Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Letter to Frank, 1969

We will be moving soon to New York - Golden Bridge (a name too full of promise to be taken quite seriously). After we get settled we'd like it if you and your family could come up for a meal and a visit.
If transportation is a worry - I have a car newly purchased and attentive. Tho we haven't seen the cottage yet, I'm told its a three minute walk from a large lake. Further description: "Its alright if you like woods, hills, trails." If.......Sounds like a landscape stolen from your poems.

I'll call you when we arrive. Pax in bello.
John Perlman


Dear Frank,
I'm sorry you didn't know I'd be using the poem - I thought I'd mentioned it to you after your reading - but if you'll forgive, I want you to know that the poem has been the most highly enjoyed by those who have seen a copy of the mag.
I called primarily to ask how you were faring during the blackout - I (for shame) was unable to resist a poem after watching fireflies during the real night.
Is their a world-wide suffering quotient? We'll be driven into an isolation so total - they'll read us, if any read, as first-born, out of the common oblivion, common agony of materials ideal.
Meantime.... if you have any poems or will have in the next 8 months or so - I'd be proud to publish them in Shuttle IV.
I hope you are well - any word of the hoped apartment?
We leave Fri for 3 weeks on Martha's Vinyard. Hooray! I hope the tent holds.
Love, John

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A John Perlman letter, 1969

A new poem. This grew out of our talk at the top of the hill. Went up there to finish it. The analogy is again musical. Section I: Prelude etc. Section II - a discordant, as a potential of all wishing and an assumed split: the loss of primal; ie, present sympathy. The music , then, homeopathic: as such only partially developmental.
Hope you like it - please advise.

Pattern and Potential

These cold rocks, out-
crop. Dark basaltic
bed. And the pattern:
intrude, up-lift, fold
and firm.

       We climbed
above the valley, above
a mud marsh, beyond new
humus, footing lost on leaves and moss.
Then we sat, tossing twigs
down the hillside,
letting our hearts a slow.

We talked of a city, rhythmical.
In counterpoint, harmonious
with this hill, a solidity
of moment. Of the two
as fused motion, both
thereby, in a realm, human,
              And memory:
a herd of sheep
driven slowly from a hill,
thru a clipped pasture land,
to the outer reaches
of the passable roads.

In a sullen vision
of dead trees, there is
a footpath leading
to a lake. Stunted bluegill
overrun its shallows,
and algae, passive
as drifting barges,
ride the flat water.
By mid-summer
it closes solid below the sun.
The air suspends
like a single blow
on a slack drum.
A man, sentimental, dreaming, ill-at-ease.

We had all marched singing,
theatrical, from the forest,
sun on the treetops,
dusk in the valley.
Thru the dark, we had seen
the granite moving
at the cliff side.
Within the outer range
of the thick oaks
and the clustering brush,
it seemed our cooking fire
had re-kindled, that each twig snapping
was a following fire.

Speaking at the hill crest.
Between, a single motion.
Of things made
for a making future
from a dense present.
Of pattern: in hollows
of stone, moss
to staunch a wound;
twigs come to a stop
below the cool hills
and closing rock.
Of men, gathering at dusk
around a fire
seen from a hill
through a rhythm of branches.

John Perlman

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Letter from John Perlman, 1969

Oct 19, 1969

Dear Frank,
You sounded so low and sick last night, I was left nearly speechless. I react always with such awkward silence when faced with another's problems. If I can help in anyway be sure to write or call. I certainly hope you will be able to find another job and quickly perhaps one that might pay a little more with taking to much more of your time. Do they make such jobs?
Am working on The Truine, find it a pleasure to read. You're dangerous! I find a real tendency in me toward
imitation, more of situation and perhaps mood than of anything else. Must fight that, huh?
Am sending a couple of poems. I find it difficult to assess them. No, I'm not asking for advice here. I guess I'm only worrying aloud. A certain homeliness of language, some might call if flat and simplicity of statement. A worry - prose or poetry? Can you ever know for sure. "Evening - almost a narrative mode.
I don't know.
I hope we can get together before lone. I'll treat you to as many beers as we can drain - malt does more than Milton can to justify Gods ways to man.
Anyway, whatever tendency I have toward getting maudlin is less offensive over a glass of beer.


Formal afternoons
soon after frost,
single trees
yellow on the hillside.
A squirrel
in the yard
turns its head.
Nicole on the swings
tumbles to the grass.
Scolding, Jan waves
sweaters from the door.
My pipe burns out
and warms a pocket
in my pants.
Dinner is ready.
Tonight, extra blankets
on the bed, an

--Partant j'ame les fruits
je deteste les fleurs

He walked up the hill,
along a driveway
covered with bright leaves
from a day-long wind.
He could see deeper
into the trees
than ever before,
but saw nothing moving.
In each step he thought,
"Tonight you will gain
neither lover nor friend
to be led, content
with expectation, along
this hillside, nothing
to break such solitude."
At the hilltop
a deer startled him.
At safe distance
they both stared.
When the deer turned,
he went inside the house.
He removed his coat
and built a fire
to burn until morning.

Courtesy from John Perlman

Sunday, May 22, 2011

From The Prefiguration

Of Light.....

after snow
bloom against
a white fence

no luck left
a memory
of a child


the garden's

on the hill
the beach!
an old man

an umbrella
lies toward

where a ship
sails out
a cliff.

the train
back to Brooklyn-

always day
your intent

in the
as in
the old-

my loneliness
a friendly

the painted
on a factory

of the

Nothing so good
as this thought
of green under light
wherein branch

over branch against
sun moves toward
its green under
a guise of light

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Frank Samperi, May 19

My father would have been 78 years of age today, May 19, his birthday. Born 1933 in Brooklyn.
Picture above with his Grandmother, two Aunts and his Uncle Roy.
Born under the Astrological sign, Taurus.

They are faithful and generous friends with a great capacity for affection, but rarely make friends with anyone outside their social rank, to which they are ordinarily excessively faithful. In the main, they are gentle, even tempered, good natured, modest and slow to anger, disliking quarreling and avoiding ill-feeling. If they are provoked, however, they can explode into violent outbursts of ferocious anger in which they seem to lose all self-control. Equally unexpected are their occasional sallies into humor and exhibitions of fun.

The characteristics of taurus are solidity, practicality, extreme determination and strength of will - no one will ever drive them, but they will willingly and loyally follow a leader they trust. They are stable, balanced, conservative good, law-abiding citizens and lovers of peace, possessing all the best qualities of the bourgeoisie. As they have a sense of material values and physical possessions, respect for property and a horror of falling into debt, they will do everything in their power to maintain the security of the status quo and be somewhat hostile to change.
Mentally, the caracteristics of taurus are keen-witted and practical more often than intellectual, but apt to become fixed in their opinions through their preference for following accepted and reliable patterns of experience. Taurus character is generally dependable, steadfast, prudent, just, firm and unshaken in the face of difficulties. Their vices arise from their virtues, going to extremes on occasion,such as sometimes being too slavish to the conventions they admire.
They are faithful and generous friends with a great capacity for affection, but rarely make friends with anyone outside their social rank, to which they are ordinarily excessively faithful. In the main, they are gentle, even tempered, good natured, modest and slow to anger, disliking quarreling and avoiding ill-feeling. If they are provoked, however, they can explode into violent outbursts of ferocious anger in which they seem to lose all self-control. Equally unexpected are their occasional sallies into humor and exhibitions of fun.

My father with his mom, Gaetana Samperi. My father was 11 years old when she passed, she was 27 years old. I can't image what that must have been for my father and he carried it with him all of his years.
The feeling of loss and abandonment moves through his writing.
May your poetry live on through others.

Happy Birthday daddy, I miss you.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Letter to Frank from John Perlman, 1973

dear Frank,
I have just picked up Quadrifariam, just begun the reading thru. Yes, it sums greater than book
(as isolate and so I begin to respond to a mystery) not yet fully grasped but the immediate response is
pleasure at the words, their working sensed right & as you set the table so I will take what
nourishment I can.
But its publication prompts me to write to you, just back in the city after months & to ask you I am doing
a mimeo mag called SHUTTLE, the nature of its utility & larger, the act of homesteading both in/at
place, and in self. Perhaps words for self-at-home to exhaust self and words.
But would much like to include some of your work in the weave.
I don't know if at this point such appearances interest you, if you see such partial senses as valid.
But this issue wants and would be much enlarged by just such movement as your work provides.
I hope all is well for you and your family, and has been.

Love John

Aug 21, 73

dear Frank,
Sorry to be so late in responding to your note & the poems included. Much, as always, has taken place
in the interim. I have been forced to leave the city. But once out, feel more at peace for having evacuated.
I thank you for the poems & will use them when SHUTTLE finally does. (a month or two).
Also plan to try (along with Mike Heller) a few books, financed by subscription.
Cid tells me you have a little book going around, I'm hopeful at some future point we might be able to
talk about doing it, should you desire such.
Thanks for THE FOURTH. I look forward to LUMEN GLORIAE. & need it be said,
I have learned more from you about poetry, and about the tenor of life & word-in-use that make for a
syntax, vector, in what you have called the 'desperate need to speak' in one letter.... more from the
human contact, than from any other. If you feel me ungrateful, I am not.
I wrote back in anger, under the burden of what I felt friendship required. Whatever your following
silence spoke to, it was painful. My anger was wrong, callow, but it had certain assumptions of feeling-bond.
As I read the silence, I was wrong in them, but how can anyone read the unformed silences?
I guess we have done each other a disservice, tho I won't further presumeto interpret.
As well as such things as Will's party, the Ohio reading, I'd like to add three additional memories:
the joy for me of many talks
your visit to our idyllic setting
your move to Brooklyn
The last two I did for love. I do not apologize for so acting or for the burden of such motives. But, as love, no burden was ever intended other than touch & even that under the most unimposing of circumstances.
The talks remain & I cherish them,
I would hope the silences broken, healed

Love John (John Perlman)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Letter to Frank from Ronnie Kaplan, June, 1981

Dearest Frank,
Received your beautiful letter yesterday - you touch me deeply very deeply - and you touch the angles
your angels - that cover you plainly hiddenly for the Father-
You were given the hardest birth - an illegitimate birth - so the Father thru His Word could linger over
you as His own - Let the hypocrite's mock the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob covets you!
You are the kindest man I know - The most beautiful of friends - a friend according to the spirit - a friend in
the world not of the world -
Toward the end of my youth - when I didn't know what - to who - I should go - I was led to your books -
(which) went with me to Istanbul and latter to Finenze and finally to you -
Our afternoons together have always been treasures for me - I think of them a lot and never come away
without some new gift-
I know I should write to you more - I think of you and sometimes I hear you without a word reaching the paper-
I also still walk there not there - even my solitude at times is no help - is outside and I cannot live there.
Both Martha and I cannot believe it's been so many long years since we've seen you and of course the cause is poverty ...and all can say: it will probably be another long year before we can come to NY-
In the meantime we're moving one of these days...still to be Indiana - as the jobs Martha's seeking are here right now -
Love Ronnie

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Letter to Frank from Ronnie Kaplan, 1982


Dear Frank,
We learn from the Rabbis: God and Torah and Filii Heber are one: and we may add with proper respect and humility (the humility of the veil me'ah Aleph that is by the love of the humble of spirit the whole world is negated from division)
Frank Samperi has ATTAINED HIS DAYS that is he is a sun of HBR a sun of FOR THE SAKE OF UNION which according to Rabbi Nahum is the rendering of HBR.... whose veil is CROWN:
thus: Has Attained HIS Days face to face the Infinite Comprehension the Eyh Sof
The burdens you bear and the ill that you must suffer and survive only happen to the spiritual the humble: because the spirituality of such a single one is the Vessel/chariot of an entire generation and the generations that follow... that is your burdens and ills are FOR THE SAKE OF UNION HAS ATTAINED HIS DAYS - tho the blessing is IN ALL, but because IN ALL damaged collapsed spiritually undeserving no matter the spiritual the humble may restore Her to Her rightful place where alone Goodness is:


by taking as their won lack all of her exile unbelief suffering where alone Goodness is goodness is (tho of course in hidden state) ... this is every thing from the voice of my prayers-
It is obvious and infinitely clear by any who go to your work the Good is Realization Revelation Reflection is Intact...in you....and an aura round you - I pray that your years left on earth are happy and consoled.
I mean this from the depth of my heart! for you are surely the precious in the midst of the veil, the Blessing of God unto an entire generation and every generation that follows....
For the beauty of your soul is sustained thru your poetry books to all who are sons of FOR THE SAKE OF UNION: which sonship which release is always retained i.e. always raises up the poor the humble the truly needy bringing to the fore the pilgrim spirits from every generation that follow!


Note: Ronnie and Martha Kaplan were great friends and admirers of my father and I remember fondly their visits to our apt on Avenue C. A very interesting letter and written from the heart and love for Frank.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Letter to Ed Baker from Cid Corman

Courtesy from Ed Baker to share a letter from Cid Corman speaking to Ed about Frank Samperi and the Gist of Origin. From 1973.


Thank you Ed,