Eddie Kilowatt used to be a bartender at a joint that I frequented in Milwaukee WI. I had heard that he wrote poetry, and I occasionally would stumble across submissions of his that made it into local newspapers and weekly mags. The poems were good, and they often referenced events that happened in the neighborhood we lived in known as “Riverwest”. Either way, I enjoyed his stuff enough to want to pick up one of his releases.


To read his book, “Carrying a Knife in to the Gunfight”, reveals an introspective and analytical person behind the face of a bartender whom I only knew in my life as “guy who helps me get drunk”. A powerful amount of honesty flows from these pages. Kilowatt delivers experiences from his youth, his professional life and his personal trials that range anywhere from hilarious to profound.


One of the worst things that I fear when I read poetry is that I’m going to wander into some stupid story where the author ends up rolling around in self-deprecating fecal matter, hoping that you’ll help him or her bathe it off. None of that exists in this release. There most certainly is sadness in certain poems within this book, but none of them are asking you to pity the poet. Again, it’s just so honest.


My favorite piece in this collection is called “Punk Rock Rummage”, which tells the story of a man selling his prized punk rock collectibles at a rummage sale in front of his home. Kilowatt so purely identifies the loss of this individual parting with mementos that represent his roots. Our author ends the discussion with the perspective of a person who was aiding this man in selling his soul:


“his wife,
or whoever she was,
glad to be making some money
off so much worthless crap,
wishing she could just as easily
take a marker and masking tape
and write 25 cents
on all those fading tattoos.”


This poet is humble, analytical, and well versed in describing intense emotion with only a few words. Last I spoke with Eddie there were more books in the works. Do yourself a favor and read what he has out already. This is raw emotion, and whether you want to admit it or not, there exists powerful honesty in this book that you can’t help but relate to.


Pick up "Carrying a Knife in to the Gunfight" here:


Check out Eddie's first book (also very good) with the link below:


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