Friday 25 February 2022

Two Poems by John Thomas Allen


The Polite Bride 


(Eleanor Nellie Vance--Eleanor Crain) 


Eleanor gave birth in the dark, ectoplasm

spattering the walls. Her lust for Hill House’s 


brick, symmetry and song, her maenad’s 

striptease for a patient Arthur 

porcelain body bleached with white 

Starved for bloodless phantasms,

a ghost’s flight, stuttering, dizzy,




Eleanor flagged down any spirit that would 

have her, stuffing a monkey’s paw down 

her shirt before attending a demon’s 

purity ball, hoping her dark raisin eyes 

would be grateful and still


Scaly heaves 

  of an inverse psalmist’s

 crawling limbo


as a quick injection or cure  

her face in suspense rae

maybe to the tinfoil

birds of Teske’s spirit photographs

picked by tinfoil birds in the Elysian fields.


She would

grow strong 

on the harvested spirit,

the order of stilled breath

forgetful fields  


Crane would whisper 

a curse in her ear


something different with gears spinning

as her music box, the pearl and pink 

embroidered panels, her song


Come home, Eleanor

        where the loveless



are drawn 


fed to the shade

she parts in oblivion's 

soupy fugue 

nightingale’s song 

a dim recall, the house’s

unseen suitors in thrall

to a mysterious hunger.



Elegy for Jess Tapper


Before the skies began to fall, I was told of nature’s

latest cruelty: your disappearance. I am glad you

aren't animate for this plague borne of inattention.

But this is no time for trouble, no time to double on trouble. 


A madcap from some submarinal lake in Lewis Carroll,

a Blakean sincerity searing through all you wrote, all you did.

Would this wordsmith firebrand choose to be himself once more?

Choose his own storm, the fitful alterations of his rain,

each drop a small planet weighed on and burnt

by a savage sun? And this from some foreign mist,

the why not quite known but the weather severe.


Driven but uncounted by commerce, a primordial 

undestroyer of the world, filing poetic kernels by humble rivers.

But this is no time for trouble, of course: no time to double

on a least bit more trouble. Ending in circumstances

modest and hidden, possessed of a gratitude always abiding,


your terrible energy knowing itself to have a stronghold

in the verb's alchemy. What do they call us in French, or English?

How are we seen? Lunar phantoms, chimerical atom spills,

monks without cells; I’ll say it, though you never did.

You are the archetypal face a writer can incarnate,

and have uncomplainingly earned this to wear.

You were an independent artist, and this is singular.

John Thomas Allen is a 38 year old from Albany, NY.  He enjoys all forms of poetry, especially the highly speculative and and what allows for the fullest freedom of expression.  Without this ability to choose how something is expressed, the art becomes a chore to him. Charles Wright, Peter O Leary, and Kristin Prevallet are some of his favorite contemporary poets. He was recently nominated for the Best of the Net by Sundress Academy For the Arts, and won the James Tate Prize in 2019. His favorite character in literature is Enoch from Flannery O Connor’s Wise Blood. His work has been featured in SuRvision, The Cimarron Review, Peculiar Mormyrid, Spectral Realms, and Synchronized Chaos.




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