Steven Leonardo Clifford on “A Trip into the Mad Mind of A.J. Kaufmann”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA A.J. Kaufmann, the underground poet and musician from Poland, showcases the album: “A Trip into the Mad Mind of A.J. Kaufmann” And that’s precisely what you’ll experience here. This album features lyrics akin to poetry, or is poetry at its finest, particularly psychedelia, brought to the forefront of melodies and beatnik beats. This is a departure from his prior album’s traditional pop, “Second Hand Man.” “A Trip into the Mad Mind of…” is the brand of Kaufmann’s bizarre and mind-warping writing you’ll expect from his poetry. “When the night keeps sailing on/ On her broken sails/ Her lights keep shining for/ Drifters old and pale…” This line from the track, “Love For Sale Again.” is isolated, a statement made from the void. The visual is self-sustaining, concentrated, not needing to reference anything outside itself to be experienced. Kaufmann creates an atmosphere that’s effortlessly enterable, the current seducing you. “Under The Radiant Moon” is the best example of this. The speaker embodies the moon itself, going through its variants, getting stranger along the way: “I’m a city angel…I’m the new Sinatra…I’m a beggar’s corner full of dirty talk…I’m the aging playwright running out of stars…” especially with the line, “I’m a cocaine evening…” The particular shade of that feeling is instantly colored, even if you’ve never touched the stuff. We all know how it feels to enjoyed something for too long, and the buggy tune helps to exaggerate that feeling. We sometimes override guilt to indulge for a little while longer, the spirit of the track. You’ll find lines of poetic density and artistry littered throughout this joint. Its funky sound is their lubricant. The music animates this poetry, and without it, this would be a silent, solitary reading. You simply absorb it, as if from another source, or world, A.J. Kaufmann’s.
(Steven Leonardo Clifford, 2013/08/05)

Steven appeared in the poetry journals, Eviscerator Heaven, Calliope Nerve and Asbestos Boots on Beatnik Feet. He was the only poet to have appeared in the New York-based political blog, Queens Politics, and was featured in The Camel Saloon. He’s been published in See Spot Run, a print magazine in Alma College, Michigan, that recently expanded into the creative community.