Sunday, June 1, 2008

Duane Locke

Tampa Cemetery

Underground, the bones of the crooked sheriff
Talks to the bones in the next lot, the bones
Of a pious, Baptist deacon, who raised neurotic children.
The crooked sheriff wants to tell the deacon’s bones
About the success of his grandson, who has a future
In computers, makes a salary in the six figures
The sheriff sees the sad face of the deacon,
Invites the deacon to join him in hymn singing.
They sing together, and the earth around their bones,
Puts its hands over their ears.

The Tide

The tide jammed on its brakes
Before it reached the ex-colonel,
Who was miserable in sunlight,
But obeyed the fashion.

The tide has hands, not heavy wheels.
The tide has the body of a slender girl,
Not the heaviness of a car.
The tide stopped in repulsion

Because the tide has hands.

Sargasso and Sponges

Sargasso and sponges
Stick out their tongues
To touch my ankle.
All the houses on the shore
Put on tuxedoes, went
To the wedding of the tattoo and the dollar.
I stayed here, alone,With Sargasso and sponges.

-all three poems previously published at Jacket Magazine


A wind of curls that wore a black pants suit
Raced by to flap the flag and chase
The spinning pigeons off the rooftops.
In the bedrooms, the beds put eyeglasses
On their sheets who gazed through the wallpaper
Over the heads of paper roosters
And the stems and curves of red apples
To take notes on the shape of the wind’s legs.
The photographs atop the piano took out
Sketch books and created one-stroke Japanese paintings.
Each stroke duplicated the wrinkles in the wind’s knees.
The wind blew by and the mirrors changed their images
From the wind’s legs to moonlit trap doors.


The footsteps that remained inside the floor’s
Rug-covered wood recalled what last month’s
Footsteps left from when the footsteps
Departed from the curls and scars of city rivers.
The footsteps left a drop of quivering water
On a pigeon‘s, colored like a white orchid, fallen feather,
Drops of paralyzed tears and their crutches
On a flock of gray gravel that had closed their eyes
And wobbled towards broken glass covering grasses.
The footsteps splashed as if the wood were water,
Splashed against the cobwebs on the ceiling and fell
On the bottoms of white chairs and evaporated
To leave long rows of white circles.

-both poems previously published in Wordplay Poetry Blog

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