"I have nowhere to go / that isn’t automatically written language." Is there such a thing as surrealist meditation? Non-narrative autobiography? In Perry’s elusive yet eminently chaseable poems, "hallucinations prowl the baseboards and molding, never to see in themselves any sense except subliminally." Under shifting, disjunctive surfaces, Perry examines self, history and language, reminding us of the insupportability of each.
David Perry is the author of two books of poems, Range Finder (Adventures in Poetry) and Expat Taxes (Seaweed Salad/French [Concession] Press), as well as two chapbooks, Knowledge Follows (Insurance Editions) and New Years (Braincase Books). He is based in Shanghai, where he teaches in the Writing Program at NYU Shanghai and lives with his partner, the artist Monika Lin, and their daughter.
Adventures in Poetry began publishing in 1968 as a mimeographed “little magazine,” and continued through 1976 with individual pamphlets, featuring work by Ted Berrigan, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, John Ashbery, Anne Waldman, and many others. After a long hiatus, it began publishing books by established and new innovative writers that are available exclusively through Zephyr Press.
“David Perry could have impishly called this first collection Some Final Advice, as we greet him at the beginning of a great career—advice for self and others as his phenomenal investigations unfurl with a physical dailiness that haunts sensation, and flips the lids again and again. Words, as he says, 'want us to do things/ That we can’t do with them'—or, in his hands, without them either.” — Alan Bernheimer
"Perry’s bon mots are sometimes designed to expose human shortcomings, but more often they share the mutual foibles and failures that make people and the world lovable even when part of us wishes they weren’t … there are distractions and entertainments, dalliances and affairs, connections and misunderstandings. Range Finder is not only well worth reading, but also worth taking around. Take it with you lightly, but don’t take it lightly. Read it like you’re having a conversation, one which you greatly enjoy but ends up teaching you more than you first realize." — Mark Wallace
"David Perry’s poems are charged, feverish meditations written in the wave/particle light of our current digitized reality. Memory and language, both personal and collective, create the selves we’re constantly calling into question, submerged as we are in the confusion that ensues when we try to figure it all out. But don’t worry, Perry gifts us these essential instructions: ‘Stop. Sit down. Relax. Think. Witness / unlimited growth in all directions’ so that we remember ‘All possibility to the point of extinction/ is consciousness....'” — Richard Roundy
“Here’s a poet who knows his way around a syllable. ‘The elegance of Schuyler and the dark suburban vision of Ceravolo?’ Nice work, if you get it. Actual stanzas. Artful enjambment. Anthill earth. Will this book change your poetry life? ‘That’s for the time to know and space to find out.’ Fast, but not loose. Formed, but not formal. Mean, but not evil. I admit to at times being afraid by this verse. That’s one measure. However, the poems themselves are not afraid. The poet damned well should be. ‘Thunk,’ good title. The (comedy of the) bleakness here is your birthright, I’m pretty sure.” — Kevin Davies