Locke has a PhD in Literature (specializing in poetry from Donne to Marvell). During his academic career, he
has taught a varied range of courses in poetry, from Homer to Michael Palmer.
A prolific poet and photographer (numerous poems and over 200 photos, mainly of Tampa
trash and Lakeland’s mystic flowers, has been published), he has had a
number of one-man art shows and exhibitions of his paintings staged throughout Florida.
The entire Spring 2004 issue of the magazine Bitter Oleander is devoted
to a 92-page interview and sixty of his poems. In addition, Extraordinary
Interpretations by Gary Monroe has a discussion of his paintings.
is listed in Who’s Who in America (Marquis, 2006).
AL FRESCO CAFÉ POEMS #224:
RENATA’S POEM: THE BIRTH OF THE AUTHOR #61
The arrival intoxicated with fumes
From the anticipation of departure.
The stucco façade
Had 1920 eyelashes and sambucca
By al fresco pioneer sunlight.
It was the children’s do-re-mi that brought
Her hair was said to be like the coattails
Of extended vowels in a soprano’s
Fin de siècle floriferous coloratura.
But in the time of chalk the pause of the pulse was purloined.
The parasol morey-eeled its martini, became a low squeak on Mondays.
All perception is metaphor, and in her parlor
The parable of forced marches prevailed.
She was the glaze that rung the skull in the campanile.
The beloved’s name was written in the margins
Of every page of the book called the Bible.
Departure with its lips replaced her;
Phone numbers no longer suffered.
AL FRESCO CAFÉ POEM #225:
RENATA’S POEM: THE BIRTH OF THE AUTHOR #62
We left out from our amorous tète-à-tète
All verbs and all nouns. We did the same
With the ten commandments. We communicated
By truncated syntax. Our kaffee klasch
Became a fête champêtre, al fresco
With drop ins, who rubbed elbows. It
Was chatty, cozy--all metaphorical.
We in our costumes were alone at a bal masqué.
We had with truncated syntax found
A new intensity. We were orphaned,
Heard Orpheus. As only the defeated
Can truly and fully experience
The joys of victory. We were turning
A glowing silver as in a Bonnard painting.
AL FRESCO CAFÉ POEM #226:
RENATA’S POEM: BIRTH OF THE AUTHOR #63
Lot’s wife, who wore a red dress,
Walked behind her spouse.
She liked to see the ice slip
As it dissolved
In an empty cocktail glass.
She would look through the frozen water
And the unfrozen water of the cocktail glass
To gaze at the hummingbird,
This green ghost, his red cowl, a priest who married red flowers.
She would whisper “No one should speak of ‘ought’ at all,
A tear would fall on the closed eyelids of her wedding ring.
She had removed her husband’s pearls and rubies,
Wore a memory of an owl for a bracelet.
She is happy as a pillar of salt,
As she is kissed by the lips of bird songs in the south wind.
AL FRESCO CAFÉ POEMS #227:
RENATA’S POEM: BIRTH OF THE AUTHOR #64
I watch from my a window, a buzzard soaring,
His wings, a floating piano keyboard,
The fingers of the wind playing celestial music.
Oh buzzard, you are magnificent.
But down below your mystery and wonder,
People cruising in the cells of their egos;
People sniffing the crack cocaine of their beliefs.
I see you, buzzard, drifting through the present,
Not like people, fleeing from the present
Into the lies of their self-deceptions, the lies
Of their cherished, revered, beloved beliefs.
Oh buzzard, who naturally understands
The transcendental ego of Husserl,
The being of Martin Heidegger,
The differance of Jacques Derrida,
Without out reading these philosophers.
Oh buzzard, oh buzzard.
I wish I had been born a buzzard,
And not born one of these
Ego-imprisoned, self-deceiving human beings.
AL FRESCO CAFÉ POEM #228:
RENATA’S POEM: THE BIRTH OF THE AUTHOR #65
Fingers, close together, raised
Upwards, some of the blue above disappeared, fingers bent
Downward and then upward, the movement repeated,
Some of the sky returned, vanished, returned.
It was a good-bye.
The departing eyes were epaulets, gave orders
For close order drills.
Her wristwatch with the opal body and black-gloved arms
Ordered the minutes to depart.
It was impossible to be more rapturous
And more detached from people than she was
At this privileged moment.
copyright © Duane Locke