Free Air: Joe Wenke
Messages come in many different ways and often transcend our feelings, hopes and innermost thoughts. Within this collection of poems the author takes us on a journey in time, space and provides different perspectives, reflections and commentaries on life, the world, people, simple situations, objects and love. “I Talk When You Talk,” is the first poem as the author tells us a story about listening to someone when they speak, hearing their words, why a relationship failed and why talking when the other person talks does not allow you to hear their words or understand where they are coming from.” How true! The next follows suit as the writes “ I Think Without Thinking,” focusing on the fact that he does not think for himself but his brain does for him.
Lament of an Old Man I am sure hits home with so many. Feeling like it’s the end of his life, waking up to the end of his life. Everyone feels like that I guess when they get older and he follows with Self-Diagnosis, which is one of my favorite poems in this collection. How often do we all hate going to the doctor and take stock of our ailments one by one. He relates that he’s got the heebie-jeebies and of course his lower legs tingle, tinnitus, going deaf in his right ear and other ailments that are either real or imaginary. But, most of all he’s waiting for one that well you figure it out because he won’t have to worry about anymore after that. Nothing Free let’s readers know that there is little that we have that doesn’t cost something. Just what is not free like your will, girls that charge and the rest you just won’t believe until you read it and allow your brain to make all of your decisions and realize that he seems to feel as he did in the poem before this one that’s the beginning and the end of freedom. Nothing in life is free and your brain he says is in charge but whose in charge of it? “The Religious Right,” is next and he relates why people judge others if they are gay, they won’t budge in their viewpoints, stuck in their ways, God’s view on gays and that hate which is a powerful word is their ticket to “get them to heaven.” Is it?
“I Love to Lie,” is really great because it rings true on so many levels. Everyone tries to fudge the truth to get what they want or as he states sets him free from so many and from life. But, does it really? How many of us say whatever is on our minds and have no regard for others or what they think? But, the last sentence is priceless when you read it you’ll know why!
“ I Used to Drive My Car,” brought a huge smile to my face. I would love to have a car that does what the writer of this poems car does: drives him wherever he wants to go by just instructing the car to head in the right direction. Wouldn’t it be great to have a car chauffeur you around! Talk about being free!
You want to read “I Feel Guilty,” and of course Free Air which sets this book apart from so many others. Each poem has its own message and relates its own special story that the author presents as you read Free Air you will understand and appreciate just walking outside, taking in a deep breath and breathing in the amazing fresh air that everyone takes for granted. “Do the Opposite,” is amusing and will make you smile followed by “Out to Lunch and The End.” I loved the poem “Autumn Tree,” you can feel the heat of the flames, the smell of the fire and the sadness when it envelops and destroys nature’s beauty. “What’s the Difference,” is quite unique and the message allows readers to understand that not everyone is the same. Just reading the first line sets the stage for the rest of the poem: When everybody’s one way and you’re the other. Add in that the writer is not like his parents, feels like an outsider, what could cause this feeling he lists many reasons. So many people just want to be accept for who they are and have others embrace their differences. As author Joe Wenke brings this to light in this powerful poem.
“Family Restaurant,” will make you wonder why you ever go to a restaurant with kids or eat fast foods. The ending will seriously make you smile. The final poem hits home with me as I often worry about someone I care about who leaves and I wait for that phone call or simple text letting me know they are safe. Each poem focuses on a different life issue. Some deal with family and friends, others with love, hate, friendship, the end of life and careers or people that impact your life. Each poem whether long or short is emotionally charged, you can feel the author’s anger, frustration, fear or just humorous side as you take the journey from start to finish and learn what’s free, what’s not, that that as he says on page 43: You’re the one who won’t go along. You’re the one who’s always wrong. You’re the one who’s different.” Being different is okay and guess what: It’s Free! Being free is your right and how you feel and respond to others is your ability to exert your own free will in any situation. So, Free Air: Air is free, your visions and freedom of choice is free and what’s really great is that I am free to say that this book of poems sets the bar will high for others. Each one tells its own story and believe it of not Free Air: Go outside and take some in!
Read the poems. Hear the stories and allow author Joe Wenke to take you on a journey to discover the many intricacies of life!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer