Anthony Jacobson's Reviews > Mishaps, Perhaps

Mishaps, Perhaps by Carl Solomon
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Nov 15, 11


This was one the hardest books I have ever tried to find. After hearing the name, Carl Solomon, spoken in reverential tones between the pseudo-intellectuals I have had the misfortune to moonlight with in my lifetime, I finally found a copy of this book in a used bookstore in Hollywood, Florida. What is contains is a series of rants, poems and poetic rants. They are fantastic, there is no doubt, albeit it is difficult to fathom how influential Solomon was to his friends or how influential his friends were to Solomon. I will take the high road and speculate that these are products of the creative soup from which all the beats imbibed and are no more nor less derivative than the works of Ginsberg or Ferlinghetti. Solomon's work distinguishes itself from that of his contemporaries by being a bit more hectic. There is an urgency to his writings that is missing from the more languid pace of Kerouac. It is also, quite humorous. In "Pilgrim State Hospital" we are treated to a semi-schizophrenic scene which implicates both politics and religion when the narrator states, "Kennedy seems quite human after all that has occurred. Maybe he will
restore some kind of dignity to my life. He has begun already. He appointed a Jew to the Cabinet". This kind of candidacy typifies many of the works of the beat generation with its "general throwing-out of the rules" with regards to poetry. I believe this is a crucial aspect of what makes these stories and poems engaging. I may try experimenting with contemporaneously derivative material in my work sometimes soon.
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