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featured poets & artists


simon perchik

simon perchik is a lawyer and poet who's work has appeared in the partisan review, poetry, the nation, north american review, beloit, colorado review, denver quarterly, southern humanities review, osiris, the small pond magazine, the new yorker, among others. his latest book, published on Split/Shift is The Autochthon Poems (2001). check out his web site (created by his 14-year-old grandson) at http://www.geocities.com/simonthepoet/ or e-mail him simon@hamptons.com.


From that first wave, ruined
wobbling on its back half weeds
half bottomsong, tormented the way clouds

still fill with seawater then veer
into twilight --it took the darkness
though you bend best you can

sifting the damp sand
as if you forgot something
--in the dark it's hard to keep your hands

from running aground, stranded
palms up, one to test for rain
the other for picking up small stones

already soft, almost empty
and between your lips
overtaking the dry endless cry

on its climb toward kisses and pieces
--one hand kept empty to cradle your mouth
the other drifting into lullaby.



You fold one hand as if the wall
left without you, is crumbling
and this love note
beginning to yellow the way flowers
lead back the dead, the lips, a mouth

--between these bricks and morning
one hand reaches down
loosening another stone all night carried
from the skyline and back

as if it were used to moonlight, has trapped
a summer evening, a heaviness, the moss
almost familiar, the breasts, the cold.


Once into its slow climbing turn
you lick the thermometer bare
see your reflection half sunlight

half leaning over --to drain
you roll on your side while the nurse
listens with her soft hand

for clouds, sifts your cheek for its shade
and you make your descent
mouth open from rust and glass

--you bite your tongue so the canopy
stays red from the stench, stunned
by the flash and thunder though the nurse

won't hear the raindrops
breaking open on your forehead, the sweat
that won't let you cool or land.









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