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
of an inverse psalmist’s
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.
on the harvested spirit,
the order of stilled breath
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
fed to the shade
she parts in oblivion's
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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