Hermit who had
Renounced the world,
Lived on boards in a cypress swamp
Was visited by his six illegitimate children
From six different mothers.
All the children were greedy,
Had hopes the visits
Would influence the Hermit
To will one or two of them
His gold pipe and silver shotgun.
MAN WHO NAMED HIMSELF "ST. ANTHONY"
the room with the black painted walls
There was nothing but a black chair
And a man who called himself "St. Anthony."
He sat all day applauding
The naked dancing girls he imagined
To be on the walls.
One day, a real naked dancing girl
Entered the room.
Anthony put his hands in his cassocks,
Closed his eyes, fell asleep.
When the real girl left,
Anthony opened his eyes,
Applauded the girls he imagined
To be dancing on the black wall.
When he imagined Salome
Appeared on the wall,
Threw off her seventh veil,
Anthony applauded with one hand.
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."
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.
scissors' blade she scraped
Paper to simulate curled petals of flowers.
One paper petal, then another, then more.
Soon, enough petals, then a surplus.
The petals scattered on a tablecloth
Without any connection.
She could not overcome her parents, the church
To make a corolla, turn petals
Into a bee-attracting flower.
So petals accumulated, no
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.