[Before this door had a chance], Simon Perchik

Marilyn Higginson, Stone #2, Raku


Before this door had a chance
your eyes crushed it though the thud
infected only one lid, staggers across

as if its fever was enough to burn down
your forehead trying to stay open
for the fire with nothing in it

and lift you from beneath
–it’s a small place, a few walls
a mountain hanging from a sheet

stained by snow, by corners
each day colder, a valley deeper
cleared for whoever the bed

can carry –your legs pitted from winds
all day scanning your skull
for its madness, for what’s left

where your cheeks opened
for sunlight and melting ice –a nothing bed
the kind you find only with X-rays

when the film dries, shows one side
left in darkness, the other
infected with despair and falling.

Simon Perchik


Review by Michael T. Young

I’ve been an admirer of Perchik’s poetry for some time and all 3 of the poems in this issue bear the mark of his teasingly brilliant poems. They are poems that, in the best tradition of surreal poetry, defy reductionist interpretations while remaining suggestive of a rich diversity of meaning. The first 2 of these untitled poems hint at love stories behind them, that “constant fear it’s her name/that falls from the night sky” or “the last drop falling through her arm/as a single word – Mickie! louder, louder/and you hold hands, go on drowning.” With the drowning, the earthquake and walls, the despair and falling that inflict all 3 of these poems there is trauma and pain being confronted but confronted without sentimentality. It is a remaking and a reimagining of the reality of those despairs into art, a form of salvation and reanimation.

I’ve always loved the way Perchik’s poems transform from moment to moment through acceptable irrationalities as a doorbell “smelling your sweat,” or a bed sheet that becomes “the stream pouring from each stone fountain.” Each moment of reflection finds an adequate anchor in an enlarging image and which in turn yields another reflection and so on until the resolution finds itself in what one can only call an exaltation of pure imagination.

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