William Teets is a writer born in Peekskill, New York, who has recently relocated to Waterford, Michigan. He immensely misses New York pizza, the Hudson River, and watching his beloved Mets play at Citi Field.
When not writing, reading, or editing, Teets is active in striving to enhance metro-Detroit’s literary scene. He facilitates a writers workshop and leads local open mic events, as well as localized author book readings and signings.
Teets is the author of a memoir, Upside Down (One on the House), which was released to rave reviews in 2013, and his novel Reverend Went Walking, was released to wide acclaim in 2016. Reverend Went Walking is currently in early-production discussions to be adapted to the silver screen. A poetry collection, After the Fall, was published by Cajun Mutt Press in 2023.
Mr. Teets’ poetry and prose has been published in numerous literary journals, including Chronogram, Drunk Monkeys, Ariel Chart, Down in the Dirt, The Rye Whiskey Review, Impspired, Cajun Mutt Press, Literary Yard, Abandoned Mine, The Deadly Writers Patrol, confetti Magazine, Art and Life, as well as in numerous anthologies.
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
confetti: Who or what inspired you to write?
William Teets (WT): I had two amazing teachers during fourth and fifth grade who encouraged me to read as much as I could. I read pretty much every book I got my hands on, and my love of reading continued throughout my schooling. Also, I loved the Scholastic Book Fairs held during my early education. I was exposed to so many wonderful books that further fostered my love of reading. All of that reading made me want to be a writer and create magic with words, just like I read.
confetti: How would you characterize your writing style?
(WT): I’m all about imagery, and having that imagery evoke visceral emotion in the reader. Furthermore, I like to write layered poetry or prose—heavy with allusions and allegories—that forces the reader to look below the surface, hopefully finding universal constructs and truth.
confetti: Who is your favorite writer and why?
(WT): For prose, I’d have to say Jack London, just because his writing made such an impact on my younger self. He was the first “literary” writer I delved into and a catalyst to my spending hours perusing library bookshelves. In poetry, I’m mesmerized by T.S. Eliot’s work.
confetti: What are you currently reading?
(WT): Deacon King Kong, by James McBride. And I just revisited Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s (his birthdate just passed, 3-24) perfect poem, “A Coney Island of the mind 20”.
confetti: What are your three favorite books?
(WT): Only three? Today, let’s go with Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Narcissus and Golmund by Hermann Hesse, and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.
confetti: What are your three favorite movies?
(WT): Three of, are Planet of the Apes (1968 Original), Smoke, and A Love Song for Bobby Long.
confetti: What is your favorite song of all time?
(WT): Again, impossible to choose one, but today I’ll go with either “Brownsville Girl” by Bob Dylan, or Van Morrison’s “Summertime in England”.
confetti: What advice would you give to young writers?
(WT): Be bold. Be ambitious. Take chances. Write for yourself first, and never concern yourself with what the reader may or may not think of you or your writing. And always write honestly, even if doing so hurts. Otherwise, there’s no point.
All Saints Day
In the corner of my kitchen
Gabriel and Judas play five card draw
The water faucet is broken, the wine barrel bare
Yesterday’s bread crust, stale on the counter
John decrees there will be no baptisms performed
Mary Magdalene arrives with sangria and saves the day
Sells tickets to the resurrection
three for the price of one
Gabriel blows his horn, Judas pulls an inside straight
I buy a raffle for salvation
“All Saints Day” was originally published in Chronogram (August 2019).
Enduring and Beautiful
I found the last pay phone in Memphis and called Jesus collect
I was out of quarters and dimes don’t work anymore
The voice on the other end
somewhere in ether
said the line is disconnected
has been for some time
There was a chance Mr. Siegel might be home
so I walked to the nearest whore house
across the street from a Catholic church
And I’ll be damned if the Devil’s porch light
wasn’t left on
Why can’t all dreams and song and poetry written in blood come true
offer even a flicker of light
like a match from a free matchbook does in our favorite barroom dives
The deal is done the gig is up
I’m leaving town on the first rail at first sign of dawn
For just before sunrise any dream can be fulfilled
Take Me Down Saint Peter
I called but no one was home.
She’s like a ’74 Chevy on concrete blocks.
A chained hound who howls in the yard.
A torn orange flag ripped by rain.
Shit, that was from the day at the Syracuse Fair,
where cotton candy tastes like Saturday afternoon.
Nothin’ to show but a Coney dog and busted lip
for talkin’ too loud at the Howard Street homeboys.
Beneath the statue of Save Me Now Saint Peter,
behind the burned-out ice cream stand,
over near the shoreline, just south of Salt Lake,
wildin’ out and shoutin’,
Salt for my Cuervo
Salt for my nuts
Salt taste between her legs
Romeo and Juliet?
Nah, Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Damn, my hoodie don’t cover my face.
Damn, life been comin’ hard at me.
I’m rockin’ the Amtrak headed south.
Over rails made from cobblestone and broken bone.
Straight to New York City.
Straight into sin.
I pray for her
and Saint Peter
to come take me down.
But my dreams are cotton candy.
I have salt in my veins.
“Take Me Down Saint Peter” was originally published in Cajun Mutt Press.
Philosophy tells them God is dead
as poetry resurrects purple microdots and ’59 Cadillac fins
Frees them to worship the great god Pan
So they walk through fire and burn their souls
Do the goat dance beneath a rusty full moon
Vow to never grow so old again
Inside the common square
wild gardens grow
The gardener has been murdered
teachers hang from high trees
All the sweet-sixteen girls shout with joy
as the high school boys jump
from sixth-story library ledges
When this body did contain a spirit, a kingdom for it was too small a bound; But now two paces of the vilest earth is room enough. –Shakespeare
A young girl scribbles in a spiral-wired notebook
about harvest moons and her tenth-grade crush
Plagiarizes her favorite Joni Mitchell song
Across a sea-wide hallway
a beatnik born sixty years too late searches his cause
Ponders how many kids can die from a blunderbuss blast
I walk King Henry’s fourth highway
challenge death to bind me contained
into empty beer bottles
while vermin tongues lick the rims
World history is written on Facebook’s six o’clock news
Tik-Tok town-criers croon for the queen
Radio tubes long exploded in a warped time-continuum
still glow on velvet paintings
of dogs dealing stud
Coffee-canned rusty nails and ten-penny washers
tumble from Kerouac-come-lately’s un-grooved gun
No one screams because everyone knows
crushed Matchbox cars sound like rain on cafeteria roofs
The girl and boy enter the same study hall
dreaming different dreams of love and severed limbs
Halfway around the globe
atop a tin-roof hut
a same-rain-sound dances all alone
Beats war cries like tom-toms for a new Idi Amin
Fortune-telling droplets bomb dry dusted domes
A pauper’s sandy highway littered with broken kilns
castes my footprints before I even step
I cruise willingly
There is nowhere else to go
Nowhere else to go
Nowhere else to walk
Poems © William Teets All rights reserved.
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