NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
SIMON PERCHIK: TOUCHING THE HEADSTONE
Stride Publications
4b Tremayne Close
Devoran
Cornwall
TR3 6QE
UK ISBN 1 900152 14 2
7.50

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This page last updated: 18th January 2010.
SIMON PERCHIK: TOUCHING THE HEADSTONE

Occasionally in this collection Perchik removes the obscurity in which he wraps the everyday experiences of the world and when he does the result can be quite stunning as in

	The table too has come to stay
	though each morning its crust
	is ground to flour, sifted, stones
	unfolding into arms, legs, breasts

	 with each mouthful more crumbs
	becoming mulch, branches, roots, leaves
	 you don't need the sun, it's enough
	the kitchen has grown around you:  ...
Through it all there is a tension between the writer and the world round him, and the living and the dead, particularly noticeable when he is dealing with natural subjects
	Half trough, half where this coral
	stopped in front the way a horse
	bends down without a rider

	 it was a mistake, picking flowers
	till your hand became a claw
	learning how to swim sideways

	though these tombstones by now
	have grown over you
However these nuggets have to be mined from 77 pages of untitled poems of varying quality. For me the power in these poems, and there is power here like in the casting of spells meaning little to the uninitiated but sounding somehow right nonetheless is more in hearing the words clash and scrape against each other as they are spoken and I soon found these poems worked better when read aloud. They have a hypnotic quality and the lack of titles draws you restlessly as images form and are taken away to be replaced by a juxtaposition or complexity. Perchik uses words to create a world vision uniquely his own.

reviewer: Jim Bennett.