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I realize that local( $/, *INPUT ); gets rid of the new lines.

It doesn't actually. You end up with a scalar that still has a newline at the end of each line of text. You can, of course, use that to your advantage.

my @lines = split /\n/, $input;
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In reply to Re: Transforming a scalar to an array by davorg
in thread Transforming a scalar to an array by vxp

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