Void of Course
experienced with heroin himself, offers belated advice to the
corpse of Kurt Cobain in the volume-opening "8 Fragments for Kurt
Cobain": the price of genius mixed with that of fame makes a fatal
cocktail, "which starts out as a kiss/And follows like a curse."
Desperation and desire emanate from Carroll's verse, but with
a certain poignancy, as if these words just have to be said. Carroll
exhumes his life and loves, and his candor at times startles.
He can shift gears, from a dirge like the Cobain piece to a comical,
though no less serious, aside on the avant-garde, Buddha, or his
father's last words ("Promise me that you'll never eat / Any of
that Japanese food. Promise"). funky, amphetamine rhythm propels
the collection and conjures the city, with its tenements, rushing
crowds, flickering televisions, and park benches. As Carroll ages
and matures, he acknowledges that "I've spent too much time /
Expended angelic energy/On my own disintegration to hand the contract
over / To another now."
Void of Course.
Oct. 1998. 119p.
Penguin, paper, $12.95 (0-14-058909-0).
© 1998 American Library Association