Lost Lake Folk Opera V5N2

From deep inside the Polar Vortex – the Dark Ice of the Moon, Winter 2018-2019 issue.

 

Featuring
Short plays by Lee Gundersheimer & Emilio Regina
John Torgrimson from Guantanamo—On Asylum.
& Jon Welsh inside the State Funeral of
George Herbert Walker Bush Nametag Peggy by Dan Butterfass
Looking for a horse poem after an eye exam by Scott Lowery
Department of Catastrophe Management by Neale Torgrimson
Club of Stars, a fragment from the forthcoming memoir by Maria Sousa Hogan
Scott Lowery
Maria L. Sousa Hogan
Holly Day
Lee Gundersheimer
Christopher G. Bremicker
Andy Roberts
Tomer Klein
Dave Hunter
David Carkhuff
Dan Butterfass
Neale Torgrimson
Jim Johnson
Folk Opera Book Review—
Text for Our Nomadic Future, poems by Jim Johnson
Micheal Akutagawa
Hrithik Rana
G. L. Rockey
Jon Welsh
Wayne Farmer
John Torgrimson
Emilio Regina
Tom Driscoll

A Mark of Permanence

Justin Watkins

New and Selected Poems from Land and Water

by the author of the award winning chapbook Bottom Right Corner.
“Justin Watkins’ poems always surprise, and I have long admired them. They are imperial messages, and contain the secrets that arrive from close observation and the knowledge gleaned from it. The reader will see the world in a new way and be wealthier for reading them.” —Larry Gavin, author of Necessities, Least Resistance, Stone and Sky, and The Initiation of Praise.

“As he looks at corpses of muskrats – ‘puts some thought on porcupines,’ – or pauses while dragging out a deer on snow, thinks about how ticks wait out their prey, Justin Watkins’ poems take us into the heart of the Midwest as lived through its language.” —Jim Johnson is the former Poet Laureate of Duluth. His latest book, Text For Our Nomadic Future, came out in August 2018.


 

Photo by Dan Fraiser

I’ve always been a fan of the work of Justin Watkins. By Dan Frasier

His blog, Fishing and Thinking, where he writes under the pen name “Wendy Berrell”, is a truly special place to read the ruminations of a scientist who sees a value in living life close to the land. Beyond his blog, Justin’s book of poetry Bottom-Right Corner from Red Dragonfly Press is a brilliant work of outdoor poetry about life as an outdoorsman in South Eastern Minnesota. So I’ve been a fanboy for a long time.

In his newest book A Mark of Permanence published by Shipwreckt books, Justin takes his work to a new level; integrating poetry and his uniquely stark factual prose, Justin has created a series of vignettes into life being lived in modern Minnesota as it was lived centuries ago. His deep respect for the quarry in his tales along with the land and water they live in shines through like rays of sun through a dark grey cloudy ceiling. Yet Justin achieves this feat without flowery language or high-minded soliloquies. Instead, he tells you the facts like they are and lets the overwhelming reality of just how interconnected we are with the world around us speak for itself.

I think nothing better exemplifies this amazing talent of Justin’s than 2 stanzas in the poem

“The Hidden Flat”


Paleozoic Seas have come and gone here

Flooding and receding

Leaving shelved limestone

That our boot cleats bite and hold

We study the ceaseless hefting of water

For there is no other signature

Water rock two hunters and the fish:

Dark shapes deliberate in the shallows


Amazon reviews—

From Oliver: “Great read for anyone who loves being outdoors. This is a solid read and one I’ve enjoyed several times since it came in the mail. The poems and prose presented are thoughtful and make me long to be near a trout stream or hiking through the forest. I highly recommend this read.”

Dan Fraiser says: “Clear and real picture of the life of a Modern Day American Sportsman. Don’t open this book expecting some romantic tome about nature and harmony and good vibes. This is a stark and realistic look into the interconnectedness, harsh realities and oftentimes dissonant life of a modern-day outdoorsman. Fantastic read that I’ve gone back to more than a few times.”

K. Bartlett: “Thoughtful stuff by Justin Watkins. My copy arrived and I thought, “I will just read the first poem.” Then I sat down and read the entire book in one sitting. Fantastic writing for anyone who has an appreciation of life and the outdoors.”

These Humans

Steven Schild

the award-winning author of Eros in Autumn


When the poems in Steven Schild’s new collection are at their best (and his batting average is pretty darned good), they tackle our primary work: ‘being human,’ something that too often these days seems to be regarded as a sort of silliness. He writes, We kiss and commiserate / we cling without question to even our oddest others, / we comfort like angels, / like lower-case gods.  These poems celebrate at least as often as they mourn, soothe more than they fume. That the reader is allowed to participate in the journey is no small gift.—John Reinhard is the author of On the Road to Patsy Cline and Burning the Prairie.


These Humans is a symphonic presentation of us as a species. In parts 1-1V Schild examines us under the magnifying glass of the journalist he was and teacher he is—the images are clear, the language is crisp, and the lyricism is deft. There is a tone of disdain appropriate to the times in which we live; Schild presents the empirical evidence as he has witnessed it. In parts V and VI the voice of the poet takes over: the poems go much deeper to the soul of who we are. The responsible and articulate public witness becomes more personal, sharing (our) fears and vulnerabilities, our moments of joy and quiet delight. There is a balance in this book—of citizen and next-door-neighbor, of husband, son, grandson and father, of fellow traveler, of journalist and poet. And always the poetry exhibits an unerring ear. Thank you, Steve Schild for composing and sharing this orchestration!—Ken McCullough, Poet Laureate of Winona, Minnesota, is the author of Dark Stars and Broken Gates.

Lost Lake Folk Opera V5N1

Special Poets Laureate Issue

to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Folk Opera

 30 Stellar Contributors, including 6 past & present poets laureate


Poets Laureate
Joyce Sutphen • Minnesota Poet Laureate. Four Poems of the Road. Ken McCullough • Winona Poet Laureate. The Bear Husband – John Osa & Ursula. Rob Hardy • Northfield Poet Laureate. Three Poems – Rebecca, Jane & Light. Nicholle Ramsey • Winona Associate Laureate. Two Poems – Water and Sand. Jim Johnson • Duluth Laureate Emeritus. Two Trout Tales from Minnesota and Iowa. Emilio DeGrazia • Winona Laureate Emeritus. Late Thoughts – at the Mayo Clinic ER. 

Short fiction & essays                        

Anne Muccino. Dalia & J.T. Christopher Bremicker. Relapse. Justin Watkins. John Bass & other prose.  Jim Miles. My First Hunt. Steve Cooke. Lawn Adventures. Roger McKnight.Burnt Potatoes. John Torgrimson. Feast & Requiem. James Petrillo. Ashyer. Dan Coffey. Nowhere to Go. Nancy Palker. Zipper Lady. Ken Kakareka. Cabrón. Ken Fliés. Dog Days of Winter

Poetry                     

Steve McCown. Six Poems. Lee Henschel Jr. Forty Lenten Haiku. Tufik Y. Shayeb. Three Poems. Robert Wooten. Four Poems. Michael Ceraolo. Eighty Days. Kay Bosgraff. Three PoemsSteve Toth.Three Poems. Steve Schild. Three Poems. Ed Schwartz. Five Poems. Marcus Hines. Three Poems. Nicole Borg. Waiting for the Prince. Ken McCullough. The Levee: Then and Now


Everybody has one — Op-Ed                        

Tom Driscoll v5n2. My Crystal Ball

All Roads Lead Home

Nicole Borg


In her debut collection, All Roads Lead Home, Nicole Borg convinces us that poetry is the way our most important experiences may be best understood. Her voice has resonance and clarity, speaking not just for herself as woman, mother, wife, teacher and citizen, but for what is best in us. Her work reveals a heart fully alive, a mind in tune with moral responsibility, and a deft hand that chooses its words with care for their nuanced rhythms and sounds. Without mystifying or confusing us, her poems convey that the ordinary is special, and they challenge us to rediscover
the mystery in our lives.—Emilio DeGrazia, author of Eye Shadow (Rocket Science Press 2014).

Nicole Borg lets us ride shotgun on these road trips toward home. Home: where love and hope reside. Where we find what fills us. Where we are blessed by the moon and rooted in the stars. Borg leads us down a new path, and we’re richer
for having been on the road with her.—poet and editor Dara Syrkin.


This is a collection of sustaining drives across country and time with a woman who revisits herself, packing courage in a rusted suitcase that demands to be unlocked. The scenes along this road trip unfold risks she took to love, to be alone, to confess, and to maneuver herself into freedoms borne from raw storytelling. The poems often roll, subtly, to a surprise punch stop. The language draws a quick inhale from the fresh and sudden image of the truth that was waiting between the lines.—Stillwater poet and editor Elissa Cottle.


Amazon Reviews—
From Heidi P.: Thoroughly enjoying this book of poetry. I am currently rereading several of the poems, peeling back the layers of meaning. Poems should leave you with emotions to savor and Borg definitely writes with this in mind.