jueves, noviembre 02, 2006

Five Poems from Duane Locke


I desired
To construct from air
A flower for you,

But the air is elusive,
Slips away.

Why, I ask,
Will not air
Stay long enough
For me
To shape it
A stem and petals.

I could photograph
Whiffs of smoke
Coming from
The burning of
Old love letters,

Have the smoke
Resemble Indian Pipes
Growing in
Dark oak shadows,

But this paper flower
Is not the flower
I wanted to give you.

I wanted to give you
A real flower
Made from the air
That was shaped
By my hand
After touching you.


I wish you had
Seen it
As I saw it,

But such compatibility,
Is impossible.

Corn stubble,
White gold hair
Hung from a husk.

An object became
An event,
A past moment.

It was your
My shoulder.

Perhaps, my
Is a revision.

Why are you
Sitting with a distance
Between us.

I am staging
A fiction
In my mind.

I no longer want
To pass this stubble field,
Stubble has its beauty.


What commenced as an abbreviation,
A slight hug, became an aberration, due to suffixes and
And the absence of the dictatorship of the proletariat,
Bourgeois, and upper classes, a solo and soliloquy
Became states rights and a Statue of Library shaped kite.
It was stipendiary from a spasmodic secretary.
The preliminary was sustenuto, so we spoke sotto voce.
Later on,
I resurrected the first person pronoun and it was
By sixty blank pages.
On the sixtieth page I added a copula.
After forty more blank pages, a predicate adjective.
An examination of what in popular parlance
Is designated as space and content, I decided
I was excommunicated from the community.
So I did not finish the sentence by the placement
Of a period at the end
No closure for me
During this echo
I need an ethos
Not Aristotle’s
Not Spinoza’s
Death of a hug is not an event
For the hug was lived through a long line of
Analytic fear
The tics of zero
O mio code
O mio swim
O mio mia


Tell me, you who want me to sleep,
So I won’t disturb with screams
The concentration on the toss
Of one person in sequins to another
Person on a swinging
Distant trapeze, Tell me
Is there somewhere on this earth
A chorus girl so sensitive
She can when she is passed out in a drunken sleep
Can feel a dried soybean
Under twenty mattresses.
Your story had clarity, was transparent,
Accessible, and your syntax was immaculate
According to the textbook, there were no non-sequiturs,
Its ontology was a return to Plato,
Although it muted the existence
Of a supersensible realm of ideas
To impose on our consciousness
our ordinary world was a reality.
In your rendition there was erudition
And precision, but it was all Babel.
You have told me the same story
Every night, because you repeat words
That have no meaningful content to you,
But tonight you tell this bedtime story
More rapidly as you want to get away,
Go back to the TV set to watch
A trapeze act simulated in a movie.


Her attic, art deco, until
Group of spiders’ extreme abstractions.

Now, under the roof,
The enchantments
Of frozen smoke,


The drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop
Makes a music
Similar to music made by tulips.

One drip-drop
Sings a solo
Before the choir.

She does not hear, she
Is away
At the Waldorf-Astoria
In her daydreams.

Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy, English Renaissance literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. He has had over 5,000 poems published in online and print magazines including American Poetry Review, Nation, Bitter Oleander, Poetry, Jacket and Badosa. He is the other of fourteen books of poetry and several e-books. Locke is also a widely published photographer with numerous recent shows throughout Florida. He lives in Lakeland, Florida, after a forcible eviction from his Tampa home, where he lived for half a century.

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