coverforwebTall Tales For Tall Men (Who Fall Well Short)

Introduction by the author
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When I was 17, Dad sadly suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 49. He had suffered 2 milder
attacks, 10 years and 5 years previously.

Much too young, obviously, but boy did he enjoy life!

My brother Wayne, sadly, in 1996 took his own life. He would have been 51 if he was still
alive today.

I really miss the pair of them. Dad was natural causes. We didn’t really have all of the health
information and treatment back then. For instance, my pal, Damo, has had 3 heart attacks and
he is still very much with us, The Poker King!

But I really struggled with Wayne going. I miss the craic we used to have. We would
mercifully ‘take the mick’ out of life. We just got on.

I’ve done a plethora of jobs. Before the longest I’d ever stay in one job, was 2 years. Then
whilst in Sydney, Australia, I was introduced into the World of creative writing and suddenly
the World clicked into place.

After, I went to University, with ambitions of being a journalist, but instead got into the
theatre, acting and messing about. I’ve carried on doing that since, as I realise that that is
what I’m good at.

In the year 2000, I got one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I was a youth worker on a cracking
project in Wythenshawe, Manchester, called Wyseguys.

It was there whilst at Signpost, that I truly found my place. Messing about was not only
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tolerated, but encouraged. This was mixed in with identity politics, class politics. We were
truly trying to make a difference, in creative ways.

It was there that I learnt that I was in fact a man. You’d of thought, that I’d have worked that
out before, but it was there that I learnt what it was to be a man.

Men don’t really have to think that their men, because they are. We’re fortunate as we’ve
largely maintained the status quo, we’ve had the power. In the boardroom and the bedroom,
but times they are a changing.

The shipyards have gone, along with the coal mines and heavy industry, and we don’t really
need them to fight much these days either. Some men now really look at their health; they eat
green stuff and go to the gym. Some men even talk and ‘open up’, but sadly a lot don’t.

Roughly 95% of the prison population are men. Boys are still much more likely to ‘dick
about’ at school and get excluded, or sent elsewhere. And sadly men die younger than
women, around 5 years and they are much more likely to take their own lives, as a solution.

Men hey! Don’t you just love them? brought up on a stable of action films and football,
where it’s always best to be the big man. Launch out first, put on a front and don’t ask too
many questions.

And don’t think too much, that’s the tricky part, so get stoned, get pissed and say hello to

In this collection, I never started out to write a collection of men themed poems, but looking
at what I was writing about, I realised that I was writing a lot of men themed stuff. I like being me. I like being a man, but I can also be a woman at times. No I don’t dress up

in frocks and so on, but I can listen and chat to those beautiful creatures called women. Apart from my partner, I have 2 daughters, she has 2 daughters. Then there are my work colleagues and friends, there are a lot of women there and they are great. They rumble on. They dress up,
mess about and play a lot and chat, that’s probably why I love them.

I still work with young men and they break my heart, with all their dope smoking and attitude. Where are they going?

Thanks for reading this and hopefully you’ll read the rest of my stuff and hopefully you’ll be entertained and enjoy it. Hopefully, also, you’ll think about men, they really do need our help.

sleeping writer


“This collection is a journey of care and understanding for men. It paints a life’s journey of
the painful retrospect of man, and the acceptance that manhood brings a tending to of those
boys who need them to be there, understand what they are going through, and what they
Cathy Crabb, playwright
“The ‘our town’ of Tony’s poetry is our town too. The smells that he evokes – fish and chips,
beer and cigs, blood and spunk – these are our smells too. This is our poetry, these are our
poems. They smell of home and friendship.”
Tony Walsh AKA Longfella, Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence 2011
“Tony’s words make great music for the mind. This truly is modern, understandable, smart,
real and, dare I say it, male poetry. Open to anyone.”
Neil Bell, actor & sonic poet
“The journey begins, a sing-along-a-heart ache, an expedition into the love and imagination
this poet brings to every area of his writing. Tony means it, the words are attached to truth,
the truth of hurt and family and friendship. The language rocks us to waking up to the beauty
in the pain and the love in the loss. He will come to mind and make you smile and cry, a poet
full of the fire of our times. Connect to the terrible now with one of the best poets around.
Smile and don’t feel guilty about living with Tony’s fine poetry.”
John G. Hall, poet
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