Two Poems by John-Ivan Palmer


Massage Parlor Honeymoon
He was last seen heading toward
that chancel near the pipeline
in Dawson Creek.
Under a moonful of rumor
And a spoonful of dream
The guests arrived,
the trucker, the welder
the clone band drummer
and a guy covered in grease.
The doors were opened wide,
the guests were met
and all were expected to feast
with intentions black as crows
on a highway of flattened fur.
House rules, honey.
Here’s all the things we’re not going to do.
No kissing the bride,
nothing in the hair,
the lights stay on.
Can’t trust the likes of.
Now fork it over, you.
A necktie licked one wrist,
His belt welded the other
To a bed of unanswered questions.
Her tattoo was a sneer of boredom
On the biggest misunderstanding
That ever straddled a Sunday.
Thoughts to yourself, whatever
Your name is.
Ask nothing of stalled migration
Through unspoken want
And the torn fabric weaved
Of what was reached so deep for
In this glittering nave,
where secrets blow
like dust in the breath of forgetting.

Face Focus Burnhole

Here now in this brush
On this wet sheet

Full Moon stokes the rage
Of a whiskered queen,
A ship of fire
Plunges over the edge
Of a flat earth as
Full Moon sails through the tip
Of a ballpoint writing
To the news
Then cuts through the mail
To become the news
As reason and logic
Fall from the sky
In shattered parts.

Full Moon leans in the old arcade
Of the ticket taker’s wish

Lives in codes
Stamped on spoons
Magnetic strips, encrypted slips
And numbers carved in stone

Reckon your metered soul, Full Moon,
And book yourself in business class
Then fly through a careful choice of words

To that foreign land.
Press your gaudy finger
On the down button of chance
And descend to a level
Where you need a special card
To get off
Then kiss, breathe,
thrive, Full Moon
In everything you spawn
In everything you spill.





About the Poet

John-Ivan Palmer’s literary work has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Nth Position, Wild River Review, Wisconsin Review, New Oregon Review, and Other Voices. The Drill Press published his novel, Motels of Burning Madness, in 2009 and he has received the Pushcart Prize for fiction.