Waiting 4 the Bus

Waiting 4 the Bus
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Friday, December 18, 2015

Celebrate the Solstice with W4tB-Dec 21st. Last show of 2015

  • clock

    Monday,December 21st
    at 7 PM - 9 PM
    Uncharted Books
    2620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60647

    W4tB is welcoming in the Winter Solstice and the holiday season come on out and celebrate with us. It's the closing of our 2015 season and we'd like to see you all there

    We have Anita Koester and Rob Hendler joining us. We have Weirdo open micers and Weirdo Hosts all in a cool bookstore for your last minute shopping needs.

    We hope to see you there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Putting the Collective back into W4tB

A few years back, you couldn't turn a corner and not hear somebody talking about the Waiting 4 the Bus collective.  Mostly this had to do with our efforts to be omnipresent in an "In Your Face" kinda way.  The rest of this had to do with us biting off more than we can chew.

At one point we were running the Open Mic, The First Friday Poetry Showcase, and The Fifth Monday Show.  The were all different and we believed in them all.  Add to that trying to organize the Poetry Bomb and making it look spontaneous (like a flash mob on steroids) and putting together the Poetry Pentathlon and publishing Exact Change Only.

We were capable of juggling all those things for a while, but Accidents, Tragedy, and Geography sent us into a tail spin.

I'd love to bring some of those concepts back.  I've been focusing on what has always been the core of W4tB...The Open Mic.

We have had a bunch of venues, changed time slots and formats and hosts, blabbity blah.  The Open Mic is out constant our rock and our core.  Everything else has to come from the mutual "Wanna" (as in "do You Wanna build a snowman, Do you Wanna hold an Pentathlon? Do you wanna write a poem as a collective?)

There are many folks who have the Wanna but not the direction, I guess I want W4tB to have that direction.  I miss group projects, but group projects take writers, and editors, and readers, and venues, and bookings to perform the end product.  To utter clichés.  "No one is an Island" & "It takes a Village".

In my head 2016 is about rebuilding the infrastructure of that village and going out and making poetry happen.  I am wary of biting off more than we can chew and burning out, but to quote other clichés "Rome was not built in a day" & "One day at a time".

If you have any ideas, concepts, group prompts (That's prompts in the W4tB manner of prompts)  leave a comment or ,  get me at weirdowatch1@gmail.com.  If you're not local and want to play, That's cool.  We are not short on talent for the live performance and we have used substitute readers before.

If you want to know more stuff or keep up with projects we may be undertaking join our band of Weirdos on the FaceBook

also, you can catch some of the best Weirdos doing our thing on Dec 3rd at the Uptown Arts Center
if you can't read it, click it.it gets bigger

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

On being a Weirdo

A few days ago I spent some time at the Cafe Gallery.  It was a night of 
weirdness, in the W4tB sense of the word.  The feature for the Evening was my poetic partner in crime, Esteban Colon.  He kicked ass like he always does.  The nigh was marked with a sadness as we talked about the departed Matt Barton.  Those wounds haven't quite healed for many of us, and the folks in the room could feel it.

I guess the strangest part for me was when I was asked to define the W4tB Collective.  It is an entity that has always avoided being pinned down by definitions.  I've always thought that ,ideally, it was a polymorphic group of artistic persons sharing the work, ideas, and struggles of being a poet in modern times.

In my head, being a W4tB Weirdo means several things and those things may vary from Weirdo to Weirdo.  
  1.      I think respect for the word is an important part of it.  When it is all said and done, at the end of the day it has to be about the poetry.  Not awards, or prizes, or books.  Those things are nice but not integral to what we do.
  2.      Respect for other Weirdos.  I have never had a formal initiation rite to join W4tB. It has always been about the willingness of an individual to join, hang out, etc. that determines membership.  Membership is (with rare exception) permanent.  I respect the fact that poets need to do their own thing, but that never negates the fact that they have a home with us.
  3.      Working as a collective.  It's been a while since we've followed through, but the biggest part of W4tB is working together.  There has been a lot of restructuring going on in our recent history, and that as made things difficult, but I'm sure that once things settle down and we start bouncing around ideas thngs will become collectivey again and new projects will make them self known.
  4.     Everything else you need to know about us is directly in out Dope Hype, Yo.  Check it!

This cynical age is sending poets to the same scrap heap as full service gas stations and penny candy. I have become nostalgic for the days when you needed exact change to buy something from a vending machine, make a telephone call or ride a bus, the days when pockets were for more than cell phones and credit cards. We the upholders of an ancient tradition have become living anachronisms, bards, and matchstick men. A collection of misfit kids standing on the corner, waiting for the bus with exact change in our pockets.

--David (Buddha 309) Hargarten, April 9, 2009.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

News for the Weirdos

As we approach the colder months, the staff at W4tB are looking towards to the New Year.  We have a few things to work on.  We will be busy booking features and adjusting our format to better coincide with our groovy new space.

like all things, we are evolving.  Our goal is to feature some folks you may have never seen before and perhaps bring back an old favorite or two that you haven't seen a while.

We will still be hosting the Pentathlon and doing our best to promote The Poetry Bomb.  We may even try to host other special events, but I ain't talkin'.  It will only get your hopes up.

It is our deepest hope to continue bringing you the best W4tB that we can.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus in November 2015

Monday, November 16
at 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Uncharted Books
2620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60647

Okay Weirdo Nation,
We are back and cooler than ever. We have a super venue, cool features and super open mic-ers.
join us at Uncharted Books at 7pm to get your name on the list and share the word

see you at Unchated Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee
for poetry fun and games with Vito Carli and Caroline Johnson

If you come early and help with the set up The Muses may shower you with inspiration.

If you show up on time, we can start when we are supposed to and we don't have to cut anybody's time short and the features will have enough time to do their thing and the hard working folk at Uncharted Books won't have to threaten to chuck us out on the street (they are nice about it but the still mean business, yo), and we can all get home at a decent hour or over to Weeds for the next show.

W4tB may be hosted by Buddha, Dana, Bob, or Len.  All hosts are equal in the eyes of the verse.

Waiting 4 the Bus is Chicago's most laid back Open Mic.  It's goal is to present good poets in a low pressure environment.

Chicago is the city of Poetry gone electric and sometimes it's just cool to see if the world can handle Poetry Unplugged, Poetry Acoustic, Poetry in the raw

The official W4tB "State of the Verse" address will be appening just as soon as I we can hammer out the details

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Open Mic Aftermath: Yetis, Bullwinkle, and John Carpenter's:The Thing

Okay, W4tB is the now officially the most chill open mic in the City.  Last night we talked about Horror Movies, Big Bird, Outdoor Pianos, Stadium Poetry and Yeti Jazz.  In my head it achieved a new high point as we transgressed a show where poetry is presented and became a place where poetry is shared.

Jacqueline Harris read some wonderful poems and proved that her Pentathlon accolades were well deserved (a fact some of us knew already).  Charlie Rossiter showed off his skills as a writer and Master Storyteller, proving once again why he is one of the coolest cats on the Poetry Scene (yeah Baby).

So...in between
talking about Bullwinkle and John Carpenter's the thing,  The open mic regulars (the Weirdos) cranked out some coolness that would make the most cynical of hipsters snap their fingers in respect.

Top off all that excitement with some visiting students and the new Lesley Heath Morrow chapbook release and the circle of cool was complete.

After last night, the new description of W4tB should read: Waiting 4 the Bus, like the McLaughlin Group, only without the yelling and with more poetry and (ya know) Weird.  I know it's a little clunky, but we're working on it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thinking out loud-my personal poetry credo

Someone once told me that performance poets were just frustrated rock stars and to some extent that's probably true.  If you ask me to list my favorite poets, the poets that really have the most influence on my work. half that list will probably be songwriters.

Shel Silverstein
William Carlos Williams
Jack Spicer
Richard Thompson
John Lennon
Algernon Blackwood
Paul Simon
Lesley Heath Morrow
Joni Mitchell
Elvis Costello

To name a few of my influences in no particular order, and off the top of my head.

Yeah, I'l admit that when I'm in front of an audience I want to do well.  Everybody hopes to be well received.  Here's the thing...The same person who told me about frustrated rock star syndrome, also told me that the duty of any good poet is to "bring the next guy up".

Most of my favorite poetry people are the ones who live by the second rule more than the first.  Bringing the next guy up, is not just about being a good artist and  paying it forward.  It's about removing the stigma of poetry.

The greatest poets, whether famous or not, spent most of their time molding their insides into words and keeping a record of what that looks like.  Most practitioners are just looking for a place where that behavior is accepted and maybe appreciated.  

I have often wondered why Poetry is not as appreciated as music, painting, or acting as an art form.  I mean there are art museums and theaters, and even a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I don't believe I've ever heard of a place where fantastic Poetry is on display for the public to appreciate.

I think that deep in the underlying thought of most non-poetic artists is the thought that they are making art to please the populace.  Every band wants to be on the charts, to get played on the radio, to get a platinum record.  There are exceptions to the rule, but most of those bands either obtain a cult following or fade into obscurity with a small band of really loyal fans

Most of the greatest poets have carried with them a, this is what my soul looks like and fuck you if you don't like it, attitude.  It was all created under a big banner that reads "NOT FOR GLORY".

The last thing that I was taught about being a poet is "If a poet is good, He will tell you, if a poet is great, somebody else will."   I've met some Great poets, and, through conversation, I've found that most of them weren't looking for the attaboy, the accolade, or the praise.  They were trying to scratch an itch, pick at a scab, or exorcise a demon.

so the three things I always try to remember are
  1. Every poet really is, partly, a frustrated rock star
  2. pull the next guy up
  3. remember it's "NOT FOR GLORY"

Because sometime I forget.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus in October

Monday, October 19
at 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Uncharted Books
2620 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60647

the first show at the new digs went super cool. We had some old Weirdos and some brand new Weirdos. (did I mention that members of the collective are called Weirdos)

come out and see us on October 19th for a taste of Halloween. It's been a long time since we have had a theme and this time, in honor of the holiday, it's horror. bring out your scary poems about death, fear, growing up, politics or whatever keeps you awake at night

we are still at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee. (read the address, not the sign) from 7-9 pm. If you can make it early to help with set up, the poetry gods will stop hiding your muse for a minute and give you a great big hug.

Aside from the open mic, We will be featuring Poetry Pentathlon winner Jacqueline Harris & the legendary and elusive Charlie Rossiter.

get your groove on, get your poem on, and, certainly put your pants on, and join us in Waiting 4 the Bus 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The National Beat Poetry Festival (the Chicago Sessions)

The National Beat Poetry Festival
The Chicago Session
Hosted by Charlie Newman
Al DeGenova
Billy Tuggle
Buddha 309
Charlie Newman
Elizabeth Haper
Larry Sawyer
Lucia Blinn
John Goode
Paul Ryan
Steve Schroeder
Wayne Allan Jones
September 20
The Chopin Theater
1543 West Division / Chicago, IL 60642

Friday, August 28, 2015

Calling the Weirdo Nation

Houston we have a problem, and by Houston I mean the Weirdo Nation.  I just received this email.
Just received this e-mail

Dear David,

Beginning September 13th, the store hours for our University Village location at 1218 S. Halsted will be changing. Going forward, the store will be open from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm every day. Your regularly scheduled meeting of Waiting 4 the Bus takes place from 7 pm until 9 pm on the third Monday of each month. Would it be possible to find an alternative time during which your group could meet that falls within our new hours of operation? Please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

A follow up email claims that accommodations can be made for the September show, but after that...I got nothin'

If you have any ideas...hit me up via email...weirdowatch1@gmail.com or just inbox me on the FaceBook

Thursday, August 20, 2015

And then there were 9

Pentathlon registration is closed, we are proud to announce that we have 9 competitors this time around.  Prepare for a battle royals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We gots friends in Indiana, you should visit

Just when you thought we were listless

Bob Lawrence has painstakingly compiled a list of ongoing poetry open mics in and around the Chicagoland area. You can find it by going to waiting4thebus.com and clicking on THE LAWRENCE LIST or just go here http://www.waiting4thebus.com/the-lawrence-list.html

Monday, June 22, 2015


Okay Poets, we've got three contenders for the Pentathlon, but that ain't a tournament it's a tea party with imaginary finger sandwiches.  Who has got the poetic fortitude to stand up and take their place as a poetry legend
follow the link to register 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus presents the Gemini Love Fest or The Return of the Bromantics or Buddha 309 and Esteban Colon save the Universe

In a special Birthday celebration, the founders of Waiting 4 the Bus reunite for the long forgotten tradition of the Gemini Love Fest.
Come join the celebration as Este Stevie Colon and David Buddha-Hargarten provide rare feature performances.
Plus the usual Open Mic.
Join us at Powell's Bookstore (1218 S. Halsted) for the amazing festivities.
Hosted by Dana Jerman and Bob Lawrence
donations requested to pay the feature performers

June 15th
Powell's Books
1218 S Halsted
Chicago IL

Saturday, May 2, 2015

W4tB Open Mic in May

A wonderfully cool time is set for y'all as W4tB welcomes Robin Fine and Felissia Mae Cappelletti to our already wonderful line up of regular Weirdos and open mic-ers

the show starts at 7 so show up, sign up, and find your poetry groove.

Monday, May 18th

Powell's Bookstore
1218 S. Halsted
Chicago IL


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Poetry Bomb is tomorrow

Don't forget that tomorrow is the Poetry Bomb, it is a rain or shine mission of public literature.  Dress weather appropriate, and be careful out there.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Poetry Pentathlon 2015- we are looking for poetry heroes

the Poetry Pentathlon will be held at the
Book Cellar
4736-4738 N. Lincoln
Chicago, IL
September 19th-7to9pm

Time to Prep for the Poetry Pentathlon.
Registration is currently open,
Just let us know you want to play

include your name, a short bio, and your intent to compete
we will reply with confirmation
Registration closes August 19th



A sestina is a form of poetry that uses a method of repeating words at the end of each line. It has 6 stanzas of 6 lines each, with an envoy (or tercet) of three lines to conclude the poem. While a sestina may seem daunting at first, they can be used to create vivid, powerful poems.

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO WRITE A SESTINA CAN BE FOUND HERE or http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Sestina


The Rant is technically another “form”. The guidelines are pretty free form, but if you need instruction go HERE or

Poets have long written about the things that vex them. The practice of ranting in poetic verse dates back to at least Ancient Greece, where Homer catches Zeus complaining in The Odyssey: "Mortal men have always put the blame upon us gods!" Though the rant poem is not granted the same canonic acceptance as the sonnet or sestina, rant poetry has flourished from Homer's time to our own.


This one should be self explanatory. It is a contest to write a poem in two (or more) distinct voices. This is the only event where the contestant is allowed to recruit performers to compete as a team. Poets may choose to handle the event solo. Remember that in the Pentathlon, performance is worth half the score...choose wisely


We are not passing judgement. The poem was already declared bad by the now defunct BADPOETRY.COM. We at W4tB believe all poem can be saved, but it won’t be easy. Poem to be rescued will be provide after registration closes (Aug 20th or there abouts)


Originally used by Nina Corwin to close out her classic open mic “the Word Gourmet”. A prompt is issued upon your arrival at the Pentathlon. During the course of the show, all contestants are (to the best of their ability) write a poem based in any way shape or form on the issued prompt.
this is always the last event of the evening

Chuck and Bob are Waiting 4 the Bus

April 20th
Chuck Kramer & Bob Lawrence
7-9 pm
Powell's Bookstores University Village
1218 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL
+ an Open Mic
Well Tiger, looks like you hit the Jackpot
Weird is Sexy!!!

Friday, April 10, 2015


Saturday, September 19at 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The Book Cellar
4736-38 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60625

Do you have what it takes to be a Poetry Pentathlete
we are currently looking for contestants for the Poetry Pentathlon .
It is a poetry contest of both page and stage acumen, the winner gets many accolades, bragging rights and the Lesley Heath Morrow certificate of poetic achievement

all interested parties should register by emailing Weirdowatch1@gmail.com with the word Pentathlon in the subject.
the body should contain your statement of intention to
compete and a brief bio.

Events and information will provided as they come available

Registration closes August 19th

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poetry Bomb, April 26

Inline image 1

On the last Sunday In April, The Poetry Bomb aims to fill as many public locations as humanly possible with performances of poetry all at the exact same time
Bomb Sites Currently Include
Outside the Heartland Cafe ,Roger's Park
and Lincoln Square by the fountain where the tables and chairs are
That Poetry Bomb sounds cool! How do I get involved:
You can be a member of the Bomb Squad in one of the following ways:
1. Spreading the word
2. Attending an event and enjoying
3. Attending an event as a reader
4. Creating an event

So now that I know how I want to be involved, what do I do?

I. Spreading the word
  1. Check the website for information.
  2. Share it with friends
  3. (The extra step): talk about it with others when you socialize or while you're at work.
    (just ask weirdowatch1@gmail.com)
II. Attending an event
1. Check the website for event locations
2. Go there and enjoy.

III. Attending an event as a reader
  1. Contact us  here on Facebook or here if your not all social media all the time
  2. Inform us either what specific event you'd like to attend, or where you're willing to go, so we         can find a show for you.
  3. Receive the show information and go.

IV. Creating an event
   1. Schedule your event and performers.
   2. Contact us at here on Facebook  or via e-mail and let us know where your show will be, who          will be performing, and whether or not you'd be willing to let us send other performers your            way and information on any regular shows you'd like us to list in Poetry Bomb        advertisements.
   3. Check the listing to make sure we got the information correct and wait for further information on fliers and other available ads.

Weird is Sexy!!!

A Bus Waiting for April 20

April 20th
Chuck Kramer & Bob Lawrence
7-9 pm
Powell's Bookstores University Village
1218 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL
+ an Open Mic
Well Tiger, looks like you hit the Jackpot

Find the Facebook invite here
Weird is Sexy!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Poetry at the Chi-Fi fest

As you may recall the Fine Arts Poetry extravaganza was canceled, but we decided to take our show into deep space, join us this weekend for some out of this world Live Lit

Sunday, March 1, 2015

W4tB: open mic-featuring Dana Jerman & Charlie Newman

at 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Chicago, Illinois
It's springtime when a young poet's mind turns to musing on wicked people who stab each other in the dark. Two of my favorite dark poets Dana Jerman and Charlie Newman will be our featured performers.
you should come out and join us.
Use glue if you have too.

Calling All Poetry Bombers

For all of you who care...the Poetry Bomb started as "wouldn't it be cool" moment after an open mic, outside of a bar.  It sprang from the lips of Midwestern Super Poet, Esteban Colon.  The words that followed the "wouldn't it be cool" were "if people all over the place committed an act of poetry all at the exact same time."

Those words echoed into the ears of some hack named Buddha 309 and out through his fingertips into cyber space trying to coordinate such an event.

It started small in only a few locations in Illinois, but since...The Poetry Bomb has been attempted and executed in several states and even other countries.  It hasn't gone world wide yet, and that saddens me.

I know in some countries it's considered illegal, immoral, and down right evil to write, read or recite poetry, this also saddens me.  It makes the Poetry Bomb more important.  

Read Poetry in public for those who can't, for those who are afraid to for fear of their lives.

We in the USA have a Month long celebration for Poetry, and here in Chicago we celebrate heartily.  We want you all to join us.in our poetic revels.

Maybe this year all the poetry bombers can wear something orange, so we look all unified and junk. or not.  It's just a thought.

the Poetry Bomb is scheduled for Sunday, April 26th at 3:30 in the afternoon,it is located wherever you deem appropriate.  Pick somewhere crowded.
I will keep you posted and you should keep us informed.  If you intend on joining this Poetry Crusade, post your plans on our FaceBook page 
and tell us where your going to blow up with the poetry, maybe other folks will want to join you.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus Open Mic with features and hoopla

FEB 16

Featuring Elizabeth Tieri and Britteny Capri (or the other way around, one is never sure of the etiquette involved in these things)

We are currently residing in the Poetry Bunker (the back room at)
Powells Books
1218 S Halsted
Chicago, IL
Showtime 7-9pm
Time limits:
You have 5 minutes of stage time
Three poems
Whichever comes first
There will be harsh penalties and social embarrassments for exceeding time limits

Powells Books 

1218 S Halsted 
Chicago, IL

Monday, February 16

 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scheduling snafu (no worries)

Okay fellow Weirdos, the Powells email blast has us listed on the first Monday in February, this is an error that will be corrected next time.  I have been assured that we are on the schedule for the third Monday and all further notifications will be corrected.

Weird is Sexy,
Buddha 309

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus Open Mic with features and hoopla

Monday, February 16

at 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Waiting 4 the Bus Open Mic with features and hoopla
Featuring Elizabeth Tieri and Britteny Capri (or the other way around, one is never sure of the etiquette involved in these things)

We are currently residing in the Poetry Bunker (the back room at)
Powells Books
1218 S Halsted
Chicago, IL
Showtime 7-9pm
Time limits:
You have 5 minutes of stage time
Three poems
Whichever comes first
There will be harsh penalties and social embarrassments for exceeding tim the e limits

find us on FaceBook

Join the group

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Waiting 4 the Bus Literary Open Mic with Features & hoopla --Jan 19th 2015

Welcome to W4tB 2015
Things you need to know for the new year:
The show is a monthly event on the 3rd Monday of the month
We are currently residing in the Poetry Bunker (the back room)at
Powells Books
1218 S Halsted
Chicago, IL
Showtime 7-9pm
Time limits:
You have 5 minutes of stage time
Three poems
Whichever comes first
There will be harsh penalties and social embarrassments for exceeding time limits

Come out and join us for a special 3 feature night.
We will be joined by the authors of "The Walmart Republic"
Quraysh Ali Lansana & Christopher Stewart
And their special guest David Bublitz
It is a fabulous way to kick off a new year at the bus stop, you should join us.

The show is free, but we do request a donation.  The donation is to pay our features.  Please be generous (as generous as your personal economy allows)