The Golden Dot: Last Poems, 1997–2000 (Lithic Press, 2022) is a white-hot summation and extended last word of a poet who was most alone in the company of others and frequently his own worst advocate. The Shelley-infused lyricist, familiar to us from more than a dozen books across forty years, is still in evidence, but there is a newfound clarity and urgency to the work, which is like meeting a long-lost friend after decades apart. It was my pleasure to interview longtime Corso compatriots and editors Raymond Foye and George Scrivani, who have accomplished the heroic task of transforming the fluid manuscript Corso left into the poignant collection we have here. Like many folks from New York City’s poetry community, I knew Corso had a final great book in him, but I doubted the unrepentant hellraiser would ever pull it off.
Note: The youngest foundational Beat is having a revival. After a folio of new poems appeared a few months ago in The Brooklyn Rail, the full collection from which they were excerpted has arrived, and it couldn’t be more of a surprise — and a delight.