The Beautiful Chemical Waltz


108 pages
ISBN 0-919754-36-8
DDC C811'.54






Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta and
author of Calling Texas.


At their best, Artie Gold’s poems are insouciant and spontaneous
comments on life, love, and poetry, with abrupt and surreal metaphors
and brilliant phrases to raise them above the level of journal entries.
His stylistic variety is impressive: every sort of line length is used
at one time or another, and the diction varies from the obscene to the
sublime. He has learned a great deal about casualness from the American
poet Frank O’Hara, but he is preoccupied with playing the role of a
poet, while O’Hara was not. Gold is comparatively self-conscious,
which occasionally creates a grating tone. Gold’s perils are glibness
and, in his recent work (like the “R.W.” sequence that ends the
book), sentimentality, the soft underbelly of his hip cynicism. The
early work seems to have more energy than the more recent efforts. But
this collection is thoroughly entertaining, for browsing or reading
straight through.


Gold, Artie., “The Beautiful Chemical Waltz,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,