KW Peery Talks Music, Tequila, and His New Poetry Collection

interview logoWelcome to another very special installment of Virtual Napkins Interviews. This week, we will be chatting with poet K.W. Peery whose poetry collection, Tales of a Receding Hairline, is out on February 5, 2016 from GenZ Publishing. One of my favorite descriptions of the work of a poet comes from Samuel Johnson’s novel, Rasselas: “To a poet nothing can be useless. Whatever is beautiful, and whatever is dreadful, must be familiar to his imagination: he must be conversant with all that is awfully vast or elegantly little…He must write as the interpreter of nature and the legislator of mankind….” At these things, Peery succeeds.

SW: So without further bombast, I want to go ahead and welcome K.W. Peery into the conversation. Thank you for joining me here for a little poetry talk.   

kw haorKW: Grateful for the opportunity to visit with you this afternoon, Shane.

SW: K.W., can you tell us a little about your collection?

KW: Tales of a Receding Hairline is primarily subconscious shrapnel. It is a collection of my work, crafted with LOVE.

SW: Can you talk a little about the impetus for your writing these poems?

KW: The work comes on the heels of four critically acclaimed studio albums and more than a decade of success as a lyricist/producer in the Americana genre. Obviously, success is purely subjective, but as an aging hillbilly poet, Tales was written to record my journey. After forty–and the closer I walked along the edge–my view of a morality and of mortality became more fluid.

SW: I’m glad you mentioned your experience in the music industry. When reading your poetry, I hear that influence in that your work is very lyrical. There are clear patterns in most of the poems, too—consistent rhyme schemes, lines that operate as refrains. You mentioned you’re a lyricist. I wonder if there is much of a difference in how you approach poetry versus how you approach lyrics?

KW: It really depends. In songwriting, the process is collaborative. There are specific formulas we adhere to. Not exactly “rules”–just creative boundaries. We prefer a more organic approach, which is a “say more with less” lyrical approach, central to the overall production. We want the listener to focus on the words. With my independent work, though, there are no rules, specific formulas, or patterns. Certainly mood, substance or substances, and energies have everything to do with how it all comes together.

SW: Do you see poetry and music occupying different spaces in our culture? Do they serve different purposes?

KW: Everything is connected. Love is love, Amigo. “Purpose” is subjective. DNA studies indicate all humans are 99.9 percent identical. It’s my hope that we will start celebrating our beautiful similarities and focus less on difference.


SW: Like I mentioned earlier, the poems all tend to have pretty rigid rhyme schemes. You seem to stray from free verse. Is that another by-product of being lyrically-minded?

KW: “Rigid Rhyme Schemes”…Sounds like a country punk album title….Let me write that shit down.

SW: Ha! Yeah–I’ll let you have that one for free.

KW: Seriously, though–I’m a by-product of the 99.9 percent. Pseudo-intellectual critics should stop their unnecessary suffering. There is no need to dissect the tendencies, schemes, or by-products of writers. At the end of the day, the work is channeled from a parallel realm. An inflated ego is always hungry for greater leeway.

SW: Who are some of your poetic influences? When the K.W. poet reads poetry, who does he read?

KW: Charles Bukowski, Mary Karr, Gordon Parks, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tom T. Hall, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Merle Haggard, Shel Silverstein, Tom Russell, Cowboy Jack Clement, Guy Clark,  Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle, to name a few. I’m really most influenced by songwriters who specialize in visual lyrics.

From a slightly different angle, George Carlin also served as a poetic influence. His body of work is genius.

Bukowski and Karr–I think their work is unvarnished and absolutely beautiful.

Gordon Parks was most influential–a photographer, musician, writer and film director.

SW: There are clear country-western themes explored in the collection, so I’m not surprised to see names like Haggard, Lynn, and even Cash on the list. Could you talk a little bit more about how Gordon Parks influences your work?

KW: Parks’s trajectory is unimaginable. “Eyes with Winged Thoughts” and “A Hungry Heart” are incredible examples of why I love his work so much.

SW: Are you working on anything new?

KW: I’m working on a second collection Purgatory. That should be complete in late 2016 or early 2017.

SW: To finish things off, I’ve asked KW to shared a poem from Tales of a Receding Hairline. Here is one of my favorites from the collection: “Tequila.”


She drinks straight tequila
When old flames won’t let her rest
Don Julio Blanco
A wicked edge in a new red dress
Says Forty One ain’t easy
When leavin’s all that’s left
She drinks straight tequila
Cause old flames won’t let her rest

She drinks straight tequila
On lonesome Monday nights
Listenin’ to Waylon Jennings
When her wrongs..won’t die right
Three fingers for the misery
Rarin’ for a fight
She drinks straight tequila
On lonesome Monday nights

She drinks straight tequila
Cause she likes the way it feels
Long after closin’ time
Kicked off her goodbye heels
Hooker…stoned on vinyl
For blues that are all too real
She drinks straight tequila
Cause she likes the way it feels

-K.W. Peery

Tales of a Receding Hairline is available from GenZ Publishing and can be purchased from the below websites:





Find K.W. Peery on Twitter: @KWPeery

Also, K.W. is a founding member of the Marshall/Peery Project. Their albums–Purge Your Soul, High Binder, and Life’s Too Short–are all available on Amazon and iTunes. The Marshall/Peery Project expects their next album to release in 2017.

Until next time,




3 thoughts on “KW Peery Talks Music, Tequila, and His New Poetry Collection

  1. Pingback: Previous Media Feautres | GenZ

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