Poetry Review: Imperfect Caucasus

Pub Date: October 2020 (Uptight Press)

Sven Olaf-Lefkowitz has composed a searing ode to fatherhood, to Love’s psychic penance, to the Pop-rock armies of ABBA, refracted through a studied dissonance; intentionally national in voice and Viking-unconventional in its sub-arctic and visionary chill. Imperfect Caucasus is a frigid lullaby, a cosmic sleigh-ride of whiteness that glistens in the frozen space between Midwestern promise and the place where “love is always a Nordic lady / calling upon Odin.—Karl Elihu Ellefsen.

“‘I have have sought to intoxicate the sober,’ Sven Olaf-Lefkowitz says in ‘Warrior of Mead,’ and he could be deconstructing his own work: predictably subversive while ascending the heights as real poetry is expected to do.
This is a collection full of compassionate rage and deft control of dialect.” —Jaroslav Maria Szysek

“These verses are rough-shod, as well as sly and quixotic. They are as pale as a waning moon or the Northern lights.
You’ll find lunar witchcraft in these works by Sven-Olaf Lefkowitz. You’ll find strong untruths.” —Kirsten B. Dungeoness, author of Banana Republicans

In the strong and celebratory poems of Imperfect Caucasus , Sven Olaf-Lefkowitz expands the claims of authentic fatherhood  in a post-Eurocentric context, decentralizing White patriarchy by intentional commodification through absurdity. Olaf-Lefkowitz chants in the mead-hall of poetic genesis, abrogating all claims of the status quo, stunningly brave in his lyric demolition/creation. Tree-felling, reindeer-breeding, even pig-slaughtering are warm prey to Olaf-Lefkowitz’s falcon eye. Whether intoning his grief for fallen heroes while birthing his own poetic drum-circle or contemplating whiteness across a winter wilderness, these poems offer a laxative to constipated lyrical flow.


Imperfect Caucasus
preview is available from http://www.uptightdownload.org

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Review: Ogwidth Rain Village
MFA Program Chairperson
Hennepin Homebrew University, MN