NICK BARROWS is a Cincinnati, Ohio native whose words have appeared in Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety, Trained Monkey Press, Semantikon, and several Aurore Press anthologies. He has been performing poetry for over twenty years, from Kaldi’s Coffeehouse to Word of Mouth Cincinnati at MOTR Pub.
His self-published title Rockets on Bibles was released in 2007, and the co-authored Versus with Mark Flanigan was published by Aurore Press in 2012, the latter of which CityBeat called “a prodding of humanity and the human psyche that is sometimes dark, sometimes ethereal and sometimes humorous.” Also a musician, his escapades in that realm include the bands Eagle To Squirrel, JetLab, Jack Burton Overdrive, and MacReady U.K.
Nick views his works not as a form of instruction, but more as a cautionary tale.
* * *
Word of Mouth Cincinnati, which began in January 2014, is co-hosted by fellow writers Jim Palmarini and Mark Flanigan. It was founded in memory of the late Aralee Strange who, after many years living, writing and producing work in the Cincinnati area, moved to Athens, Georgia where she co-founded Athens Word of Mouth.
WoMC is an intentional arc of both past and future utterance, inspired by our most revered voice, with a nod to her Athens, GA compatriots. Word of Mouth asks poets to Show Up, Mouth Off and Pay Attention.
Admission to Word of Mouth Cincinnati is free and open to all ages, although some content may contain adult themes and language. MOTR Pub 1345 Main Street Cincinnati, OH 45202.
When it is this gray
When it is just almost rain
When it is just this gloom
When it is this overcast
When it is just this November
I want to be a jazz musician
A drunk jazz musician
A three in the morning gig jazz musician
Playing for booze jazz musician
Too many cigarettes
Maybe have a junk problem
Living in a crappy motel
In the middle of a crappy part
of a crappy cruel ghetto city
Living on beans & franks, coffee, cigarettes, booze, and maybe speed
Maybe had a hit or two when I was younger
When I had a belly full of fire
Not a belly full of beans & franks, coffee, cigarettes, booze and maybe speed
Got kicked out of the Blue Wisp for passing out on stage
Got kicked out of the Blue Note recording sessions for stepping all over the lead
Got kicked out of the corner shop for being belligerent
Had to get my axe out of hock a few times
Showing up to the gig late
“Have you heard this guy
So much soul
Now this is jazz”
“He recorded this high
At three in the morning
Man, he can really cook”
“What ever happened to him”
“I don’t know”
“I think he died a few years ago”
“That’s a damn shame
They don’t make them like that anymore”
“You got that right”
Oh these gray
just November days
Creeping into me in the most subtle style
Where is my sax anyway?