Duane Locke


Buses with basements
                                 Rent over-night rooms,
But the tenants must be out ten minutes after sunrise,
So the buses
                   Can begin to obey their schedules and rest stops
Throughout the city.
This efficiency is called giving order to the catastrophe
And the tableaux of debris
                                       Throughout the city.
The corner cathedral sells bouquet of dimples 
Cut from chins of saints
wrapped in green wax paper
                                          To the passer-bys
Who want to forget the ugliness of their shoe strings
And their daily seventy seven sins.
Grandmothers eat refried beans off driftwood from Mexican shores
and read
In tabloids how their granddaughters slaughtered men
Who had eyes that looked like deep water,
And eyelashes like sea weed,
Found out these men were merman
So they were stabbed with a butcher knife once again.
Night will bring hula girls on neons who
Shake red skirts of logic and excite syllogistic reasoning
In men who push grocery carts filled with cellos and wedding rings
Towards battery aureoles twisting on brass poles in loud noise bars.
Contractors pour gin and tonic on blue prints
To watch the colors darken,
Then signal for the pouring of concrete six blocks down the street.
Being built
A gallery for discount shopping, fast food eating, and
Of precision chorus girls
With a row of twenty adolescents
Lifting their legs and garters at exactly the same moment
At five o’clock every Friday afternoon.
There will be celebrations. 
Candle-lit ceremonies, many
Weddings, many divorces,
Many wax effigies of young lovers kissing
Posing as if sculptured by Rodin
Surrounded by vases of fuzzy flowers painted by Redon.
When the concrete is poured and the floor, secured
A fire will be built between a stack of cement blocks
And on an iron grate a silver kettle will be sat,
Out of the steam from the spout will arise
A  Venus whose naked body is tattooed
With advertisements for automobiles.
Boasts about 
                  The softness of eiderdown
Heard from loud voices
                                   In neighborhood bars.
The listeners put down their light beers
On the shellacked surface of boards,
Sawed from cedar trees, to applaud the drunk speakers.
A chorus recruited from Monday Night Football Cheerleaders
From those who had long legs and  could sing above High C
Sung the anthem:
 “Let us drink crème de menthe to the extreme.”
Windows were improvised and the drunks looked through
Improvised windows 
                               To see their staggering reflections
In mirrors framed by golden arrow-shooting cupids.
Some cupids were inverted,
                                          Others jetting out into space,
One left the scene to fly and break the sound barrier.
There was an air of jubilation,
                                              Fish scales dyed pastel
Were pasted across faces. Oil was discovered in human
 Billions volunteered to have
Their arms drilled.
To drown out the screams from drilling,
The chorus sung louder:
 “Let us drink crème de menthe to the extreme.”
To say “goodbye” when it is not raining or
A thunder storm
Is not sending out zigzagging lightning across restless
Dark clouds
Is to be secular,
And an irregular attendance at horse shows where
The horses tap dance,
And riders wear black Spanish hats with black globular
And tuxedoes with red cummerbunds.
It is like be sequestered from sequins,
And finding
               Taking sand baths in the sand
         The ramparts of medieval castles
In Mantua,
                 Where Virgil and Sordello
Were born.
Now, I have stopped seeing empty
Champagne bottles
                             Sending our their greens
On a white floor,
While in another room, a brown rug burned.
Now an absence
                         Leads to the discovery of a 
Thales, I have gone by goodbyes beyond
And water.

From Sienna, 
A Georgia farm made me,
Tampa unmade me.
It was the half moons from Minarets
That became
The arrows in my side,
And I sympathized the myth of St. Sebastain
That he felt no pain..
But I felt real pain, not smiling like
St. Sebastain,
And I, a poet, will not have a ceremony
That grants a stipend or sainthood,
And gives a new title to put before my name.
I now belong to bolted locks
And bolted curtains.
Outside every window has iron bars,
But the roof leaks, Pia,
The roof leaks.
Even centuries ago I was your lover,
And still am.



Duane Locke
2716 Jefferson Street
Tampa, FL 33602-16200
Announcing: THREE NEW BOOKS OF POEMS By Duane Locke
[Duane Locke has renounced print publication to publish electronically. Duane Locke has over 4,000 poems published, over 2,000 in print publications, American Poetry Review, etc. and since September 1999, over 2,000 in e zines.]

E books (all published in 2002):

1. The Squid's Dark Ink-$. 99
The Ze Book Company | ZeBookZine@aol.com

2. From a Tiny Room-4.50 Euros
Otto E Books (Spain) | guiam@wol.s

3. Death of Daphne-$5.00
4*9*1 | Stompdcr@aol.com | Walksfreeman@aol.com

4. Memiors of Damniso Lopez-$ 5.OO

5. Luncheon Duets or Solipsistic Solioquies
of George Samson-$5.00

Print Book:

6. Watching Wistera, paperback $9.95, Hardcover, #19.95
Vida Publishing | iod@ironoverload.org

Or from Barnes and Noble, Amazon

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Duane Locke, Doctor of Philosophy in English Renaissance literature, Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, was Poet in Residence at the University of Tampa for over 20 years. Has had over 2,000 of his own poems published in over 500 print magazines such as American Poetry Review, Nation, Literary Quarterly, Black Moon, and Bitter Oleander. Is author of 14 print books of poems, the latest is WATCHING WISTERIA ( to order write Vida Publishing, P.O. Box 12665, Lake, Park, FL. 33405-0665, or Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Since September 1999, he became a cyber poet and started submitting on-line, and since September 1999 he has added to his over 2,000 print acceptances with 1,195 acceptances by e zines.
     He is also a painter. Now has exhibitions at Thomas Center Galleries (Gainesville, FL) and Tyson Trading Company (Micanopy, FL) Recently a one-man show at Pyramid Galleries (Tampa, FL)
     Also, a photographer, has had 116 of his photos selected for appearance on e zines. He photographs trash in alleys. Moves in close to find beauty in what people have thrown away.
     He now lives alone in a two-story decaying house in the sunny Tampa slums. He lives isolated and estranged as an alien, not understanding the customs, the costumes, the language (some form of postmodern English) of his neighbors. The egregious ugliness of his neighborhood has recently been mitigated by the esthetic efforts of the police force who put bright orange and yellow posters on the posts to advertise the location is a shopping mall for drugs. His alley is the dumping ground for stolen cars. One advantage Of living in this neighborhood, if your car is stolen, you can step out in the back and pick it up. Also, the burglars are afraid to come in on account of the muggers.
     His recreational activities are drinking wine, listening to old operas, and reading postmodern philosophy.

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