Tom Waits ventures into full-on poetry 

Gravelly growler Tom Waits is always full of surprises.

For instance, he ate real mealworms when method-acting his way into the part of Renfield in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula” epic. And he’s always been something of an arcane lyricist. But now he’s ventured into the full-tilt poetry realm, publishing a sweeping verse called “Seeds On Hard Ground” first on his website, then in a first edition chap book — limited to only 1,000 copies — to be released Feb. 22.

Befitting the poem’s theme — people who’ve fallen on hard times, who’ve been marginalized by society — all proceeds from the book (published in partnership with Waits’s label, Anti Records) are going to some great causes: The Redwood Food Bank, Sonoma County’s Homeless Referral Services and the Family Support Center, operated by Catholic Charities.

No grubs were harmed in this altogether humane venture.

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Tom Lanham

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