Lazy and Writing Wild by Jon Perry
I read this book in paperback. This is a unsolicited review.
What I Loved:
I enjoy Jon’s style and voice. Artistic whimsy perhaps would be the best way to describe it. The 190-page book is broken down into nine sections, my personal favorites being “The Rain” and “Two the Moon”, followed by “Wild Song Book” for its originality in a book of poems.
The book is what I consider to be a “perfect length” for a book of poetry. There’s enough there to really get a feel for the writer and their abilities and message without becoming a full-length novel, so it feels good to sit with it and read without feeling burdened. It felt good in the hand, with a silky matte finish and an interesting cover.
Inside felt much like an Instagram book. Drawn art, photos, short-and-sweet, along with multi-page pieces. By about page 30, I was really enjoying myself and fully engaged. I very much like Jon’s poetry and art. It’s meaningful even when sometimes it’s silly. The Rain and Fire sections had several very sweet love poems which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What I Didn’t:
The first thing I do when I get a book is look at the outside cover, front and back, and feel the weight and paper. Then I flip the book, rather quickly for first impressions. The first thing I noticed was inconsistency, various fonts, sizes, placement. Formatting is just as important as the message and I wasn’t happy to see it at first glance.
However, as I settled down to actually read the book, I found by around page 30-ish that I didn’t mind the formatting of this particular book so much. It was a distraction (on a few pieces in particular especially) but one I could overlook because it somehow also felt cohesive. As I mentioned above, once taking into account the Instagram-nature of the artist, I could really start to enjoy myself.
I did notice a few grammar/spelling errors but, while they caused a pause, I was able to continue reading without it disrupting me much.
My Overall Score:
(loss of a full star for awkward formatting and some stumbling in the flow due to that)
My Final Thoughts:
Mr. Perry, known as “Cargo Ship Poet” on Instagram, is one of my favorite IG poets. I never know what I’m going to read when his name rolls through my feed. Sometimes gooey, sometimes silly, sometimes a bit dark, always good. After warming up to his style in print form, I went on to really enjoy his book for what it is instead of through the lens of my “ideals”. His art and photos were engaging and fun and the poetry was what I have come to expect from him: deeper than it appears at first glance and touching to my humanity. I recommend his book to those who like whimsical, non-structured modern poetry with an artistic flair.
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**If this review was helpful or you’ve read it and want to add to the discussion, please let me know in the comments!
I will also, as a side-note, say, it may seem that I am harsh on many writers for their editing, formatting, grammar, punctuation, etc. I do so unapologetically. One, because this is a review, not a popularity contest. Two, because honest criticism should help us grow as artists.
The fact of the matter is, these things MATTER. A mathematician must use his tools and use them correctly to be an effective mathematician. A surgeon cannot simply say, “I know I can’t sew the wound closed but at least I could remove the appendix or whatever it’s called.” Same with writers. We can’t claim to be writers but refuse to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We can’t claim to be a photographer just because we know how to push the button on the camera (or phone). There’s an art to it.
So while I may appreciate the artist as a person and their words, I believe that it does us all a disservice to say lower quality editing is okay. Believe in yourself! Believe in the power of your words! Put the effort into being the very best you can be. Ask for help. Grow and learn.