Read Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness by Bob Kaufman Online


Published in 1965, Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness assembles ten years' work of Bob Kaufman, celebrated in San Francisco as the original Beat and in France as "the American Rimbaud."Kaufman, one of fourteen children born in Louisiana to a German Jewish father and a Black Catholic mothers, ran away to sea when he was thirteen, circling the globe nine times in the next twePublished in 1965, Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness assembles ten years' work of Bob Kaufman, celebrated in San Francisco as the original Beat and in France as "the American Rimbaud."Kaufman, one of fourteen children born in Louisiana to a German Jewish father and a Black Catholic mothers, ran away to sea when he was thirteen, circling the globe nine times in the next twenty years. In the 1950s, while working as a waiter at the Los Angeles Hilton, he met another erstwhile member of the Merchant Marine, Jack Kerouac, and soon thereafter both moved north to found, along with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and others, the San Francisco literary "renaissance" of the time.Kaufman promotes a spontaneous, prophetic verse, mixing street talk and jazz with vision. Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness contains odes to Charles Mingus, Hart Crane, Ray Charles, and Albert Camus as well as love lyrics, political rants, "Prison Poems," and the prose meditation "Second April.""Perhaps the best of the Beat poets of the 1950s ... this book collects the best of his work, which is surprising literate and moving." --National Observer"Mr. Kaufman has a genuine lyric talent and his poetry, at its best is sensuous, exciting, and charged with vitality." --Publishers Weekly(New Directions Press)...

Title : Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780811200769
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 87 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness Reviews

  • e
    2018-10-07 18:12

    I want to like Kaufman more, and I sense Kerouac cribbed a lot of his spontaneity and onomatopoeic jabberwocky jazz meter from him—"Second April" reads like one of Kerouac's stoned rants and "Boms" toward the end reminds me of the final portion of Big Sur, rhapsodizing the rhythms of the Pacific but taken to the streets—but ultimately I feel like Kaufman just wants to impress me with washes of poetic language and not actually say anything concrete. Not that it has to, and I certainly don't like the, say, Billy Collins school, where reading his stuff feels like a kindergartener teacher trying to put the kids down for a nap, but still, at the same time I do wish the sound & fury of it all would ebb away for some sort of "luminous detail" that doesn't bleed into the next crazed ekstasis. "Prison Poems" is probably the best thing here; "Come, help flatten a raindrop" is just a perfect sentence. Kaufman should definitely be given more attention, though, despite my own indifference to a lot of what he does.

  • Matthew
    2018-10-07 22:52

    TELEGRAPHIC PREFACE TO KAUFMAN IN SOLITUDES CROWDED WITH LONELINESS OF A BLASTED LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER IMPROVISING TE DEUMS OF TOTAL RECALL ALONE IN A LEMMING WORLD AMONG ACID VISIONS OF DOORS OPENING INTO MISPLACED BLUE PARADISES OF THE SENSES HIS TONGUE HUNG OUT TO DRY IN IMAGINARY LOVESCAPES FOLDED HIS SORROWS IN AFRICAN DREAM WALKING PARKER HOME WHERE AFTERWARDS THEY WILL DANCE O CELESTIAL HOBO ON UNHOLY MISSIONS WITH BATTLE REPORTS AND BENEDICTIONS O BIRD WITH GRASS WINGS WHO STILL KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE HE IS HIGH ON LIFE SITTING ON THE CEILING AND WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND AND WOULD YOU WEAR HIS EYES WELL THEN HOLD YOUR BREASTS AND READ HIS TRUE-NORTH LEGEND WRIT ON LANDSCAPES OF LIFE IN MAPS OF AMERICA WHERE NIGHTINGALES STILL SOUND ON US AND THE SEARCH FOR ECSTASY NEVERTHELESS GOES ON - FERLINGHETTIIn black core of night, it explodesSilver thunder, rolling back my brain,Bursting copper screens, memory worldsDeep in star-fed beds of time,Seducing my soul to diamond fires of night.Faint outline, a ship-momentary frightLifted on waves of colour,Sunk in pits of light,Drummed back through time,Hummed back through mind,Drumming, cracking the night.Strange forest songs, skin soundsCrashing through - no longer strange.Incestuous yellow flowers tearingMagic from the earth.Moon-dipped rituals, ledBy a scarlet god,Caressed by ebony maidensWith daylight eyes,Purple garments,Noses that twitch,Singing young girl songsOf an ancient loveIn dark, sunless placesWhere memories are sealed,Burned in eyes of tigers.Suddenly wise, I fight the dream:Green screams enfold my night.- African Dream, pg. 4*For every remembered dreamThere are twenty nighttime lifetimes.Under multiplied arcs of sleepZombie existences become Existence.In night's warped rectanglesStormy bathtubs of wavy sexCome hotly drawn.Everyday, confused in desperate poses,Loses its hue, to Dada prodigies of black.There never was a night that endedOr began.- Celestial Hobo, pg. 7*San Fran, hipster land,Jazz sounds, wig sounds,Earthquake sounds, others,Allen on Chestnut Street,Giving poetry to squares,Corso on knees, pleading,God Eyes.Rexroth, Ferlinghetti,Swinging, in cellars,Kerouac at Locke's,Writing NeilOn high typewriter,Neil, booting a choo-choo,On zigzag tracks.Now, many catsFalling in,New York cats,Too many cats,Monterey scene cooler,San Franers, falling down.Canneries closing.Sardines splitting. For Mexico.Me too.- West Coast Sound - 1956, pg. 11*When I see the little Buddhist scoutsMarching with their Zen mothersTo tea ceremonies at the rock garden,I shake my head. . . . It falls off. - Reflections on a Small Parade, pg. 15*Twisting brass, key of G, tenement stoned,Singing Jacob's song, with Caribbe emphasis.Flinging the curls of infant rabbis, gently, Into the glowing East Side night.Esther's hand, in Malinche's clasped,Traps the fly of evening, forever.Ancient log-rolling caps of Caribbe wavesSplashing crowded harbours of endless steps.Angry, fire-eyed children clutch transient winds,Singing Gypsy songs, love me now, love me now.The echoes return, riding the voice of the river,As time cries out, on the skin of an African drum.- East Fifth Street (N.Y.), pg. 18*Ray Charles is the black wind of Kilimanjaro,Screaming up-and-down blues,Moaning happy on all the elevators of my time.Smiling into the camera, with an African symphonyHidden in his throat, and (I Got a Woman) wails, too.He bursts from Bessie's crushed black skullOne cold night outside of Nashville, shouting,And grows bluer from memory, glowing bluer, still.At certain times you can see the moonBalanced on his head.From his mouth he hurls chunks of raw soul.He separated the sea of polluted soundsand led the blues into the Promised Land.Ray Charles is a dangerous man ('way cross town),And I love him.- Blues Notes, for Ray Charles's birthday, pg. 20*String-chewing bass player,Plucking rolled balls of soundFrom the jazz-scented night.Feeding hungry beat seekersFinger-shaped heartbeats,Driving ivory nailsInto their greedy eyes.Smoke crystals, from the nostrilsOf released jazz demons,Crash from foggy yesterdayTo the lightOf imaginary night.- Mingus, pg. 27*The holey little holesIn my skin,Millions of littlesecret graves,Filled with deadFeelingsThat won't stayDead.The hairy little hairsOn my head,Millions of littleSecret trees,Filled with deadBirdsThat won't stayDead.When I die,I won't stayDead.- Dolorous Echo, pg. 30*How many ladies in how many paintingsEscaped how many snaked?How many snakes in how many paintingsEscaped how many ladies?Every lady escaped, but one. Not one goddam snake ever escaped.It's a hell of a lot saferTo be a ladyThan a snake.- Ladies, pg. 33*Come on out of there with your hands up, Chaplin,In your Sitting Bull suit, with your amazing new Presto Lighter.We caught you. We found your fingerprints on the World's Fair.Give us back the money and start over as a cowboy.Come on, Chaplin, we mean business.- Patriotic Ode on the Fourteenth Anniversary of the Persecution of Charlie Chaplin, pg. 45*A cincophrenic poet calleda meeting of all five ofhim at which four of the most powerful of him votedto expel the weakest of himwho didn't dig it, coughingpoetry for revenge, beseech-ing all horizontal reservesto cross, spiral, and whirl.- Cincophrenicpoet, pg. 49*My eyes too have souls that rageAt the sight of butterflies walking,At the crime of a ship cutting an ocean in two,at vision of girls who should be nakedSitting at lunch counters eyeballing newspapers,At complacent faces of staring clocksObjectively canceling livesWith ticks.- The Eyes Too, pg. 50*In the night he comes, my prechanteur,Singing the silent songs, enchanting songsOf purple forest, orange woodsWhere yellow flower loves yellow flower,Green limbs budding, twice yellowOf ebony maidens with happy eyesIn orange garments, noses that twitchSinging songs of secret loveIn dark sunless placesIlluminated only by the lightOf looks in lovers' eyes,Witnessed only by silent animals . . .I awake, yearning, grasping.He is gone, my prechanteur.- Mt Prechanteur, pg. 53*Should I sing a requiem, as the trap closes?Perhaps it is more fitting to shout nonsense.Should I run to the streets, screaming lovesongs?Perhaps it is more consistent to honk obscenities. Should I chew my fingernails down to the wrist?Perhaps it is better to blow eternal jazz.Maybe I will fold the wind into neat squares.- Perhaps, pg. 54*Remember, poet, while gallivanting across the sky,Skylarking, shouting, calling names . . . Walk softly.Your footprint on rain clouds is visible to naked eyes,Lamps barnacled to your feet refract the mirrored air.Exotic scents of your hidden vision fly in the face of time.Remember not to forget the dying colours of yesterdayAs you inhale tomorrow's hot dream, blown from frozen lips.Remember, you naked agent of every nothing.- Forget to Not, pg. 55*1I am sitting in a cell with a view of evil parallels,Waiting thunder to splinter me into a thousand me's. It is not enough to be in one cage with one self;I want to sit opposite every prisoner in every hole.Doors roll and bang, every slam a finality, bang!The junkie disappeared into a red noise, stoning out his hell.The odored wino congratulates himself on not smoking,Fingerprints left lying black inky gravestones,Noises of pain seeping through steel walls crashingReach my own hurt. I become part of someone forever.Wild accents of criminals are sweeter to me than hum of cops,Busy battening down hatches of human souls; cargoDestined for ports of accusations, harbours of guilt.What do policemen eat, Socrates, still prisoner, old one?2Painter, paint me a crazy jail, mad water-colour cells.Poet, how old is suffering? Write it in yellow lead.God, make me a sky on my grass ceiling. I need stars now,To lead through this atmosphere of shrieks and private hells,Entrances and exits, in . . . out . . . up . . . down, the civic seesaw.Here - me - now - hear - me - now - always here somehow.3In a universe of cells - who is not in jail? Jailers.In a world of hospitals - who is not sick? Doctors.A golden sardine is swimming in my head.Oh we know some things, man, about some thingsLike jazz and jails and God.Saturday is a good day to go to jail.4Now they give a new form, quivering jelly-like,That proves any boy can be president of Muscatel.They are mad at him because he's one of Them.Gray-speckled unplanned nakedness; stinkingFingers grasping toilet bowl. Mr. America wants to bathe.Look! On the floor, lying across America's face -A real movie star featured in a million newsreels.What am I doing - feeling compassion?When he comes out of it, he will help kill me.He probably hates living.5Nuts, skin bolts, clanking in his stomach, scrambled.His society's gone to pieces in his belly, bloated.See the great American windmill, tilting at itself,Good solid stock, the kind that made America drunk.Success written all over his street-streaked ass.Successful-type success, forty home runs in one inning.Stop suffering, Jack, you can't fool us. We know.This is the greatest country in the world, ain't it?He didn't make it. Wino in Cell 3.6There have been too many years in this short span of mine.My soul demands a cave of its own, like the Jain god;Yet I must make it go on, hard like jazz, glowingIn this dark plastic jungle, land of long night, chilled.My navel is a button to push when I want inside out.Am I not more than a mass of entrails and rough tissue?Must I break my bones? Drink my wine-diluted blood?Should I dredge old sadness from my chest?Not again,All those ancient balls of fire, hotly swallowed, let them lie.Let me spit breath mists of introspection, bits of me,So that when I am gone, I shall be in the air.7Someone whom I am is no one.Something I have done is nothing.Someplace I have been is nowhere.I am not me.What of the answersI must find questions for?All these strange streetsI must find cities for,Thank God for beatniks.8All night the stink of rotting people,Fumes rising from pyres of live men,Fill my nose with gassy disgust,Drown my exposed eyes in tears.9Traveling God salesmen, bursting my ear drumWith the dullest part of a good sexy book,Impatient for Monday and adding machines.10Yellow-eyed dogs whistling in evening.11The baby came to jail today.12One more day to hell, filled with floating glands.13The jail, a huge hollow metal cubeHanging from the moon by a silver chain.Someday Johnny Appleseed is going to shop it down.14Three long strings of lightBraided into a ray15I am apprehensive about my future;My past has turned its back on me.16Shadows I see, forming on the wall,Pictures of desires protected from my own eyes.17After spending all night constructing a dream,Morning came and blinded me with light.Now I seek among mountains of crushed eggshellsFor the God damned dream I never wanted.18Sitting here writing things on paper,Instead of sticking the pencil into the air.19The Battle of Monumental Failures raging,Both hoping for a good clean loss.20Now I see the night, silently overwhelming day.21Caught in imaginary webs of conscience,I weep over my acts, yet believe.22Cities should be built on one side of the street.23People who can't cast shadowsNever die of freckles.24 The end always comes last.25We sat at a corner tables,Devouring each other word by word,Until nothing was left, repulsive skeletons.26I sit here writing, not daring to stop,For fear of seeing what's outside my head.27There, Jesus, didn't hurt a bit, did it?28I am afraid to follow my flesh over those narrowWide hard soft female beds, but I do.29Link by link, we forged the chain.Then, discovering the end around our necks,We bugged out.30I have never seen a wild poetic loaf of bread,But if I did, I would eat it, crust and all.31From how many years away does a baby come?32Universality, duality, totality. . . . one.33The defective on the floor, mumbling,Was once a man who shouted across tables.34Come, help flatten a raindrop.Written in San Francisco City PrisonCell 3, 1959- Jail Poems, pg.

  • Meg
    2018-10-11 22:45

    No matter how many times I read this collection, or really anything by Kaufman, I fall in love again. He should be a better known Beat poet than he is, but his lack of fame has its own endearing quality.The music in Kaufman's work is stunning and the politics thought-provoking. The imagery and use of language always has me rereading and wishing that there was more.

  • A
    2018-10-09 20:00

    Having lived in San Francisco in the 1970s, I would see Bob Kaufman every now and then on the streets of North Beach and at different events. I love the title of this book and Kaufman's way with words.

  • James Tracy
    2018-10-20 16:48

    For all the time I spend reading and writing overtly political poetry, I always return to this surrealistic, playful, morose, amazing poet. Kaufman was one of the Beats who never received the attention he deserved. Didn't help he spent years in a Buddhist vow of silence. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he may be only one of two Blacks from the beat generation to be published.

  • Ned
    2018-10-06 20:10

    I see & hear this homeless man, shuffling the streets, following his own mutterings, & he will not look me in the eye & does not care to know me.

  • J.C.
    2018-10-15 22:08

    What a trip. Abomunist manifesto and following poems funnier than expected. I love how imaginative his poems are, and how tight- all of them come and go, never feeling drawn out or fading away. Read it aloud and you can hear the music to the words. A great collection of poetry, well worth the experience.

  • Oscar
    2018-10-06 23:09

    Jazz poetry at its finest and I can feel where some other Beats licked their riffs off of. In the "Poems" section, the music is all in the lines and the language so Kaufman doesn't have to throw his lines all over the page to affect musicality, he just lets them roll on their own beat and effect their own drones and tones. "Second April" switches off into stanza sections set in newspaper style justified blocks of prose-imagery that chronicles the speaker's stint in rehab. The account is chilling but never falls into self-pity (from the speaker or from the reader) thanks to its anchored speech. "Abomunist Manfifesto" is a straight trip. Invented and re-imagined history with the just-concocted language directly aimed at the current political system is the height of poetic satire that modern experimental/performance/academic/slam poets are still aspiring to reach.This feels like the kind of poetry collection I am going to have to revisit more than once.

  • Ralowe Ampu
    2018-10-10 17:10

    this might be the real deal. i don't think i can, nor would bob kaufman perhaps, suggest any comparison between himself and luis gongora. the san francisco that exists now is actively trying to destroy a kind of street culture that just doesn't want what you want. running between cars screaming his poems at commuters, constantly running in with the cops: it's a mode of being that i don't want to fetishize but i also want to hold its significant refusal and its demand for possibilities that do seem currently completely foreclosed in all this tech shit. i didn't know what to make of the manifesto at the end, but then i got the general improvisational maneuver and how it can source a counter-hegemonic tendency.

  • Heath
    2018-09-23 14:48

    Bob Kaufman was the prototypical beatnik. A former merchant marine, Kaufman befriended beat lions such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg -- and, while he didn't produce as much published poetry as either -- lived a life perhaps more beat. These poems were written when he wasn't immersed in either of his two vows of silence, and they're largely appreciative odes to bebop jazz and related topics. From LA to North Beach, with stops in New York, Kaufman's a poet worth perusing. "Life is a saxophone played by death," he wrote. The Abomunist Manifesto, perhaps my favorite series of poems in this volumem, seems highly inspired by surrealism.

  • Brendan
    2018-10-02 21:03

    Rating: 3 1/2Introduction by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. A lot of references to jazz and the Beats. Some good material, but also some slides into gibberish and excessive weirdness. Favorites:"Hart....Crane""Song of the Broken Giraffe""The Eyes Too""Still Further Notes Dis- and Re- Garding Abomunism" - Jesus ChristMulberry-eyed girls in black stockings,Smelling vaguely of mint jelly and last night's bongo drummer- "Bagel Shop Jazz"I love him because his eyes leak.- "Ginsberg"Angry motives scrambling for seating space,Shaking their fist at the moon.- "Boms"

  • Curt Hopkins Hopkins
    2018-10-05 19:51

    Reading Kaufman was like reading the Beat poets for the first time again, but his was a voice that continued to sound, that was a bit distant from the party aspect of the movement. Why he isn't as well known as Corso at least is beyond me.

  • Seven
    2018-10-12 17:12, no...exciting...

  • Malik
    2018-10-22 17:52


  • Jason
    2018-10-12 19:51

    Read this sometime in university. I don't remember too much other than the fact that it seemed to have been a good experience.

  • Todd Kalinski
    2018-10-20 18:57

    Bob Kaufman can write. Poetry. The 'Second April' chapter of verse you can play drums to...A quick read, a well worthy read.