Saturday, October 26, 2013

I wrote this utterly fictitious “invective poem” for Carl Solomon (1928-1993). Remember his Mishaps, Perhaps (1966) and More Mishaps (1968)? I visited Carl, one afternoon, while he was living in The Bronx in New York City. Carl’s situation, there, seemed to be that he was taking care of two elderly and ailing relatives, and the apartment smelled like hospital. It was a big, old apartment with few pieces of furniture. The two were in their bedsteads, one in what would have been the living room and the other in what would have been the dining room. I had to pass through the apartment to get to Carl’s bedroom, where he sat me on a chair and he sat on the bed. He thought I came there to grill him with questions about Allen Ginsberg, but no, like I told him on the phone it was to talk about his books, Mishaps, Perhaps and More Mishaps. And we did. And he signed my copies. And he gave me a copy of the two published together in a French edition, and he signed that for me as well. In the months that followed we shared some letters and postcards (his were all written in pencil). Going to see Carl, and wanting to sense him in person, I had a question in my mind, and that question also included Artaud and Jones Very and Christopher Smart. My sense of him, then, and now, still, was that he was just worn out (and had been, for a long time).

Read my poem, “Two Songs for Samson,” online at Empty Mirror.

Thank you, Denise.