To construct from air
A flower for you,
But the air is elusive,
Why, I ask,
Will not air
Stay long enough
To shape it
A stem and petals.
I could photograph
Whiffs of smoke
The burning of
Old love letters,
Have the smoke
Resemble Indian Pipes
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
As I saw it,
But such compatibility,
White gold hair
Hung from a husk.
An object became
A past moment.
It was your
Is a revision.
Why are you
Sitting with a distance
I am staging
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.
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
Death of a hug is not an event
For the hug was lived through a long line of
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
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,
Of frozen smoke,
The drip-drop, drip-drop, drip-drop
Makes a music
Similar to music made by tulips.
Sings a solo
Before the choir.
She does not hear, she
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