has long been known as one of the finest songwriters and weirdest talents on the music scene. Now, he is branching out into the world of letters with Seeds on Hard Ground
, his first book of poetry. The collection will be accompanied by gritty pictures of homeless people taken by acclaimed photojournalist Michael O'Brien
, and some of Waits' material seems to reflect that topic, along with his usual cast of street characters. He writes, "I am a seed that fell upon the ground; I am a leaf that fell from an oak tree." Pretty serious stuff.
The book isn't just an intellectual exercise for Waits and O'Brien, either. All proceeds will go to Redwood Food Bank, Sonoma County's Homeless Referral Services and Family Support Center, so the pair of outsider artists (along with Anti Records and publisher University of Texas Press) will be making a major difference in the lives of the needy. Even if you aren't a traditional fan of poetry or Tom Waits (and you should be), you check out this project and maybe contribute to the cause.
Tom Waits reading the poem "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski: