Marcus Palmer is My Favorite Serial Killer by Get in the car, Helen


Marcus Palmer is my favorite Serial Killer.

He doesn’t kill people, because that would be illegal (pause). He kills Bullshit (which is probably more days than less days the same goddamn thing). And his machete is made out of words. Marcus is a Serial Killer of Bullshit; but he’s not one of those dudes who wear short pants while standing beside their van in the parking lot of a late night apartment building trying to con Jennie Craig chicks who’ve never seen The Silence of the Lambs into helping him move his couch. (note #1: The reason he doesn’t lamb it like this is not because he doesn’t have a van anymore. The reason he doesn’t have a van anymore has nothing to do with this. The whole van thing has more to do more with the fact that we all have our Helens, and in some cases our Helens take our vans with them when they go.)  Marcus’ poetry is more “Learn, Piggie, Learn!” heart-honest and direct than all that couch-in-the-van shit. His work isn’t going to play helpless/waiting until your back’s turned before he goes and makes his move. There’s no chloroform, basement wells, or puppies in a descended basket. I mean, hell, if Marcus wants the Bullshit to put on some lotion and the Bullshit doesn’t want to do it Marcus’ll just jump in the goddamn well with it and lotion up the Bullshit himself.

Marcus Palmer is a poet, a hands on Serial Killer, the “Headmaster and Gorilla Ontologist” of Beyond Academia and the Grand Poobah of the Love Shovel Ranch and the first time I met him I’m pretty sure that he was almost naked; squatting in the woods behind Pearl Street writing haikus by the flame of an old lightbulb he called ‘Bonfire’ and maybe I was stoned at the time and mistook him for Bigfoot and I’m damn sure he was drunk and mistook me for, I don’t know, I was in decent shape back then and my hair was actually hair and it was longer, so let’s just call it: Thor. Maybe I said something like ‘What’s up fucker?” and then he screamed “WHISKEY!” and just like that we were pals.

I know you young tikes out there may not believe this, but once upon a time Boulder didn’t have open mic poetry readings seven days a week. They had one reading and it was on Monday nights and it was at a place called Penny Lane. That’s how long I’ve known Marcus. I’ve known Marcus since the days of watching him murder Bullshit at Penny Lane (note #2: Penny Lane was a legendary coffee shop/performance space famous for its Beat Poets, the fact Nirvana may or may not have played there once, and the fantastically high percentage of middle aged dudes in the room who swore that Jewel used to live in a van around the corner and had once swam naked in their pool) (note #3: Do not make the mistake of thinking that I’m trying to make some weird connection between Marcus and Jewel at this point. Besides the fact that they both had vans back then, Marcus has almost nothing in common with Jewel.) Marcus was always the guy who got on stage and made the rest of the room stop. When he’s on stage and you’re in the audience you stop doing whatever the fuck you’ve been doing and you pay attention. Because Marcus makes you pay attention. Because Marcus speaks Beast, and he speaks it like Shakespeare. Watching Marcus read, it’s sort of like a Beast fucked Shakespeare, and then somehow even without a womb Shakespeare had a baby, and then that baby grew into a shaggy glowing Love Shovel’r and a goddamn pillar of the Poet Community, and he lived on a ranch in Nederland protecting and leering down on us in Boulder in much the same way that Hunter Thompson once looked down on us from his mountain in Aspen; with loathing and love and with one hand shoved down his pants; with un-collapsible lust—well, you know where I’m going with this. That fucking lovechild is Marcus. And there’s only one of him. His voice is original. He’s one of those ‘one of a kind’s. He’s a fucking messenger and this town has been deprived of that message for many months now because he was called away from his HST perch for awhile but he’s back now goddamn it, and he’ll be appearing on stage this week at the Laughing Goat. (Christ, I feel like I’m turning into a carnival show barker now:

Cum One, Fuck All!

One night only!

The author of For A Simple: Fuck You, Cracker, Anarchist TV, and Nazis Get Me High, Barack!

Clench as the ground quakes!

See real poetry draw blood!

See a man who never cuts his hair!

The man Lon Chaney Jr would call Wolf Man if he weren’t dead!

A man who after a long night of drinking often looks upon a quiet bush as if it were a Motel 6!

A man who owns a copy of the very first issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book!

The only living thing on Earth to have been banned from Naropa for talking Anne Waldman out of her milk money!

The Lord Anarchy’s golden cock ring!

The only living man who’s sweet talked Samsara into performing anal and survived!

The Original Love Shovel’r!

…and on and on. I could carnival bark stuff about Marcus all night, because he’s one hell of a Serial Killer, and also because it’s fun. But I’ll stop now. Because I’m still hung over from the Welcome Back Marcus party at the Love Shovel Ranch that I attended 2 nights ago and I feel the need to watch Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, now! But before the stopping I’d also like to say this: Marcus is the only poet I know who’s been pulled over by a police car for walking and then tried to convince the cops that he wasn’t intoxicated by hitting a tree with his face and knocking himself out.

It’s true. (note # 4: We may not win every fight, but at least we fight.) Just like it’s also true that when Marcus is on stage he consistently kills it. So it’s fairly safe to say he’s going to kill it again Monday Night at the Laughing Goat (note #5: at 1709 Pearl St at 8 o’clock, just down the street from where the old Penny Lane used to be.)

And being that there will be killing, there may also be blood, as in ‘Try getting a table at Dorsia now Kurt Loder!’. Crack/Elevate/and Repeat styled alleys of blood.

But when it’s over, I promise, it will have been worth it. You won’t want to ever wash that hand again.

Because, screw Dorsia!

Marcus is back!

Deeper than Kate Upton’s cleavage, more powerful than a locomotive filled with locomotives, you are not going to want to miss this show.

Because if you do: You Are Fucked!

I mean: Whiskey!

Consider yourself warned.

– Get in the car, Helen