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The Winter Road: Prose Poemsby Louis Jenkins
Synopses & Reviews
"Louis Jenkins writes satire as elegant as Horace but with motors in it and telephones and the North Shore."—Garrison Keillor
From the acknowledged "master" of the prose poem comes a new gathering of sixty poems. The work in The Winter Road comprises an extended meditation on the nature of memory and its influence on everyday reality. Within poems that turn whimsical, ironic, and serious, whole imaginative worlds are created and glide the reader into pleasing and unexpected territory. As when Coronado's search for gold lands him empty-handed in Kansas, Jenkins reminds us that "miracles always have a cost," and that our desire for absolute truth can sometimes lead us nowhere.
Louis Jenkins' poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, et al. and in The Best American Poetry 1999. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
Old Man Winter
Old man Winter doesn't like anything. He doesn't like dogs or
cats or squirrels or birds, especially seagulls, or children or
smart-ass college students. He doesn't like loggers or environ-
mentalists or snowmobilers or skiers in their stupid lycra outfits.
He doesn't like Christmas or television. He doesn't like bureau-
crats, lawyers or pliticians. There is a thing or two he could say
to the host of the local talk-radio show but he knows for a fact
that the son-of-a-bitch does the broadcast from his condo in
Florida. He's pissed off about the OPEC oil conspiracy and the
conspiracy of gas station owners to raise prices. He doesn't like
foreigners and he doesn't like his neighbors (not that he has
many); when they finally die they just leave their junk all over
the yard. He doesn't like that. He doesn't like the look of the sky
right now, either, overcast, a kind of jaundice color. He hates
that. And that stand of spruce trees behind the house turning
black in the dusk . . . . The way it gets dark earlier every day. He
doesn't like that.
From one of the Midwest America's msot original poets, a new gathering of poems on life in the northern frontier, meditations on middle-age, et al.
Cultural Writing. Prose. It's good to see Louis Jenkins again. He writes satire as elegant as Horace but with motors in it and telephones and the North Shore. He and I disagree about practically everything, so how is it that I like his poems so much? But here he is, on the coldest day of the year, talking about gypsies and heaven and radio, making sense — Garrison Keillor. 'The river wandered away as in a dream, no explanations, no parting words, the door ajar, newspapers blown across the floor...'So do these wonderfully quirky prose poems seem to wander. But when we look up fro the page, we have arrived someplace strange and new — Linda Pastan.
From the acknowledged "master" of the prose poem comes a new gathering of sixty poems. The work in The Winter Road comprises an extended meditation on the nature of memory and its influence on everyday reality. Within poems that turn whimsical, ironic, and serious, whole imaginative worlds are created and glide the reader into pleasing and unexpected territory. As when Coronado's search for gold lands him empty-handed in Kansas, Jenkins reminds us that "miracles always have a cost."
About the Author
Louis Jenkins lives in Duluth, Minnesota. His poems have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Among his books of poetry are An Anlmost Human Gesture, All Tangled Up With the Living, Nice Fish: New and Selected Prose Poems (winner of the Minnesota Book Award) and Just Above Water. He has read his poems on A Prairie Home Companion and was featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 1996. Two of his prose poems were published in The Best Ameriacn Poetry 1999.
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