Free eBook Friday: September

Not only is today Free eBook Friday, but it is also my birthday. Instead of asking everyone for gifts, I’m giving you all a free download of one of my books. This month’s eBook is Men Are Garbage. In my newest collection of poetry, I examine masculinity and reflect on personal experiences. Some of this includes childhood trauma. Some includes adult trauma. This is not the happy romance some people think of when they hear the word poetry. It’s dark. It’s real life. It’s my life. It felt fitting to offer this as a free download on my birthday.

The other exciting aspect of this poetry collection is I will feature some of the poems in a one man show I’m performing for the Tucson Fringe Festival in January 2020. I’ll share some poems along with some personal stories of my life and what inspired those poems. It will be an hour of poetry and storytelling. I’m excited as this is the first time, I’m featuring my work in this kind of performance. I’ve read my poetry to an audience before but only for a few minutes. More details on this as we get closer to 2020. The title of the show is also “Men Are Garbage.”

Most of the poetry included in this book was written within about a week. I would call it extreme inspiration or an emotional rage, but perhaps it was a little of both. I hope, in some small way, this collection will help the world. I never thought I would write poetry this much again, but I felt more passion behind this project than many of my other projects. I hope you enjoy it. “James Pack examines masculinity and anxiety in “Men Are Garbage,” a book of poetry in which he reflects on childhood trauma and his time as a nightclub bouncer.”

Summers in Alaska

Photo by Errin Casano on Pexels.com

I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.

Poetry Monday: 108 Degrees Is Bullshit

People like to visit Tucson
In October, November
December, January, February
It’s beautiful and peaceful
And the weather is perfect
None of these people
Have the balls to stick around
During the summer
During the Monsoon

You know you’re hardcore
When you live here
Year-round in Tucson 
With the lizards, spiders
And all the assholes like me

From the poetry collection Men Are Garbage.