician friends, Jon, Grey, and Mikey in 2011. The poems "Perceptions," "My My," "Chameleon," and "Unexnon" later became the lyrics to Grey's song, "Oh, My Chameleon Perceptions."
"The Rest Seven" was written extremely fast in July of 2005 as a sort of a stream of consciousness experiment. It was a linguistic flood similar to how [The Monologue] came to me as a teenager. "The War" was my teenage understanding of how every human has the capacity for both good and evil, and it remains one of my favorite poems.
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Top customer reviews
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In this case, D. L. Lang's collection of poem "Tea & Sprockets" is one of those poetry books that caught my interest. The poems are robust, well crafted and pull the reader into the web of the author's imagination and emotion all the while leaving room for the reader to interpret to suit.
It would be hard to choose a favorite in a collection so varied but I have to say that I have a few. Those concerning losses especially spoke to me but there were many others that explored the joy of life that were just as moving. All in all I would say there is something for everyone and every mood in this collection and I recommend you download a copy, settle back with a nice beverage and enter into the world of the author's imagination.
Karen Bryant Doering,
Parents' Little Black Book
The poems are very direct, you do not have to guess what the meaning is. But yet, they are descriptive and well written.
How can it be that I live in pain,
When all around I see only gain,
How can it be that I long for someone,
When I am surrounded by everyone?
How can it be that magic fades?
Or is it just emotions' shades?
If you love poems, you will love this book. Eagerly waiting for more poem books from her!!