A Slip of the Tongue

A Slip of the Tongue is a book of poetry written during a three year period (2004-2007). The author, A J Lewis, relates his life, his thoughts and his past memories through written words at the seat of an old silk ribbon typewriter in the Arizona desert. As you read this book you will experience a world take shape as A J Lewis addresses spirituality, religion, family and relationships. These poems were written to express an interpretation of the current state of affairs in our society, and A J Lewis brings forth his past memories in an effort to share his opinions. There is only honesty in this book, and like the title suggests, nothing is held back here.


225 pages, 6″ x 9″, perfect binding, cream interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink

First Edition, Copyright 2008

Table of Contents

  • How This Begins
  • When I Was 15
  • A Moment, A Memory, A Blinking Eye, Gone…
  • Morning Tenure
  • A Letter To Raphael
  • Mentor
  • A Tragedy Of The Heart
  • A Fresh Idea
  • A Dying Resolution
  • Sunday Morning
  • It Was All Worth It
  • Myself
  • The Fruits Of Failure
  • This Is My Humility
  • If You Ever Want To Find Me
  • I Have Measured My Worth In The Shadows
  • Honesty
  • My Cynicism
  • They Can All Go To Hell
  • Leaving Someday
  • Falling Stars And Summer Wishes
  • Let Me Break It Down For You
  • This Is A Strange Place
  • Nostalgia
  • This Is My Confession…
  • God Who Art In Heaven, Hear This Prayer
  • As Rome Sleeps
  • To Each Of Us Our Own
  • Lost
  • Who Have I Become?
  • How I Reclaimed My Soul
  • There Was A Time
  • The Barber Shop
  • To Be A Kite
  • The Effect Of A Life
  • The End Is Inevitable
  • Do What You Have To Do
  • A Drunk Night
  • The Hallway
  • Mail
  • As Grand As The Sun
  • Filth
  • New Orleans
  • The Value Of A Minute
  • Saturday Afternoon
  • Twins
  • Why I Shit So Much
  • Directions
  • The Guiding Creativity
  • It Comes In Waves
  • South Of Tucson
  • I Wish I Had Vodka
  • Mt. Hermit
  • A Better Night
  • My Soul One
  • The Changing Voice
  • Perhaps It Is Time
  • Wasted
  • This Empty Tree House
  • It Never Rains, But It Seems To Mostly Pour
  • Finding The Guru
  • A Hard Night
  • So Much Anger
  • No Answer
  • Haste
  • What I Need Now Is A Drink
  • 5 Track
  • Turning
  • Driving Into The Sun
  • Get Out
  • Visiting Benson (Part One: The Simple Way)
  • Visiting Benson (Part Two: The Day It Didn’t Rain, Yet)
  • Visiting Benson (Part Three: Thunder)
  • Laughter
  • Did You Forget?
  • I’m Not Afraid
  • Blog
  • Yard Sale
  • Hello, Are You There?
  • Feeling Small
  • My Son’s Wagon
  • Wanting More
  • Book Store
  • Most Of Us
  • A Calm Moment
  • $$$
  • Blank Page
  • The Dead Cannot See Me Here, But I Have Lived Through Their Eyes
  • Parking Lot Mishap
  • Here There Is Just Quiet
  • Pink Sky, Pink Sky, Pink Sky
  • Even If Nobody Cared
  • Coming To Terms With Myself
  • Jack
  • There’s No Money For Groceries Here
  • Cleaning The Pool (A Meditation)
  • What Ernie Said
  • Something In The Moment
  • Waiting For Your Answer
  • So Many
  • It Was Important Enough To Put There
  • A Few More
  • I’ve Been Waiting
  • November 2004
  • Strange Dreams
  • I Know I Have
  • Down To The Last Drop
  • 5:12pm
  • It’s Better Now
  • I Don’t Know What Else To Say
  • A Million Miles Out To Nowhere
  • Dear Valued Customer,
  • This Place
  • Getting Nowhere
  • It’s Better
  • He Wanted To Start Over
  • An Obvious Conclusion
  • Starting Again
  • Est. 1863
  • So Many Days
  • Final Thoughts Of Fall
  • Listen Here

Selected Poetry

How This Begins

the day is overcast
and I am south of Tucson
staring at clouds through screen windows.

this is how it begins as
I type
and this is how it begins as
I sit and wait for
the divine

today, words have been lost through
humidity and
concepts have been drawn and then
re-arranged in

the rain keeps coming down
and I wonder if
there is any hope for me.
I know that it is miserable to not
get through.
and I know that it is terrifying to not
make way.

the rain keeps coming down
and the wind blows through
and it is hard to
sit through it all.

but I sit here,
despite my present failure
to write the

this is how it begins as I
swat at the gnats and
the spiders.

this is how it begins as passion and desire
are fading into the rain
as I hit these keys.

the mountains are distant
like the charcoal summer fires.

the city is a speck on the

and this is how it begins as
I make my way
through rain and
drunken days.

maybe it was meant to be
this way
or maybe I have fallen victim to some
terrible joke.

this is how it will begin
at the porch of
a quiet desert
in Arizona
just 30 miles south of


there is always going to be
more mail.
it comes with each day,
with bills and dates and deadlines,
and eventually becomes piles of trash
in this apartment.

I eat crackers and get bits of it in my
what I need now is a drink – maybe vodka –
something to wash it all

today is like any other day: the mail stares at me.
and there are banks
and people
who want my money.

God, this life –
it burns my soul.
and I wonder about the past,
about music,
about old girlfriends
and about spirituality.

outside these walls
a city is burning somewhere…
a person is killing his or her brother…
a woman is getting raped…
and a child is getting aborted…

I don’t want to sound pessimistic,
but jeeesus… what is it going to take to change all this?
I mean,
I’m getting drowned in all this mail
and I can barely cope with this madness.

I take another drink… I set the ceiling fan to low…
the light bulbs burn with bug decay…
the summer heat swells against the windows…
and I wonder…

what can a man do?

As Grand as the Sun

how many of us have gazed into the depths
of that eternal furnace,
penetrating the blue void
and the clouds,
searching for a god to save us:
or Apollo…

yes, it would be grand to steal a cupful
of the sun.
and for a moment
pervert the purity of it
to shape it
to our engineering.

we have tried to control the atom,
but have failed to fashion anything worthy
of total

it would seem that to our end we are confined to this planet:
and staring into space…

and this night,
as I play an old record,
I sweat the desire to be a

you may, in your boredom, try to deny
your desire for this.
and in your short days you may try to deny
that you have longed to take control
of your existence.

yet, it would be grand, you see,
as Bradbury wrote:

to steal a cupful
of the sun.