Literally Speaking

Stop me
if you’ve read this before –

but wouldn’t the world be a better place
if we each would just keep
the code on our junk
to a bare minimum?
                                – and develop
sustainable reading practices, of course

– spare me

eat right
respect finitude
floss – and develop

ways to deal with repetition that don’t involve losing it

whether in the privacy
of the most logical dreams
or universally

And for best results, make it platform-proof

the spread of piety
spare each of us

it’s not a reason

to give up mind reading




[Bob Perelman has published 19 books of poems, including: Iflife (NY: Roof Books, 2006); Playing Bodies, in collaboration with painter Francie Shaw (NY: Granary Books, 2004); and Ten to One: Selected Poems (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1999). His critical books are The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History; The Trouble With Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky. His work can be accessed on Penn Sound and on his website, and a feature on his work appears in Jacket 39. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.]


Copyright © 2012 by Bob Perelman, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.