ISBN 9781948509152 | $19.99 | 136p | gatefold paper
“I want you to step easily into me and feel comfortable
and calm, though storms may be going on, and
touch the reachable in ways your mind will recount
in perfect detail days and ages later. I do not want
you to be afraid or puzzled or feel as though you
may have been fooled. I want you to separate
yourself from your skin and step out into the air
and realize that there is someone there to catch
you. I want to travel with you as far as you will go.”
—from “The Yellow Wood”
The poems in I May or May Not Love You reflect the author’s belief that all of the history of poetry is there for the looting. You’ll find Marianne Moore lurking in “I Should Have No Doubts,” and Ezra Pound hanging out in “Meditation in the Color of C;” Homer beached in “Sentiment for a City,” and W.B. Yeats bar-hopping in “Aging Out,” among others. And while he believes that all schools of poetry have something to teach, it’s better to stay in class and go on assimilating rather than graduate.
It’s the music of words that matter here: the “banging of consonants” the “rolling vowels,” and the assonance and alliteration and the “contrapuntally chimed rhymes, off-key and off-kilter,” as they wander the terrain; Paris, Philadelphia, Denver; gazing at clocks and mirrors, listening to Tchaikovsky, playing the lottery, looking askance at Death, and cross-examining love.
“Perkins poems are not ‘of the moment,’ not the rants nor the whimpers of the politically correct crowd we hear so damned much from these days. You will find no victim here, no poet with a cause. I MAY OR MAY NOT LOVE YOU teems with the language of living and loving that we can hold close without the dread of betrayal. His lines make the mundane significant, and we are drawn into his work as if by a warm magic that we can trust. His is a modern Romanticism chocked full of allusion, metaphor, and the full force of narrative that takes harsh realities as they come but at the same time says, as Lot’s wife in “Distaff” does, ‘I’m not going anywhere with you anymore.’ I applaud these poems’ capacity for love.”~Jim Barnes, is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his writing, including the American Book Award, and the Pushchart Prize in poetry. His most recent collection is Sundown Explains Nothing.
“Endearingly reflective, the poems of David M. Perkins arrive quietly but keep us alert to wonder. What a blessing to journey with a writer whose observations about life, love, and loss sparkle with clarity and wisdom.~Rigoberto González, is the author of 17 books of poetry and prose, most recently The Book of Ruin. Among his many awards are the American Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize in poetry and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.
David M. Perkins has spent his life inside books. He owned two bookstores in Denver, Colorado, and then moved to Philadelphia to go into publishing at Running Press and Westminster Press, then on to New York with Oxford University Press. From there to being Assistant Press Director at the University of Illinois Press and back to the East Coast as Associate Press Director at Georgetown University Press. He has had many hundreds of book reviews, some various articles, essays, and poetry published hither and yon; and he is owned by a blue-point Siamese cat named Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (“Mr. Petes”).