Perchan’s Chorea: Eros and Exile (Watermark Books, Wichita 1991)

Fluid in Darkness, Frozen in Light (Pearl Editions, Long Beach 2000)

Mythic Instinct Afternoon (Poetry West Press, Colorado Springs 2005)

Overdressed to Kill (Backwaters Press, Omaha 2006

Last Notes from a Split Peninsula: Poems and Prose Poems  (UnCollected Press, 2021)

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Reviews of Perchan’s Chorea: Eros and Exile

From Publishers Weekly

This pleasingly off-center novella by an American professor at a South Korean university comprises sketches and prose poems; it’s an East-West swap meet of linguistic anecdotes, word lists, news clips, film and book reviews, TV cartoons, an account of plastic surgery, advice to the lovelorn and Korean erotica. The setting is the cohabitation of a poet and a prostitute who engage in a lively exchange of cultural oddities, nearly all of them rooted in the body. The punning title links the country’s name with both a sexually transmitted disease and a spasmodic tic. The Korean word for a woman’s breast, which translates as “milk room,” prompts images of her body as a house with corridors. Recipes for home medicaments and food can be viscerally revolting, or comic–as when a woman unleashes a stream of “scolding” invective against a pot of boiling clams because the recipe instructs her to “scald” them. Perchan interjects pithy observations on the varieties of Buddha, e.g., Edgar Allan Buddha, “on the edge–or in the Pit”; and Buddha, M.B.A., “on the path of Tao-Jones.” A persistent reference to the culture’s demeaning treatment of women runs through the book’s wealth of serious fun.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A happy surprise, this little elegant book about venery and scrutability and foreignness and style. Perchan, Cleveland-raised, teaches college in Korea, and his base of operations feeds his predilection for aphoristic, Latinate, dying-fall prose. Whether it’s the deadpan reprinting of letters to the Korea Herald (proof that cultures themselves get all tangled up in their own expectations of tradition and change), or semi-scientific classifications of Korean female pubic-hair patterns, or hilarious dialogues between the author-persona and his hardly respectable girlfriends, Perchan trains on whatever’s Korean a gimlet-eye and sad amusement; the poise of the style and the epigrammatic posture bring a less dour Edward Dahlberg, or Cyril Connolly, or even Catullus, to mind. “The Korean Government is threatening harsh measures in a crackdown on alcohol-related births. The republic, in fact, leads the world in the export of babies for adoption. Like storks, young world-travelers with empty pockets can hitch a free flight stateside by accompanying an orphan to its new home across the water. As a thrilled childless couple waits expectantly at the LAX arrival gate, Korean Air Flight 006 touches on the runway, its huge pneumatic tires smoking and hissing that first passionate, drunken kiss now very far away.” A lovely book. — Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.



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