XULECA LOUNGE: poems by Kevin Clifford Burke

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Xuleca Lounge is not a physical location, but a mental Mecca for escape in times of change and uncertainty. This place represents hope and endless possibilities. This is the perfect opening piece for this collection of poems, as it will allow the reader to escape to their own personal “happy place”. The foreword mentions that this book of poetry is meant to be taken in small bites, instead of devoured all at once. Although each poem flows gracefully onto the next, I respected the author’s intent and read these poems one at a time. I believe the reader will get deeper meaning and be able to connect to the material more this way. By allowing time after each poem to meditate or reflect, the reader will resonate stronger with the material and form a personal connection to the words.

The author uses vivid language to articulately describe his quest for inner peace, self-acceptance, and purpose. The themes in this book are deep but relatable. The poems switch moods from desperate and dreary to hopefully optimistic. The author, Kevin Clifford Burke has the ability to transport the reader to another world and then pull them down from the dream state back to reality. There are some poems or moments in the book that are difficult to comprehend or conceptualize; however, I think this gives the collection depth and can gain clarity with each re-read.

My personal favorite poems in this eclectic collection are entitled “I Think You Know Me” and “Xochimilco’s Waters”. The first poem mentioned speaks about self-reflection and acceptance. Everyone has moments of time they regret, or long for a time in the past when things were simpler. This poem will force the reader to confront versions of themselves they have tried to forget or keep hidden away. “Xochimilco’s Waters” is an inspirational message of growth and perseverance. Burke eloquently states, “In spite of numbing torn despairing dreams we ignite.” This is a perfect poem to read when one chapter of your life has come to a close and you may feel anxious about what’s in store next.

What I appreciate most about Burke’s writing is his conceptual way of writing. His careful and creative use of words will evoke a strong reaction from readers; there are poems that felt surreal and beautiful while others felt dark, lonely, and isolating. Xuleca Lounge is an enlightening series of poems that describe the complexity of life. This book will encourage readers to search beyond “what is” to reach for “what could be”.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 83 pages
Publisher Kevin Clifford Burke
Publish Date 23-Feb-2022
ISBN 9780578963648
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue July 2022
Category Poetry & Short Stories