What Peter does with words is illegal in 7 states and under investigation in 17 more, but no one would ever call him malicious. It's merely the Huck Finn mischief in him that causes Peter to send an avalanche of mental images thundering at you like boulders tumbling down a mountainside. You dive, dodge and jump to keep from being buried under his mountain of reckless words only to find that each narrow escape puts you directly in the path of an even larger and more dangerous mental image.
I could give you an example but I won't, because reading a Peter Nevland poem is like watching a vacation video of your neighbor's trip to the Grand Canyon. But hearing Peter perform the same poem is like seeing the Grand Canyon for yourself. No... that's not quite it either. It's more like taking a running leap off the rim of the Grand Canyon with your hands tied behind your back so that the only way to pull the parachute's ripcord is with your toes.
Ted Pelton once described the writing of Jack Kerouac as "untutored prose... filled with neologisms, onomatopoeia, speed, rough edges, frazzled grammar. Plots--if they appear at all--give way to word-riffs on ideas as they arise." Pelton may just as well have been describing Peter Nevland. What Kerouac did to America 50 years ago, Nevland is doing today; the two men are similar in style and identical in spirit, except for one small detail; what Jack Kerouac spent his life searching for, Peter Nevland has already found.
Ever notice how the hidden moral in a Dr. Seuss book is always extremely subtle? "Kids," Seuss said, "can see a moral coming a mile off and they gag at it." Consequently he allowed his story's morals to develop on their own, never were they forced or contrived. Peter Nevland's stuff is like Dr. Seuss' in that he opens our eyes without ever preaching. But where the good Doctor's friends included "a Bippo-no-Bungus from the wilds of Hippo-no-Hungus" and "a tizzle-topped Tufted Mazurka from the African island of Yerka," Peter's friends are dope dealers and missionaries, bankers and bums, body-pierced wackos and cake-baking Moms, and he speaks of each with equal love.
Roy H Williams, best selling author,
president of Williams Marketing
1760 FM 967
Buda, TX 78610
-from the Monday Morning Memo