David Perkins | 9781948509305 | 116p | Poetry | October 2021 | Illustrations by Jay Miller |
Perkins’ debut collection, I May or May Not Love You, arrived alongside the maelstrom of the 2020 pandemic and with most interviews and readings cancelled, he retreated to his study, surrounded by the hundreds of books of, on, and about poetry he had collected over his years of bookselling and decades of working in book publishing, and began work on creating a new (and perhaps provocative) poetics for himself—pondering over what contemporary poetry ought to do and how it should mean, what it ought to be and say—even how it might appear on a page to best convey what Madame LeMuse was gracious enough to throw his way. Post-Modern Blues is the result of those cloistered, intensive, and absorbing months.
The same themes that stalked I May or May Not Love You are in Post-Modern Blues: love, lost loves, mortality, time, death, sex, connection, a soupçon of politics, the weather, and the vicissitudes of daily distraction—and yet more love, because obsessions do not change. There has been a vigorous new discipline applied to these poems, not without humor, all the while attempting to hew to E.M. Forster’s exhortation to “Only connect,” seeking an intimate relationship between author and reader. New emphasis on the music of words, their affinity to each other in internal rhyme, assonance, and alliteration come into play without sacrificing meaning in their interplay. Perkins is unafraid of addressing pain—but always goes in search of joy. It may be a voice to be reckoned with.
Of Perkins’ first book, the multi-award winning poet Rigoberto González said “The poems 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,” and Pushcart Prize, American Book Award-winning Jim Barnes said “Perkins’ lines make the mundane significant, and we are always drawn into his work as if by a warm magic that we can trust, teeming with the language of living and loving that we can hold close without the dread of betrayal … I applaud these poems’ capacity for love.”
David M. Perkins made books his life, owning two bookstores before moving on into publishing with the University of Illinois Press, Georgetown University Press, and Oxford University Press (USA) among them. An amateur Tchaikovsky scholar, his poems, articles, book reviews, and essays have appeared in Christopher Street Magazine, Penthouse, the Broad Street Review, High Plains Literary Review, The Chariton Review, The Bloomsbury Review, and for The Wordsworth Trust, among others. He resides in Colorado, but parts of his heart have been scattered across the planet.
Jay Miller is a colorful character, artist and illustrator; a Philadelphia native now living, creating, and exhibiting his multi-media creations in South Florida. He credits the cover art and illustrations to the online collaboration between artist and author over the 2020 “Pandemic Exile” that brought their friendship even closer together.