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INTERVIEW WITH SIMON PERCHIK

Simon Perchik

Write a bio about yourself.

As for a bio perhaps this will do: I'm an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. Readers interested in learning more are invited to read Magic, Illusion and Other Realities at http://www.geocities.com/simonthepoet which site lists a more complete biography.

Describe the space you write in.

I write in coffee shops.

Where do you find inspiration for writing?

For inspiration I confront an image in a photograph with a contradictory image or idea from science or mythology and then reconcile those disparate ideas. That's the short answer. Magic, Illusion and Other Realities (see above) sets forth the long answer.

What is the strangest thing you've done to find writing material?

I don't know if I've ever done anything to get ideas except to use photographs.

Talk about your books especially Hands Collected (Pavement Saw Press) and one of my favorites, Who Can Touch These Knots: New and Selected Poems (The Scarecrow Press), The Autochthon Poems (Split/Shift) and your more recent book Family of Man (Pavement Saw Press).

Not sure what I can say except once a poem is written, once a book comes out the last thing I want to do is re-read the work. I want to forget it completely.

Why do you use asterisks instead of titles in your poems?

Since my poetry makes its living in the unconscious I like to think there are many facets to the poem. A title might limit the poem by unduly calling attention, with a title, to just one facet. The asterisk solves that problem. It's like boarding a bus that has no destination sign posted.

Who are you reading now?

Neruda.

What writers do you read over and over?

I'm ashamed to admit that I am a poor reader. I read very little and I can't recall reading any writer over and over. Though I find myself re-reading Neruda from time to time.

Any last comments?

Of course if I were to answer these same questions a month from now (or a month ago) the answers would surely be different. The truth is I have nothing but doubts about what it is I do or how I do it.


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