Wednesday, October 12, 2016

John Thomas Allen, Doppelganger and New Poetry

The Hand is a Prophet of Doom, 
image by Daniel Y. Harris 


(For Mario De Sa Carneiro)

May 19, 1890 — Paris, April 26, 1916

When the streets grow pale and crisp
with moonlight snaps, ice eyes
he may emerge, coloring each chilled
breath taken by the solitary citygoer. 
A costumed deja vu, he issues dim calls to
remembrance in the slinking itches
shadow plants far back in the smoke
machine of memory. a buckled succubus,
drawing drowsily on lazy hesitation
he studs our lazy dreams with silver
Foxes, moving quickly through to our
waking moments. growing stronger, he 
bleeds inky halos over the slim lines
written in glee. You may even find
him over the shadow of the pen, 

whispering heavy shades, 

tracing angry contours over the
angry rhythm of every line.

Mario De Sa Carneiro


Silence in me, in myself.
Silence in my sister’s house,

she is a beautiful madwoman to dream of…
It would be a mistake to look 
in a mirror, to lay down my life..
My sister is a beautiful madwoman
to dream of in her lost house.
Unless a miracle happens, it would
be a mistake to look in a mirror.
In the next two weeks I lay down my life
for the suns and the fields and the mad 
scream my sister razes above the sun.
I have a snake in the forming my mind…
It would be a mistake to look in a mirror.
Discord in the world, in myself.

The Lighthouse Keeper

I am the lighthouse keeper,
the night manager 
for the ambulance’s 
blue, red wick 
the coordinator 
for whistling colors. 

I fish with wreaths
of goblet flame 
at noontide catching 
dreams of pixie dust 
gold dust women panting.

Lobster orchids crawl
legs in the smoke fall ;
dizzy dolls made sick.

I wind solvents for our yard lines 
clipped with butterfly wings, 
tracing their crippled 
pulses always, fainter,
keeping score.  

Bigfoot ISBNS, mirrors, 
my fog horn double 
down there, enunciate palmistry… 
(along with a little love) 
Keeps our sedate island 
smoking away in good order. 

Clients in the sand 
knock and knock, 
but I get around most nights.

It can be beautiful
helping this tide
kiss our namesakes away. 

White Christmas

(Jon Benet Ramsey)

He turns in his funeral suit,
wiping an nighttime 

algae glow from his
brow. Her hand rests in his palm
with a grenade’s patience, gone
limp just in time to squeeze again. 

Rusting mascara, worn dolls’ heads,
her skin sudden as perfume on vinyl, 

twisting. Their sobs sync in sutured  
silences, a memoriam sown dropsy

in tears proper. Slick camera 
flashes light in a rorschach fugue. 

He is falling, never having known 
them to extend so far down before. 

Skipping a step lower on the carpet's 
stairs, bloodshot eyes blaze at landing’s 

bending foot, lit in nostril shock, 
facedown in a curdling gnosis 

known only to lucid sleepwalkers.

The Holly Flutes, The Fields

(for Deborah Digges)

The dead follow bliss with hound dog eyes.
Cornfields are pawed with their hopes, 
rusty legos, found objects in private renown.
Ellipsis is another key by the tomb.
So knitting thimble, so garage sale ring, 
oak shiver by the moon’s garlands,
the chaplet cupboard’s slide. 
The dead leave holly fields barely touched,
green a cold breakfast whittled 
in small bruises.  So knitting thimbles, 
so mommy’s hearted baseball. 
Only a fool stirs up a bodiless brew.
The dead mesmerize passerby 
with closure hints, eyes wide shut. 
They stand erect, Piggy in Deliverance
cigar shop Indians sturdy for disaster.
Warm brews keep them. They read TV 
captions in slow burn, spilling an alphabet 
for morbid curators. So knitting thimble, 
so hearted mommy’s baseball.
Ellipsis is a trick key in the baritone’s soil.
Their singeing lifeblood crusts in keyholes, 
halls in standby wheeze for later. 
Their facemasks drool in a striptease ballet, 
what’s left staring under the tarp .  
So rusty thimble, so grandma’s crockpot,
so the garage sales open later 
each spotted noon.

—John Thomas Allen