Reviews of Tea & Sprockets:
Tea and Sprockets is honest. The poems speak of isolation, of feeling different from one’s peers, of living in a time of perpetual war. However, Tea and Sprockets also speaks of enduring love, hope and a longing for peace within the poet and for the entire world. Thank you for giving your work to the world, D.L. Lang. That, itself, is a great act of peace. – Amy Gioletti, Author of the poetry collection Woman Bone
Dinah said the thoughts in her poems echoed throughout her soul until finding their way into this book. By the end, they were echoing throughout my soul. – Gary Thaller
The poems are robust, well crafted and pull the reader into the web of the author’s imagination and emotion all the while leaving room for the reader to interpret to suit. Those concerning losses especially spoke to me but there were many others that explored the joy of life that were just as moving. – Karen Bryant Doering
D.L. Lang writes with clarity, wit and meaning. Totally worth the price of admission, just don’t let the little Kindle light keep you up at night reading it. – Ed Zimmerman
Tea & Sprockets: A Modern American Poetry Book is a soulful collection of over a hundred poems that will make you laugh, make you think, and leave you breathless. If you’re a lifelong fan of poetry or just looking for a good place to get started, this book is for you! — The Kindle Fire Department
Tea & Sprockets: A Modern American Poetry Book is a contemporary poetry collection by modern American poet D.L. Lang. This 150 page single author anthology spans 15 years of work encompassing poems from 1995 to 2010. Across the 106 selected poems, Lang weaves together themes of love and friendship, death and loss, war and peace.
ISBN: 978-1-4524-3767-5 (Smashwords distributed ebook)
ASIN: B002SBA01S (Kindle ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-62209-685-5 (2013 Kindle edition)
Be sure to check out the recordings section of this website, as both the songs “Last Chance Disaster” and “Oh, my Chameleon Perceptions” are derived from poetry appearing in this book.
Excerpt from the preface to the 2017 edition:
What can I say about Tea & Sprockets? This book has been through several incarnations, containing the largely uncensored thoughts of an adolescent poet between the ages of 12 and 25, skewing more towards the teenager side than the 20-something.
In 1994 I was sitting in my Enid, Oklahoma bedroom reading Moses Horowitz’s book, Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, absorbing all of his vaudevillian and slapstick memories, when I came across a passage about his decision to start acting at age 11.
Imagine that! I too, was 11 years old! What did I want to be? I wanted to be a writer. Sure, I also wanted to be a cartoonist and an actress, but I knew that I loved to write. I started out writing elaborate fan fiction stories using members of my favorite bands or favorite comedy troupes as characters across various time periods. I also toyed with writing a western and a young adult novel.
The only poem in this book from age 11 is “Surf Clown,” which came to me at Champlin Pool in Enid while my friends and I were using the floatation devices floating as underwater surfboards. It was inspired by my love of ’60s surfer music and came to me in a form that can only be described as a surf rap song. I recall a teacher writing on a copy of the poem, “Brian Wilson would be proud!”
When I was 14, our 1992 DOS computer decided to implode, and I learned a valuable lesson—always back up your writing! This sparked a desire to preserve my writing for posterity, publishing poetry collections for myself above all, regardless of sales.
Due to the rap format, I had memorized “Surf Clown,” and following the computer crash, was able to rewrite it quite easily. At age 26 I tried to attempt this sort of surfing again, and got in trouble with the life guards at the local JCC, as the board kept popping up above the water, leading to a couple near misses with swimmers’ heads!
“The Outsider” is one of my favorite poems from this period. I decided to take pride in my not fitting in with this poem. It is thanks to my 7th grade science teacher that I even have a copy. She had loved the poem so much that she asked for a copy, so I wrote to her when my computer crashed years later. I was sitting in 10th grade French class, when I received a paper copy, for which I am grateful.
By 13 I had further developed a penchant for ‘60s music, and my thinking was forever altered by the introduction of the surrealist and pacifist-leaning lyrics of the 1960s, sparking my own creative renaissance at 13, so for all the pre-teen poetry that was lost, it did not take long to generate more.
As with most teenagers, especially ones who face bullying and suffer from low self-esteem as I did, my poetry at the time expresses a lot of angst. I find many of these poems to be a painful read 20 years later. I might not have ever published many of the sad poems within this volume if this now 30-something poet was the original editor, yet I leave them here to honor who I was at the time, for it was my struggles that formed the foundations of the person I am today, leaving me with a greater sense of gratitude for just how far I’ve come.
At age 17, I wrote my own autobiography, a fascinating relic that speaks volumes of my own personal psychology at the time. That manuscript is likely to remain unpublished, yet the foreword to it is the “know something of my past” text that appears at the beginning of Tea & Sprockets.
“Last Chance Disaster” came to me as a song in 2004 with an entirely different melody than the song that was later produced by my musician friends, Jon, Grey, and Mikey in 2011. The poems “Perceptions,” “My My,” “Chameleon,” and “Unexnon” later became the lyrics to Grey’s song, “Oh, My Chameleon Perceptions.”
“The Rest Seven” was written extremely fast in July of 2005 as a sort of a stream of consciousness experiment. It was a linguistic flood similar to how [The Monologue] came to me as a teenager. “The War” was my teenage understanding of how every human has the capacity for both good and evil, and it remains one of my favorite poems.