John Perreault

Here you will find the Long Poem The Metaphysical Paintings of poet John Perreault

The Metaphysical Paintings

1. The Enigma of Arrival

We are nude beneath our costumes
as in the false myths we have been forced
to memorize
and there is a mistake in your eyes.

We are not aware that at last
the last official has arrived.

Since the sky is false
I tell you falsely of my absence of feelings.

And you stand there staring down
counting the toes
that peek from out beneath
the hem of your theatrical robe.

2. The Melancholy of an Afternoon

The two of us make love
in the form of identical vegetables,
in shade,
oblivious to noise
and vanishing parades,
oblivious to flags
or that which tries to harm us
from the top of the industrial tower.

3. A Grand Tour

A mistake. It is a tower and not a tour
that does not crumble.
And we will make arrangements now
to take a guided tour of this tower
and soon find out that there are no stairs
and when you get to the top
there is no view.

4. Departure of a Friend

I see you lying on a candy-striped towel
reading a book of small pictures,
a book about Michelangelo.


But the time is wrong.
We discover that the train has already left.

It is a false goodbye.
Our shadows become one long shadow
that touches a pool.

Why is it that the railroad station is at times
so quiet? So empty?

5. Nostalgia for the Infinite

I will miss your loose-leaf notebooks
and your figs.
I will miss your calculated mistakes
and the pictures you sometimes liked to take.

We are still saying goodbye.
Same time. Same light. Same railroad

Are you about to enter this different tower?
Are you about to become another?
A railroad engineer or a policeman?
Are you about to vanish?

6. Love Song

O how I have loved you,
O great and classical world,
the way a child loves his father;
but now the time has come
to escape your betrayal.

Only the geometry of a green sphere.
Only the surgery upon a puff of smoke
can save us from more primitive forms
of this industrial sadness!

7. Mystery and Melancholy of a Street

At that time of day when guardian angels
have retired for the day,
as a small girl with a hoop,
I am menaced by the shadow of a guardian angel.

My substance is of shadow.

I let this angel follow me into the bowels
of an empty moving van;
I am raped by the sun.

I take off my shoes.

I wipe the sweat from his brow
with the hem of my Communion dress.

8. The Enigma of Fate

One move of the invisible queen,
one shout from the top of the stack,
one hand for the future,
and the spilling of seed.

One road through the labyrinth,
one turn to the left,
and the spilling of seed.

9. Melancholy of an Autumn Afternoon

We are still saying goodbye.

10. The Naval Barracks

At an early age, I was expelled
from the Naval Academy.
How well I remember those long Euclidian walks
into the sunset
at the end of a geometrical day.

Accumulations! Neat debris!
The magic of an ammunition dump!

The false perspective of my souvenirs
returns to haunt me.

Patient arrangements of frustrations.
Private mottos.
Public demonstrations of the insatiable
and the obvious!

11. Purity of a Dream

The purity of my dream can only be maintained
at the expense of the present.

I make a billboard in celebration
of our new found spring.
All the buildings start walking up the highway
to look at it.
They crowd around.

Now that I have made this billboard,
I can carry your picture around in my brain
in a small green suitcase
as I fall asleep
on that small train puffing into the distance.

12. Masks

I like this room. I like this movie of myself.
This view of the antiseptic town.

You are my mask
and I am yours.


13. Hector and Andromache

At last we are together. Our dreams like our shadows
have at last combined.
We observe the higher mathematics
of our consistent departure.

We interfuse.

The geometry of our inter-relationship
has become like the demolished city
and the preserved city

a train station that arrows towards
a new release of political crime,
a vertical of deliverance.