jeff winke | frank the zombie

13 09 2012

NOTES from the UNDERGROUND  No. 217 (& Poetry Dispatch) | September 13, 2012

JEFF WINKE: “Frank the Zombie”

Norbert Blei

Haiku and haibun master, Jeff Winke has gone to the dark side a bit and penned his first children’s book: FRANK THE ZOMBIE, A Tale of Woe That End with a Smile (Mirror Publishing-Milwaukee, WI… just in time for the Halloween season, (though zombies are always in season) beautifully illustrated by Carlos Lemos as far as zombies, beautiful in their own way, walk their zombie walk with an insatiable appetite for human nature.

In an uncharacteristically un-haiku-like style, but stylist that he is, Winke has nailed his zombie kid story with a masterful use of single syllable words (but for “zombie”) that tell the tale of Frank’s zombieness and his mission in life beyond the grave:

“I woke one day deep in the ground and dug my way to the top, and woe is me…this is who I am now. Will you be my friend?”

Given the relentless craze these days for the ‘literature’ of vampirism (thanks to the New York book industry that knows just how to manufacture and manipulate what passes for American literary culture)…leave it to our own Wisconsin boy, Jeff Winke, to turn it up a notch, beat them to the punch and introduce zombies for kids–with the sleight of hand, sympathy and a smile.

Not, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, etc. No. This is an updated, user-friendly kid’s tale and picture book version of those challenging classic childhood fears: the bogeyman…a noise in the closet…someone under the bed…alone in the dark…

You’re gonna/they’re gonna love Frank and want him for a friend.

As the back cover states:
Parental Warning: Frank the Zombie is a fictional character. Real zombies are dangerous and should not be approached.

About $9.99 will get you the book. Contact the publisher or Jeff personally: or