Sunday, April 12, 2015

Duane Locke- Three Poems


The rope, its twisted beige fibers whose edges
Unraveled into string spirals and caught sunlight

Became dazzling bright and by wind was broken
Into pinpoints of dancing lights that sparkled

And silvered the air, was more interesting
To my childhood life than the passing parade.

The rope tied around green, the lichen, on trees,
Was stretched to keep excited crowd on sidewalk.

My aunt, a slave mentality, had pulled
Me to the parade as she did not have any insight

Into the reality of particularized, singular,
Individual life, thought everyone was the same

As the majority,   the collective, and would find joy
In watching this parade.  Thousands stood, waving hands,

Behind the ropes.  I enjoyed watching the sunlight
Streak the rope more than the passing parade.

The rope was the same height as my eyes.
And it split the parade into two parts.

Above the rope was sequin-spattered blonde wigs,
And beneath the rope was commonplace automobile tires.

On the boring floats white-gloved hands threw
Out cheap, gaudy, garish, ugly beads.

People around me was very excited to grab
This tossed trash.  I did not want the junk.

I began at an early to suspect the validity
Of all adult axiology, did not want to imitate fools.


As a child, I never aspired
To be one of the collective, the crowd,
A slave mentality.

I then was not understood by anyone, and now I think my current poems
Are not understood by anyone.

As child I was actively opposed to the activities and axiologies
Of the children in my neighborhood.  

Also, I was actively opposed to the beliefs, values, and life styles
Of the adults.

I found other joys than the joys of the neighbor children.

The other children
Were spinning tops to split open another’s top,
Shooting marbles to win the marbles of others,
Hoping  in squares scribbled in chalk on sidewalk to brag about winning.
Lager boys were beating up and humiliating smaller boys.

All the children seemed like psychopaths, even more so when
They imitated their parents.

Some read dirty comics, Blondie and Dagwood, their favorite.
Some planned the game of shop-lifting from dime stores.
The males’s ambitions were to become professional  baseball players.
Each boy was trying to learn how to throw curves and screwballs.
The  females  aspired to grow up lasciously and trap a rich man for a husband.

Their chief entertainments were B-movies and canvas tent revival meeting.
Billy Sunday sliding on sawdust.
And the Radio:  Amos and Andy, the Hit parade of popular songs.
Any kind of program that had hillbillies.

Gangsters  and crminals, like Al Capone, Lucy Luciano, were the adults’ heroes
And became role models for the children.

Comic strips also embellished their lives, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Buck Rogers,
Mutt and Jeff.

I preferred other joys.

One of my joys was to visit the dry gray surface of a mudflat by mangroves.
The mud was cracked irregularly, eccentrically, excited with it difference
From Euclid, was not boring like the geometric squares of sidewalks.

One of my spots of time, my epiphanies, my raptures was when I peeped
Into a wider mud crack and saw two brown snakes spiraled in sleep.
The varied browns of their bodies were exquisite.


When a child, forced to attend first grade,

I often ran away from school.
I hid in bamboo.

The bamboo surrounded and hide a private
Insane asylum for children.

I could hear the children talking,  usually echolalia,
To their rich parents who were not present,

The parents who pretended the insane children
Did not exist.

I received my early education by listening
To the voices of insane children.

The children often spoke of how their parents loved them,
As they tore apart the expensive toys sent.


Duane Locke, PH. D, lives hermetically in Tampa, Florida near anhinga, gallinules, raccoons, alligators. Has had published 6,971 different poems, none self-published or paid to be published. This includes 33 books of poems.

His latest book publications are DUANE LOCKE, THE FIRST DECADE, 1968-1978 (First 11 Books—Order from publisher Bitter Oleander Press or AMAZON---YANG CHU’S POEMS,

Forthcoming 2015: VISIONS from KIND OF HURRICANE PRESS. Nov. 2015: TERRESTRIAL ILLUMINATIONS, SECOND SELECTION (Sorties) from Hidden Clearing Books

100’S of his poems can be found by clicking Duane Locke on GOOGLE.

He is a photographer of Surphotos and Nature. Has had 545 photos published,
Some as book covers. A book of 40 of his surphotos has been published by BLAZE VOX, POETIC IMPRINTS, RESPONSES TO THE ART OF DUANE LOCKE, by Connie Stadler and Felino Soraino.

His paintings have been described in Gary Monroe’s EXTRAORDINARY INTERPRETITONS, published by University of Florida Press, and are in many private collections and museums.

He is a student of philosophy—favorites: Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze...

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