Timothy Michael Scott, formerly known as the poet "Intenzity" and who now goes by "TMS," is a busy guy. Writing is a full time, nearly rabid life calling for Scott, a multiple poetry slam champ across the state.




"I've been a closet writer forever, but my lifestyle was never conducive to exploring it," Scott said. "Getting a divorce a couple of years ago freed me up a bit. It took me several months of viewing the open mic scene before I could work up to participating in the (scene) and then another year to really learn performance."




Scott notes that much of his work now has a gestational period of around six months while he develops his performance and nuance.




"Until I started writing about pretty much everything that happens in my life, I was lost," Scott said. "Now I try and write about things other people might forget. I kind of feel like the Town Crier. I wish they still commissioned that &

I wish someone would pay me for my time, dammit!"




Ever existential, Scott found this work to emerging from a great place of growth and transition.




"I've got a somewhat meager lifestyle now. I gave up the big career for this life of a starving student and artist. I work nights so I can spend days with my son and do this writing. I'm much happier now," said Scott. "I used to work 14-hour days, and know what? After all those years of work I've got nothing but debt &

the more you work the more you spend. I made that 'good money' but to what end?"




Scott has three children: Elizabeth, 14; Sam, 13; and Nicholas, 4.




"Two teens I have no control over and a boy I still have under my thumb. Sometimes kids just say these amazing, unfiltered profound things," said Scott, who actually keeps much of the work inspired by his children private. "You can often talk to adults all day and never get that."




"I know there's a big difference between who I am as a dad and who I am as a writer &

and I initially tried to differentiate those two, but they're starting to come together," Scott said. "On the other hand, I often have to juggle adult things around my kids. It can trip my kids out. They've seen me as this traditional disciplinary provider and the last couple of years I've been a fruitcake. But this guy's more fun and my kids respect what I'm doing."




Scott always lived up to his former moniker, as being one of the Valley's more intense spoken word performers, so much so that ultimately the name become redundant and almost effacing.




But now, TMS keeps powering along.




"I'm still frankly amazed that anyone wants to hear what I have to say," Scott said. "But one good comment keeps me going. When I can say something that makes someone listen and respond, it doesn't make my night, it makes my whole week. That's the addictive aspect of performance."




"I think a lot of times I can be unapproachable, given the atmosphere of what I write. Sometimes it's hard to get the clear message," said Scott of the occasionally controversial and aggressively sexualized nature of his verse. But that's not all there is, Scott also has a sensitive side. But, as he points out, getting headway at the slam competitions can sometimes require theatrics.




"The reason that slam-poetry is a gimmick is that the scoring gives a big game feel to an artistic niche. It brings in a crowd that otherwise might not listen, that might otherwise not come," Scott said. "At one slam, one of the judges wound up being my mother. But over the last several months, in particular, I feel I'm good. I haven't been at this that long, and it's a process. Look at it as a progression. I have a lot to learn from a lot of people, so I try to connect with has many people as possible."




"A lot of times, that anxiety (of performance) can be present. But when you commit to this, you get there."