Here’s what the critics have to say:
—John Strausbaugh, author of Black Like You and Sissy Nation“CW writes like he put his thumb in the air on some two-lane American highway that used to be an Indian Trail, where he got picked up by God. Like he has come back to the fire in the woods we have gathered around at the end of the world with our loved ones to tell us what he saw.
—Andrew Huebner, author of We Pierce, American By Bloodand East of Bowery
With prose unfurling like cigarette smoke bleeding into that cloud of half-forgotten memories forever shadowing missed opportunities that hangs over a noonday dive somewhere during the twilight of the last blown century, heartbreak rock-n-roll on the radio crackling in exquisite precision between am stations and windswept interstates, Carl Watson daydreams before silent black-and-white televisions in SRO lobbies or as he drinks himself sober in crumbling Chicago tenements. Backwards the Drowned Go Dreaming explodes the bleary-eyed myth of the American road.
—Donald Breckenridge, author of This Young Girl Passing
Carl Watson’s work is desolate poetry. He writes with sharp nostalgia for a past that really wasn’t all that great. It feels like a stay in a down-and-out motel, but right on the other side of the paper-thin wall is transcendence. Watson never lets you forget that even in the most desperate situations, there is humor (even if it’s mostly black) and greatness of the spirit. —Emily XYZ, United States of Poetry