Duane Locke


A man in desperation like
Macbeth cried out,
"Out, out, long-lived illusion."
He and his wife had just lit firecrackers
To celebrate their faithfulness to each other.
He knew that his four so-called children
Each had a different father,
But unlike Strindberg, he was normal
And not neurotic, could not write plays
And have actors express his torment,
Anger, and rage on a stage.
His mental health made him proclaim
Pious platitudes as we must have unity
In spite of our division, the family
And traditional values must be preserved.
We must not succumb to a jaded cynicism.
Our unity is more important than truth or right.
But sometimes, he succumbed to weakness,
Yelled out, "Out, out, long lived illusion."




The pavement, the concrete, that speeds the pace
To arrive at nowhere has many mouths.
Oil drips became orifices.
Each black mouth is open
With a black tongue sticking out.
Each black crevice in each black lip
Receives a cellular phone call and kiss
From the dreamer behind the wheel.

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.


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