Huge thank you to Gen Z Publishing for providing me an eARC of this poetry collection in exchange for an honest review.
I was contacted by Gen Z about reviewing KW Peery’s Cockpit Chronicles, and I was immediately interested because I’d heard a lot of good buzz about his earlier collection, Tales of a Receding Hairline. With my interest piqued, I dove into the collection, reading it twice- the first time for an overall impression, and the second time for a better understanding of the poems’ messages.
After my first reading, I felt that instead of reading a collection of poems, I was reading a man’s annotations on his life’s experiences. In Peery’s “About the Author”, it states that he’s an Americana songwriter and poet, and as a reader, I felt that embodiment clearly expressed through these pages. Throughout, I felt like a fly on a juke-joint wall, watching an older man with a whiskey scribbling these observations and emotions into a small leather journal. There were descriptions of important influences in the narrator’s life (Coffee with Trudell), commentaries on modern events (Horseshit & Hyperbole), and general recollections of his life (D-23). Themes including relationships, grief, mortality, and music are frequently reflected on. Among the sincerity of the poems is also some tounge-in-cheek humor that helps refresh the mood.
Upon my second reading, I noted which poems really spoke to me as a reader. This is going to vary for everyone, but that’s the beauty of poetry! The following are those poems and why they grabbed my attention:
- More Than She Knows – This is the kind of poem I wish a man would write about me. It’s sensual, charming, and sweetly romantic.
- Blue Notes – It may be short, but it’s a soft note about grief that squeezed my heart.
- She Smokes More– I love the flow and lyricism in this poem, and the reader can easily get the emotional impact intended.
- Walkin’ Circles in the Breeze– I really enjoyed the imagery on this one- it’s very haunting.
- Fan of the Fringe– This is maybe my favorite of the entire collection. It’s one of Peery’s longer poems and it really gives a glimpse of the narrator and his heartfelt interpretation of himself. It’s gritty and I love it.
With utmost respect, I did have a minor issue with some of the poetry formatting- I’m not a fan of reading one word per line poems that go the length of a page. I have this tendency to be impatient, and reading that style slows my reading speed down. It’s become common to see this formatting, and therefore hard to avoid, even though I’d rather it be one paragraph/stanza. However, this did not take away from the impact of the poems, so it wasn’t enough of a nuisance to effect the overall enjoyment of the collection.
To conclude my review, I would absolutely recommend Peery’s Cockpit Chronicles, and again, I want to thank Gen Z Publishing– I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to review this collection. I know it’ll be appreciated by a variety of readers, as there’s a poem for everyone.
Expected Publication Date: March 22, 2019