Three Poems by David Perry

by: David Perry (Header art by Monika Lin)

David Perry is our charming guide to and through our current shared and fractured moment. Disjunctive and elusive, Perry compels us to keep up with his moving meditation, his wily jump cuts. “We go under/ a quick while…” But what counts is what happens when we come back up, to breathe and look once more…

monika image 2


Just because this
phrase is broken
your sense of it
receding like David
Hume in history
doesn’t mean you
can’t lick my ear

OR: a treatise on
the new empiricism
the really, really
new one, the one
with the neuro-
and the geno-
and the nano-
and the crypto-

The one with us
in bits (“not so
new, really, not
really new at all”
goes a prime
insight of the same
with so much memory
at such speeds

That reason is
and ought to be
only the slave
of the passions
scanned, fed,
medicated p.r.n.
to optimize

itself, us, spread
overhead, a map,
a Polaroid, the Falls)
on the ratty-ass
garage-sale wood-
print cushion-top
card table’s 2002
cognitive science
textbook beneath
stacked self-imp-
rovement guides
and though you
don’t really dim-
inish, you do


Search Me

I don’t know spoken
with right emphasis
right tone? Notes

no codes just us
in conspiracy
to welcome no state

in which we may
or may not know need
nor care of deep

desire but in little
dashes assume days
gone fiction/non–

for we are surely
persons of interest

yet not at all in
our places in what
intelligence worlds

where we grow
uglier stupider
as the even yet

uglier stupider ease
their ways among
us we look back

aghast at the city
struck down

in a cloud where
forms shall trail
and freeze us now

in our current gaze
fixed toward our place
stream stop stream



if we ask first
face falls off

ten chilies
tipping fingers

no need
to emerge

in orange
can’t take

thinking alone
can’t leave

trace science
assigns noodles

primacy of place
cable in mud

past-time says
send help

but it’s us
now to future

breaking news
war we say

this version
of attention

removes concern
sorta warbles

we go under
a quick while

get spot-welded
meet for lunch


David Perry lives in Shanghai, where he teaches in the Writing Program at NYU Shanghai. He is the author of one book of poetry, Range Finder, two chapbooks, Knowledge Follows and New Years, with poems, reviews, and the odd prose appearing here and there now and then. More at, Pyramid News Scheme, and 明明不白白.

Header art is entitled, “GoKart Racers #1,” 2009, from the “Child Palace” series. Acrylic, ink and resin on wood panel, 40x40x5cm. Monika Lin lives and works in Shanghai. More information:

2 replies on “Three Poems by David Perry”