Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Duane Locke

Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida and has had 6,502 poems published in print magazines and e zines, including Nation, American Poetry Review, and Counter-Example Poetics. His last four books 2009-10 are Yang Chu’s Poems 376pp, Crossing Chaos( Canada--Order: Amazon), Voices from Grave (erbacce, England), Soliloquies from a High Wall Cemetery (Differentia Press) California; A Marble Nude Pauline Borghese with a Marble Apple in her Marble hand, 53pp.Scars publications.


I imitated an automobile,

I sounded

Like a horn being pressed--a motor

Failing to start,

The squeak and skid

Of a quickly pushed in brake.

I added a spin, as if he car was out of control.

I was standing by a fountain in shopping

Center hallway.

I had an audience.

I had been in the desert so long I had not spoken

To a person in years.

I spoke the old colloquialism I had learned when

In a monastery.

The audience looked bored.

The people began to leave.

All my audience was soon gone. They might have stayed

If I had not tried to communicate.

They might have stayed if I had kept imitating

An automobile.

The chromatic

scene was like a poppy printed

On a translucent plastic

And backlit by a purple light bulb,

This mist curled conjoined with stage floor dust.

The mimesis was deemed “romance,’

Which meant it was a Hellenistic reenactment

Of an Attic myth, Apollo

Trying to get Daphne to comb her

Wild hair into an occasion for a cordial cocktail.

A nun appeared, a strand

Of blond hair slid from black cover hiding her hair

To segment

A slight indentation on her forehead.

She touched

With her green-painted fingernail

That black silk shirt with a white tie

Of a passer-by.

We knew it was a fragmentation

That was dislocation in a world

We were taught was rational

And intelligently ordered.

The mowers carrying boxes

Packed with the beliefs and values

Of the past sixties’ ungenteel generation.

The mowers talked in high diction

About baroque art and the counter reformation.

It ended with a dance.

The mist had risen and thickened

And no one could see what was happening

On the stage, but a critic pontificating from

Ceiling loud speakers informed us--

It was a dance, a minuet,

Bare feet moving according

To regular traditional metrics

To crush grapes.


A light, shaped

Like a crooked spiral staircase

With some steps lumps,

Other steps look like

Opinions of the wind,

Ascend or descends

According to the mood

Of the perceiver or faith.

The color of light

Is one of the colors

Of the many-colored peach.

This light is the peach color

Of yellow, a mandarin

Chinese pale yellow. This

Lights is so otherworldly

In spite of its orientalism

If it wrote a gospel

It would Gnostic Christian,

Mything pleromas.

It is the light that

Some perceivers

See inside a lump of quartz,

Rose quartz.

This lump of quartz

Was given me by a girl

Who had gold twists for hair,

But who ran away

From being a nurse

In a nursing home

To wear only

Only a white sheet

Stolen from Sears

To pray all day

Worshiping the sun,

To pray all night

Worshiping the reflected

Sun light of the moon

In an unknown part

Of a rain forest.

I now am painting on canvas

The lump of rose quartz,

Dimming the rose to accent

The inner mobile yellowish light

Which when painted

Will be still and false

To be imagined mobile

By the perceiver.

I am painting on a ground

Gessoed white, and

Sprayed with a Duccio gold

That Duccio used to give

The proper background

For the divine.