In his latest collection of thematically linked poems, Belly Full of Rocks, Perry picks up where the Brothers Grimm left off. In it, Perry explores the stories of fairy tale characters as their lives unravel past the thresholds of their happily ever afters, their cautionary endings, and their sometimes viciously delivered justice. Perry’s persona poems are more than adult versions of children’s stories. They are what happens when fairy tale creatures slough off their comfortable archetypes, outgrow their prewritten destinies, and actually suffer the psychological trauma of their pasts. The wolf’s hunger does not abate; it gnaws at him, drives him into thickly shadowed alleyways, draws him repeatedly to his grisly demise, only to be reborn into a new tale in which he is doomed to repeat his fate.
Red Riding Hood does not just shower off the wolf guts and carry on with her life. The eldest and only surviving pig spends the rest of his life trying to uncover the psychology behind an apparently sociopathic beast, only to discover that he himself is not innocent of the cravings that torment the wolf.
These poems weave in the fantastical with the real, the nightmare with the waking world, revealing the subconscious forces that can drive one to obsession, that force us to question the realities of the world in which we live.