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First Course In Turbulence

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  208 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Finalist for ForeWord Magazine 1999 Poetry Book of the Year

With rapid shifts between subject and tone, sometimes within single poems, Dean Young’s latest book explores the kaleidoscopic welter of art and life. Here parody does not exclude the cri de coeur any more than seriousness excludes the joke. With surrealist volatility, these poems are the result of experiments tha
...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published 1999)
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Krzysztof
Mar 13, 2014 Krzysztof rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2013, reviewed
Spoil Me Not

Dean, I finished your book about turbulence.
I bookmarked it with a boarding pass -
Charlotte to Kansas City -
whuddya think of that?
Kansas for vacation.
As I cut another notch in my weirdness belt,
I slip and pit my thumb like an avocado,
spilling blood on the pages. It's OK.
I bought the thing used and it came in fair
rather than the promised very good
condition. That bastard. At any rate
do you think someone will see the blood
and think Abandon All Blood
Ye Who Enter Here, or will they
flip
...more
Jon
Aug 27, 2012 Jon rated it it was amazing
Dean Young was suggested to me by someone (a English/poetry professor) I met at a bar. She lent me three books, one of which was this collection, after finding out that I'm a big fan of Tony Hoagland. Little did I know that they are 'brothers'... at least as far as the acknowledgements are concerned. The poem specifically written about Hoagland and his lake was great as were about 75-80% of the poems. The 5 star rating comes not from the fact Dean Young's sense of humor hits the mark with me, bu ...more
Catherine Corman
Oct 01, 2008 Catherine Corman rated it it was amazing
When Leonardo is 11 and still sober,
he brings home a dead wren to disconnect.
His parents hope he is a genius and not
just another morbid little boy

-Dean Young, "Lives of the Inventors"
Ryan Werner
Nov 15, 2015 Ryan Werner rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
About a dozen really great poems in here. The best ones make great use of Young's randomness, putting a line-of-thought through the things nobody else would have come up with. There's not a formulaic funny/funny/sad or sad/sad/funny sort of rhythmic cleverness here. Instead, Young's best work in this collection is rich like the world, everything always there.

The worst poems here are obtuse, like a bad cut-up or tolerable alt lit. Still, when Young's ideas and language meet up and come alive tog
...more
Patricia Murphy
May 06, 2013 Patricia Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Interesting repetition of themes: the poet as creature (bug or panther), The Tony/Mary poems, wearing the wrong clothes, mono-diets (first rice, then mashed potatoes), art, The French surrealists, Jimi Hendrix.

Each poem here has a new disjointedness, and the collection does too (as compared to Strike Everywhere, which was my most recent DY read).


"even the carpet/ is a tongue."

"I know someone could make a great weapon of me/ if only I was thrown hard enough."


"The problem isn't that you will bec
...more
Paula
Feb 17, 2013 Paula rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
"After eroticism, suffering is my favorite subject" pretty much sums up Dean Young's poetry. I enjoyed these poems more than I expected to, all the while wondering why & where from I had any expectations at all. As I'm generally less interested in wholes than in parts, I found many lines throughout the book to enjoy. Here's one of my favorites, from "Sky Dive": "I forgot all I learned/ throwing myself from a practice flight of stairs./ It drove me crazy, the way she smiled/ at strangers and ...more
Eric Phetteplace
Sep 07, 2007 Eric Phetteplace rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
There's something to be said for poems that, by focusing on a singular subject, gain precision and insight. Not much of that here. Young rambles, and don't get me wrong he's a hilarious and lush rambler, but in the end I wish he take his talents and try something different and more ambitious.
Clark Knowles
Nov 10, 2013 Clark Knowles rated it really liked it
A lovely book of poems. A hive of tiny things--ants, hearts, infants--swarming through Walt Whitman's dreams. There's big things here too: painters, oceans, myths. Funny and terrible, like love. What are you waiting for? You've already been given your free gift.
RJ
Sep 10, 2012 RJ rated it really liked it
Had to read Tony Hoagland for class and hated him. Read an article by Hoagland about Young, and found via the snippets of poems quoted there that I would probably like Young more than Hoagland. Got this out of the library and found that I did.
Allyson
Mar 19, 2007 Allyson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Funny and sad and compelling. Young is one of the best contemporary poets writing today. If you get a chance to hear him read, then grab it, and prepare to be charmed.
Tim Lepczyk
Jan 12, 2010 Tim Lepczyk rated it really liked it
Dean Young writes with a unique perspective. His poems move with a life of their own and make connections between ideas and images that are vivid and poignant.
K8teebug
Mar 05, 2008 K8teebug rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essentials
Scott and I met Thanksgiving night over a poem in this book. They are so good, a romance can start over them.
Leanna
Jan 16, 2011 Leanna rated it really liked it
Funny, sad, surprising, interspersed with wisdom. Always entertaining!
Malcolm Alexander
Jul 08, 2008 Malcolm Alexander rated it liked it
I liked "Strike Anywhere" much more.
Sara
Jun 19, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007
Reminds me of Billy Collins
john steven
Apr 05, 2007 john steven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
it's all voice and shroud.
Andrea
Jun 21, 2007 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
I love Dean Young...he rocks!
Shaindel
Sep 13, 2007 Shaindel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in associative poetry
Excellent associative poetry.
Yenna
Yenna marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2016
Jay Nicorvo
Jay Nicorvo rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2016
Mark Mendoza
Mark Mendoza marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2016
Richard Mclean
Richard Mclean rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2016
Karly
Karly rated it really liked it
May 23, 2016
Scott
Scott rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2016
Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Cori
Cori rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2016
Grace
Grace marked it as to-read
Mar 28, 2016
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Dean Young is a contemporary American poet in the poetic lineage of John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, and Kenneth Koch. Though often cited as a second-generation New York School poet, his work also resonates with the Surrealist poetry of Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire, and if neo-surrealism has a poetic corollary then it is him. His most recent books are Elegy on Toy Piano ...more
More about Dean Young...

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“Go down any road far enough
and you'll come to a slaughterhouse,
but keep going and you'll reach the sea.”
9 likes
“Often beauty is disguised
by appearance just as music can be
by sound, the dreaming wish by the waking
wish until there's this terrible stress
because a thing must finally reveal itself,
break itself. Leaning shadow, cinder
heart, shouts. In Gorky's The Unattainable,
the line begins to free itself from any
utility of contour and becomes a trajectory.
One day, Gorky hung himself from a beam
but left us in charge of those ravishments.
Hello, interior of the sun. Usually alone
on Sundays, she won't get off until late,
the man steams rice because it's cheap
and easy and feels in its austerity poetic
like candles during a power outage
or trying on overcoats all afternoon,
buying none. ”
5 likes
More quotes…