Author: Frank Millard
It would be a tough minded character
who could read this book without a smile, a small gasp, a thoughtful frown..Try
for openers, the last poem in this book. A wonderfully atmospheric 'Finding
Here I sit,
eating my French potatoes
and drinking bubbling
cherry flavoured water.
The air is misty
kept out by walls of glass.
and tremble above where
I sit. .
Frank Millard describes his collection
as being 'from a 40-year-old man who lost the love of his 3-year-old brother,
the love of a family gone dysfunctional, the love of a church gone dogmatic
and the love of a medical profession gone political." He's spent years
working in cardiac surgery and the emergency room, has been a pastor and
a soldier, and has now turned to writing. He's currently completing a novel,
and heading Zestos Publishing. He's interested in literary projects that
focus on Ohio and Native American History.
The collection contains some erotica
and dark poetry - he warns us that it is not for young readers. All the
same, there are some great moments of busting engagement with life
It's my ludeness' (he
the solemnity police.
my sense of humor
with raised eyebrows
when my chuckles
There's a good variety here, the
book is easy to read, and engaging.. turn the page for a change of mood
"each breath I draw
is the paddling of the oarsmen,
pushing the bobbing bodies
away from my craft.
"Slowly gliding over the river-top,
my oars yearn to touch life
into the swollen and lifeless
as they drift on by."
There's a good range of material,
the artlessly simple "I like mud" faces a poem that is grievous in its
simplicity - 'the Care of a Surgeon' : a delicately expressed honesty in
Screen Name Fancy, sits hard against the all too physically present 'Bust
lust', - all this in the same volume as 'Whatever'
"Like stale bread
crumbled in the hands of the
who laugh as they scatter
a trail that leads to redemption,
The book is, indeed, filled with
quotable bits. Bits to make me smile. It's a book for browsing, even for
jumping from one poem to another. Technically there's much to think about
for the work is immediate, and immediately graspable, if not necessarily
polished, or intricate. A grand read, and something I shall pick up at
odd moments, just to look at again. Perhaps the best thing of all is that
it is an honest description of an honest life. The good, the lovely, the
horrendous and the plain desperate.. A poem like 'Remember September' is
not going to be among the great Odes of all time, but it is going to be
one of the least mannered, totally open records of grief that you will
ever read. For all that there are some poems which may make you want to
turn your head, there isn't one without something to say, some insight,
or something worth pondering. There is nothing 'mannered' or artificial
about this work, it opens nicely, feels good to the hand. and I am glad
to have it on my shelves. Not great poetry but a very good read indeed.
REVIEW OF LION SUN