Jan's Reviews > Winsome Losesome

Winsome Losesome by John Rowe
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Winsome Losesome is a 60-page perfect-bound collection of 46 poems by Berkeley poet and Bay Area Poets Coalition President John Rowe. The color cover photo is by Jeanie Rowe. The blurb on the back cover is written by Marvin R. Hiemstra, San Francisco poet and former Editor-in-Chief of the Bay Area Poets' Seasonal Review.

I loved these whimsical, playful, zen-influenced poems. Many of them play with logic. They are deceptively simple but often quite deep.

On the Fence

I find myself
on the fence
about a decision
I have to make

but at least now
I clearly see
the greener grass
on either side

I have to disclose that John is a casual friend of mine and practically the axis of my local poetry community. Long-time president of the Bay Area Poets Coalition (of which I am a member) and associate editor of its poetry journal Poetalk (in which I have had poems published), John also co-hosts the Last Word Poetry Series at Nefeli Cafe in Berkeley (where I have also read in the past, before he was co-host.)

Start 'Er Up

Power Steering
Six-way power driver's seat
Power windows
Power sun-roof
Power exterior mirrors
Power door locks
Remote keyless entry with alarm activation
Panic/alert mode door alarm
Automatic lights
AM/FM stereo with CD
Dead battery

He is the Grand Prize winner in the Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review's first poetry contest (2010). He has won both First and Grand Prize awards from Artists Embassy International's Dancing Poetry Contests, so dances have been choreographed and performed to his poetry at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. His poetry has appeared in Brevities, Minotaur, Poetalk, The Carquinez Poetry Review, and other journals.

Rowe is a poet's poet, which is good and bad. His work is a complete delight to me, but readers who aren't poets may tire of so many poems about writing poems.

The Minimalist Poet
Engaged in the Act of Revision
Eliminates Unnecessary Words

I didn't need to write this
I didn't need to write
I didn't need to
I didn't need
I didn't
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 8, 2014 – Shelved
June 8, 2014 – Finished Reading

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