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


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