An Evening with E. D.

Robert Perchan

Dare we dare conjure up the ectoplasm
of Miss Emily D. tonight?
I met her at a séance once.
The rapping on the table had a rhythm
that could only be hers.
It said she was trapped in the coffin
of her exegetes
and wanted to get things straight.
Rap, rap, rap she tapped
on the underside of her box lid.
Rap, rap, rap I knocked back.
Then suddenly I felt a funeral
in my groin where
she kicked me under the table.
Seems one afternoon I had construed
one of her poems all wrong.
I was one of the exegetes
leaving her cold
and spinning in the grave.
She wasn’t a nut case, she tapped.
She was just having a bad day.
You would too, she tapped,
if your floors creaked like that
and then broke through.
Thank you, Miss Emily, I knocked back,
for the hermeneutical clue.
As back into her Silence she withdrew.


Robert Perchan’s poetry chapbooks are Mythic Instinct Afternoon (2005 Poetry West Prize) and Overdressed to Kill (Backwaters Press, 2005 Weldon Kees Award). His poetry collection Fluid in Darkness, Frozen in Light won the 1999 Pearl Poetry Prize and was published by Pearl Editions in 2000. His avant-la-lettre flash novel Perchan’s Chorea: Eros and Exile (Watermark Press, Wichita, 1991) was translated into French and published by Quidam Editeurs (Meudon) in 2002. In 2007 his short short story “The Neoplastic Surgeon” won the on-line Entelechy: Mind and Culture Bio-fiction Prize. He currently resides in Pusan, South Korea. You can see some of his stuff on