Time Being
by Joseph Torra

ISBN: 978-1-9935835-06-6
Perfect Bound, $16.00
Publication Date: April 2012
5 x 8 inches, 148 pages

Individuals: Order directly from Small Press Distribution,
1-800-869-7553 or Amazon.com.

Bookstores: Order through Small Press Distribution.

Written between December 2006 and December 2007, this long poem/journal/improvisation records in one long rush a year's worth of observations and events. Torra's eyes and ears are alert to fatherhood, family, food, writing, art, music, the urban environment, and much more. In every way, his improvisation Time Being attunes the reader to the rhythm of life.

Praise for Joseph Torra’s previous publications:

“Boston-based Italian-American writer Joseph Torra has consistently, intelligently and eloquently written about those Italian-Americans who have not escaped (or abandoned) their working-class lives, who may still use their ‘hands and heart’ but live on the margins of an Eataly corporate world. His protagonists are not stock exchange presidents or urban restaurateurs, but rather the restaurant waiter or the machinist out-of-work in a digital world. Torra—in fiction such as They Say, What’s So Funny, The Bystander’s Scrapbook, and Call Me Waiter—has for more than twenty years been our Howard Zinn of Italian-American culture. As Torra wrote in his poem ‘May Day’: ‘Forced to work / I brandish my / pen as banner, / garden hoe, / pick and ax!’ Torra asserts a proletarian presence into a world that has long ago declared the death of the worker.”—Dennis Barone

“If words were lug nuts, he’d spin them in ways the guys down at the garage never dreamed of.”  —New York Times Book Review

“A brilliant read.”  —Esquire

“…brings it all back to where it came from.”  —Robert Creeley

“The way Mr. Torra flows from one event to another, to a memory, to an observation is quite an accomplishment... this book is always a joy to read.”   —Hubert Selby Jr.

“[Part of a]n entire prose tradition that includes everyone from Kerouac to Creeley to Melville...”  —Ron Silliman


From Time Being...

...running playing jumping books pens China dolls walking eating talking stylish run fast excellent likes pizza sweet happy drawing thinking trying ideas paper pencils colors helping writing learning poetic exotic the body of the missing American soldier found floating in the river we'll talk with his grief-stricken parents roses burst on our lone shabby bush yes I will work the lights for the grades five through eight annual talent show today Celeste readies for her Kung Fu orange belt test Julia critiques her in tighten your elbow get down lower in Horse Position turn your left foot when you kick with your right slow down pay attention to the details all I got was my eyes gouged it goes to show there is no life and no death and I a fool trying to catch the sun can't be Donne been dead a long time Molly phones says the head doctor falls asleep during morning meetings last night a patient walked off the unit and nobody noticed grass trees and plants spring to life early tomato Bunker Hill Monument shrouded in grey fog bones discovered in tunnels under a local historic cemetery two loads towels two bed linens breaded chicken baked potatoes and salad every time they walk in my trench to retrieve their soccer ball they kick in debris that will soot up the trench she's found wandering confused second time in a week I wasn't lost I knew where I was going I was going to the donut shop to meet the girls I've been walking there for years you can't lock me in here I'll move and get my own place we strive for certain things certain those things make us happy...

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