Love Lost 
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 Your Muse..

 Here I sit, 
 eating my French potatoes 
 and drinking bubbling 
 cherry flavoured water. 

 The air is misty 
 kept out by walls of glass. 

 Tunnels tower 
 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 writes)
  that summons 
 the solemnity police. 

 They monitor
 my sense of humor 
 with raised eyebrows
 when my chuckles 
 break .. 

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 forms
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 gods 
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. 


Love Lost 
Author: Frank Millard
Zestos Publishing 

May be ordered from 
Zestos Publishing, 
PO Box 3916
Mansfield. OH 44907


$7.25 U.S. $7.50 Canada