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The Furure of Memory THE FUTURE OF MEMORY
by Bob Perelman

"Bob Perelman is one of our wittiest poets, but his new book, The Future of Memory, is as scary as it is funny. It presents the poem itself as doomed human subject in time. The poet is both an emblem of Western subjectivity and the very figure of the fool. Here he is on his knees, peeping at what he hopes is Eternity. This moment caught between shame and revelation is, in Perelman's hands, simply our present. Now the word "poem" is "a shtetl photographed." Tomorrow we empty out/the Grecian Urn." In this brilliant, tragi-comic work, the "speaking subject" gets his comeupance."
- Rae Armantrout

115 pages
ISBN: 978-0-937804-75-9
Publication date: January 1998


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by Bob Perelman

"IFLIFE presents some of the wittiest, politically prescient--and best--American poems of this new century. The scope of the collection is prodigious, from the war in Iraq to domestic life, from the state of literary theory to Greek myth, from Hegel and Freud to parents and babies. And guiding us through the torrent of cultural signs raining down on us as if with the wrath of God is one of the most reliable voices in recent poetry. Bob Perelman, who is sardonic and wise, makes the world more apprehendable, if not a better place, wiht each passing poem"
- Charles Bernstein

133 pages
ISBN: 978-1-931824-21-7
Publication date: March 2007


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by Bob Perelman

"The First World examines our historical(hysterical) moment with the liberated coherence of a Brecht or Rabelais. Perelman's demolition of inscribed cultured myths repersents a celebratory reawakening of language to its larger conseqences. Its implicit question is, are we to be plutal and particular, or are we to sit in rows taking dictation."
- Michael Palmer

70 pages
ISBN: 978-0-937804-26-1
Publication date: September 1988

Out of Print

by Bob Perelman

Virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that seems real butisn't; Virtual Reality, the book, makes clear that the experiencepredates the technology. These brilliant and often hilarious poems exposethe rotten scaffolding of the ideologically generated "private" world,and reconnect its elegances to their social and intellectual consequences."It's / 1991-at least it was, once / upon a time-and communism is / dead,leaving capitalism, the word, the // movie, the whole ball of idiomatic /wax, with nowhere to go, nothing // to mean. The free world belongs / ina language museum now, along / with free love and free verse."

Most poets define poetry by creating it. Bob Perelman creates it bydefining it, and is thus one step ahead of all the poets under the sun,one step closer to colliding with Zeno's vanishing point, to mergingcoyote with road runner, to winning the hand.

- John Ashbery

Perelman's new collection is sharp-eyed ironic investigation of poeticlanguage in the global information net of the 1990's. "To write thehistories with / any accuracy is to write backwards, / true to thefalsity of experience." Among several stunning long works in VirtualReality, "The Marginalization of Poetry" explores some points of contactbetween criticism and its "abject object," poetry. Underneath thesideways moments here where odd distinctions are emblems. Perelman'smemories and desires may be quotations converted to running gags,irrational sense-experience, sometimes uncommon nervousness: most oftenluminous.
- Susan Howe

There are no complete thoughts. There are, however, comprehensive ones,the mind panoramically scanning a present where each detail exposes astruggle, contradictions, compromises, all glazed over in the latestcolors. No one expresses these thoughts more richly or more acutely thanBob Perelman, whose work never lets the reader forget the difficultywithin each decision even as it celebrates the possibility of decisionmaking as the essence of ethical action. With a wit whose ancestryincludes Catullus and Pope as well as Berrigan and Frank O'Hara, Perelmanhas emerged as our most sharply edged political poet.
- Ron Silliman

There was no refamiliarizing . . . . / We could almost see / our handsseizing towers, chains, dealerships, / the structures that drew the maps,/ but there was no time to / read them, only to react . . .
These lines from the title poem of Virtual Reality give us precisely thefeel of living inside the "global information net" which is latetwentieth-century America. In a series of stunning and various poems, BobPerelman provides us with the story of our everyday lives. This is poetryas social text, a lyric at once deeply personal and yet directed outward,as a form of political critique. Virtual Reality won't let us get awaywith anything: it forces us to See It New.
- Marjorie Perloff

64 pages
ISBN: 978-0-937804-49-0
Publication date: September 1993

Out of Print

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