Sometimes the only way to recover from bad choices is to leave them behind, and that’s what Klecko did. His newest poetry collection, 3AM AUSTIN TEXAS, is subtitled Boy on the Run, and it’s an account of a painful time in his life – a time when he hitchhiked from Minnesota to Texas in the middle of winter in search of himself. Along the way, he experienced excruciating cold, hunger, and loneliness. The little things helped: ride, a meal, a twenty-dollar bill, a Pepsi, a book, and even a prayer. But mostly he had to muscle through it. Some of these poems will make you cry. Like when hunger becomes the only thing he feels. Sadness, fear, loneliness can mostly be pushed away, but hunger wakes him in the middle of the night and forces him to leave the safety of his sleeping bag under a bridge. Later, he counts out the Wonder Bread – twenty-four slices in case you’re wondering – enough for twelve sandwiches – which he makes by laying the bread out on his sleeping bag and spreading on the peanut butter with a piece of cardboard. Did I mention that this collection might break your heart? It might. But like me, you’ll find that the saving grace is that you know that Klecko lives. And you think about the hard stuff that formed him . . . the chrysalis from which he emerged to become an internationally acclaimed baker and an award-winning poet. Klecko won the Midwest Book Award for his poetry collection, HITMAN-BAKER-CASKETMAKER; AFTERMATH OF AN AMERICAN’S CLASH WITH ICE.
3 AM AUSTIN TEXAS is long-listed for the 2021 Indie Best Award. It’s a worthy contender.
This is Lin Salisbury with Superior Reviews. You can listen to my interview with Klecko on Superior Reads on wtip.org and at www.superiorreads.blog.