A New Denouement Comes to The Eidolon

A moon rose pure placebo the day
the dismantlers came to The Eidolon.
A puppeteer hidden in a hard hat
worked sticks and wires from a crane,
his rude yellow wrecking ball
a scraping bald knuckle
the yore tony a la mode pink marquee:





They hadn’t seen a movie there in years.
Instinct drove to the location
now hairy with graffiti and wounded windows
boarded up. “Turn left there,” she pointed ahead,
and here in the V of what used to be
a local lemony clichéd Hollywood and Vine
hung the vertical sign of rainbow chasing lights
popped and glum, now a moon at noon.


The wrecking crew worked amid yarns,
a thrilling tale of piracy, or chivalric ennui,
beach tar and feathers and a damsel tied to a rail.
Though no one was actually tied down,
back in the days of pretend, when make-believe
waved sun and sea of the bottle bags of beggary,
and kids danced to the possibilities of being free.


They drove across town to watch the razing
crew with crowbars and heavy metal
tear down the slumping palatial playhouse,
where teens once held hands,
listening to rock and roll bands,
and before them, kids spent summers in buttery
fingered and fizzy toothed afternoons
matinee rapt in spinning film,
a veteran vaudeville player changing reels.


Nothing could save now the last-gasp plight
of this episodic imperilment, and the moon fell.
The two cold cats sat on the bus stop bench
across the street from the deconstruction,
a couple of stoned Cupids deprived of sleep,
sagely reminding one another to be brave
and behave, lest they be kicked out again
like the day they adlibbed Beatles
and lit bee dough up in the loge.


  1. johndockus says:

    This is incredibly great, Joe. This is truly Joe Linker poetry. You’ve found your voice and it appears to be getting stronger, big waves breaking in it, you exiting each pipeline transformed. Neil Armstrong sets foot down on a block of cheese. I hardly catch my breath from your last excellent poem “Seachange” (I had meant to leave a comment, and was delighted to see Philippa turn up there with Ashen too), and you have another poem already. Keep milking the sap. You appear to be on a roll. “hairy with graffiti and wounded windows” – fantastic image! “… of the bottled bags of memory” how funnily musical! I thought how great this might be as a Brothers Quay-like stop-motion animation, the poem as narration for it. But that would take a lot of work, but it does come to my mind. I also think of E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Tomcat Murr and the role the elusive and graceful, mischievous and playful, but still feral in its depths, yet also smart, multi-faceted creature plays for you. – What is that silvery bag-head with blue stone eyes, and stubbly broom-bristle neck? Are you practicing warlock-craft or voodoo on the premises?

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thx, John. The stone-eyed creature was a grade school art project. Have not read Hoffman lately. I’ll look up Tomcat Murr. A book of his short stories around here somewhere. I was thinking “Seachange” might be something you might could illustrate, or “…Eidolon,” given their narrative forms. “Seachange” and “…Eidolon” have been sitting around for about a year or so or longer, in and out to a couple of zines, with changes on return delivery. One poetry editor commented favorably on “Seachange,” which at the time had a different title and form. Posting them was like clicking the shutter on them, enough, done. More changes won’t help if you haven’t nailed it yet. Something like that, law of diminishing returns. Then this editing paranoia starts to creep in – maybe that last version was actually better! or the one before that! Who cares?! I should rename the blog “Literary Garage Sale,” and put up a sign, “Free Poetry Box.” Except it’s hard even to give this stuff away. “Keep your hand on that plow, hold on.”

      1. johndockus says:

        These poems of yours are indeed excellent, Joe. I envision them in hard copy, on paper of the finest quality, bound hard-covered, with illustrations and photos, maybe hand-picked by you, guest artists for particular poems. It’s a profound mix of high and low what you do, but deeply satisfying for pure lovers of literature. It’s a curious catch-22, this blogging. It’s allowed us to find each other and to interact, but the work itself, one gets mixed feelings about the blog format. My own work, I think would be great – better – as a big book, something one can flip through, that palpable experience and interaction with pages of a distinct subtle odor and feel. My Grandpa Paukstis (R.I.P.) once had his own little print shop, the old-fashioned kind where he got ink all over his hands, and I envision your poems printed in that same old-fashioned type, the imprint on the page, like each letter, each word, each poem, is an etching, has that vintage feel of value. Hasn’t this computer stuff somehow cheapened the best of what we do? I grow nostalgic over those collaborations of old, where established fine visual artists did book covers for fine literary artists, and together they created a rare and precious volume.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          Poetry should be a gift, and, now that I think about that off the cuff comment I made earlier, like free-love, poetry is never free, no matter how much you give yourself to it or it to others. Careless love, as the song goes, yes, but love was never free. If it was free, it wouldn’t be love. But love is often seen to have a kind of price elasticity. And some poetry reflects that, or illuminates that, back to the lamp and the mirror dichotomy. You can get as close as you want to the mirror, but too close to the lamp and you’ll fry the wax on your wings. Yeah those old print shops are as gone as the blacksmith. The poet is now the blacksmith whose anvil is a laptop? I was interested in making my own paper a while ago, until I realized you have to cook the stuff down. A workable place to start some sort of handcrafted project might be with a broadside or chapbook?

          1. johndockus says:

            Interesting thought about love, Joe. Youthful ideal love is more free, one might say, but moves and attracts like a will o’ the wisp. Those who follow it without watching their step trip and fall into a ditch. Mature adult love is more subject to the conditional, which also follows into the arts. Real love bears suffering, distills from consequence, and ultimately has more to teach us. It’s the difference between a pop song and Beethoven, or sugar water and vintage wine.

            I myself don’t think the best art is free. It requires an effort to get to where the treasure is, which then must be unlocked, a journey which tests us along the way and reveals our true character.

            Likewise, a tree doesn’t give away its fruit for free, but yields from a deep inward necessity. Certain conditions must be fulfilled, and must be maintained, for the tree to develop to where it eventually can grow fruit. I think poetry and art are the same way, finding its certain conditions, its sustenance and nourishment in the heart and soul of the artist. When the fruit comes, it comes, and belongs to everyone and no one. That’s not the same thing as giving away for free.

          2. Joe Linker says:

            Pomes Penyeach

          3. johndockus says:

            Yes, Joe. This illustrates the point we’re both getting at. At first I scratched my head and thought, “?” What the heck does Joe mean here? Then I thought more about it, imagining we’re in the deep forest, and this you left here is like a sign you made which you fixed to a thick stick and drove into the ground with an arrow on it: “This way to some curious poetry by James Joyce.” It’s there like an intriguing and unusual statue off the beaten path, done by a master craftsman, which has somewhat fallen into neglect but is surprisingly durable, has birds now nesting on its head, and deer nibbling around it. One can go there. It’s a gift indeed, but one must go there to experience and understand it. It won’t just come to us, we must make the journey to it. I think a lot of great art in the world exists precisely in this sense. It doesn’t just fall into our laps.

          4. Joe Linker says:

            It was the “chapbook” form of Pomes Penyeach I wanted to share, along with the little broadside “this yr,” originally published in so few copies, that I thought met with your characteristics of actually worthwhile publishing.

          5. johndockus says:

            Oh, I beg your pardon, Joe. Finally I got around to hitting the link you provided and should’ve done so before commenting. Often I go with my first spontaneous thought, pursuing its development, before turning my attention to other things, then return later to visit a link or follow up. You often go with a shorthand reply, but never without a purpose. I should know by now!

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