In Solar Perplexus, Dean Young uses the surreal as the thread which weaves in and out of complications of existence. The result is a textured, honest work that grapples with what it means to love, lose, and hang in the afterward. Suddenly the boundaries of our everyday are shaken—and yet instead of being thrown off balance, our understanding is cracked open. Young holds us between un/reality, tracing the circle of life and death, and exposing the true closeness between extremes. It is this true intimacy that both unsettles and comforts. Solar Perplexus turns identity on its head as it questions self (against) control, with each eerily familiar moment of humor punctuated with an inevitable doubt.
“Young has always stood out for his sharp humor, boundless poetic energy, and sheer readability. If adventurous poetry can sometimes feel like a tenuous tightrope walk, Young’s poems feel more like zip lines.” ―Boston Globe
“No matter how surreal the images Young conjures are, or how unexpected their associations, they are always rooted to an emotional truth, so that in his poetry we recognize both the scattered external world around us, and our equally discordant internal lives.” —Rain Taxi
“This book reads like a long, breathless thank-you for life’s seemingly random jumble of beauty, strangeness, tenderness and joy.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Young has mastered his own style and way of thinking in poems. Only a rare poet can make a reader simultaneously cry and laugh this way.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Young’s amiable Dadaism kindly and gently shows us the desperation and oblivion visible in good poetry. For all his comedic effects, there’s some serious work being done here. Young’s work withstands and encourages such serious treatment.” ―Boston Review
“Mr. Young knows that to be truly reverent, the poet needs to be irreverent… But for all his humor and linguistic jazz, Mr. Young doesn’t shun the big questions.” ―New York Times
“The poems always seem to be flying away―from easy sense making, from themselves, from us. It’s almost as if they are birds. And, as birds, most of them soar well above the seed-pecked fields of contemporary poetry.” ―Coldfront