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Jess Tapper Reads! Purity


by John 'quillsvein' Allen

The dead are painless in pure spirit
and float, crucified, on tall matches;
wheeling axels burning up night's
cubby faces and dripping IV bags.
Their faces suspend as orphan moons
jeweled lesions bare in the smile
of a stray puppet body bound
to straw, barbed crosses.
Bountiful, bruised in a starry geometry
with the sunken braille of nile claws
they paddle to the river,
brows plucked
with time's serrating passage
and their painted cheeks glow
in the clunky dark as stuffed eyes
of old toys in cancer wards
glazed with dust
sealed screamlessly,
frozen by time
in coiled twilight.

The dead spin in blood orchards
and innocence's tears shed aflame
by the black suns on their soles,
by cholera plagues
and worm crazed summer apples,
the thirsty soil slaked by their sorrow .

Moonflowers blow in sentries,
blow the pale song of young consumptives
blow the widowed nursery rhymes',
paregorics and
through the green bottle ministry,
the jar of hobo flies

holy dead and filled with star lice,
long and blue as fanged wheat, vital
rising in plague wheat and flagellate

with the weight of joined arms
in nodding mezzos, stares
white in nostril shock
filled with loon musk.

Their bottled tears
stillborn carriages
and a fungal vertebrae,
the solvent for sudden clowns
a trickster gods' embrace,

and the rain bled sloth
of carnival dirges:
lupus flowers, and the moon-psalm
of Helios
marking the swollen lids ,
a dreaming ooze falling from
their loose and gentle eyes

They lie, purple and forsaken, clapping
with one free hand. Moist nights I hear them

whisper in acoustic pane nocturnes
one day

will extend
as we dream
to grow
to grow
on your face

Neopoet Directors

Jess! You are the absolute best.

author comment

tres Rimbaud.
It is very flowery, as I tend to go too. Most images and sounds help build the mood, somewhat surreal, and good individual brush strokes. Certainly a whole bunch of good images.

I have a few issues like "moist nights" needs something so it doesn't come off as "most nights." and a few others...

I do not at all like the ending, personally. I do not care for the break of style and form on the page, as it's spoken in the same pace as the rest of the poem, and I do not like the Pinocchio reference which is too cartoony after the season in hell the poem is written in, inside a painting by Bosch.
I always like your voice and presence in reading. Nice!

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

actually based on some Polish poems and mythologies I guess I'd have to refer you to

author comment

I think when obscure or personal references are used they should be offered to the reader. Somehow modern poets, the Richard Hugo group, think poetry is owes nothing to the reader. If you get it fine, if not, fine. The more the poet hides behind the poem, the better.

Not me. I think the poet meant to say something, and if a few notes of references help me, the better. Like the Wasteland. Over-abstraction has made the whole world hate poetry. We are on the bottom of the artistic barrel. We can be sophisticated and offer accessibility at the same time. Like David Shapiro.


I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Let me start by saying I just love your use of language, I love its excess, Your images are surealalicious and voluptuous I don't care what your poem is about because I'm entranced

Oh yes its about death, pain, the beauty and sensuality of horror as if a landscape of half sunken cadavers strewn careless in honeyed pools of blood, puce sunken skin lard and marrow
I'm not your editor, I cant spell, I'm blind to all that.

how lovely the ruins,
how ruined the lovely

is the best comment thank you

author comment

just listened to Jess' reading for the fifth time--everybody applaud

author comment

enough to make me cross the picket line (I'm on strike until that psychopathic heathen burning arsehole Mario chevyvent has been driven off this site by the AC and anyone who cares about Neopoet. He wants to kill non-Christians)

Quillsvein, NEVER EVER put my reading above your own poetry or I will never read it again.

Neopoet Directors

fully, friend.

author comment
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