Sunday, July 12, 2009

About Idiolects

The text below does not use the type font Monaco which is a fixed width font. If these poems interest you, please send for the pdf version of Idiolects which is the "trued" or intended form. This text is, then, a placeholder only.

Idiolects of Silence (Unformatted)



Grateful acknowledgement is made to the editors
and publishers of the publications in which
some of these poems first appeared :


“Imperatives of Address”, “October”, “Orbit Viaticum”, “Incomplete Account For”, “valor of Remorse”, “Mysterium of Anything Conceive”, “Late December on the Housatonic”, Despite the Facts Amid”, “Playful up Against”, and “For DG” originally appeared as IMPERATIVES OF
ADDRESS, published by LEAVE books in 1992.

“The Turning”, “Shivaree”, “Everything Speaks of Renunciation”, “How fathom This Matter”, “Inveterate”, and “The Rose Lords It” appeared in Abacus # 101 in 1996 as part of PREPONDERANCE OF THE PULL OF PARADISE.

“As With Novalis & Klee” appeared in EDWARD JOHN, published by tel-let Press in 1998.

24450 Sisters Lane
Millsboro, DE 19966

© 2009 John Perlman


1 A-sallying
2 Allayed Rarest Star Kiss Young
3 & once before dawn
4 AR .... STAR .... STAR ... STA
5 As With Novalis & Klee July 4th Afternoon
6 The Asymmetry of Speaking Subjects
7 By Father’s Edict Suddenly
8 Despite the Facts Amid
9 Everything speaks of renunciation
10 Five Farenheit
11 For Dale Zheutlin — Sculptor in Clay
12 For EF’s New Book
13 For Our Anniversary
14 Grandmotherly
15 Gravamen of manumission
16 The hagiographies of dementia
17 Hiatus in the hieratic
18 The Hierodule’s Apologue
19 How fathom this matter
20 Imperatives of Address
21 In the booming of the human
22 Incomplete Account For
23 In the third year after
24 Inveterate
25 Late December on the Housatonic
26 Mysterium of Anything Conceive
27 October
28 Orbit Viaticum
29 Ostensive Intimate Placeholders
30 Playful up against
31 Precipitates the appalled transgressions
32 Preterit Prayer of Supplication
33 Regalia of the world & person
34 Shivaree
35 Some way out of the body
36 The rose lords it
37 The turning always the excursus
38 These thresholds crossed
39 Tone Rows for SE
40 Valor of Remorse
41 Voyager
42 We keep carrying inscriptions
43 What constitutes the turning to
44 What measure of the days
45 What’s become an inconceivable
46 Whatever Sending Back Your Way
47 Wrong ? to grieve at the first
48 Yes, edward john
49 Your personal world echoes
50 Zhang’s
51 Zealotries




A-sallying forth begininings a
howl homes thru homelessness a
space of echo seeking echoes a
wayward castaway until ahead a
quavavering brilliance seems a
brutal spume of blazing eyes a
squall of incandescent flesh a
seething smile chattering at a
dazzling shattering of bones a
neveverever done a-wandering a
darkark furling sail adrift be


A starmap imperious lines of force broadcast dream
the full extant expanse of happenstance connective
tissue sap in a jar the itch self-snitch dalliance
in field of poison ivy forced our way through true
touch-me-not admixture of jewelweeds yellow orange
bloom folk curative for those thus inflamed in our
daughter’s youth fairy purse seeds spurting at her
touch salve soothes open sores stole tender-footed
disrobing at a concave pool below a shelving shale
scaled to a couple’s throne love’s regency deposed
undetected interregnum of indeterminate extent two
shadow beings water crowns as winds sough courtesy
thru pine low light brims in cupped palm cherished
chalice lifted to my lips then I at you arrive all
circumference streaming whither June day ages soon
impatiens’ insouciance flanks gate grins dusk home

& once before dawn
birdsong abandoned
birdthroat flowers
rocketed from stem
new grass launched
itself from soil &
the rains returned
to clouds thinning
into sky the skies
quitting earth the
earth disowned its
orbit shrinking to
the dire anonymity
of space the sun &
galaxies one ink &
all our overnights
all valediction we
awoke eyes shut to
murmur how bizarre
our dreamings dews
of gluts & dearths
forsaking memories
in darkness lip to
lip adytum of this
troth our word all
air the single air
remains to breathe
to whisper breathe
please breathe
please breathe


Salt stain spans the sweatband of his hat
motel neon intermittent splash of letters
over lenses less than words he turns away
precedence of nightfall town gone ghostly
crude with atrophy derelict bar oblivious
motive shattered mirror overturned chairs
pooltable tedium headlamps of a car spill
shadows down an alley fingers lure a door
swallows him our abject gape of anonymity


Of sense to chaos mystery to the ordinary dignity
of doubt to fact the seal of eternity in ephemera
actual direction of journeying becoming any where
our pathos turned to ethos question no longer ‘to
move there’ but being ’fully here’ & consequently
wholly ‘there’ a baby born in times of war rumors
of wars sufficing anathema of all contentiousness
worldwide till aged sun embraces earth in fire to
arrive at the spectral color circle where all our
parting is superfluous newborn grandfather dreams
himself most detestable of partisans exiled in no
man’s land who would not could not choose between
the sides issue of a star among stars his voice a
whisper in congress of voiceless miracle pitiable
laughable inept inarticulate his praise but truth
enough against all who dare deride such sorrowing
for others likewise solitary eye travels on paths
limned in the work heart & mind pilgrim & shrines
identical pure mobile form liquidation of gravity
unprecedented laws new symbols signifying freedom
worthy of censure worthy of anonymity yoked happy
to just deserts but spare this child of his child
as the entire lineage was somehow spared & may he

know no world where love of man’s a vulture’s beak

mirrored in mist the nightlights of incendiaries a

cricket’s song beneath the grass at the rivermouth


The asymmetry of speaking subjects
the paradox that when one breaches
the frontier of language ruinously
dealing with the incorporeal utter
absurdity subsists in language the
adumbrated attributes inarticulate
things viz. nature itself that hue
& cry what of truth dreary droning
of delirium waves of cicada tempos
tied to temperature surface traces
of unintelligible willfulness that
subterranean durance brought forth
apparent random integers prefigure
no denominator to accord the sorry
human quest for oracle beleaguered
hallucinations fiendish burlesques
of inert vocables honorifics of an
alleged common tongue whose augury
the potent precedent act embodying
a whole cosmology the flights vast
insuperable time indeterminate the
vectors without terminal so little
mastery of utterance no encounters
uninhabited by wanting singularity
the burden or the consolation part
or plenitude at the heart of words
or heart of life fact or intuition
sheer lack of legible prophecy the
abject doubleness vitiating either
pole with quavering doubt that the
store of words eternally will fall
behind things awaiting names brute
ambiguity of inchoate fragile deed
ephemeral fluent angels of shadows
designating neither cloud nor rock
diabolized by orthodox incredulity
inexorable litany of admonitions a
borderline between anxiety & stark
havoc history as the chronicle the
traceries of a pathological dearth
of wherewithal subject to the arch
revisions of contemporaneous taint
bodily scored by rumor scribing on
ineffable air an air of imperially
pious certitude persuaded intimate
annunciation’s coeval with acclaim
usurping power to acknowledge true
messiahs could have better choices
made were universe not impotent to
proof were voices loosed from sour
tongue a sky forgiven of its echos
sun its mirroring stone its pathos
waiting to be struck to chant dull
passage of exile fools in guise of
pilgrim obsessed by footfalls were
there one incontestable feat could
annul all desperate gibberish that
all arrive at common silencings so
might flesh stream into flesh none
undone in word for superseding g-d


Banished to the corner his
milk exploded on the table
when the glass turned over
mother with a cloth to sop
it up only an accident her
worst rebuke two disgusted
syllables in dear he joins
a zoo of creatures trapped
in paint-cracks both their
shouts careening from that
silence at his back asking
who’s cruel who’s kind who
will teach good manners as
he calms his animals don’t
be sad they don’t know why
they’re mad I promise some
day you’ll get out of walls


Fears echoing landfall
cloudcover heteroclite
innuendos unseen waves
palpating shore sordid
bravado susurrus of an
unnerved heart notions
flailing inconstancies
of scars unfleshed the
jeopardies ulterior to
proof discords of eyes
inadequate axioms full
credulities marred for
wanting the perplexity
persists as if an agon
posed inchoate choices
equally ludicrous with
no plausibly consoling
third alternative isle
of unregenerated dream
nullifying consequence
or isolate verbosities
vagrant ultimatums who
exact subservience not
unlike a man who never
wakes from waking sure
his outcry sways a sea

Everything speaks of renunciation as you walk
shafts of sunlight strike the sidewalk thru a
gap in late leaves in this empire cartography
attained perfections innumerable differencing
of want & the ancient lineage of resurrection
of desire well good luck then in your travels
now they knew recourse to fate was futile but
the swiftly shrinking figure had already gone
beyond fidelity of form & the silence left no
analog no memorial lingua franca an aftermath
diminished to a mute allusiveness a name that
only culled the semblance of a face incognito
the parted departed & the partings multiplied
thus exponentially into their single distance
dwindling & the shifting of the light recalls
to each the cardinal hues of temperament this
red recasting of the stroke of flesh or one’s
anachronistic smile bluely offered as if true
artifact recognition of communities of wrongs
or amber darkening in surfeit of done days in
own hands own splayed fingers raised to plumb
commonplace of worlds beyond that vacant gaze
odd map precarious sentiment o consummate fool


Snow swirled
on Air knits
Nothing with
Nil one avid
Seedstalk of
bronze Beads
in Winter on
a dwarf Palm
in the House
twining Cold
& Memory Sun
in Jamaica a
daily Rosary
of jade Bead
seablue Bead
skyblue Bead
Bead of Dusk
Bead of Dawn
Jah Birdsong
Namu Kanzeon
Ave Maria Ah
turning Bead
O irie Earth


For stone is master and all creatures
earth’s futility crying for a miracle

as in the dawn-lodge of the White-one
the fourth asked only life for a life
unending and when his prayer had been
conceded he who began his quest alone
by other seekers joined along the way
was transformed to stone only in this
way may such a passionate petition be
affirmed as finally the abiding stone
reclaims each life but not that stone
extort iniquitous sacrifice of hope a
sneering spew of fossil bones exhumed
by wind and rain unendurable scope of
unaccountable breaths to the power of
infinity addressed or rays of the sun
bowing outward already carrying image
of spent fire sullen stone in a mouth
of ash incarnate ruin O endlessly may
life from senseless stone astound the
song resounding out of stone on stone
as in a hand a blow descends as spark
escapes its shroud silent invocations
immeasurably remote as silhouettes of
hands charcoal’d on wombs of stone in
firelight questing after life undying
pulsing of the earth and sun the hand
tracing a face in holy flesh of stone
mouth echoing prayers miraculous pair
of eyes alight abiding in the body of


Even to know
what is ours




but what aspect loose
day’s light provident

rising of a minor mode
of dawn impulsively we

do not
die we

who to say

lip to lip incomparable flutes
our silence yields a note cold
silver of the breaths concerns
us all we are no wiser but who


who offering
the likeness

gives us


Invitations are the only
thing I want or need but
no thing survives writer
writing nor reader voice
on air nor the axiomatic
reiterations perdurables
that suffice for truth a
memory as shared as most
a dead crow in the grass
a child puzzling silence
stiff flesh the feathers
intricate flightlessness
clouded eyes engendering
an ur-escape the mystery
first to shake the thing
awake sprinkle holywater
from a gardenhose & then
on grassbed in a shoebox
asking mother what to do
to make it live again so
silent she became to say
that word so circumspect
the bird within the bird
that mounting to another
greater & intangible sky
where all flights boy or
bird forever soar & that
the earth must have this
other bird so grass grow
taller greener what else
calms dream resurrection
outlasts flesh the words
the voiceless words that
echo of my mother’s eyes
the first time death did
share her breath passing
from her lips her feeble
invitation to a tale she
hoped some truth somehow

I love you proves enough


planting lilacs
in the backyard

& every year past
lilac flower fall
we’d walk through
streets of houses
heart-form leaves
merged with green
leaf arcing roofs
& windows walls &
doors of unknowns
pure processional
number altogether
born of zeros but
the lowly ciphers
of the 2 & 3 most
perfume such sums
of lilacs perfect
product as if one
has vanished into
memories a memory



Scolding with
his own words

I continually tell
puzzled people why
I might balk at an
opening of my code
some formal values
irreducibility but
it’s that trespass
of the margins the
unsayable specific
I don’t give seems
basic depreciating
everything’s hinge
impetus position’s
voice played space
declarative regard
entirely shifted a
way current trends
but I don’t I’m no
I refer I’m talked
I would have to be
I just I leave you
grafted onto dares
define another all

Gravamen of manumission each breath
our penultimate slough of tissue of
worlds of ? polyandrous predication
suppliants aleatorical auditions in
plenary solitudes anchorites dogged
dowries of vow encomiasts virtuosos
of pious incredulity fanatical rasp
keeners smug derision ghoul dithers
profligates miscreants carious scum
babe dove lamb abject absconded god


The hagiographies of
dementia hagride the
irenics of erinyes a
gravamen of oddments
abcesses of fugues a
vocation in ignominy
precipitates belated
shams for succedanea
smugly sanctimonious
exempt unexceptional
the manumission done
mewling full erasure

Hiatus in the hieratic head
rents in the whole cloth of
memory a path through dunes
among baybush & beach plums
into wild hibiscus fissures
in the mission of the sun &
earth no recollections when

commenced the layering sheens
of eons pooling immobility on
aquamarine wing-feathers body

of a hummingbird arrayed the most
magnanimous of frozen moments the
footprints of arrivals faded from
the sand & of departing traceless
flesh forgiven gravities pellucid
quaverings on wind they wedded to
vermilion of a shaft of sun shred
clouds beyond horizon earth again

its motions moon

retrieve its arc


It jarred as if phasmophobic
fleers his hands bowed wings

a posteriori circumambulating
flesh indelible prints breath

brushed & held leapt to the
chance inimitable inamorata

a life of
their own
beyond an
unisons a


long before the crow slid
off the topbranch of blue
pine black of its gliding
charred across gray cloud

ears spurned heartwails
colorless somnambulants

freight the burdens winds
a wound exquisite schisms

How fathom this matter in-
comprehensibility measures
a lover’s moans or mind to
glean quarantines of agony
portray some common ground
until ground founders each
submersed in ardor oceans’
adoration of the shores no
surf overmasters sandswirl
in the undertows dustmotes
in a shaft of sunset where
they sit immobile share an
incommunicable buoyancy in
first communion with first
star past canopy of leaves
whatever bounds of bravery
to seek identity beyond an
act of flesh this eyesight
in lastlight conjure dream
or dread address addressed
to incredulities as if and
always only as if you were
here outside impossibility
that the tip of the tongue
encounter sweet far tongue
tastes beyond this panoply
of suns a word you’ll know


Consider this most self
effacing commonplace an
erased erasure pleasure
feathering sleep within
sleep unsuspected glory
spread peacock fan null
memory coveting some ur
progenitor itself prong
of sprung oblivion fire
scorch flesh ghost calm
beyond the spurting tip
savor of the scent mine
own spun round at sound
footfalls of an absence
no one walks but you it
mocks by pathos even to
allude to rigor lost in
retrogression’s trope a
reverie of ash unlashes
heart I heard a screech
of pain no mouth loosed
your face present in an
ignorance mine & mine a

In the booming of the human head
impoverishments garbled & garbed
in a surfeit of inertia oddments
stubs of fervent tongues akin to
lauds pulped nubbins of prophecy
a skewered prayer miscarriage of
a verb’s infirm imperative as if
addressed toward persons present
peculiar cast of morningsun blue
petunias of the window box sleek
silks of garden corn gold tomato
apple tree o stones o earth rain
pools rippling skies in windgust
o mute broadcast of absurdity be
babel’s surety such fecund faith
as finds an adjective sole power
given humankind to alter destiny
the august august locusts’ drone
full recompense cold concordance
of aftermath exquisite horrors of
the husks on leaves pure likeness
to this stunning curiosity tender
shroud of skin conjectures of the
bone unapproachable skull enfolds
the inaccessible short-circuiting
of mind in passion to escape itself o
sweet deliverance o sanctum sanctorum
vacant tomb of echoes of echoes booms


The visual room seemed
like a new vessel with
two aspects entrance &
embrace what actuality
or what defense beyond
expedient retreat mute
unpotable wine in that
the tender syllable of
self-abandonment could
not escape to paint in
fallible cuneiforms in
sweet secrets on edges
of that tongue how one
thinks to conceive see
before the dawnlight’s
newborn supplicant wan
at the window the room
without an owner empty
tho a light outlasting
night presumed another
hand itself perhaps an
absent filament silent
steady burning someone
asked whose house this
is you often doubt how
others manage life the
figure in the window’s
frame that at a second
glance has vanished or
how it was a word came
after saying pain that
has no flesh to verify
whose face had he seen


Progeny of pilgrimage at minimal
momentum candlepower incredulous
dawn scales first afflatus exile
in the blind watchfulness optics
prior to horizon attenuations of
that opulence of paucity spurned
abuse of fool’s vocation archaic
errands erroneous epigene foment
inexplicable ambiguities between
benighted self-scouring paean to
rectitudes of sun’s rebirth true
answer to unbroken vow assiduous
heeding identical to seasurge at
moon’s allure or so reciprocal a
world so pliant to the plaint of
absolute abandonment though only
overnight to steep in dread that
pathos in petition is itself the
gravity communicates a curvature
unto uncanny vacancy another sun
another commonplace a jubilee of
yea bequeath the stately lineage
anonymous prothonotary warblings
traffic swell on highway feet on
sidewalks thoroughgoing alleluia

In the third year after
your illness diminutive
philodendron saved from
a hospital-room bouquet
filling the west window
of my writing room with
twining stems & cordate
leaf philter to my eyes
at first light drink to
health your life robust
precious powers of your
generous root in window
after window you appear
green beloved thrive as
endless fealty & food &
sun I swear water earth
breath we share the air
you can not die can not


The river surging
into his life her
dreams that night
women & men boats
on the current an
amenable diffused
dawnlight smiling
several fragments
of voices carried
on & thru purling
water over stones
exclamatory songs
that praise where
air reports to no
one’s ear shelves
of night-ice snap
& raft the rapids
scattering a mind
reporting tensile
strength of bones
blunt blow to the
skull years after
still his fingers
stroke the wounds
driftwood laid on
sand a cedar root
perfects its eyes

Locality hazard fixed gaze war
or earthquake upside-down moon
why saw eyes
now long ago


great fire dims or can this be
broke likeness to my soul dumb
intimate dupe vacuity amplify
appeal a pittance peep scrawl


patent gnawing tongue encompasses
prompt elation palpable ephemerae
ostensible human cry circumfusing


a man asleep his back against a wall
window cracked above a scarlet maple
leaf blown to his hand formal exalts
makes he myth dolorous protagonist a
composition sunders capacious shades


fealty yoking flagrant rock rhapsodist
gibber doom impromptu staccato founder
hypnotically prodigal infinitesimals
lips across apostrophic flute chance
a collage of deeds this tale do what


spasmodically nothing
naught knows reaching
out garnering lineage
percepts precepts sum
aloof volatility snow
thwart innermost bone


wet with rain
life of ichor



Suffered quandary incipient
enigma of imponderable con-
sequence shoaled where lack
lay flaccid with inertia at
the mute imperative of want
inevitable scythe of stars’
arcing space nightwind moan
whole life solitary migrant
arctic cherishing perfervid
husbandry of fire until no-
thing underfoot but powders
whether snow or ash dreamed
full velocity attaining odd
deformity of pathos lineage
of numbness nulling fingers
voiding history some clement
sea a cloying sun tantalized
by air to fashion lung above
unprecedented parting margin
of eternity breeze to baffle
as if world past world return
pursues the kindling over ice


Moon oblivious
piece reticent
dotard natures
exponential in
westerlies off
shoals blurred
diagonal lines
diffuse & hard
to fathom star
sentinels snow
peak prototype
core plight of
vacancy buffet
belling hollow
tremulous moan
severe shivers
barren torpors
facades of sea
unremitted rim
arch ardors of
departing eyes


--as of John Byrum’s rIMAGE

Flurries substituting for flesh
null jade calm over fabric lies
inevitable stone broad sky case
absolutely phenomenal driven to
notions spiral continuum flying
obliquity placeholders intimate
case driven and objects jade of
error mockery driven endless of
broad sky flying apart variable
jade throughout broad sky weave
inexorable ciphers substituting
fabrics of continua coarse jade
haze broad sky flurries lightly
endless placeholders flying the
notions burnt across broad jade
haze mulled driven variables of
calm sky grains weaves stone an
error fabric of broad sky faces
turning next to endless jade of
margins flying over intimate in
null jade flurries of broad sky

Playful up against a
certain unrequitable
quality in & of this
dawnlight our mutual
indecipherability as
we stood good friend
by good friend at an
opened window breeze
reenacting rain some
encomium in silences
worlds not sieged by
word no right no way
no heart to exercise
an angary on leaf or
bloom’s impartiality
despite the deficits
of eyes you lay your
hand in mine at just
that instant I moved
mine to you unworthy
of that shadowplay a
tracery of aftermath
rested in the far al
lusiveness flesh our
endless disembodying

Precipitates the appalled transgressions in specious
precincts of impropriety proclamations of the soul’s
tawdry imperious fever for ephemeral prerogatives of
flesh choiring mute berserk ideolects of shadow with
superannuated memoirs of amnesia plundering oblivion
& squandered incandescence filling nil with treasure
of departed stars omnifarious Pilot of astonishments
preternatural All grace harbor darkeye spark dumbear
ring past incredulity heart incarnate hallowed heart


O inaccessible incunabula inter
sad agon of our utterance salve
echo of echoes echoing susurrus
outcries stunned by exhortation
in the fossil line irresistible
rebirths bone stroke bone stone
issuing from stones an eggtooth
answering the flint staccato of
a mothering hail unbind orogeny
eyes fledge eyes blind by sheen
of memory on memory defaults of
sight so inlaid in the laminate
of fault on fault the genealogy
of a pitiful recourse of hearts
to fabulous enterprise of words
some potentate forsaking throne
coasts over mountains may these
wingbeats say own name on winds

Regalia of the world & person
equal to first birth of light
initiations of the light each
accomplishing entire universe
in finesse or flaws of vision
pathways seen performing hues
bee disclosing blossoms known
to none just so just so black
bats annihilate the lights of
fireflies do earthworms savor
soil of the garden strawberry
in a raccoon paw sweet scents
of rose arise thru windows of
two women sleeping late might
share the wakening from dream
impossible allusions eyes lit
opening damp with journeyings
sheen of slugs on pavingstone
daylily spread to newborn sun
birdsongs windchimes cosmos ?


Blather whole worlds whirled whorls of blather gloss it
glossolalia the squeal of blithering blistering tongues
irrepressible pestles pestering the tympanum of vacancy
rabble babble of triumphal trismus descanting declivity
of the path haughty penitents at the portcullis gate to
Thanatos stupefying vistas dismal inquisitorial maws at
null self-flagelants fabulists spurting bloods of their
blubbering stumps O fraudulent fidelities pure pustules
consummating topmost echelon of cankerous impiety swill
such jeering gibberish droning doom doom too much O who
who melts away awed by the voiceless timbres of the air

(Love, let’s hosanna them a tune
older than words wilder than all
their goatish howling unh unh ?)

Some way out of the body
a time of loss incurable
inertia baffling even to
breathe demands one heed
the whereabouts of flesh
an inch of hope pivoting
on a promise last breath
drawn annulled imagining
your lips your own flesh
taking on that task last
breaths yours your eyes’
last light arrive inside

The rose lords it over the garden
& appleleaf & dogwood on the hill
multitudinous moments of the year
& of the days overshadow the rose
& cloudforms in the indispensable
sky display the playful light but
what reverberates in the perilous
inversion of the verb disfiguring
divinity as if flesh intermediate
between heaven & earth prove most
select allusion absolute singular
presentation of velocities beyond
our kind & ken perilous too to so
usurp to word prerogatives silent
at the heartless heart of nothing
fast or fixed idiolects of ghosts
spook us with their olden tongues
the leaden dust of shattered bone
relics of fossil tears their dull
miraculous ineptitudes bungling a
bloodline of thorns lachrymose so
praise the rose our lord of fools

The turning always the excursus
into awe an incomprehensibility
scrolls thru as us & yet not us
unforgivable presumption yes of
polycosmic insolence addressing
any other in pluralities of our
persons first & foremost as our
kith some prime complicity that
we would turn to rock turn leaf
or bird or light pure panoplies
of light unprecedented catalogs
of the unattainable suns arisen
past horizons inconceivably far
outer thules of our outer space
incorporate in pathos of our ur
embrace so saying come among us
petitioners’ imperative meek we
an invocation equally addressed
to mote or man magnificence our
gift as fools’ prerogative mute
offering O gods we grant to you
this first returning all are of
this zero circling vacancy & so
we say we say that you & stones
& leaf & light & bird & cloud &
stars are human too our knowing
you our knowing you our knowing

These thresholds crossed neither unimpeachable or
wholly cognizant of consequence as if on own legs
irresistible agency of folly plush lips pursed in
bankrupt mockery of mouth ah power of the jaws of

This day has been with me that first awakening no
provident bedazzlement snowblind at light’s brute
concussion loosing intimate tears of gratitude no
free cruel hand ulterior to flesh savage flash of
proof so ardent to suffer contraction of enormity
to loathing malign shudder at misbegotten prodigy
no he was royally alone aboriginal singular event
none in the street he walked its homes untenanted
suns annulled stars departed awakening to vacancy
no echo of his cry no mothersmile’s curl of earth
no thunder fathering back from day’s abandonments
no blasphemy no tumult of damnation answered ever
no consoling ghost no dreadful dead no immunities
to memory’s infidelities no repudiation no deceit
frozen on the road no word known none conceivable

Solemnities of glacial light processional of avid
residues of equinox as if each and all prayers in
petition each and all mute impotent keening gains
a full apotheosis null flakes of snow absolved of
earths immortals in the fecund zero absolute past
outerspace fervent shoreless voyageurs the minute
flurrying souls infiltrating sancta of cobalt ice


A row of tone drone of bone a memorial ichor waterdrops on stone
cruel scute of scar a stranger’s scrutiny lids his corneas limns
a dream’s disparity fugitive breaths inditing obbligato lifelong
epoch of hypnopedia logomachies of echoes logorrhea of the winds

Occulted as the form mute imperative in the masks of choice onus
probandi to an arch malign inquisitor commencing whither are you
from hero or hellhound avatar or epigone savior scum ? protocols
of egress ? womb or crypt eyrie apiary ? emissary of what doom ?

Birds in the branches inveigling a lachrymose erratic heart lull
in the ruthless transits of the sun & moon omens of onward onset
of stupor symbiont or leech bloodlust or bloodless home or haunt
panopticon of naught newborn nil globe of abyss pearl of bliss ?

& forever flows numen of nubbins twittering nomad incorporeal it
one dream bending to console another one breath soughing through
an inept dreamer’s quailing soul perfect lovers solemnizing holy
wedlock to the hosts of flooding days inundating nights farewell


Into the lair of
concavity malign
consternation an
ecstatic humdrum
reverie effluent
skim of inertial
petulance balked
a quack of blind
recall custodian
of miscast deeds
gratuitous ardor
masquerading for
amends for truth
an etiology icon
of impenitence a
warrior sworn to
flagellation who
rescinds his sin
dosed on the cup
of his own sweet
blood a populace
of shadow stalks
the awful quarry
of a magisterial
amour with inept
agony emerges an
impeccable naive
scent of flowers
absolution of an
artless rain air
so good to lungs


Where today transport of the incommunicable consort of
want & would all ratio universals of decay mathematics
of the steady-state of loss what common flame embedded
in the heart what imperative interrogates the furthest
precincts of the imbecile periplus of folly see within
the priceless terms that cannot disengage from gravity
sum of the ample airs parochialism of the ancient seas
how might the nomad praise our homeland of the defunct
names what ardor for a stone begat such wandering what
hungering apostasy exacts irrevocable apertures of woe
what solace shores trajectory’s curvatures how encased
in pathos to stand accused upon some putative planet &
sole custodian of the lore of otherwhere writhing agon
as a mute tribunal of protoplasm gropes & gouges pokes
& prods one sacrificial hero oozing forth to ascertain
if deity of cosmos proffers provender as true prophecy
sweet sweet gutturals unveil the lineage earth O earth

We keep carrying inscriptions
as if we have no life but for
the names we use so many arch
denials woven of the words im
possibilities of some remoter
realm the going ah the reflex
of the lungs song for sunsets
as premonitory wonderments of
last loss in the final breath
that though a task remains it
scrupulously rejects the soft
mendacious names of heart the
nominations blind inescapable
idolatries of misnomer O love
only if I lie to you may I be
true of course of course such
lineage attenuated exilic our
birthright in betrayals brute
force of weariness & pathetic
figures of a sometime pair of
paramours to stand triumphant
on the apogee of Babel bicker
unto death for title to a jaw
potentate of shams monstrance
of duplicity steadfast breach
of faith the tumult swells to
murmur of the throngs whisper
of the multitude redundancies
of wind sentiments of silence
hush of aftermaths subterfuge
through which a solitary name
remains concealed though each
year since the plight of vows
each spring the gift presents
itself & to her hand & eye is
brought but in the climate of
derision habitat insidious of
invidious scorn O love within
the coverts of prolixity gush
of prattle secretly he offers
xxxxx pith & pardon ardor for
abiding penetralia of tongues


What constitutes the turning to ?
unendurable terror ? a pittance of
powers ? a parabolic sweep ? vista
inaccessible to failing flesh ? an
odious breach of indivisibility an
unregenerate ache or itch ? or who
or what incur or acquiesce to such
an unrelenting excruciate scrutiny
? true reciprocity ? eye deforming
amplitude or aperture of sky ? ear
the wind’s decay ? lips that spurn
the lips’ caress ? indurate duress
? catechist of chaos inquisitor of
stars ? what interrogative returns
transformed ? what guise the light
from dark ? a voice from vacancy ?
the past pour forth its populace ?
birth from death ? a yes from no ?

What measure of the days the words’
axiomatic inadequacy the mind’s old
impoverishment these weary gestures
the elegant minimals of the spindly
elder partnerless at the margins of
the general dance whose signature’s
a few fond steps bereft bereaved of
excess of an excellence of perilous
reward receives a kindly mockery of
youthful praise old fool the stolid
cluckeries of ancient women at this
mangling secret recollections of an
agonizing summoning in heavy ear of
harvests rapt cicadas drone stunned
asceticism of the voluble manifesto
disfigured obsolescence dumb & deaf

What’s become an inconceivable desiring
identical with irresistibility it’s you
who are a voiceless who whose scope’s &
scape’s impossibly remote concoction of
a fool’s catalog of tropes for lack gap
at the base of the skull unfleshed lips
that suck the sight from eyes betraying
sleep a tyranny of hemorrhage tympanums
in tsunami of gibberish tongue a bloody
trophy flayed by flames dessicated with
embracing space beyond the guttering of
stars & gone the mind mind an excrement
in brainless sepulcher a writhing sable
soil an inexhaustible fecundity of fury
champing squealing razorteeth of undead
silence sweet my nuncle dear drear lear

who’s here
here’s who
your whooo

—for MN

This responsorium confesses as
to wishing forward fables of a
shore’s departure free algebra
of the multifarious tongues an
intrigue abstracts needs range
of ears finds rapture’s master
practices of advent impact eye
as note full furnitures of day
as snow collaborate with sight
such parent might of things as
space composes place premieres
entire alphabets of musics new
notations blessing equal store
of spending lives & times long
wests concerted course unknown

Wrong ? to grieve the first frosted posture
of the garden peppers the blasted leaves an
innocent afterimage tantamount to a panoply
of the scars of the whole arc of sun on the
retina of a blind man’s skull evangelist of
the pilgrim spectacle of plausible downfall
viz. in cloaks of mourning mourning morning
whither withered still these upright stalks
skeleton struts of the windchimes of silent
sorrow sorry humility of angels feeble with
refusal at the apertures to heaven above an
earth stunned in stone amnesiacs bound to a
last task after a last breath onus of wings
interrogating destinations of the wind what
use in paradise these tragic shackles wrong
? to hover at a garden window grieving fool
what rhetoric perfects the good deed needed

Yes edward john as this cup passes into
your keeping already you know your name
pivoting your head to question saying’s
source faces meeting eye to eye & smile
for smile as from your lips sweet flood
of syllables brims wine of the names we
must perfect lifelong & truly answer to
but how uphold the name you’ve given me
with proofs of my incompetence my total
inability to spare you heartbreak agony
slavery or fear spirit of my love adopt
you now & ever after I have gone before
my grandson edward john new born to the
light & time whose waking names me abba
& his grandmother closely leans as baba

Your personal world echoes
impossible to see the wall
of bone you’re set against
and your voice returns all
of a sudden another’s woes
disembodied what arrogance
you’ll wake the whole town
shouting the moonrise down
or squealing of the ground
groaning on its axle round
faces in doorways who bawl
abuse appalling condolence
to footfalls fleeing hence

--for RC

Zealotries exposing us
openmouthed astounding
fervors lickerish fool
imperatives uproarious
quirks prodigal whimsy
blinding exploits dire
flight imperiled light
frail impromptu havens
pageants of impostors’
valor rampant ranks of
sinister taboos prison
of unmitigated sorrows

unabated till you
bring your finger

to my mouth
to quiet me


Lists purport to catalogue
the mortifications supreme
glories abominations & fit
matches of the blossoms of
the plum who slept & dwelt
among them unending dreams
for progeny from followers
to protect pure blossoming
from humiliation viz. fine
rain gentle shade sweeping
snow & brewing tea beneath
tall pines solitary cranes
unstained by smoke or dust
mirror-smooth paths a poet
laying down his pen in awe
an immobility bitter odium
cold rain winds continuous
shouting fever’d sun worry
clutching cash malign news
vulgar men gross women bad
poetry the master neglects
the master merciless loves
in name only sketched with
white on a jetblack screen
brutally abstract parodies
mockeries lacerating heart
with infidelities kindness
in the birth of seeds eyes
openly in tears confirming
so exquisitely plum departs

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Announcing the publication of a John Perlman's 21st book, IDIOLECTS OF SILENCE, from Room Press, available in pdf. format. Request a copy, gratis, from