“The esoteric and the exoteric co-exist in a B-Movie carnival of noir nocturnes where mortality is pondered and meaning is plumbed in wry and witty vignettes. Black humor laced with Victorian secrets, the clever conceits and cunning confessions of this Shakespearian steam-punk auteur will have you writhing with pleasure as he articulates his plight. Like Virgil, the venerable Carl Watson takes us on a mystical, mythical tour. Here, hope has been replaced by a sophisticated synthesis of emotions — of despair and delight — in what can only be called a triumph of style.’’—Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, author of Triple Crown: Three Crowns of Sonnets. Employment of the Apes and editor/publisher of Live Mag!
“Carl Watson is a Steampunk Baudelaire, his genius a Last Exit To Nowhere Existentialism of sinisterly exotic thoughts. Both behind and ahead of his time; a futuristic-classicist, Watson’s richly reposited and rescued English language butchers Corporate Clone-Speak , and reveals to us an Adamic namer-poet-seer of the cruelest nightmares slouching our way to be born .”—Alan Kaufman, author of the memoir Drunken Angel and editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.
“In images of great beauty, and play within poetic form, Watson has written a passion play in what might be a meeting between Rimbaud and Donne in a final dream where ‘...sleep can offer both terror and escape’.” —Bonny Finberg, author of Kali’s Day.
“With Astral Botanica Watson goes straight to the heart of writing and the art of poetry giving us within the freedom and confines of that (he)art something few are capable /culpable/comparable of producing: a book that has redefined the parameters of poetic thought and writing. Watson’s poetry and prose share a similar blend of dense, dark, chaotic, surreal and dreamlike qualities and few are as able as he of blurring the lines between pros(e)/cons, poetry, reality and fantasy.’’ —Steve Dalachinsky, author of A Superintendent’s Eyes and The Final Night.
“The poems in Astral Botanica, Carl Watson’s new collection, are hybrid things indeed; like Fabergé eggs with shoe-bombs inside. To give you some idea of what we’re talking about here, imagine an Edgar Poe gene-spliced with J.R. Oppenheimer – the resultant being would be able to fill black holes with gothic musings on ancient sexuality and repressed modernity. Everything is grist for Watson’s mill: Anglo-Saxon epic notions surround Wasteland remnants. What he’s put on the page invites you to think, and in this age of non-thought, that’s art of a very high order.’’ —Ron Kolm, editor of The Evergreen Review and author of Divine Comedy.