I’ve had this book — not the exact book but I’ve had a copy of Mindfield one way or another — for over half of my short life. I have never read it cover to cover, but the winter sessions have a way of bringing me into this poetic MINDFIELD.
I only appreciated the title fully (perhaps that’s impossible) when I started writing this post. It certainly is a mindfield — I think I’m in a Gregory Corso haze. Even my writing sounds like him when I look back at my journal these last daze.
There are poems inside that I had never really seen or touched, so sitting with them felt like getting to know Gregory a little better, though I do have a sense of who he is and was, at least for myself — he inspires me. My high school year book quote, beneath my head shot photo, is his poem “Last Night I Drove A Car”. His poem “Bomb” was a political tool I wielded — reading it to anyone who would listen to me– when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Did it help? I am not sure. But the shape of that poem — it is something I’ve never forgotten. His intense anti-war sentiment sustains my own.
His eulogy for Jack Kerouac, tucked in somewhere around the mid-100’s of this collection, is a lesser known treasure. It reveals a lot about his view of Kerouac, of what they were “really doing” and how Corso’s conscience always seemed a little stronger than some of his other Beat folk.
I am glad to have read this but am certainly in need of a long Corso break. I did not anticipate how intense reading this would be, but Corso is alive in my mind — setting off bombs, and permitting me to swear all I like —