Life Without Poetry




LIVE FROM LA PRYOR: The poetry of Juan Manuel Perez, a Zavala County native son, volume I

You know you're in Texas when ...

Big Disclaimer. I don’t read poetry, nor do I often enjoy it. I’ve got a book of the complete Lord Byron poems (never opened), ditto Shelley, and I’ve got the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe as well, and at best I read a couple of poems for Halloween before I give up.

But I read LIVE FROM LA PRYOR, The Poetry of Juan Manuel Perez, cover to cover.

It helps that the poetry is short. It really helps that the poetry’s really short. He uses small words, he writes about everyday experiences (and not in a flowery way). This is almost a book of poems for people who don’t like poetry.

Don’t mistake me, though. Some of his writing is quite angry. Combative. A lot of it is funny. It’s all offbeat. I can see what we used to call beatniks reading Juan Perez poems out loud at nightclubs. With music. But in this case it’d be mariachi music. Much of what he writes about comes from his experiences as a Mexican-American facing various sorts of barriers.

But then there’s that poem about lovely food, and then about comic books. He mentions Taco Bell in here somewhere, too.

This is volume I. I’m wondering if any of his Hooter’s poetry is in volume II. You know you're in Texas when ...







WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Live From La Pryor: The Poetry of Juan Manuel Perez, A Zavala County Native Son, Volume I edited by Dr. Malia A. Perez.  Want It Bad by Melinda DuChamp.


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Photos by Roxanne Rix

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