LSD GIGGLES by Jeremiah Walton

This is a remarkable work by a very talented, young author. Regardless of one’s opinion of the use of LSD, this book is well worth reading for its quite startling insights expressed in a confident, at times deeply beautiful verse style. That style is certainly reminiscent of the Beat authors, especially Allen Ginsberg. This influence is candidly acknowledged and, in my opinion, handled with a fair amount of restraint and skill. To some, this may seem like a flaw but I think it’s healthy for writers to look to those who came before them for inspiration. “There is nothing new under the sun” is a venerable old proverb. The key is to DO something new with what we have and Mr. Walton is clearly moving in that direction. While this book may have a lot of Beat about it, there are some tantalizing moves to different, more individual places. My favorites from the book, “LSD Theory Of Interconnectivity” and “Psilocybin” may be superficially Ginsbergesque but they have an intriguing clinical quality, a slightly cold objectivity that Ginsberg would rarely go for. In that sense, they remind me more of T. S. Eliot. This combination renders some real poignancy and a nice moment or two of humor. While this effect is most concentrated in these two poems, it turns up in smaller bursts throughout the book. Even when the Beat influence is more pronounced, the lines are usually so beautiful I didn’t really care! Several of these pieces would probably be even more powerful read aloud and I found myself saying them softly and often appreciating them even more as a result. Bottom line, this is a fine book in its own right and for the suggestions of what this author might well produce in the future.

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