Art Garfunkel is many things. He is singer, actor, teacher, poet, and overall folk legend. His career as wide-ranging and influential as it is, Garfunkel is a handful of artist who could release actually interesting memoirs looking back on their career.
What Is All But Luminous, Garfunkel’s recently released memoir, is in fact actually interesting, but not for the reasons you might expect. Instead of the typical shape a memoir takes—a discursive narrative that tracks an artist or otherwise important person’s life from beginning to end—Garfunkel collected various writing snippets, travel notes, and ruminations regarding his once collaborator Paul Simon.
The Stranger describes it as such: “Luminous lies somewhere between a mischievous subversion of rock star autobiographies and an ‘Oh, shit! My book’s due tomorrow!’ notebook scraper. There’s no shortage of poem fragments, sexual braggadocio, and reading lists, but every time he gets close to being fully interested in a perspective, he digresses. Also, it’s a bit hard to read because the font is a digital version of his handwriting.”
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One highlight of those poem fragments includes an apparent ode Garfunkel wrote to marijuana. It regards the fleeting epiphanies one might have while consuming marijuana and melancholically wishing to recall them. It reads:
—The trouble with pot, said a doctor I know,
is: the insights, the color, quite wonderful—
are like fireworks…there and gone…
points in time…last year’s clouds
It doesn’t approach Tom Petty’s appreciation of marijuana, but it’s a good start.