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A Flower Bursting From
My Head © Dee Rimbaud

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Simon Perchik [since 2003] is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Rafts (Parsifal Editions) is his most recent collection. Family of Man (Pavement Saw Press) is scheduled for Fall 2008. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website.

"Whoever reads my work will early on recognize that it comes from a source intended to compliment the real world. There is nothing surrealistic in my poems. But poetry, to be effective, needs more than a restatement of reality; it needs magic. And it is that magic, the illusion that gives the work whatever power it has. It is that power that distinguishes poetry from prose."


Leave it to the lumber company
—every December the same snowlit barn
—another calendar and already
a clean bedspread is covering
the invisible windows, the mourners
room to room and near the blocked door
the same tree dying in the cold

—with both hands you move its sun closer
lift its rope-ends gathered together
—you almost make a knot
hold back the tree from leaving
from growing those prizewinning sizes
and row after row tract houses
each evening lit by a child half pony
half reaching up for apples.

A new calendar—just what you need
for the wall you never find time to patch
—one nail should do it
and you make a hammer from the year ahead.

It's June, still snowing
and though no flowers bloom
the barn's only door has opened, the hay
slowly green again, making friends with you
following the way each hillside never lets go
reaches out and every year higher

—these same drifts
once the wingfeathers from gusts
half hooves, half snow and in your arms
the days, the steadied, softly held together.

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This page last updated 2008.6.13