Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Bob Perelman


Credo in a kind of

American jewish Hamlet-like

bagel, too round for action

yet leavened enough by contact

with the near-dead past--you call it

landscape, I call it history--to provide

a layered vantage.  Round

yet curiously unconscious in the center

as if problems with royal parentage might

be dissolved by fanatic attention to 

ideological festschrifts.  Heart beats,

mind overflows, whose news is this?  Turn,

turn again, spread a minimum of

cream cheese, feed desire its

networks.  A you for all

our little secrets.  But if I have to

vote, kneel, root, fax & already feel,

as opposed to an unrehearsed life, well,

slide over a few inches & we'll nudge

each other's public.  Not the

heresy of paraphrase, not the heresay

of phrase, but a general agreement

to differ from ourselves.

© 1996