Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year's Day at the Bowery Poetry Club

I'm one of the poets featured in the archives, you can stream on demand. It's an honor to be chosen from the 150 poets or so who participated.

More Reviews for "knuckle tattoos"

Puma Perl writes poems chiseled in granite with fingernails. Her poems ring like Leonard Cohen songs, in line after line of taut language, describing dark emotion and the illusion of structure. She dredges deep and scratches hard to find the crumbs of dazzle in a life of eviction, addiction, pain, and loss. The Francis Bacon of poetry, Perl uses language to paint images that maintain a surface clarity, but reverberate far deeper into the dark side of the pscyhe, without ever every straying to cliche. The narrator never blinks at the world where innocence is not allowed, as she travels from Dali-esque illusion to deep desperation, and—finally—to the only true resolve: to somehow keep going. The fact that these poems exist is confirmation of what Bukowski called the goal of poetry: to show the beauty of the horror. Perl succeeds remarkably, with a collection that stands alone for its integrity, guts and revelations.

Kat Georges
Founder/Editor, Three Rooms Press

You wroteon January 8, 2010 at 12:09pm
Puma Perl is tough, funny, straight ahead and unforgettable. A survivor with a knockout punch and a heart of gold who claims she never wrote a love poem. But don't be fooled, Knuckle Tattoos is an epic love poem to the curb and back dressed in leopard print, sporting come fuck me pumps working the thin edge. Puma is jazz, punk and the ghost of Ava Gardner. A subway angel who talks to god, Puma Perl is a pearl of a girl and a poet who writes like her heart is on fire.

S.A. Griffin, editor The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

Puma Perl's Knuckle Tattoos is brilliant, perhaps even magnificent, but absolutely stellar. Perl is both poet and anti-poetry whose craft is so strong you almost don't realize you are reading poetry. Funny, sad, angry, curious; Knuckle Tattoos takes you a 1000 places from a singular, unique voice. When I grow up I wanna write as well as Puma Perl.

Buy Knuckle Tattoos, winner of the 2009/2010 Erbacce Press Poetry Contest, the first chance you can. Check with Puma or

or me...well not me. I am tired of telling you all to buy shit when you already know you should.

jck hnry
writer/with the patience of monuments (neoPoiesis Press, 2009)

You wroteon January 20, 2010 at 10:05am
After reading Puma Perl, my week begins on Sunday. I always knew that it did, but her saxophones, footsteps, carwrecks, and love-moans re-affirmed this for me. Every Doc-Martined moment in this book makes pain livable--you are on the street with her by needle, gunshot, orgasm, and epiphany. Puma's poetry is not afraid to punch you in the stomach, to tell you to stop crying about being punched in the stomach, or to tell you you have no guts in the first place. These poems are like shots of whiskey and regret, hope and tequila, addiction to the fervor of life and not the easy way out. Puma never took that easy way out--read about it. - Joe Milford, poet/host of Joe Milford Radio Show

Puma Perl wants blood.She also wants your sweat,your tears, your annexation into her world for a time.
So get comfy Puma's not going anywhere,she has alot to say if you'll listen.
She is asking you to be honest,be direct,and never forget that freedom of which she speaks.
She works in a temple of agony,and a hallway of love,ugly bodies on either side,lo' human all of them presented.

You should be so happy to be in this kind of pain,you should be grateful she wants you to choke up when you read her.
I did sob; the first poem she submitted to my journal Heavy Bear made me break down like a child.I was taken back to my own suffering,she creates an empathy in the reader so easily,it is frigthening.She closes the circuit between us as writer and purveyor!

Puma has a way of arranging the pretty mess, of making it graphic, yes; but with such tenderness at times.
Such a directness of language you are never going to mistake what she defines as life well worn.
It is a bold book,Knuckle Tattoos,one that will rock you to your core,or make you run wild in the streets.
Either way,I am sure that is precisely her intent.Puma is a survivor,and a well adjusted one at that,she belongs amongst the great templars of poets who tell it like it is to coin a tired phrase..but this is her skin, and she wears it proud, she donnes it well dirty
as the garment may be--it is in her astoundingly original voice.

Jane Crown (author of Her Delicate Shoe, and host of Jane Crown's poetry Radio)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Advance Reviews for "knuckle tattoos!"

Puma Perl
Knuckle Tattoos
erbacce press

Puma Perl's new collection of poetry is a huge consolidation and deepening of the authentic voice she displayed in her first chapbook Belinda and her Friends, from the same publisher. The poems in this present selection are razor sharp and often very beautiful. The poems are about endings and indecisive identities, weak men and women, strong men and women, a nostalgia for the beautiful loser identity from another Jewish writer much less significant than Puma.

only the endings that i initiate surprise me
others give themselves away faster than i do
an intake of breath
a change in inflection
my name sounding different on their lips
fading, evaporating like the air
in those broken windows on second street

this morning angels danced
across a blazing sky
leaning to the left
i saw it was just the sun
masked in ebony smoke
no magic involved at all
and as the light took over
it all disappeared
(from end of the cataclysm)

These poems are easy to read and easy to identify with, and at the heart of many of them is nostalgia and parting. Poetry may be a struggle to catch the dispersal of fleeting meaning and an act of love that refuses to let nature and the past of the writer dissolve into indeterminacy, it strives to give them memorable identity and a profound and lasting meaning. It is a protest against the lack of presence, it wants to take a photograph of a hedgehog defiantly crossing Heidegger's Autobahn, implies Derrida, in one of his treatises on the zoology of writing, and thus make it real, thus celebrate non-arrival.

it will end.
i’ll drive north,
you’ll ride south,
Glock in your sidebag,
laptop on my seat,
cellphone charging,
Beggar’s Banquet
playing nonstop.

and it’s over
Florida sun
New York moon
same sky
new day
no messages,
long drive
to nowhere.
(from Friday Morning)

There are poems about heroin and addiction, Puma being a former dope fiend, and these are among the best, as are the poems about relationships, and the difficulty of love and a stable existence with somebody

now, i hang out with men
who don’t like me much;
i don’t like them either.

it seems to be working out.
(from Skiing with Sonny Bono)

Puma is also one of the masters of nostalgia, capturing the past moment as well as a camera does, as effectively, as in this appropriately titled poem

in our photos
there’s always distance
between us,
and too many teeth
sometimes, i look
like i might fly off
into the mountains
at the first turn

he denies the empty
spaces, says i’m jealous,
which is ridiculous,
since i don’t even like
him that much,
and anyway
we were all young
and beautiful
back then,
all the girls
laid back on bikes,
unsmiling, lifted
their shirts, tits
and eyes
staring directly,
into the camera’s lens
(from unblinkingly into the lens)

This book beat 1,400 other books to win the erbacce contest. I really hope it sells enormously well, get your copy at but turn off the sound in your browser first, the website tries to play shitty music.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Launch Party!

Knuckle Tattoos release party!!!
All are invited! Admission Free!
Sunday, March 7,2010, 6-7:30
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (bet Houston & Bleecker)

Poetry, Music, Performances!
Puma Perl will perform poetry from the new collection and sign books!
Hosted by Jackie Sheeler
Performances by: Kat Georges, George Wallace, Thomas Fucalero, Jane Ormerod, Big Mike and Faux Maux, word rockers dawson/scott, Tommy Abousleman, and additional surpriseguests!!!

Meet cover model Vera Hellen, who display her hand crafted jewelry, as seen on the book cover!

Doors open at 5:30 - come early and have a drink! or two!